This was the first time I landed in India and felt completely calm. Usually, as soon as I get here, the air hits me and I tense up with anxiety. It takes me a while to adjust to the other side of the world. But this time when I landed, I felt a release. I guess I have been carrying a lot in this body and mind,
Or perhaps it was a just a busy week prior leading up to this trip, playing catch up post flu, dealing with work, house and taxes. Truthfully, it was a busy start to the year and an even busier end to the last one.
However, all this is behind me and now I feel like I can chill a bit. Which is ironic given that it is 30 degrees (40 with the Humidex). But I am back in place I know, and about to study a subject I love – Yoga, the practice of transformation.
I arrived a few days early to adjust to the time change. Switching day for night used to be easy for me when I worked in the Emergency Room. But now my body does not like it so much. Perhaps the residue of that past experience or just the reality of the present one. At this stage of my life, if I am awake all night, it is usually not for good reasons.
This time, humidity was welcoming. Even the air seemed clear. As I walked out of the airport, I saw my driver’s sign right away. He was waiting for me amongst the others in the crowd. We both smiled in relief of the recognition of the match. We made it to my hostel without traffic. The owner greeted me with a welcome, and showed me to my room. I settled in and rested well in a comfortable bed.
This morning, the chorus of the birds woke me up. They were met shortly after with the symphony of the city getting started for a new day - the underlying beat of construction, the cars and their horn section, and of course, the Solo performances – the intermittent calling out of the delivery men.
It is not the ashram that most people think of when going to study Yoga in India. No, there is no self-proclaimed guru here. Instead, it is a well respected teacher an Acharya – Ramaswami Srivatsa, himself a student of a great teacher Krishnamacharya, who is considered by many to be the father of modern yoga. He will be teaching in a classroom in a dance studio, in the city of Chennai. He is pushing 80. This might be my last chance. Nothing is guaranteed after this. So I decided to take the opportunity, as I so often do. Lucky me.
I am really tired and I am just noticing it.
I am also relieved. I think my shoulders and jaw have dropped two inches. My body doesn’t have to brace anymore, it doesn’t have to push anymore. The only one I have to listen to is me and I am hearing that I need to stop.
I am going to practice being present, and take it one breath at a time. Eventually, I’ll get out of bed and make my way down to breakfast, get a cup of morning chai and hopefully eat some idlis. I will slowly welcome myself to the south of India yet again. There is no need to rush into this experience.