Thursday, February 17, 2011

Archana Masih, my student doing the wide-legged seated forward bend

This forward bend is very difficult, needing a lot of flexibility, plus an ability to go over the dash of pain that hits your body as u dip down. In the spiritually strong tortoise pose, this is the first stage..

This pose calls for a state of surrender.
Plus an intense flexibility of the mind.
Archana Masih, journalist, obviously has all of those, and is amongst the few of my students who can do execute this pose:)  She has been with me from the time I started teaching the Sivananda style formally in Mumbai several years ago and was also the first amongst those whom I started teaching outside of the Mahindra factory.  There was a small bunch at the Rediff.com office to whom I started teaching... and she is the one who has stuck on resolutely, shifting her timings to attend my classes -- early or late -- whenever I have announced a Sivananda batch in the past. Now of course, I only teach the Sivananda style, and so she is there once more amongst my regulars at Bandra:)

My first batch of Sivananda students which had about 25, she was part of that, at Times of India's Nalanda center in Bandra. Since then, she remains amongst the few students who has aligned with the Sivananda style.

At times, even much earlier as she was getting introduced to yoga, I would say 25 rounds of sun salute(50 totally!), and she and I will do it together, as we waited for the other students to come in!!  She would not be breathless at all and would  do it along with me, fast or slow, as I paced it!! Both of us exhilirated to the sun salute. Every time I do the sun salute it continues to excite me, and I have a clutch of students who feel that exhiliration too. And Archana belongs to that small clutch. I believe u are karmically lucky if u love yoga.. and that way, she is karmically lucky she relates to it with a similar love I nurse for the science.

When saying the prayer, starting and ending, her body moves into a state of devotion that is very touching for me to watch... that sense of aligning  with something reverend, nameless and strong... a yoga zone! I believe that is essential -- if u feel that, largely, I believe u will have a continued practice till the end of your life. That attitude and your practice seem to be linked.. and I feel sad for those who don't touch base with something while on the mat... they will drop out, and no matter how I try to communiate that exciting madness of yoga to people, it seems to pass over their heads, because personal Karma seems to decide who is entitled to a yoga practice and who is not! It seems Karma chooses its yoga babies!! And it seems Karma loves Archana!

Her forward bends are smooth, she can relax into them without straining as most others do. Her surya namaskars are smooth and fluid. She has a softness and gentleness of approach and personality which comes in the way of the long holds in the inversions or arm balancers, but that is something I am sure her Karma too will help tackle! Then, she would be even more firmly into that exclusive Zone to which Yoga invites a few of its beloved followers.

3 comments:

Sai said...

Ok, I am breaking my silence here and responding about my colleague and friend Archana.
Some of us, like me, have to make a conscious effort to make yoga a part of our lives. It is an effort, rather like climbing a hill, and doesn't come easy. We climb the hill because it is there, yes, but also for the exhilaration, the high that staying on the plains doesn't give. We are like junkies craving for the fix.
Some, like Archana and others you have written about, are readymade for yoga, it comes to them without effort. They are the chosen ones who are ahead on the path, even if they don't see the path, or don't know the path is there, or even don't care for the path. The rest of us are desperately clinging on to roots, twigs, leaves, anything to stay on the path...

Madhu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shameem Akthar said...

Madhu have deleted ur comment since i did not want it to be misused. will be emailing u details and sending u my public number, u can sms me after reading thru email. ok?