Well! I had no idea it would take so long to get up and running with some internet action, but here I am at last.
What an incredible journey. I am just amazed by how much I love India. I can't stop smiling. It feels so peaceful and natural to be here - even with all the chaos, smog, honking, trash and noise!
We spent our first few days out in the countryside at an Ayurvedic Retreat. There, we received two treatments per day (massage mostly), two hours of yoga in the morning and again in the evening, and enjoyed amazing Ayurvedic food - specifically prepared for each guest's constitution/dosha. Wow. It was so beautiful and serene there. We were situated in the hilltop, looking out over a big lake. The trees were full of birds i'd never seen before - singing and chirping from sunrise to sundown. Such an incredibly peaceful place.
The countryside of India is just amazing - kids playing, cattle with their horns painted in brilliant colors, women with giant bags of rice or jars balanced on their heads, animals everywhere, red dust, plants growing everywhere.... i just keep thinking "I love India!'
Now we've come into the city of Pune, where things are much noisier and more chaotic, but just as fun. There's so much activity! Mopeds with 3 or 4 people crammed on, autorickshaws buzzing and honking everywhere, skinny dogs sleeping in the sun, beautiful faces, women in saris with hard hats helping with construction sites, and a dingy little Cyber Cafe packed full of indian folks!
As I type, the room is full of men, kids, girls, all using their computers. The storefront is an open facade, facing out into a dusty street full of non-stop honking, cars, autorickshaws, pedestrians, bikes, dogs and more. it's a wonderful display of everything-at-once.
Today we had our first class at the Iyengar Institute. We woke up at 6 am, in the dark, and walked a short distance to the institute. Our class today was with Prashant, Mr Iyengar's son. It was an amazing class, and quite gentle compared to our worst fears. Apparently those fears will be realized tomorrow when Geeta, Mr. Iyengar's daughter will teach us. It is truly an amazing feeling to be in the practice room... a room filled with the vibrations of years and years of the inspiration, aspiration, and effort of countless yogis before us. It's awe-inspiring, and silencing. Of course we are all very much thinking of our dear teacher Kofi and all the time that he has passed here in pune.
Immediately following class is our practice time, another 3 hours for us to practice whatever we please. This is a very special time, because Mr. Iyengar also comes in and practices. We were truly speechless when we first saw him walk in yesterday. We had gone to the institute to register an receive our class schedules... When we went up to see the practice room, in walked Mr. Iyengar himself. What a presence. Watching him practice, at age 90, is truly amazing. Yesterday he walked in, took off his robes, and popped right up into a long headstand. !! What an inspiration.
The temperature here is delightfully hot. Not oppressive, but hot indeed. Just that sort of temperature that permeates completely. Wonderful for yoging.
We have the rest of our afternoon off today, so we'll move into our apartment and take some time to get settled. It does get old, living out of a suitcase night after night. Then I suppose we'll hunt down a nice spot for some dinner...
Our landlady has already invited my 2 roommates and I to her brother-in-law's son's wedding on the 19th. What fun!
I am hoping that from here on out, internet access will be easier and more often, and that I will be able to share thoughts and reflections more readily. And hopefully we'll find a place where i can also upload some pictures!