Every weekend I turn in-house teacher to my husband. He attends a couple of classes in Mumbai but insists on having me instruct him for a weekend practice. So, we go through the usual cues and practise together. This has been going on for a while and he now has a regular home practice back in Mumbai. We do just the basics and it is a good opportunity for me to remind myself of the actions required. It also makes me pause and see what are the immediate effects of certain actions. Somewhere the body’s natural logic is making itself felt as instinct/ intuition kick in to help with problem areas.
Seeing him struggle, I see myself, how I used to be, a few months ago. The same disobedient body, the same frustration of losing balance repeatedly and the despair that the whole endeavour was pointless. Yet getting back on the mat again and again started to work its magic. And slowly there began a shaping of the mind and body as the two began to communicate. It is heartening to see his progress although he probably doesn’t see it as such. His woe is not being able to clasp his hands in gomukhasana or touch the ground in uttanasana. I see the changes in how he does not give up attempting an asana against his aversion to it. I see it in how he adjusts his chest to an internal cue, how he stays in the pose even when the unused muscles groan. Earlier, he would just say I can’t do it, it is too painful. Watching him is really watching myself.
We started out hesitantly with me refusing until he sort of threatened to stop attending class unless I taught him. He spent more time standing around and avoiding most of the asanas there. Every class left him feeling depressed that he couldn’t get anything right. Now he attempts the asanas although his standard reply when I ask him ‘what did you do in class today’ is ‘pincha mayurasana’ and we laugh.
Yoga is hope.