Friday, November 6, 2009

Yoga Is Harder Than I Thought

"One, two, three years is sufficient for Asanas, and then one must keep eating cakes in order to get realization!"

The Guruji concluded with this statement today after a long discussion of the Asana limb of Ashtanga yoga. By cakes, he means one must continue on the eight-fold path of yoga to finally satiate one's "hunger" for realization of the true self. And he doesn't mean "stop" after those few years, having later explained that one should keep up the physical practice until death. There are eight limbs, or steps, to divine realization, and before discussing Asana, the third limb, he discussed the first two limbs, Yama and Niyama, the moral framework for the yogi, the couple of days prior. Truthfulness, cleanliness (of all kinds), non-stealing, non-harming, happiness, and resolving to a belief in God are a few of them. One of them is Brahmacharya, the practice of controlling one's sex drive. This lit a million little spark plugs in my brain, sending me into a whirlwind of questions both for him and for myself all throughout the day. How is it that yoga has brought me face to face with one of the key factors I have always rejected in organized religion?! I don't know if was is all of the mental, intellectual and egotistical effort or the Indian food (probably both), but I ended up with some sort of an upset digestive system all throughout that night.

"Just because you have money doesn't mean you should be drinking coffee and buying things...Just because you are a youth, doesn't mean you should do EVERYTHING!" was another Guruji-ism that struck me like a gong this afternoon. What a pleasant thought. And a simple thought. I have been contentedly reading in my room all afternoon, whereas usually I am planning out my hours all day so as to pack them with all kinds of "opportunities". So what if I'm in India? I can sit in my room and read all night if I damn well please!

On another note, I have been taking some Hindi lessons from a lovely pair of ladies (Sumana and Lakshmi) who also teach art classes. The lessons are a lot of fun. I love how the language is written especially and sometimes Sumana's little daughter sits next to me and corrects my work. They do a lot of needlework while I am studying, which leaves me drooling for fibrous arts of my own, and I am thinking that after some of my studies with the Guruji let up a bit in a week or two, I will take up some sari-embroidering.

No comments:

Post a Comment