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Archive for May, 2010

Yoga today: Your wish is my command

The most amazing things happen unasked, like you receive a gift personalized to your very needs. Outside the raucous of communication, someone asks and someone gives without so much as leaving a sound byte in the air. How does this happen?

In our yoga class, traditional Hatha yoga sits along side a modern genteel approach: Modify the pose; Find what your body will allow today; Move do not stay stuck. Such is the language that informs us again and again that “less is more in yoga.” This means that the feeblest of our twists and extensions can leave us feeling invigorated, if only we center our attention to the concept of “ahimsa,” non violence(Do not beat a performance out of your body. Cherish what it can already do today).

This incredible language that weaves the heart, mind, body, and soul of every class, belongs to the intuitive strengths of our yoga teacher, Rafael. This intuitive strength leaves us with that incredible gift exactly tailored to our personal wish. In other words, we receive the kind of class we want for that day.

That single transforming pose enters our practice as if an invisible guiding hand had steered our wish toward fulfillment automatically, magically, without fanfare.

That happened today.I walked in class with an innate need to stretch my lower back, especially that left hip which had borne some sharp pain the previous evening. And what pose should we start off with?–Piegon pose, Bridge pose, variations of the Bow pose and other transitional forms of leg/hip stretches. In the middle of the class I realized the working wonder of this Yoga magic: changing, healing, cleansing one part at a time, one student at a time, one wish at a time. My wish was its command.

That’s how this Yoga gives, fulfills. One can only wonder: How does it happen?

We want to promote healthy and conscious eating. In our last vegetarian class many of us contributed with some recipe. This was Sabrina’s raw food contribution.

As you know, the moment we cooked foods, they lose their very sensitive enzymes and many times nutrients. So they more alive these foods are, the higher their nutritional value and energy.

 This is all about bringing the highest energy into our diets. Enjoy something fresh for the warm days are coming…!

Ingredients

4 broccoli stems, washed and peeled

6 inch long piece of daikon radish, peeled

2 kiwis, peeled and dicedbroccoli-slaw

2 large carrots, peeled

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ bunch green onions, chopped

2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsp water

Black sesame seeds

 Directions: Coarsely grate broccoli stems, daikon radish, and carrots and put in a bowl. Add green onions, kiwis, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and water to bowl and toss together. Adjust seasoning to taste, and transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with black sesame seeds.

VidulaMy mom and I are friends. Every time we talk, I am reminded of her mortality, as also the brilliant potential of life. Hope and despair shake me out of my somnolence. I wake up realizing there’s no time for prejudice, hatred, regrets, suspicion, selfishness, loneliness, small complains with life, depression, worry, narcissism. There’s only time to get up, do what needs to be done, and live life fully every single day, every single moment of every single day.

Mortality simplifies things to where we have no excuses for unhappiness. And I dare to drop those excuses every time I talk to my mother.

For, every time I talk to her I come close to seeing how fragile she is, yet how full her conversation runs the gamut of hope, optimism, and a bubbling enthusiasm for life. Often, this conversation is not concerning herself but others; not about how sorry she feels for any number of things but how funny the any number of irate things look to her. So, I linger on with my mom for over an hour sometimes. Balancing a coffee cup in one hand, I listen to her easy chat like we were in touching distance of each other at her old though shiny well kept kitchen table. Like her, it has stains and some creases, but it’s always inviting to anyone who happens to hover around it. “Come sit down. I will make you a nice strong milky coffee,” she might say, “and we will chat, just before starting our chores.”

What do we talk about? Usually she talks and I listen. Like a thirsty dog I lap it all up: how many paintings she made for her many sisters; what silly new fun she had on one those family trips; how she met this wonderful energetic person worth befriending; how I can look forward to my new salwar kameez on the front of which she is going to paint her own pattern; how she sang her new poem in Gujarati in front of a group of friends; how she’s going to write me a letter describing the entire trip she took with her sisters, minute details explained with juicy anecdotes; finally, how I need to start working on the next family reunion with my cousins and, yes, no presents please… on and on.

See how each word has hope and youthful enthusiasm written all over it? I am an addict. Like a baby crying out for its mother for warmth and care I too dwell in the proximity of these conversations because they sustain and nourish my soul. The child in me still craves these rejuvenating connections refreshed every time I hear that voice on the other end.

Yet, God forbid, how would I survive the loss of a precious dialogue? What IF? The thought burrows a dark hole, and I am reminded of the fleeting nature of our time on the phone. The fact is, I am, unlike my mother, a worrier, a pensive person. Yet, in the midst of my fears of losing her over a banale telephone, I hear hope; I hear that even when her voice is gone- ” You speak mom and I will listen or I will talk mom, and you listen” forever at rest-I will step into her shoes. I will meet someone hungry for a voice. Then when I hold up the receiver to say “hello” from afar, she and I will make a wave upon which we both shall ride. Hope will cyphon out of our voice just as it did between me and mom.

As they say, savor the blessing of one another and be a cheerleader to someone as someone else has been to you. Be thankful, receive the gift of the someone else in your life, and pass on the baton. Let a daughter, a niece, a daughter-in-law, a friend’s daughter, a grand-daughter receive the picker upper of a cheerful phone ring, and start one great picker upper of a phone conversation. Talk on………..Pass on the conversation……

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