Feeling: THE PAUSE
Points are coming at a swift rate mate.
1. I am just thinking of Nanna all the time; she pops into my mind, items remind me of her, I myself remind me of her. I went and brought a nail file yesterday to get those toe ones sanded down so as not to jut marks in my mat and the one I chose is exactly the same as those she always used to have in her bulging nail polish bag.
2. Yesterday was day six, thus a day off. I made it so although everything I would like to do (not “needed” but “wanted”) was dotted about the day in my diary, it was not scheduled into time slots or put in any kind of order.
The result? I awoke, did some stretches and exs, climbed 45 minutes up a mountain track and found a beautiful waterfall, jogged back down, had lunch with my friends, had a nap and did necessary admin here and there between.
I received a summons to go to the yoga school about 4pm, as Arvind the owner wanted to see me. You see, Fatima – my friend now and also kind of boss in a way, as it’s who I write the blog posts for – lives in Mumbai, doing the logistics for the school from there. She messaged me and said to get to Yog Dham urgently, and when I got there – there she was!
It was such a lovely surprise. And then she told me she wanted to take me somewhere; did I have plans? Loose ones to write a blog post and wash my mat flitted through my mind, but I caught myself and without anymore thought said, “Nope!”
So off we went – Arvind, Fatima, my pal Sabina (she happened to be with me at the time so was invited along too which was ideal!) and German Bianca (also a friend of Fatima’s).
They wouldn’t tell us where we were going (there was a brief moment of imagining me being raped and pillaged and left in the Indian jungle to be feasted on by wild tigers and elephants, I’ll admit). After about forty minutes of winding roads we pulled up to a patch in the mountains, where Arvind owns land on which he is going to build a yoga retreat.
It was magical.
We then went to inspect a yoga school positioned on the banks of the Ganges, then drove back and had dinner altogether at the cafe they own as well.
It was so relaxing, chilled, and I was back in bed at 9.45pm.
How nice is it to not schedule every little thing, and have some spontaneity here and there?
And mate; how much longer does the day seem?!
3. It’s quite paradoxical really; whenever anyone hears that I go to India on my own, they always respond with either, “Be careful!” Or, “I’d never go there alone.”
But I mean, would you say that about Spain? And look what happened in Barce. Or Belgium, the safest and most systematic country in the world – how about the capital’s airport targeting last year?
It’s that fear of the different, when the more similar is often just as risky. And if you didn’t go somewhere because of the fear it’s unsafe, you wouldn’t go anywhere at all.
4. In India, a horn on a vehicle – be it car, motorbike, scooter, truck or bus – is more important than an engine. Honestly, all those using the road are insane tooters (that autocorrected as “rooters”; luckily I clocked it and made the modification).
But a press down on it isn’t a rude blasting to another road user, nor a “Fucking idiot!” when someone’s about to back out onto your car. Nope, here it’s a happy warm toot, a, “I’m here mate! And about to overtake!”
Sounds all joyous, but it’s FUCKING loud until you learn to make like Lego and block it out.
5. Yesterday at the river there was a massive bridge from like 1786. I was marvelling at its construction when Fatima said, “The Britishers built that”.
The Britishers! I giggled out loud, but then thought; well, why can’t they be called that?
6. I’m so so proud of my best friend Beaver (may recall him from my yarns here last time). He just completed ten days of Vipassana – that’s meditation from 4am to 10pm at night with only a short break at noon for lunch. The hours in quiet contemplation are spent in a hall that is totally barren aside from your personal sitting pillow, and once the 4am starts you are not allowed to move – not even to relief your pins and needles or shift your leg position. And Beavs can’t even cross his legs! Plus no connection with the outside world at all.
So I was catching up with him today and he was asking about Martinet and if she is the Dominatrix Dragon we were warned about or a little softer. When I said she was far more so than we were ever enlightened to, he said:
“I’m proud of you for doing the 300 with dominatrix. You’ll be a true yoga teacher by the end. Not like us half baked versions. You’ve never been a half baked kinda chick.”
And I never have, have I? Always the full potato.
7. I found a really apt quote today: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt. I fucking love that.
I’m so consensual with my self worth it’s insane. I didn’t realise the extent of it until I observed how I am with Martinet. Just that need to be the favourite, the immense self judgement when I get told I’m anything other than perfectly performing; I give out the frequency to receive the other self put down.
That “impress myself” thing is working super well. Like super well. It makes me focus on the positives of myself and feel proud of things, both big and small. And my God, it’s made a difference to my real mood (not that fake front I put on for other people). Someone even commented today about how I’m genuinely lively.
8. In saying that: today in theory class Martinet was talking about back bends. “Very few of you can get up straight away with no effort,” she said. “Very quick – six of you; *name*, *name*, *name*, *name*, Priyanka and Poppy.”
I was quite gobsmacked. I didn’t realise she’d noticed that that particular asana was one of my better. From that I watched her in tonight’s class, and saw she sometimes observed me in surprise when I managed to nail something more advanced, then get no inroads in the most simple.
She even said, “Your abilities are a bit strange eh.”
Great, like my armpits.
9. I look like I’ve been smacked around a fair bit. My whole bod is covered in mottled purple splotches from launching into my forearms at pace and hurtling onto the floor from upside down and up. It’s cool; I know I’m truly trying.
10. As much as I’ve been having panic moments about my ability and such, the knowledge I’m taking on here is immeasurable. I’ve had six days of classes and I’ve learnt more about yoga than I ever have in my life. (My inner geek is preening.)
And today it was fabulous; for once, I was the oasis of calm as everyone freaked out about teaching tomorrow. And I was banked up with soothes and supports and solaces; when you’ve had them rained upon you in your freak outs for all your study years, you manage to get some pearlers to impart yourself.
Tonight I had a list of to-dos: write a yoga school blog post. Write out all the asana names in Sanskrit. Practise sitting and standing (the Vinyasa way, not in general) and write out the order of Surya Namaskar.
What have I done?
Came to the cafe with Sabina for a lemon juice and fruit salad and talk about males and relationships.
It’s been glorious.
I found this blog today called, “And Pause Here”. Telling of the importance of, well, just pausing “here”.
All afternoon I’ve been reminding myself of that, and find it works much better than “Be Here Now” for me. Just in moments like now, in this cafe with Sabina as I write this and she makes a class up, as the monsoon rain pours down outside, I Pause and realise at this moment in time I’m living and happy.
(And impressing myself).
New clean sheets tonight – Mummy Deb would be frothing.
(So cute; I asked the boys on reception for a new sheet and asked if there was any possibility of a fresh duvet too – one said he would try and hustle one for me. I just got back and the below photo was awaiting me at my door. I’m going to give them my stash of Swiss Air chocolates I’d earmarked for a friend tomorrow. I think they like me because I always smile at them whenever I go through reception and ask how they are and what not; I mean, the other girls engage with them too, but I think my constant joy has them a bit baffledly humoured).