The neighborhood of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune is bustling with noise and activity from dawn until late into evening. Many sounds fill the air – the sounds of motors and honking horns, lively birds and chiming bells, voices ringing out, whether chanting or selling vegetables. Yet within this cacophony, there is peacefulness and focus within the practice hall at RIMYI. There we turn our minds inward to get a taste of yoga – integration, connectivity, and wholeness.
Walking through the gates of the institute, you are immediately greeted by busts of BKS Iyengar and his beloved wife Ramamani, for whom the institute is named. The building is surrounded by deity images, which are artistically beautiful and spiritually inspiring. These sacred icons help turn the mind toward sanctity, and help to leave the noisy world behind and enter the realm of the sacred journey inward.
I continue to feel deeply relaxed and calm within the busy rhythm of my days. Prashant Iyengar’s brilliant teaching is bringing me to a new experience of presence. One aspect of his teaching is the way he describes philosophical concepts through his engaging use analogy and metaphor.
In a recent class, Prashant explained that the senses can act like mirrors. When we get ready to go out, we first look in a mirror to see how we look. Then we want a cosmetic kit to enhance our appearance. Of course, cosmetic means superficial or on the surface. If we instead use the senses as mirrors to look inward, we will find that no cosmetic kit is needed. The unadorned beauty of our essential nature will shine with its own splendor.
Prashant has emphasized this week that philosophy is embedded within us. Philosophy lives inside us. Philosophy reveals reality. By turning inside ourselves, by becoming the object of our own awareness, we may taste the ocean of bliss that resides within our hearts.
With this type of teaching setting the tone for the day, I find that I am influenced to be calmer and more aware during practice time, while assisting in the medical class and even in everyday activities. I am so grateful.
I am thinking of my friends, teachers and students with so much affection. Blessings of peace and love to all of you!