Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Om Namo Narayana

On my final day here at the Sivanada Yoga Ashram and I am feeling very sad!! I've had such an amazing time here and have developed some good friendships as well. I would love to stay on for another week or so, but I'm flying to Varanasi on Sunday so I gotta make the trek back to Triv so that I can get to Kochi on Friday to fly out on Saturday to Mumbai, then Delhi, then finally to Varanasi. The yoga has been really good and challenging as I've moved up to the intermediate level. I've managed a headstand but it only happened once and I've got a nasty bruise on my shoulder that bears witness to my other attempts!! I like the intermediate class as it moves faster and gets into more challenging positions for longer. I'm already pretty flexible so it pushes me deeper into the poses. Its been amazing for my body and I feel taller, stronger, and happier after each class. We had a massive tropical rainstorm yesterday with thunder and lightning, so that was pretty exciting. I was listening to a lecture at the Siva hall for the Teachers Training students and ended up falling asleep...the warm breeze and the fragrant wind combined with the Swami's deep voice lulled me to sleep...wole up just in time for my asana class though.
Last night was a really special evening, we had a puja dedicated to the Divine Mother. It was a really interesting event and very endearing. We sat in rows singing our usual chants and then for about 1/2 hr we threw kumkum (the bright red powder you dot on your forehead afterwards) and flowers onto a banana leaf that held a ghee candle that represented the Divine MOther and recited the following mantra: OM SHREE PURA SHAKTIA NAMAH (or something like this...Usha maybe you can help me out!!!). It was really moving and was a bit funny too...Johanna was making me laugh a bit! Afterwards we all lined up and met the swamis who marked our foreheads with the traditional markings of worship: The three lines on the forehead representing the ash (for Siva), a dot of sandalwood paste, and on top of the sandalwood a scarlet kumkum mark. We were also given a blessed flower and then sticky rice pudding on a banana leaf for prasad. We were all very enxited and giddy afterwards, and Johanna and Kim didn't want to go to bed! I had a good sleep afterwards but awoke at 4:30am to the nearby temple playing its annoying chanting cd over the loud speaker. I was awake by the time our bell went at 5:20am and actually made it on time for satsang, unlike yesterday when my entire dorm slept in till the final bell at 5:50 and had to creep in for the meditation! I'm gonna be meeting up with Biggie and Aggy tomorrow in Triv as well as Migs and his wife so that will be great to see them all. Then off to my bigger adventures!

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