The beginning of the journey -2

The most important lesson in the Krishnamacharya tradition of yoga is that the asanas cannot be generalized. The asanas need to be adapted or modified to suit the person, their body, and their requirement at that time. For example, a person who has lower back pain or stiffness cannot be made to do all types of forward-bends on their first day of practice.

This lesson might sound very practical and many of us can also go like “oh yeah! Why do you even think otherwise?” But for a person who I was in 2018, this was something very valuable to learn.

I was illusioned by the fact that there are only 2 categories under which things fall – one is right and the other wrong. I was under the impression that I did everything the right way. And whoever did anything different from that, I considered them all as wrong. If someone took the effort to explain their way of doing it differently then maybe I agreed to a little extent. But this idea inside my head that I am right and all others are wrong was so deep-rooted. I also never voiced it to them. I held them all inside. So, when things didn’t go the way I had envisioned in my mind, I sulked and ranted sometimes to a chosen few. This was not a healthy way of living or dealing with people and situations but I was gloating in the fact that “I am a perfectionist and the others are not”

Sigh! I feel sad for that illusion which clouded my thoughts and actions.

Studying to be a yoga teacher was putting myself on the path to a “better me”. The Yogasutras have so much wisdom in them that understanding them, incorporating them into my life, led me to feel and think better.

Just like how asanas cannot be generalized for everyone, their physical body, thoughts, actions also cannot be generalized. Each one performs certain actions, believes in certain things based on their experience and perception of things.

So the circumstances that led me to do things in a certain way were not the same as others and hence they do things differently.

Actually, I was amazed by the functioning of the human brain and how it processes information, how it learns from experiences that happen during our childhood. It was such an eye-opening time for me.

I felt the change happening deep inside me. I became more accepting of others and the way they did things instead of being critical about their words and actions.

One thing led to the other. When the acceptance set in, I started accepting myself too, as I am. I didn’t expect myself to be a perfectionist like before. I learned to laugh at my mistakes. I started loving myself more. I loved the way I was changing.

I started creating art. I connected more with nature. And here I am, documenting them all!

To be continued…

The beginning of a journey

When I joined the Yoga Teacher Training program in 2018, I was filled with self-doubts. “Will I be able to teach another person all the yoga postures and help them with their physical fitness?” – This one topped the list.

It was a time when I was discovering my body and I made a list like this – the “can do easily postures” and “hmm…not now…cannot stretch beyond this postures”. I had a task at hand to work on the second set of postures. And this list did not even include the inverted asanas.

During that time, I also had a family responsibility – to take care of my mother-in-law (amma). She needed some help and along with the household work, I had a tight schedule. By the time I could find some free time to practice asanas, I used to feel exhausted to practice. Sometimes the free time was after mealtime. And it didn’t work great for my practice.

The teacher who handled the asana practice session for us was very good and nudged us in gentle ways to do better than before. One day I told her about the situation at home and how I was unable to practice daily. She just me gave this answer – “Every day you practice is like a spider climbing and building a web. You gain flexibility and strength. But if you let go of the practice, it is like the spider falling from its web. It has to be rebuilt again. You need to start from scratch.”

And I used to feel bad for all the days I couldn’t practice because of all the work at home. Taking care of an elder person needs continuous presence and the willingness to be present with them.

While I was going through all these thought processes, we were learning Yogasutra parallelly. And I am thankful for all the lessons learned from Yogasutra and all the credit goes to my Sir who had a knack for teaching and also to making us think. As he says “The idea is to plant a seed”!

Yoga is placing oneself in a new position (in life) / new physical posture (asana). It is like we are embarking on a journey to understand life or our body better.

In Yogasutra, the first lesson was of course the meaning of yoga. And understanding the meaning changed my perception of what I was thinking about the asana practice which I was missing. At that point in my life, I decided that my yoga was to take good care of amma, to be with her when she needed me, to be present for her. The moment I formed this sentence in my mind, it was like some weight was lifted off my shoulders. So, even though I practiced only twice a week or so, I didn’t feel bad. The spider story didn’t scare me. I was doing the best I can in that situation and I was happy with that.

It was like prioritizing what was important at that moment of my life. Once it became clear, the body and mind worked in sync to be there for amma. All through the pandemic, without any help from nurses, I was able to manage the care given to her with the help of my daughters.

