One of the first things a Yoga teacher learns is the importance of arriving well before her lesson starts. She or he should be changed into Yoga clothes and if possible, have done a few positions to get into the spirit of the lesson which is to be taught.
Usually I am able to adhere to this rule but today, I was the last person to arrive. My students were waiting for me at the door.
Quite naturally, I apologized and told them that I was going to have to mend
my ways since this was obviously not the right way to start a lesson!
Before we began to do Yoga, however, I was amazed to hear one of my students tell me: “It was such a pleasant surprise for me to arrive before you did. Since I have a long way to drive to get to class, I am usually late. Of course, I don’t like this to happen and it makes me annoyed every time I interrupt a lesson. Today, I felt so good to be among the first to arrive at the door of the studio. It was such a
pleasure for me to be able to happily wait for you.”
Then someone else spoke up: “Elizabeth, it gave me such a feeling of relaxation to see that sometimes you arrive late and that all of us accepted this as something normal. It can happen to any of us. It shows me that we are avoiding rigidity. I think that this wonderful approach to Yoga is teaching us not only to avoid rigidity in our
bodies but also in our mental thought processing.”
Isn’t it interesting to see how something wrong can turn into something right? How often we tend to arrive at erroneous conclusions, failing to realize that there are many ways to consider what has happened to us.
“The stars you see at night are the unblinking eyes of sleeping elephants”
The elephant of my logo leads me to share an experience I had with some astonishing, inspiring and unique photos. The occasion was The Venice Biennale of 2002. Colbert’s photographic exhibition, entitled, “Ashes and Snow”, was held in the Venetian Arsenal, an enormous complex of shipyards and armories, constructed in 1104. The awesome setting was perfect for his 7 by 10 foot photographs which were suspended in mid air.
In Colbert’s words: “By exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people saw themselves as part of nature and not outside of it. There is no digital collaging in my photographs. I see cameras as musical instruments that can be played by the human eye.”
His web site: gregorycolbert.com is a generous sharing of his work.
Not to be missed.
I love my Logo. It was created almost 40 years ago and embodies the
symbols that I wanted to represent me: the sun with its rays, an
elephant and a dolphin.
I wanted an elephant because it is such a powerful and royal animal.
It helps remove obstacles and barriers, leading one towards one’s
goal. Its raised trunk brings good luck and the circle of abundant
water suggests the joyful vitality of life from which the streamlined
dolphin sails up and out. Dolphins are masters at controlling their
breath so my slogan “breathe: you are alive” becomes a subtle
suggestion. The sun and its rays, bearers of light, shine forth
opening and inviting us to remember our natural energy.
I chose these three figures instinctively; it is only now, 40 years
later, that I have analyzed them and realize how perfect they have
been to express my feeling about the world and myself.
Our next destination was the Kullu Valley to experience Lalit Kamar’s welcoming place at Jibhi Adventures (the name of his small town). I met him last year in Goa when he attended my seminar. When he spoke about the mountains, which are 1,850 meters high, he was so convincing about the beauty of the place that we decided to visit him and arrange a seminar in the future. He lives and works here organizing treks. The journey is breathtaking: winding roads and beautiful cliffs with palm-tree like vegetation hanging over rushing water.
The valley is a part of the world one should not miss visiting. It is close to Tibet, and the houses, clothes and traditions are quite different from other places in India. The pure energy and air inspire beautiful Yoga. You can see from these pictures the extraordinary rainbow and waterfalls that prompted the best backbends I have ever done.