September 6th, 2011
Yesterday morning I did my yoga asanas against the wall in a niwas room cramped with cots and young sleeping sojourners, their dreams caught by the lines of laundry strung above their heads. I tried to remember to breathe, but my hips and knees are sore from sitting in the lotus position for so many hours these past weeks. At first I thought it was just my own inflexibility, but after talking with other Americans, Australians, and Spaniards at the niwas I laughed to learn that that they were all in immense pain too. (After kindergarten we all graduate to chairs and desks until we become stiff, hunched-back workers who are always tired but can never sit still.)
There has been gain for my pain however, as in the last seven weeks my lotus pose has definitely improved. In fact, I have gained flexibility in my back, arms and legs too, as my whole body was a frayed ball of nerves. I arrived in India with a relatively carefree mind, but residual stress had found its way into my joints and tissues and is now slowly being unwound and released. Perhaps someday I will be able to use my elbow to give myself foot massages like Gurprakesh can.
I took lots of photos with Indians at the temple. An Australian traveler at the niwas joked, “what do you think we are, pieces of meat?!” It’s so hard to say no, so I usually say “Ok, but just one, ok?” One usually means at least three.
this beautiful young lady spoke very good English