Feeling: LOTS, BUT NOTHING MUCH
1. Martinet loved it the other day. She came into class attired in a mustard-yellow singlet and some maroon-y yoga tights; when I clapped eyes on her, I spontaneously exclaimed, “You look like you’re off Baywatch!” (Colour scheme like a lifeguard, you see).
No other word for it – she was thrilled.
I sidled up to Aussie Lyndal as I laid my mat out and said, “Or Ronald McDonald,” to which she had to muffle her giggles.
And then I felt this piping hot poker of contrition. Hello, guilt.
Conscience you may be a good guide, but you certainly take a bit of wicked fun out of things.
2. I astound myself with how nerdy I am. We had to make up two krama sequences of preparations for certain postures, and I went so over the top in mine I was almost embarrassed at my ridiculousness.
Instead of just drawing stick men like we were allowed to, I researched the shit out of mine and found every possible preparation there could be on Google images. Then for one in particular, I wrote out all the external/protraction/adduction and such, as well as a list of all the bits of the bod needing to be warmed and stretched and lengthened.
When I submitted it through I felt like a bit of a knob. Then I thought about the joy I had felt on crafting it up, the pride I experienced when reviewing the perfectly-aligned pages and the insight I gained by going hardcore.
And I sent it again in PDF.
3. It’s dawning on me how I’m getting in touch with my body.
I didn’t realise the extent of how out of whack with myself I was. I’d be doing a posture and Priyanka would lean over and say, “Doesn’t that hurt your ankle?” and I’d reply, “Yeah, it does actually.” I’d be thinking my hips were dead-on straight, then Martinet would march over and yank me a full 45 degrees over and bark, “You’re not square.” It’s like the sensation feelers between limbs and appendages did not compute with the brain in any way.
But it’s incrementally coming to me, as is the lessening of the need to prove myself. Yesterday in one asana I could feel my knee pinching so I pulled out of it. Priyanka looked over in amazement and said, “I’m so proud of you.”
And yesterday afternoon after theory, I went to my room ready to lace up my hiking boots and go for a trek. But as I sunk into the chair, I gave myself a little pep talk. Mate, you slept like two hours last night, I said (in my mind – I wasn’t have an out loud convo with yours truly). You know what’d be most beneficial for you right now? A nap.
So I took off my socks and slumbered. And I felt good, with NO GUILT.
THAT NEVER HAPPENS.
4. In the break today I went to see my mate Ajay.
So Ajay runs a little art gallery where he sells a range of sized prints painted by Indian families of a much lower affluence (I.e., the poor). All of them (paintings, not the people) are coloured with natural pigments (yellow from turmeric, green from leaves, so forth). I go and see him every couple of days for a chai, and decided today that I should probably purchase a pic or two. (They are truly stunning).
I sifted through them all and narrowed it down to six, then two. Fuck it, I told myself after some cranium conversion calculations. They’re beautiful, why not.
Ajay was rather overjoyed. As he rolled them up and wrapped them in newspaper, I sneakily whipped out my cellular and hustled into XE. 7500 rupees, I inputed. And realised my mental maths of exchange rating had been far lower than the actual amount.
Fuck mate. Bit of an extravagance.
I hopped from foot to foot, wondering if I could possibly get him to unwrap the wee parcel and change it to have me only purchase one. But I quickly decided against it; I couldn’t pull out of a set sale.
I walked home a little bit ruffled at my indulgent idiocy. $165 is a fat chunk of cash, especially for – admittedly beautiful – little canvas prints, that I could probably have replicated myself.
But then I caught myself. Rearranged my thinking. That $165 means 40 per cent goes to Ajay and his extended family living in their little two-bedroomed abode beneath the shop, with the remaining 60 per cent (hopefully) going back to the families that produced them. That money is going to go towards financing some lives, feeding some hungry tums and maybe even enabling some kids to partake in kidfull activities.
I felt much, much better. Not looking at it as money spent on me as such, but money spent to go to a good cause and deserving people.
The two pics appear more beautiful now. And what’s $165 when I still have a healthy account balance at this point in my trip? (Plus, I figured they could hang above my bed where my $60 worth of vegetable and fruit shaped soft toys will sit).
5. I had to leave the room because I couldn’t stop chortling. Martinet was telling us about how upon going to a yoga class once, the male teacher spent a good half of it demonstrating with the students told to purely watch.
“Would you like that?” She asked us. “To pay to only stand and see?”
“If he was good looking I might,” I cheeked.
“Bah!” She said. “No no. I’d have gone and spent the weekend with him.”
I feel she has an extremely colourful history of dalliances.
6. Tonight in class I caught sight of a girl in the window reflection. She was tallish, in an oversized grey singlet, with some ersatz, spiralled hair going on.
She has some good cheekbones and arm definition on her, I thought absent mindedly.
Then I double took.
It was me.
I hadn’t seen myself in a couple of days. Not through purposeful actions, but just because I don’t actively seek out myself in my little corner-of-the-room mirror. There’s no need to check for mascara marks (I wear no make up), to make sure the hair is in check (it’s a lost cause) or to search out rogue pieces of dirt or food (Priyanka or Sabina constantly clean my face up for me).
My hair has darkened significantly – I’d probably say I’m doing the whole (mousey) brunette thing, and rather than scrunchie it up in a topknot as per my usual go, I’ve started scraping it back in a modest bun at the nape of my neck. My face looks really different; I can’t exactly explain why, but its shape and demeanour just don’t look like mine – plus the Ayurvedic liver pills I’m taking detox your bod, so I have a sprinkling of little pimples (haven’t really experienced bad skin before, so at this stage it’s a novelty). And because I haven’t been agonising over my form in every reflection I come across, I didn’t really recognise my body.
I like this getting-to-know-myself in a way that is somewhat detached from aestheticness. It’s more the inner me, both subtle self and systems, with none of the hubla that comes with scrutinising my reflection.
I waved myself off with a wink. “See you next Tuesday or something.”
7. It’s weird.
My feelings seem to have muted somewhat. Maybe it’s the routine of the day after day, maybe I’ve settled into it, maybe the intensity of the schedule is siphoning some of the old sentiments. But I’m not so up and down or full on; rather, I’m feeling a little – dare I claim it – grounded.
Let’s see how long that lasts.