Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seven Mats And

TIME 3:15 pm

The first drop hit me as I crossed the Lyndhurst Terrace Street. I looked up, the sky was ready to burst. I love the rains, but today I would be more at ease if it did not rain.

I had organized my first Yoga group class in Hong Kong and YES I was hoping that people attend it. 

I walked into Shakti Healing Circle on Wyndham Street. It does not matter what the world outside looks like, once you step into Shkati it is always bright, beautiful, peaceful and fragrant.  I immediately felt better. I walked into my the yoga room, lit an incense stick and said my prayers. I then laid out 6 mats, the maximum the room could hold. I then looked at the adjacent room, opened it up and put one more mat there.

TIME 3:45 pm

I sat down on a mat and looked out of the large window. I saw umbrellas. I saw wipers swishing furiously on windshields. I saw people running for cover. I sat down preparing myself for the possibility that I may be my only student today. I looked at the seven empty mats.

A rain cloud appeared above my head. Dark and ominous. It hovered there and then ppooofff it disappeared with the thought “ I could do with an hour and half of practice!! J”.

TIME 4:30 pm
I lay down in corpse pose to begin my Sivananda Yoga session  

TIME 4:32 pm
Sheeba is on her way and I imagined a bubbly couple coming in for the session.
That’s when Chunky landed up at the centre completely DRENCHED. I hugged her and said THANKS.

A few minutes later someone else landed up. I greeted her and invited her in. She told me that the rest were on their way. (WOWWW)  “rest of them…who??”  “I am Sheeba’s friend and they are all on their way.”  That’s when someone else walked in.  I checked with the three who were present to see if it is ok to start late as I was expecting few more.

4:55 Six mats was occupied. I was about to start when I heard that there is one more.

With that we began….cats and dogs fell from the sky outside…cat stretches and downward dogs inside.

Of all the sessions I have taught this was extra special. Everyone began with the absolute belief that they are not flexible and then all of them went on to do some amazing feats. The energy everyone brought into the group was incredible. As I wound down the session with Yoga Nidra, there was a slight smile on everyone’s face. They had floated off into the blue sky to greet the sun.

It felt that there were seven mats and seventy tons of Prana in the room! It was an honor to be a part of all that energy. Thanks to all who made this happen!

Yogic Glossary

Prana - Vital energy or life force.
Yoga Nidra - a practice to shift from waking to a state hovering between consciousness and deep sleep that is deeply relaxing and helps the body heal itself

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving with the Mantra

A mantra is a mystical energy encased in a sound structure. The purpose of Mantra is to protect the mind from wandering, lead it to the divine within.

Some mantras are inherited  - they come to you from your family customs or religious traditions. 

Some mantras are taught to you by a Guru and you make them a part of your life.  You know what they mean, how to say it, what to do with it, what it does to you.

Some mantras ease into your life so subtly and silently.  You hardly recall how or when they became a part of your day. They stick to you and they reveal their meaning slowly, gently... purifying you each step of the way.

It does not matter how the Mantra comes to you. I believe that the mantra chooses you and not the other way. The purpose of all Mantras is the same to purify, strengthen and guide. You begin to move with the Mantra, one step at a time.

Many (many) years ago, I was introduced to a Mantra. While I did not know what it meant, there was something about the way, the sounds of the Mantra called out to me.  The Mantra unknowingly struck a chord deep within. I began to recite it, not knowing what it meant.

A few years passed this way and then someone told me, that it is the Mantra of compassion, the jewel in the lotus. Om Mani Padme Hum.

Om Mani Padme Hum

Few years passed and then someone taught me what it meant.

Om, composed of ‘A’, ‘U’ and ‘M’.  Om signifies the body, mind and spirit. Om is the primordial sound that created the universe. Om the waking, the dream, the deep sleep. OM the enlightenment.

Mani means a jewel. A jewel is capable of removing poverty or deficiency. Likewise a mind that is like a jewel can remove deficiencies. Helps you find peace - when there is turbulence, compassion, when there is hatred.

Padme a lotus symbolizing the wisdom. Lotus blooms in the muck. It overcomes the slush, opens into the blue sky and looks at the sun.

Hum, the indivisibility of method and wisdom. Put simply the method you will choose will affect the wisdom you will gain. The wisdom you have, will lead you to the method you will choose.

Years went by.  Each time I saw or felt some deficiency outside of me; or  felt the muck around me I chanted the Mantra. The chanting soothed me down.

Eventually the mantra lead me to a space where it did not matter whether there was a deficiency or muck. I began to chant it more often. The chanting moved me into a state of better clarity.

