One of Desiree’s friends has died unexpectedly. Some of the group know him. So the morning asana class begins with a dedication to him which once again brings us into the recognition of the preciousness of the present moment. In asana yoga we talk a lot about the back body representing universal consciousness (the front body, the ego consciousness or ‘I am-ness’). We also work constantly on expanding and breathing into the back body which cultivates spaciousness freedom and courage in the body and in asana. This is helpful for challenging asana and life situations alike. When we courageously expand into unknown places we evolve physically, mentally, and spiritually. So today our practice is hip openers and arm balances. Lighting up dark the dark and unknown halls of the inner body.
Our cultural foray is to Arunachalaleswar Temple, one of the largest in all of India, dedicated to Shiva. You’ve really git to see it to even be able to begin to comprehend the magnitude and the ecstatic and holy energy that saturate the air and people. After a couple of hours there is a visit to the Ramana Maharshi ashram, home to one of the most highly revered gurus in the modern history of India. It is an enormous privilege to be in these holy places and to feel welcome to take part in and/or observe the rituals of the devotees beliefs. Sitting in meditation in the back of the hall at the ashram while the residents did evening prayer chants takes me deep into my heart center. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the hospitality of holy folk who let us in to their worlds of worship. When we trust in the Spirit and breath into the unknown, we evolve we expand we understand more we feel connected to all of humanity. Fear subsides and compassion blossoms. Can’t really ask for much more than that. And then there is the best chai tea in the whole world…om namah shivaya.
- YogiPod posting from India using iPhone