PUSHIN’ TOO HARD
Today’s vocabulary words
Puja – religious ritual
Batswana – (fat) temple bull
Ah, backbending. Today I stood up once, went back down and barely stood up again -- all while Saraswati was watching me. Why can't I just suffer in peace? I went back down again and could not come up. Shame and inadequacy, inadequacy and shame....doing primary series for 8.5 years and never "progressing," UGH. People who were here with me in 2002 are now doing Advanced A. What is wrong with me?
Afterwards I watched others stand up effortlessly from backbend and drop back and so forth, and noticed that they didn’t seem to be trying as hard as I. Maybe I’m thinking too much and using too much effort. Or maybe I just can't do it anymore. Maybe I should bail on Month Two and go to an ashram somewhere and roast in my own juices....
Funny, after backbending I didn’t feel my sore neck or sore back. Maybe there IS something to this yoga, and I *should* stick around.
After class Matrika and I went for breakfast at Green Leaf and then I headed home for a bucket-bath followed by a day of enforced rest.
As I lay me down to sleep the power went out. But someone kept turning the handle to my door. I didn’t feel like getting up, and ignored it. But it persisted. Who’s bothering me? I thought. I got up and opened the door, expecting to see the overly friendly "sweeper" guy (apparently the caste system is gone but not forgotten). But it was the nice Indian woman from down the hall.
We’ve hung up clothes on the roof at the same time and she has a TV in her room and seems also to live at the Kaveri Lodge -- possibly with a husband who’s gone all day. This morning she was looking out the window near my door, and I asked in Kannada if she’d had her breakfast and learnt that her name is Devi and she speaks as much English as I speak Kannada. But it was nice to break the ice. So there she was at my door. She offered me some jasmine for my hair and a perfectly ripe mango and some red kum-kum powder. I dipped my (right) finger in and put it on my third eye but apparently it wasn’t quite right and she re-did it for me.
I was utterly disarmed. Here I was, upset at being disturbed, while this nice woman had stood patiently outside my door waiting for me to answer it so she could offer me “puja,” which in so many ways is sorely needed. I feel sort of blessed. And hope to remember it the next time the negative thought cycle starts up again.