Yoga will never let you go..

Its been 3 weeks since I stepped into the Shala, and 3 weeks since I’ve cut down my practice to twice a week. The pulling pain from my arm is better. Downward dogs are less painful, but still I’m listening intently to my body and not pushing it. The pain has travelled and evolved to being an ache on the neck and shoulder.

Today, I decided to visit a new studio where Denise, an Ashtanga teacher that has been on a hiatus for a year or so, has come back to teaching at Back on the Mat. I learnt that she herself was also nursing a shoulder injury, and the timing seems to be perfect that I’m nursing one too and she would be the best teacher to help me through my practice. Boy, do I miss the energy of being in a shala. It’s just so different from doing it at home. Your breathing is better, your concentration is better, you generate more internal heat. I think in all, I just miss my practice so much!

What touched me most was the email I received from Denise later on the day, that was so encouraging. She quoted what Sharath said during this year’s conference, which hit right on the nail in so many ways. And here is to share..

“Thank you very much. This is the end of the season. Hope to see you again. I don’t know when. When time comes, we’ll all see… And…keep practicing. You know, as I told you, life is like Lombard Street, not only Lombart Street. It’s got different terrains–in life. Sometimes you go off road. Sometimes you’re on a nice track…The terrain keeps changing, it’s not smooth all the time. So, don’t get disturbed by these things. You keep your practice. Keep your steadiness in whatever terrain comes into your life. Keep on practicing yoga. Never leave practicing yoga. That is how we balance ourselves in whatever difficult times or happy times. So I want you to enjoy that, keep that steadiness until I see you again. May God bless you all with lots of happiness–and sorrow, sometimes…” Sharath trails off in light but tender laughter.

“To know happiness you should go through sorrow.” Never one to sugar-coat, Sharath shares, “In India, in New Year’s, what we do is Bewu Bella. Bewu is the neem leaf. Bella is the sweet, jaggery. So, on that day we mix both and we eat it. Why? Because in the whole year, the whole year won’t be smooth, there will be rough times also in life, in that year. In both the times, you should accept it with happiness. With happiness you should accept both the terrains, both the happiness as well as sorrow. For the that your mind should be steady and still…”

“If you believe in yoga, if you practice yoga, it will never let you go.”

Yoga will never let you go….I like that..

Thank you Denise, for reminding me again. I will learn to embrace all aspects of it, the good and the bad. I know nothing is forever, and this too, like all other things, will pass.

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