Holiday Practice- Hanging out

Late evening on the ropes. Rope Sirsasana and I go back a long way. Many years ago, while pregnant with my second child, I used to attend the classes at Yogashray in Bombay. Back then, I did a lot of rope Sirsasana. All the way till the end. Subsequently, I had an easy pregnancy and childbirth but unfortunately yoga got dropped as I was swept in the chaos of two young children and a full time job. Years later, it was rope Sirsasana again due to cervical spondylosis. Much later it was a swinging sirsasana on ceiling ropes. It is a great alternative to an independent pose but I don’t do enough of it. Today felt like a day to stay in sirsasana without having to put in much effort and so the ropes.

I’ve been interacting with many old students of the institute over the last few days. Many of them have been coming to RIMYI since 30 – 40 years. One gentleman in particular mentioned that his doctor told him that he now had degenerative changes in his spine and that he should avoid sirsasana. But he doesn’t really, thanks to the option of ropes as Uma Tai mentioned. All the benefits and none of the strain. Watching and listening to many students in their 70s and a few in their 80s (who look much younger), I see how yoga has been a mainstay in their lives. I’ve seen some of them in the hall and there is a quietness in their asanas. Very different from the vigour of intermediate or beginner classes.

I feel the fragility of the body when I hold my mother or Amma. It is something like that of an infant, just more delicate. With the very young, there is a future where they will grow into robust youth but the weakening of old age is a decaying one. And I am reminded of Guruji’s words in Light on Life, “By accepting nature’s challenge and joining the game, we find ourselves on a windswept and exciting journey that will pay benefits commensurate to the time and effort we put in—the lowest being our ability to tie our own shoelaces when we are eighty and the highest being the opportunity to taste the essence of life itself.”

6 thoughts on “Holiday Practice- Hanging out

  1. This is a poetic post. How encouraging it must be at the Institute and see the yoga community, practitioners of all ages, abilities, shapes, and sizes, come together yet again. In our fractured world it offers hope of the union that yoga promises.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is lovely to be at RIMYI. We are still in the middle of the admissions process and there are some final touches to the renovations at the institute but 13th is opening day! Traditionally, a vast majority of schools in India begin their academic year around this time. I’ve always had that feeling of back to school at the start of every new academic year at RIMYI.


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