Cynthia Bates: …”it could be heroin!”

Iyengar yoga instructor Cynthia Bates posts from Pune.

Water rationing will continue along with periodic power cuts (most of the power here is hydroelectric) but the rains have finally come. The noise levels in the surrounds have dimmed at night replaced by the steady lull of rain drops and the temperatures have dropped to a new low of 77 degrees :-0 I actually got completely under the covers last night!

While I no longer feel the need to hoard water, I am now on the look-out for all the waterborne diseases that come with the season: typhoid, dyptheria, cholera and of course dengue fever which has me slathering insect repellant on every time I leave the house. Sounds charming doesn’t it? But truly, it is beautiful as the rain slows things down, clears the pollution (temporarily) from the air and brings a wide gaze to the world as if you were looking at things from the outside corners of your eyes through a mirror.

This morning was Women’s class with Abhi and Guruji. Another soaring sequence that left me breathless. The classes, which are twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday, have built upon each other so that each one takes you to a higher and higher place. As always, Guruji reigned from his upside position over a prop for most of the class, calling Abhi over periodically to make her go up into the next pose so she could feel the instructions in her own body. We started with numerous full arm balances (handstands) and ended in twisted standing poses. I was so focused on the class that it wasn’t until 3/4 in when I bent over to Uttanasana (standing forward bend) that I noticed Geetaji lying in Supta Baddha Konasana right behind me! My heart stopped for a moment and I almost cried I was so happy to see her in the practice room. I am holding out no expectations that she will actually come and teach a class, but please God, just one pranayama class this week!? We walked out feeling electric with legs like noodles. I expect to see a lot of people lying over bolsters at the 4pm practice session.

Shockingly, no hot plans for Saturday night for me….but it’s Guru Purnima tomorrow: “The full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashad (July-August) is observed as the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, a day sacred to the memory of the great sage Vyasa.” On this day we honor our teachers, or Guru’s. There will be a celebration at the Institute and Guruji will talk for awhile. I am looking forward to it!

I was reading the Yoga Sutras yesterday and came upon a description of Brahmacharya (continence or celibacy) which includes continence or abstinence from all sensual pleasure. The way it was decribed was that you feel the sensations, either good or bad, but that you don’t crave or become averse to the sensation. I’m mentioning this, because I continue to fight my cravings for large bowls of salad greens. But as my mom has always said, “it could be heroin!”

Hope you are all well and surviving the summer fog. much love, cynthia