Tuesday, January 1, 2008

At Last!

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!

9 comments:

cynthiamathews said...

How exciting! As you can tell, we've all been chomping at the bit to get some news from you. Tonight we had our family New Year's gathering -- cozy and congenial -- and as we sat by the fire we all remarked on how much we've gotten hooked on travel blogs, and were getting very impatient to hear from you! Everyone will be pleased to start the new year with a good update.

Here for New Years: Daddy and me, Laura, Granddaddy, Sara and Ed, Christopher, William Rubel and Stella (his little girl, who slept through most of it.) I invited Musty but he had plans to go to a party at Gil's, which was probably more fun for him.

We had a 5 way Scrabble game that included Christopher and Granddaddy: no scores, and flexible approach for Christopher. Granddaddy used up all his letters on "occupier," and got to enter his name in the Hall of Fame. Lots of fun.

We went outside and made a big commotion at midnight, then came back in for the usual flaming pudding.

We're all thinking of you. Lots o love,
Mom

jjtwh said...

Hooray! It's so good to hear from you and to hear that you are having a wonderful time. I, like Cynthia, have been eagerly scoping the blog for news. What a wonderful experience to come face to face with Mr. I. and to get to practice side by side with him. Yes, post your pictures please!

On our front we had a great time in Calistoga for four days, as I told you....then, on the way home, I either came down with food poisoning or picked up a stomach bug. In any event, all was well but I spent most of three days in and out of bed--I even had a low grade fever for about the first 24 hours. Fortunately all is well but it has made the latter part of my Mom's trip here pretty slow. She's been quite nice about it. Yesterday I felt normal again and we went out to dinner with J's family....back in bed by 11:58, my kind of New Year's Eve!

We're wishing you every good thing and can't wait to hear more as your trip unfolds. xoxo JJTWH

LivEliza said...

Happy New Year Amey!
Great to hear your news, and that you are resonating once again with your beloved India.
What an incredible way to start 2008!
LOTS of LOVE - eliza

Sara said...

Yeah, Amey. You made it. and this is so exciting to finally get some words from you. I can just visualize the surroundings...and love to hear your descriptions of the area around you.

It is hard to imagine seeing your yoga master at 90 doing a headstand. That was really impressive.

It is good to be home and to know you are there. Makes India feel not so far away.

Keep the stories coming Amey...

Mamaslittles said...

Hi Amey!

I'm so happy to hear your contentment with the 'now'. Your stories make me miss India so much... hopefully we'll be able to make it home this year to see the sights and smell the smells :-) And ofcourse eat all that yummy food.

I agree completely about Mr. Iyengar's 'presence'. It is amazing and so inspirational.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Take care and enjoy the wedding!!!!

Sara said...

Hi Amey,
I'm over at Granddaddy's house and he had me read him your blog. He really enjoyed hearing it and he wanted me to let you know that he is glad you are enjoying being back in India. He wondered if you are dealing with humidity along with the heat.

He said he is glad to be in santa cruz and that he does his meditation in the garden. "It has been warm and sunny still and it's great...but we do need some rain. Hopefully we will get some rain this Thursday.Let's hope so."

We love hearing from you.
Happy New Year.

Love, Kirk (Granddaddy) / Sara

Sara said...

Hi Amey,
I'm over at Granddaddy's house and he had me read him your blog. He really enjoyed hearing it and he wanted me to let you know that he is glad you are enjoying being back in India. He wondered if you are dealing with humidity along with the heat.

He said he is glad to be in santa cruz and that he does his meditation in the garden. "It has been warm and sunny still and it's great...but we do need some rain. Hopefully we will get some rain this Thursday.Let's hope so."

We love hearing from you.
Happy New Year.

Love, Kirk (Granddaddy) / Sara

Tashie said...

Hi, dear Amey,
Have just caught up with your blog. What an exciting and inspirational time! At 92 I have not been standing on my head, and your Master makes me feel very slothful! While you soak up the warmth and new sights and smells, we are enjoying the familiar-- the cold, the snow, the little junco's in the bushes outside my bedroom window, the deer in their dark winter coats strolling past the house, geese beyond counting,filling the air with their noisy conversations, ducks en joying the icey creek, and a great blue heron cruising upstream. Isn;t Nature , indeed, a many slendoured thing?

Right now I have visiting me Matthew and Jessie, and Susan and her two, Alexander and Emma, nice children. Nick is in Portland with his pals. Bruce and Bethany took off earlier to return to Portland, after stocking up with fresh brownies for the trip.

I am so happy for you that you are having this wondrous time that you have been so looking forward to.

Much love, Tashie

Tashie said...

Hi, dear Amey,
Have just caught up with your blog. What an exciting and inspirational time! At 92 I have not been standing on my head, and your Master makes me feel very slothful! While you soak up the warmth and new sights and smells, we are enjoying the familiar-- the cold, the snow, the little junco's in the bushes outside my bedroom window, the deer in their dark winter coats strolling past the house, geese beyond counting,filling the air with their noisy conversations, ducks en joying the icey creek, and a great blue heron cruising upstream. Isn;t Nature , indeed, a many slendoured thing?

Right now I have visiting me Matthew and Jessie, and Susan and her two, Alexander and Emma, nice children. Nick is in Portland with his pals. Bruce and Bethany took off earlier to return to Portland, after stocking up with fresh brownies for the trip.

I am so happy for you that you are having this wondrous time that you have been so looking forward to.

Much love, Tashie