I flew to India with my dear friend Nina, and our travel here was incredibly smooth. In an amazing coincidence, another student headed for Pune, Chris Beach, was seated with us. It was fun to chat about Iyengar Yoga before settling into our individual movie choices with the back of the seat entertainment system. After the movie, I slept for eight hours, which was fantastic. We had a slight snag with one of my bags, but found that someone had taken it off the belt and piled in a far corner, so we were only delayed for a short time. A driver was waiting to take us to The Leela, a beautiful and classy hotel near the airport. The service was so good and the surroundings so beautiful, we wished we could have stayed longer. I slept well there too, and with two good nights of sleep to start the trip, I am not experiencing any jet lag.
The drive to Pune the next day was quick and easy, although we did have heavy rain. All along the way we could see little waterfalls rippling down the low rocky hills. We arrived Sunday afternoon and moved into our apartment. It is spacious and airy and I think we will enjoy it here. It is on the tenth floor, so we are walking up sometimes, but not every time. It is a bit tightening to the calves!
Today was a bit crazy since we had to get organized on many levels – getting registered for classes, getting copies of paperwork for the landlord and the institute, picking up groceries and little household items, and getting settled into our living space. We are without internet access in the flat, which is a bit hard for both Nina and me. We have found a friend in the building who has wireless, so that will help. Today contained some challenging India moments, from walking over a dead rat on the sidewalk, to our cook not showing up to cook our lunch, and lots of “come back later.” There are definitely more mosquitoes here than I have ever noticed before, so bug spray will be a daily necessity.
Of course, all those things are forgotten when we step into the yoga hall. It was wonderful to get a good practice in after all the travel. BKS Iyengar was there in the hall, practicing and also teaching his granddaughter Abi. Later I spent an hour in the library studying and it was wonderful to be there as Mr. Iyengar received visitors, discussed a book he is writing, and did his own deskwork. I think I will be there regularly.
It is very humid here, which is bad for my hair but great for my body. My muscles feel loose and pliable. My class schedule is different than it has been in the past, with some early morning classes. That will require some rethinking on my part, as I had planned those early morning times to be for my own personal breathing and chanting practices. For the moment, though, the bags are unpacked, there are vegetables in the fridge, I know what time I am supposed to be where tomorrow , and the only thing I forgot to bring are my fish oil capsules. My next entry is sure to include more about the classes and who is teaching. Not having Geeta in the hall practicing and teaching leaves a big empty space. I know the classes will be wonderful, but she is deeply missed and everyone feels it.