I’m glad that I’ve been here before. When you have been somewhere before there is a level of fear that just goes away, disappears and it’s like you’ve never been fearful before. I mean when you get to India and you don’t have the right address of where you are staying, you could start to panic. Picture this, you’ve traveled for days, you ate so you aren’t hungry but you’re tired, not only are you tired, but you LOOK tired and just want to unpack but since you have the wrong address you . . . have a coconut.
Good thing I paused and had a coconut as I saw a friend come out of the Shala. There are lots of people coming out after practice but I call out his name and we chat. I tell him my story (at this point I just figured my driver was not all there and that I had a good address) He helps with internet access. Long story short, I was around the corner from where I needed to be. It’s a combination of not being fearful, having some trust in some people (Mahesh watched my bags – I took the rupees out), and being able to pause and stay in the moment. To pause, to think and to breathe.
I spent some time settling in after this, which also means to pause. Lots of things are different so you have to take your time, think and figure things out from light switches to locks to heating the water for the shower which seemed pretty important to me. Communication is not always easy but everyone smiles and somehow you start to understand each other with gestures. They are speaking their language and you are speaking your own, in sometimes a louder tone than normal, like they may understand you better.
The registration was uneventful which is good. Sharath is busy with a big line forming and I’m glad he sees me here, takes my fee and gives me my start times. I’ve been here before so I’ve got everything ready. Checked my list and checked it twice. I’ve been here before and it’s all pretty familiar.
Led class is at 6 am and now “Shala Time” is 15 minutes before the actual time (last time it was 20 but I can handle this). I’ve never been able to figure out how to get into the room before the rush so of course there is no obvious spot. So I pause, but not too long, and because I know the drill, I know that there is very little space between mats during the led class. I see these mats in a row with some luxury space around them and make a move to “create” a space for my mat. It would have been done anyway and I got a nice spot near the alter on the far side of the Shala. So for now I avoided the changing room and the stage but I’ve got a few weeks left. Once my arms went up for the first sun salutation, I had a sense of ease around the practice that’s been missing. I held the counts and focused on breathing. It was fun!
Today for practice you get called into the room and there is absolutely no reason to worry, everyone will get to practice. I feel pretty relaxed about this BUT you can’t choose a spot, it’s chosen for you as people finish you become the “One More”. So I’m the one more and he doesn’t ask for my card and I get to start my practice. My only wish is that I feel good and that I continue to work on having some ease with the practice. The pause I felt in the practice was in between the breaths and this makes practice just delightful. I keep going and keep breathing and I take my time and get to the end feeling grateful. Grateful that I am able to move with ease, that I can hear my breath and that my breath is giving new energy and life to my practice . . . just for today.