Cynthia Bates: Guruji was in a mood….

Iyengar yoga instructor Cynthia Bates posts from Pune.

The monsoon seems to be holding off this year and as a result the local dams only have enough for 2-3 more weeks of water so they say. Is this a frightening thought? I am trying to stay positive and not hoard 5 liter jugs of water in my flat but it’s hard to imagine being without running water. Given that it is monsoon season and diseases abound, I have been doubly careful using the filtered water and then in addition using my Steripen (amazing gadget that kills EVERYTHING with UV light). The water tastes like nothing though, void of minerals and then I feel like I am not getting the minerals that I need from it so I buy bottled water, despite the waste of plastic bottles. Hard to imagine living this way for very long.

Sunday, Osha, Nora, Sabina and I went for a little ride to the Korregon Park area famous for the Osho Meditation Resort and the German Bakery which was bombed in January. The German Bakery is closed now and part of a wall is blown out. Much of the business surrounding, including attendance at the Osho ashram is also down. While the streets are usually packed with westerners in red and white robes (who take an HIV test and pay a pretty penny to experience enlightement), we didn’t see one person in such an attire. In the cool of the early evening, we wandered the streets of Korregon Park where the wealthy live in gargantuan mansions of both old and modern style, many behind huge barricades with guards. One mansion was so big that we thought it was a hotel but Nora went up to the guard and asked him and he said no, a private residence. We ended up at a fancy India restaurant ordering too much food but it was fun. The waiters are always trying to push rice and bread (roti? chapati? naan?) on me and are visibly upset when I resist. They are so much a part of the meal here and important for soaking up all the sauces when you don’t eat with utensils that they can’t imagine a meal without them.

Guruji was in a mood this last Saturday in women’s class. We were apparently not following directions well and as he put it “you are full of life energy but instead you are like sticks, like blocks! Let the energy flow!” I guess he whacked a couple of people too but I was not one of the blessed. In fact, I had started class set up right in front of him but shortly into the class they made us exchange places across the room. As the practice started in Pavritta Trikonasana, a pose that I cannot readily assume, I felt very lucky to have been placed outside of Guruji’s direct line of sight. The classes have been covering a lot of the poses that are on my syllabus for assessment which is very providential. Although it will take me some time to integrate the teachings into my own body and classes, it is helping me to more deeply understand these poses.

With only 10 more days to go, a bit of homesickness has set in for all of us. I am trying to continue to focus on being here, because I don’t know when I will be back, but it is hard when you crave your creature comforts. I hope you are all well! much love, cynthia