When it comes to classes with old and traditional Indian teachers, the first class is always a bit unexpected. This morning I woke up at 3.59 am (thanks to my body clock). I promptly got ready and drove off towards the direction of Saraswati’s class. In the dark all the houses in Gokulam 3rd Stage look the same. I asked a lone man on a walk about where #55 3rd main was, and he told me he had no clue. Finally, I met two people on a moped carrying yoga mats, and I flagged them to help me out. Seeing that I was new, somewhat flustered and utterly confused, they decided to take me there! Grateful that they did because I would never have been able to find it.
From the number of people I had seen at the registration, I had expected a large crowd converging to the institute. But I only saw a couple of mopeds parked outside. I climbed up to the 1st floor of the house and let myself in. The room was full of A bunch of students were already there in various asanas. I looked around for what to do next. It didn’t look like these students had just started their practice, but I thought the first session started at 5 am. Plus there was no space to place my mat. The room was stuffed with people and reminded me a bit of the Bikram Yoga studio I went to a couple of months ago. Not a pleasant feeling. I spotted Saraswati in the centre of the room, busy helping a student. Once she was done, I went up to her and told her that I’m new and had no clue what I should do. She pointed to a room and said, ‘You wait there.’ I did as I was told. After some time, she told me to place my mat in front of the door I had just walked in from. I’m knew a lot of students were going to be coming in through that door, and I’d have to watch that the door didn’t slam into me every single time. What can I say? Yoga teachers and their eccentricities. I did what I was told.
I sat on my mat and started stretching. Finally Saraswati came over and asked me if ‘I knew anything.’ I told her no. So she stared by teaching me a very basic Surya Namakar which she asked me to do 5 times. After a while she came to me again and taught me another version of the Surya Namaskar and asked me to do it 6 times. After some time she came up to me again and asked me if I knew how to do the Padmasana. I told her yes. She explained a variation of the padmasana to me and told me to practice that. After some more time she told me that this is it for me today. Tomorrow I have to start the class by doing each Surya Namaskar variation 10 times. I nodded my head. She then pointed to a room on the other side of the main hall and said ‘Now you go there.’ I did a little Savasana and then left. I saw some people that met yesterday. Once I was done I came back to my room and for some reason slept for about 3 hours!
My friends have booked me into a guesthouse here and I moved in today. As it turns out, this new room is closer to Saraswati’s class, so it works well for me. Once I checked into this room I slept again for a couple of hours and woke up to polish off every single thing that was placed before me during lunch. So I basically woke up, did yoga, slept, woke up, slept some more, indulged in some more gluttony, read, slept, woke up, had coffee and now I’m blogging with a rerun of ‘Desperate Housewives’ in the background. Before starting this break a student of mine gave me an article that talked about leisure for the sake of leisure. According to the article, the art of leisure has been ignored over the ages to the point that now people don’t take vacations to indulge in leisure, but to ‘do’ something. I think I pretty much nailed doing nothing today.