After much dilly dallying, I got ropes fitted at home, finally. I used to get neck tractions in class a couple of years ago and that’s when I first thought of fixing a set at home. But it felt presumptuous so I let it sort of simmer on the back burner. Last year, I decided to stick to what was taught in class and that was mostly without props, except a brick or bolster at most. I see the good sense in learning asanas the classical way. It is harder but makes me less lazy. Now I wish to explore and experiment, find out for myself. I did have a moment of doubt if I was being too ambitious in my sadhana but the teachings are strong and as long as I remain a student, I will be guided. Of that, I am sure.
Yesterday, I found myself trying out Adho Mukha Svanasana using the rope at varying distances of the leg and it was different. Since I was short on time, I just noticed the sensation but that is something I can experiment with. Mental note – keep a notebook handy.
The year at RIMYI is over and the dismay of no class for 4 weeks has reduced. Now it is thinking of what and how to build a regular practice in the break so that I go back prepared. It was easier when there was a weekly dose of inspiration from class. While independent sequences are a good way to keep it interesting, I find myself sticking to one category and neglecting the others or not working on all equally. So, one option is to go through the sequence for the weeks and apply it to the days. Alternatively, fix on one category for each day of the week. And one basic pose to explore every week like tadasana, dandasana etc.
While on a walk early this morning, I found myself thinking about knowledge and it’s availability. The Internet has made us lazy about learning since there is an overload of information on anything under the sun. A short while on wikipedia can make one an expert on the subject. In contrast to classical learning where knowledge was experiential. The texts were memorised, meanings of the words and their construction subjective and the underlying essence subtle. The shlokas and Sutras are deceptively simple looking and frequently dip into nature to state an idea. Sort of hidden in the open so that it’s mysteries are not casually or irreverently thrown about.
The Gayatri mantra is one that I stop to think about everyday before japa and on the surface it seems an invocation to the Sun but as I read the literal meanings of each of the words and a commentary on it attributed to Adi Shankaracharya, it is increasingly becoming evident that this is a very potent and subtle mantra. And my understanding is very crude and rudimentary. The sheer finesse and elegance of thought and expression of the ancient seers gives me goosebumps. Some sections are bursting with joy and the text carries me in the spirit of that bliss. If just reading at a very superficial level makes me feel like this, I cannot even begin to imagine what the experience would be. There are a lot of small changes that I notice but I don’t know if I am imagining it. It seems impossible to my mind, to my rational self so I let it be. But, perhaps it may really be as I sense it. Then, yet again, how can it be? My journey is but a few steps in the making, I have barely begun.