After amma’s passing away, the definition of yoga changed in my life. I was able to prioritize my practice sessions and there was a remarkable change and improvement in the way I held the postures and also in the way I was approaching life.

The sincere effort to the practice of ashtanga yoga helped in lots of healing inside me and I am grateful for that moment I was guided to this path.

To be continued…

Svadhyaya

I hope to express myself as best as I can, to justify the use of this title for this post.

Now…continuing from my previous post

I sat next to him, listening to all his ifs and buts, in case the inevitable had happened. My mouth agape, I was slightly in awe of this husband of mine. Among the many others who are afraid to talk about death or its effects on the family, here was a man whose mind had worked overtime thinking about all the probabilities.

When he asked me if I would have continued the business in his absence, I took a long time, actually a few months, to think over that question. I gave it a lot of time and thought deeply over it. The first task was to understand as to why did I even go into this business with him. I found many answers like – I like food, cooking, cooking for others but none matched the passion and drive required to run a business that my husband possessed. It involved more than the love for cooking or food. It needed great vision, deep passion, the courage to face challenges and deep routed confidence to handle the extraordinary amount of work it required. Slowly and steadily the entrepreneurship will become a part of you which you just cannot leave it at the shake of a hand. I comprehended all these requirements of running entrepreneurship and along with it came the understanding that I am just not that kind of a person which business requires.

So many questions arose inside me – If I was not passionate about running a business, how did I even become part of one? What was that thing that held me there? Why didn’t I even think of all these before?

There was only one answer to all my questions – I was there, as a tiny part of the business, to be of some help to my husband. Every question I asked myself lead me to the same answer that I wanted to be of some assistance to my husband. I don’t know if it was the right thing but at that moment it felt right to assist him and I did it.

Now, when he put across the question of running the business without him, as an improbable thought, I realized that I won’t be able to do it alone. I certainly didn’t possess that passion to do it alone. And that led to the enlightened thought that it will be best that I reduce my involvement in this venture.

Yes, I was there in the business to help my husband. No doubt about that. Now, the thought process has changed. I wanted to help myself first before I help anyone else.

Those months were very trying times for me as I struggled a lot to overcome the stress of my husband’s hospitalization and then to find ways to help myself.

I had trouble sleeping at night. I stayed awake and watched television without knowing what I was watching, as the mind was not stable. Too many thoughts plagued me about the time I spent in the hospital sitting by my husband. I was sluggish. I lacked the josh to get out of bed every day to cook, a task which I loved doing. I was also going through menopause which confused me a lot.

When one of my friends suggested to me to join a yoga class, I started looking for one. And I had already tried yoga classes 3 years back; one thing I realized –ย  I was never disciplined enough to practice at home when there was no class. So, I started looking at classes that can inculcate that discipline in me. Thenย  I found the perfect one.

And I joined a Yoga teacher training program. I just needed the prod that to become a teacher I need to practice daily so that I can inculcate the same to my students. That was the missing block for long. Also, I found an amazing teacher who introduced me to meditation, helped me to overcome my sleeping problems and suddenly I was back on track. I felt I deviated from my life’s purpose line for some time and felt comfortable to come back.

There is this subject on yoga sutras as part of my course and it talks about svadhyaya as the study of self – at various points of our life, to assess our life and what we are doing with it, to reflect on our decisions, to make sure that we are on the path of what we want to do in our life or ensure that we are doing what makes us happy.

I understood that all along, even before I joined the yoga class, I had been doing svadhyaya without knowing about such a concept. Learning about this concept and other life-changing ideas has put me in a path of self-love and not being guilty about it. It is only when I am healthy physically and mentally, can I help my family and others too.


Thank you for being with me all through this month of ramblings ๐Ÿ˜€

Its time to de-stress…

and I do it my way by cooking and baking !!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

This New Year saw me making a resolution to myself, to be more convicted in doing Yoga everyday and today saw the light to that resolution. And I am happy about that…. ๐Ÿ™‚

OOOOHHHH…..the number of joints in my body reminded me of their presence today, as I put them to work after many months of break. But it feels good to be doing my pranayama….I just love those breathing exercises. It gives me a bout of fresh air, makes my lungs give in more oxygen to my blood and leaves me feeling fantastic through the day. Here is my affirmation, that I’ll sincerely stick to this Yoga regime. ๐Ÿ™‚ God help me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, now back to the other de-stressing techniques, like cooking and baking. After slogging for one week to de-stress myself in different ways, this weekend finally saw me finding relief by baking my girls’ favorite cup cakes….OMG, it was an instant hit, with many finding places in those hungry for cake tummies. I was finally glad to see the smile on my girls’ face, who were terribly missing my cakes !!! I felt blessed to feel that the girls missed my cakes….its a wonderful feeling, a warm emotion which starts right from the bottom of the stomach and tries to move up and reach into my eyes to form those dreaded tears….of course, happy tears. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Dont they tempt you ????

