Feeling: ENLIGHTENED, AMUSED, AMAZED
Our daily schedule is (meant to be) as follows:
6.30 – 7.30: Cleansing technique, Ganeesh Aaarti (prayer)
7.30 – 9am: Yoga
10 – 11: Anatomy lecture
11 – 12: Alignment class
12 – 1.15: Philosophy lecture
4.30 – 6.30: Yoga
7pm: Ganeesh Aaarti
Extremely full on. I like my order though, and to have a set timetable had me absolutely thrilled. Then the Indian way came out to play.
“We will have a fire ceremony every day at 3pm,” announced Amrit after cleansing.
“No philosophy today, instead alignment class now,” he instructed after breakfast.
“I’ll take anatomy after lunch instead,” he said as we arrived for our lecture.
Aside from the yoga classes always being dead on time from start to finish, the rest of the timetable is in a state of flux. Chopping and changing is the norm. At first this freaked me out a bit as I like to know where I’m going and what I’m doing next, but now I’m all on board to go with whatever – it’s all about being in the present! (Plus I don’t really have a choice).
So, the first proper day. We met in the herb garden to do cleansing, or jala neti. I was amped for whatever this entailed; all acts that involve the words detox, cleanse or clarity just excite me. Amrit handed us each a little plastic contraption, a neti lota, and showed us how to pout the warm water inside it into one nostril as we continued to breathe normally. The process alleviates anxiety, anger, depression, removes drowsiness and purifies the nadi channels to enable prana to flow freely between all the chakras. (Lost? Future posts will expand on these concepts, never fear).
And so we began. It was the weirdest sensation. After pouring for a few minutes, you had to stand square, shove your face forward and exhale with all your might. Mucus and boggies flying all over the show! The other two girls found it extremely difficult but I nailed it immediately. Amrit kept saying how perfectly I was doing it and afterwards told me he was impressed, and would I perhaps help the other two? My inner teacher’s pet preened. I skipped away all light and fresh and clog free.
Each day we have an hour alignment class where an instructor (who coaches for the Indian National Yoga Championships of all competitions) chooses a few asanas, makes us do them, then tweaks us to be in the correct position. Well holy Fuck. (Excuse the blasphemy). I thought I was pretty in tune with where each part of my body was meant to be in a posture, but this guy pulls your arm forward, your hip back, your ankles down, and the pose takes on a whole new dimension of stretch. It’s incredible. It also helps he is a rather sexy Indian man when he is wrenching your body into place – makes the pain far more bearable.
Our 4.30 yoga class is taken by a gorgeous little man called Rajeesh. And when I say little, I mean tiny. I’m not the tallest of gals, but even I have a good head on this guy. Oce literally dwarfs him. But although short in stature, he has the most incredible physique. Strong and staunch with it. I think all New Zealand males should have to undertake at least four hours of yoga a day too, if it means having a chest like this dude.
You know how in books sometimes it describes hearing the smile in someone’s voice? I’d never experienced this actually happening until I met Rajeesh. You can honestly have your eyes shut as you concentrate completely and just hear the grin that you know is on his face. He’s not laughing at us, not in the slightest; he smiles at our eagerness, at our pushing ourselves – and giggles a bit when we fuck up and fall flat on our faces. He is so gorgeous, I just want to show off and please him (with my yoga moves, get your mind out of the gutter).
I love it here, I truly do. I still get frustrated, especially in the monsoon humidity, and antsy at times, but rather than dwell in these states I’m starting to pranayama my way out of them and remain calm. Who would’ve thought rigid, panicky Poppy would be able to inhale her way through itrritation wih only oxygen! Quite a mean feat.
Only three days in and my body already feels leaner and more limber. I feel calmer and at peace. My mind is slowly learning the chill out and focus. And I feel like I’m confronting shit I’ve pushed aside for years. Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray Love? Nothing on this.