One day, I was chanting the Mantra as I walked my dogs. It suddenly hit me, the deficiency is not outside, the muck is not outside. The deficiencies and the dirt I seek to change is within. WITHIN. The chanting moved me to look deeper within.

Om Mani Padme Hum

While it took many years of moving with the mantra, I feel the journey has just begun.

(Photo Credits : Christopher J. Fynn, Anand R P)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Matter of Name

No matter where you go some familiar faces follow you. This one followed me on the Telly with the Matter of Taste. Each time I see him on screen, I am reminded of another episode - a reality episode.

Lets talk about that…

Hello, Could I speak to Vir?
Yes Speaking
Hi, I am calling from LBSIM. Is this a good time?
Yes it is
We are organizing a talk session by Deepak Nayar. It would be fantastic if you would list it in the day’s events for the 5th of June
Sure, I can do that. Could you mail the details to ?
Thanks Vir… hey can I count on you, to get this in the events ..? It ABSOLUTELY has to be there, my life hangs on it
Will take care of that…
Thanks Vir, you made my day. Will keep you posted. Have a good day
Good day to you too.

Yes Vir
Hey, call the City editor and tell him that a student of LBSIM will mail him. Put her event in the daily events section.
(confusion….) Yes Vir...
Tanya, did I get fired?
(more confusion…) NO VIR…what happened?
Well a girl just called me to put some college seminar on the daily events section.
. an hour later
Random conversation in the HT Washroom
Hey dude you should hear this… some chick from LBSIM called up GOD and asked him to put her insti seminar in the daily section
Random conversation at the TOI Washroom
Guess what happened at HT today… some LBSIM student called up Sanghvi regarding daily events

---------- and then

Not so random conversation at the Financial Times Washroom
Hey Sandeep, are you with LBSIM?
Well then some student called up Vir Sanghvi regarding daily events

Sandeep Srivastava walked in. He taught Corporate Finance. I suffer from financiophobia. I deal by hiding behind tall boys of the class, hoping that I go undetected in the class.

I got detected. Sandeep Srivastava started walking towards my direction.
(NOOOOOO, not this way! Go AWAY)

“Yes sir” (Oh SHIT !!! Please GODDD not a quiz)
“Did you call Hindustan Times”
(Sigh of relief) “Yes Sir, called HT yesterday” I beamed

Sandeep Srivastava headed the institute’s Media/ PR Cell. My under performance in the finance class was compensated with my over performance in the Media Cell.

“Who did you call”
“The City Editor”
“and you called VIR SANGHVI”?
“mmm Yes Sir” (warning bell)

“And WHY did you call him?”
(What do you mean WHY? You told me to DUHHHHH! )
“ To tell him about the seminar we are hosting this weekend, to get the event featured in the city events…”

Chukcle, snort, Muffled ha ha he he from the class.
(Why does my FOOT feel like it is in my MOUTH)

“Is everything OK, Sir?” (WARNING, red alert)
“Nuthan you called Vir Sanghvi …and you are asking me if everything is OK He spoke in his characteristic slow, measured, sarcastic tone. (Mayday Mayday…)
“I did exactly what you had asked of me, call the City Editor and so…”
I told you to call the City Editor , not GOD”

The class burst out in peals of laughter. (Of course you think its funny. BUT WAIT) I dug into my backpack, took out the Media contact list. And viola

Board Line
City Editor, Delhi
Vir Sanghvi

I walked up to Sandeep Srivastava, pointed at the column.

It was Sandeep Srivastava’s turn to look perplexed. A second later he then pointed to the name right on top of the list

Board Line
Editor in Chief
 (I think that was his actual profile then)
Vir Sanghvi

That’s when we realized that we had two entries for Vir Sanghvi – both as a GOD and a non-god

I had spoken to the GOD, to get my teeny-weeny, itsy-witsy event in his paper. That’s like calling up Ambani/ Le Ka-Shing to check the price of vegetables at Reliance Fresh/ ParknShop.


And thus LBSIM got a seminar published in the City News of HT for the very first time.
huh? no encore????

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Whats Going On

Apana Talks Under Construction & Maintenance Mode.
It would be another couple of weeks before I sort and then resort my days. For now my days are yoga, training, house hunting, vet, acupressure, kickboxing, meditating, praying... Miss you all and miss writing.

the not yet written posts include

devil's demented demonic daughter
bullet diaries
bumbu bali
tears of shiva

meanwhile go on njoy the all time fav ones

and for my dear yogis

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti heeee

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