 

And one more thing which left me high and excited, was my and my husband’s trial at the ever-yummy Hyderabadi Dum Briyani. ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› Now, does that tempt you all even more ???? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, the recipes were from our amazing expert on this recipe Saritha, who happens to tempt me with her invitation to her home. I am definitely going to gate-crash one day, Sari…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

While my favorite is Hyderabadi Dum Briyani, I read her latest Chicken Briyani too with lots of interest….

So, the whole house was getting excited from the time we started marinating the chicken !!! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› Now, who will not ???? ๐Ÿ˜‰

And the end result was damn satisfying and great and yummy and whatever adjective you can think of !!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The Briyani, when we opened it....

 

And when we digged into it….ha ha ha….its was awesome !!! ย It was a delight to the taste buds…the spices, the aroma….My God, rejuvenated me…. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, that’s what I call a Perfect De-Stressing technique…What do u say !!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜›

 

Hai na too good ????

 

Looks like I am back to blogging….but I might not be able to stay online for long…will read ur posts sooooon…. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ A mighty number from my Reader welcomed (scared) me !!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย Will be visiting you all soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, u keep de-stressing !!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

No time !!!

Exercise at GYM

I am planning to join the Gym nearby or some Yoga classes. Too much of sitting in my comp is making me stiff. Anyway, exercise is good for health, na !!

Ma, please don’t go before I leave for school. You promised to pack my fav lunch today !!!

Yeah, yeah, I need to see you before I leave to school – only then the day is lucky.

Oh, my dear girls, I shall send you to school and then go.

But, darling, don’t think of going, before I leave for office. You have the whole day to yourself – you can go later. ย I need to see your face, before I leave home, OK ??

(Gulping) Yes, shall plan accordingly. ย How can I say No to such a sweet request ????

Amma, naan velaikku varum pothu, neenga engiyum pogatheenga !! Enakku apparama vara mudiyathu !!! Sariya !!! – ย Amma, when I come to work in your house, please don’t go anywhere,ย becos I can’t come at some other time, OK ???

(Call from the gym) ย Madam, if you want to come and do some exercise, you should come on empty stomach. If u eat breakfast, please come 2 to 3 hours later. ย And Gym closes by 11 am. Please try to come before that or after 3pm.

By the time, I send the girls to school, S to office, the maid finishes her work, the Gym is closed. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย ย hhhmmmpppffff…..

Yoga for Body and Soul

After 3pm sounds good na ????

Ma, when I come back from school, you’ll be there at home, na ??? You better be – I need to tell all about my project to you.

And Ma, will you do pasta for me, when I come back from school ????

Ok, girls are back from school, listened to the constant blah blah on projects and assignments, of couse, the snack was done according to the wishes – Pasta !!!

Amma, enna vegetables cut pannanum ??? Roti evvalavu seiyaa ???? ย Naan velai mudichathukku apparama neenga vellila ponga !!! – What vegetables to cut ?? How many rotis to make ??? You go out after I finish the work !!!

So, here comes my next house-help to assist in making dinner !!!

By the time she finishes, its 6pm. ย And I already feel tired. ย I need a cup of strong tea. ย And so I sit with my book and tea in hand. The time flies and all gym and yoga forgotten, while I swim through the sea of emotions along with the heroine of my book !!!

Suddenly when the bell rings, I am jolted back to this Earth !!!

S is back home !!! FIFA fever begins !!!

Then all of us sit to eat dinner !! ย The foodie in me can’t skip dinner to go to Gym during dinner time !!!

The whole day has crept by quietly beside me and I’ve not been able to go to the Gym or Yoga class !!! ย ๐Ÿ™„

Does God think that I am more suited to do blogging than sweat it out in the Gym ???