Where to begin. Right now I am sitting in Virasana on my bed trying to digest the monstrous amount of food I just ate. My stomach has ballooned out, and lets just say I am glad to be on my own right now!
As the official last day of the course, it was a busy day. The final class was dedicated to learning how we can work with pregnant women, children and elderly people. I found this to be such a useful class as I am very interested in all three areas. Bharath also gave advice on how we can begin teaching. Essentially, he recommends we begin with just one student and gradually build up from there. This is how to build up an organic following. But I didn’t want to go on too much about that. My plans for business will come later. For now, I have been dying to write about the most unusual, and slightly confronting experience, I had whilst at lunch.
So, my lovely Indian friend Meet, who is also training with us for the 250+hr TTC only, asked if I would like to go to lunch with her. Of course I said “yes”. It’s nice being able to take time out at lunch and actually mingle with people rather than be confined to my room with my head in books. After a rather long, an unexpectedly long, walk to an organic restaurant hidden down an alley as per usual, we arrived at a lovely newish building where hidden stairs to the left side of the building led you upstairs. There I was pleasantly surprised to find a small restaurant which looked somewhat similar to a typical restaurant back home - tables and chairs for starters. Meet and I sat near the floor to ceiling glass window which overlooked the street, where we could watch the chaos that is India continue but from afar. The restaurant felt so clean. It was a nice change to be out of all the dust which attacks you everywhere else you go. After ordering a lovely quinoa raw vegetable salad, I heard some drums beating down in the streets. I noticed there was a procession starting which was a pretty cool thing to see, especially from up high. I then noticed a small carriage was being carried by a number of men. I’m not sure what this is called… But its something the King would be carried in and looks like it has a little roof on it… The picture will surely help to explain.
Anyway, I quickly grabbed my camera (as usual) to get some happy snaps of this procession. My initial thought was protest, but it turns out I was very wrong. In the little carriage I noticed there was a person sitting cross legged within it. Wearing white traditional clothes, I then thought it was a mannequin of some sort. Why they are carrying a mannequin in the streets? Who knows. But it was definitely a soft mannequin as it was slightly slumped over to the right side. Completely ignorant to what was actually happening, Meet causally told me I was looking at a dead body being carried through the streets. Apparently they would be headed for the cremation site. My jaw literally dropped. OMG! I knew deep down this was likely to be seen - in Varanasi for sure. But it was the last thing I expected to see here. Honestly, I felt a little creeped out. I’m still feeling a little uneasy. In my mind I keep seeing this yellow little carriage and the image of a dead body. Confronting much?! It will certainly be interesting to see how I respond in Varanasi when at the Ghats!
After a slightly longer lunch, I dressed myself up with the nicest clothes i have with me in preparation for our graduation evening this evening. I have one leopard skin print dress with me. so that would have to do. It was nice sitting in class chatting with different people. Everyone seems so much more relaxed now the course is coming to an end. Bharath took time to ask all the students what they thought of the class and their experience. For me, I was honest in saying it was one of his prior students who inspired me to be sitting in his class at that very moment. I explained I was beginning to give up on yoga a little due to having so much trouble trying to find a suitable teacher, one I can connect with. I also openly and honestly told of the ups and downs I have been through emotionally since coming here, in particular during the first week. I think everyone felt the same way.
After this discussion, Bharath then handed out our Certificates of Completion for the 250+hr TTC class. Bharath advised all students passed the exam and requirements to receive their certification. Bharath does not like to give individual scores, and rather assesses someones overall progress. If this is considered to be progressing, then this is enough for him. I like that attitude.
My name was called second to receive my certificate. I was so proud of myself for making it this far. And how quickly the month has gone. I cannot believe it is over for most people. I only just feel like I am getting warm now! Bring on the advanced class!!
After graduation, Bharath invited all students in to his house for a light dinner. Now - I’m not sure what ‘small’ is here, but all I know is my stomach is near exploding after that meal.
Bharath’s home is so simple. A simple couch and dining table seems to do the trick here. It’s all he needs. It’s all anyone needs really.
After finishing my dinner on a bamboo leaf, we all sat on the concrete floor chatting about all sorts of things. The training, future travels, what people will do when they get home soon. It was nice to have time to know other people.
As I left the Shala, I again thanked Bharath for everything. His teaching, his support, his opening of his home to us students… I feel so privileged to be training with him. Bharath is off to teach in the Himalayas until the 9th of March 15 so our next course begins on the 10th. Until this time, I will attend the Mysore Style classes at the Shala.
On that note, the eyes are dreary and we still have a big morning ahead. A full 90 minutes of doing only the Surya Namaskara Series with Ragu (on of Bharath’s assistants). This is 60 rounds. Nervous but excited!
Ok, my eyes are closing now so I’m off to sleep.