Thursday, October 29, 2009

Magnetic North

I'd read this book a while ago but not sure if I wrote about it.
As always, we were travelling(I don't remember where-maybe Alaska) & I picked up this book attracted by the name. I had no idea it was non fiction.
So, I just started reading the book hoping to just browse & just drop it back(I had so much planning to do for my actual trip).
Turned out that for 2-3 days all I ever did was read the book. Thankfully, I had leftovers & did not bother eating much anyway. When I was not reading, I loyally left the book beside me. Next to me while I ate, slept. You won't believe...I even took it to the restroom with me(I have this tradition only with J K Rowling's Harry Potter series!!!).
This book narrates a young man's adventure & quest for the wild that Canada was. When he was at college, all he wanted to do was travel across the mighty country that we call Canada all by foot, canoe & dogsled. So, when he dropped out of school, he started his mission with 5 others who dropped out in just a couple hundred miles of the journey. In the journey of a couple thousand miles over 2 years, he got 2 friends, one a photographer & hiker who saved his life once & a dog that almost died waiting for his almost dead self to come back for him.
It is a page turner & definitely a life changer at least at some level. It also depicts how wild & fierce nature is. Humans should feel humiliated!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Has there been any moment when it has snowed every moment? It could be somewhere, anywhere in this world.
If yes, would that mean that it snows every moment on some part of earth?

Wonder why I thought of this while folding my laundry, huh??

Monday, October 26, 2009

Isha Yoga

Though I knew it, one of our family brought it to light that it has been a long time I posted here.
I'd love to say that the last few weeks were pretty hectic & I just couldn't find time to write something here. Not so! The last few weeks have been totally different. I've had the time to do so many things that were in my "to do" list for a long time. Thanks to better management of time & sleep. The secret: a seven day yoga program.
A very close friend forced me to join this course. I was hesitant & skeptical. I was not sure I was up for the 30 min twice a day commitment(40 days). I have a toddler & I really toggle between her & other work at home already. Plus what big change would come?
But somehow, I registered for this class. Since I read somewhere that they give discount for married couples, I brought G in too(though the main reason would be to make sure I get through the 40 days).
From the day I registered till the 1st day at class, this was the place I was most of the time. I checked out all their videos on Youtube. This person, Jaggi Vasudev, has his headquarters in Coimbatore. He speaks impeccable English, is seen in a very pretty outfit, wears Jeans & sunglasses & he calls himself a mystic(well! people call him that too).
No need to mention that I was extremely intrigued by what I saw & was totally excited the first day of class.
Btw, the program is Inner Engineering. And it happened in Bay area, not too far from home.
So, on September 9th I enter India Community Center. The place is buzzing. People dropping off kids for classes, some parents picking up kids from daycare, an indoor Dosa place catering to people's appetite & so many other things.
I look up Isha Yoga signs & get into this hall. I was aghast. The place was in total SILENCE. Extremely organized! Even the shoes were in order. The Volunteers looked to me like they were from outer space. They did not talk. They only whispered. Registration, payment, forms filling...everything was in silence. You ask them a question, they lovingly whisper the answer. For a person who talks a lot, I was totally put to shame.

I enter the hall & a lovely meditation music was going on. It made me rock(in peace) for the little while I was there. So, when I opened my eyes, the teacher was in front of the mic. She was neither Indian nor American. I should say I was getting excited. What is this? Actually, what IS this?

What went on for the next seven days is history. My history! As I do not plan on living like that anymore. At the end of seven days, I left the place as a confused living being. The question, "Who am I?" was touched in the class but they did not give an answer. Sadhguru said he could say something, but it is a fairy tale until I experience it for myself. Hmm. Makes total sense to me.

I should say seven days flew by. In fact something in me wished it was a 10 day program. Meaning to say, I cannot thank my friend enough for making me attend this course. And ever thanks to my mother who took care of our toddler while we were at the class.

The day after class was the first of our 40 days. We had to do the Shambhavi Maha Mudra twice a day for 40 days. The process takes roughly 30 minutes including the preparatory asanas.

I wanted a discipline & I got it. So, I did not think much would come from it. But I did it. The first 2-3 weeks nothing much happened, except that I was able to sit it one place for 30-35 minutes without my leg getting numb & my spine erect. For a person with back pain, that is something. And my sleep quote reduced dramatically. Say 5 hrs of sleep & I would not complain. In fact I would wake up with full of life. G noticed this as well.

But by the 3rd week, I began to notice something. I had not gotten angry in a long time. I was able to handle my daughter with so much love. The 'thing' in me that would get irritated when she would refuse to sleep "when I want" was not there anymore. And my daughter seemed to understand "that" something was missing & she did sleep on time.
I was able to handle things much more efficiently & I was active throughout the day. Never once did I feel drowsy or sleepy.
I am able to live life with my daughter every moment. I am able to notice every plane that flies above my home. I am not merely existing anymore. I feel alive.

It is almost 40 days now, but I plan to continue doing Shambhavi twice a day. I don't know what it does, but I am sure a day will not be the same without it.
I have enrolled in an advance program next month which is going to take 45 minutes(twice a day) for 40 days. That's a lot, time-wise. But I am sure I want to.

My sleep quota has reduced, but when I sleep, I have a very deep sleep. I no longer turn this side or that. I am full of positive energy & have started believing in Karma. My back pain has reduced drastically(read I cancelled my appointment with my doc), though it is not gone yet. But hey, it is a lot for just 40 days of practice. Some friends mentioned that they have quit eating meat.
And did I mention I lost 6 lbs in these 40 days? I am heading back to my pre-pregnancy weight & I feel so much lighter already.

I had my share of being a 'believer' , 'atheist' , 'neither of the two' , ...somewhat uncomfortable labeling myself. Now, I feel very safe labeling myself as a "seeker". I do not know so many things. I am not ready to believe anything on its face value, just because someone tells me but I am ready to search. I even know where to search. How cool is that?

In the last 40 days, I even had a chance to volunteer for a similar program & was astounded to see how these people prepare food. Of course, they prepare uncooked delicious food, but they "chant" while they cook. Since when did cooking food become so wonderful? I felt so gifted to even eat that food.
I am not sure if I am a part of a cult. I have not met Sadhguru in person. I am not sure whatever I am feeling now is THE truth, but I am not worried about it anymore. I will see where I land from here.

Sadhguru says that a Guru finds his disciple. I don't even know if he is my Guru, but if you are a seeker like me, please attend the free 1 hr session. You don't even have the obligation to join the class. It is life-changing!
If not anything, please do consider donating your time or money to this organization. Looks like they really would put it to good use with their rural rejuvenation projects.