Saturday, January 29, 2005

Only exhaling that which I have inhaled

After breakfast (a lovely plain Uttapam) our first stop today is a trip to KYM for the Saturday morning lecture by Desikachar at 8.15am. Colin is still not feeling too hot, so Les and I arrive early and take up seats near (but not too near) the front, in the room we will be calling home for the next few weeks.

It is perhaps not quite what we westerners expect from a practice room - perched on the first floor, it is a large room with a bamboo scaffolding providing the framework for a roof made from dried coconut tree leaves. Light comes in through woven bamboo grilles that are open to the world, allowing in the breeze, dust and noise from outside. As with everywhere else in Chennai, there is no such thing as peace and quiet as the car engines, auto-driver's horns, dogs, geese, children and goodness knws what else conspire to distract us from the now.

The room fills, a good number of people sitting in anticipation, and finally Desikachar enters heralded by everyone rising to their feet. He waves us down and proceeds with the lecture, talking in a calm sing-song voice that reminds me of the ease with which he walked past two nights before. He calls on Kausthub to exlain the Sanskrit base of the word 'yoga', something I have never heard before. He then goes on to talk about tapas and mantra, and the importance of diet, eating the right food in the right quantities (consuming our food without it consuming us). Almost as soon as it is started it seems to be over, but somehow I have written 6 pages of notes on what was said.

A quick trip back to the hotel, then I return to KYM again for my consultation with Kausthub. Before I get there, as I wait for Suresh to arrive at the hotel, I am approached by a younger thinner version of Antonio Banderas - Pedro has arrived. A quick hello and arrangements to meet for luch, and then I'mm off again.

With Kausthub we chat about some practical matters (about which I can maybe reveal some more details in the next few weeks, but am sworn to secrecy for now). Kausthub then suggests that I should wait until the course is started before deciding whether a personal practice is a good idea right now, with 2 practices a day during the course itself it seems a good idea. I take his advice and agree to see him during the week. And then, like a yo-yo, it's back to the hotel again.