My angry friend assaulted me with the following question and continued with these observations:
“Why did you have us come to this place?
It is like Disney land: there are junkie trinkets everywhere, the stalls all sell plastic objects and low quality clothes. I saw a pair of pants which were identical to some that my son bought in the Carribean. Probably they were made in China.”
“The roads are filthy and narrow: cows, vans, and motorbikes leave no room for pedestrians who shove and push. On the foot bridge motorcycles think nothing of using this as a short cut. There is no respect for any kind of order.”
“I was expecting things to be quiet here but the honking of horns and the hot sun are driving me crazy.”
“They are selling Yoga. Anywhere you look, there is an ashram offering special courses or teacher training. It has all been turned into a gigantic business.”
“Where is all the spirituality that Rishikesh is supposed to be famous for?”
Undeniably, all of these observations carry a ring of truth.
Magic India is filled with the inexplicable.
It is a combination of the possible and impossible, the pure and foul, beauty and tragedy, contrasts and contradictions – with no explanations offered.
Early morning. The sacred Ganga, honey colored as it reflects the early light of the still to rise sun just behind the mountain, flows steadily and softly by.
The unrelenting sing-song voice of a devotee, accompaning himself on a harmonium, plays his morning songs to the waking day.
There is a deep silence which welcomes other early morning heralds: bells are chimed, a horn honks, dogs bark, the sound of a drum blends with the crackling and chirping of birds; the notes of a flute waft in on the wind. These Indian voices all fit into a harmony which is unfamiliar to the ears of a foreigner.
An expanded peacefulness and reassurance in these timeless ancient routines, capture the heart and nourish it.
This is a very relaxing position that offers a sense of well-being. It resonates in many different ways, as is true for many asanas, when investigated carefully. One day in class I asked each person to tell us how they experienced the baby pose after having repeated it several times. It was an illuminating experience for all of us because almost every person had a different reaction to the pose.
This led me to realize how differently each one of us relates to a pose and what little thought is given to the diversity that can be found while doing the same pose! It is fascinating to adventure into this kind of investigation.
Here are some of the observations that were made:
-Resting one’s body on the earth is reassuring.
-There is a sense of bowing reverently to the earth.
– By enfolding oneself into this position, a meditative state comes about naturally.
-This position has a double quality: embracing (the earth) implies a component of acceptance of the self.
-There is a reminiscence of being in the safety of the womb: covered and protected by the uterus.
– A great benefit is felt by those who have painful spinal curvatures. Due to the passive lengthening and opening movement of the spinal column, an overwhelming sense of relief is experienced.
– All of the above, led to profound relaxation.
The shape of this position is reminiscent of a snail, a shell, or even an ear: it is a form that is found universally creating a resonance without necessitating a definite definition.
Although most people greatly enjoy this position and find it beneficial and relaxing, there is a minority that do not find it particularly pleasant.
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”
― Luther Burbank
There is a wonderful window of time in Tuscany when fruit trees and flowers burst forth in a range of colors that bring joy to the heart. The variety of these superb messengers of spring give a constant lift to the spirits when walking in the city or driving through the countryside.
Greens abound; lime leaves as tender as a baby, bold chartreuse new entries, first arrivals brushed with shamrock and whispers of emerald, enchant the eye.
The majesty and generosity of mother nature touches and cheers.