Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jumping Jacks and Lemony Oranges

On Thursday morning, Dharma discussed the eight limbs of yoga.

Then it was time for the physical practice - or what Dharma calls "the exercises."

I had the privilege of assisting Dharma with the class, which meant I didn't have to do the warm-ups.

In other words, I got out of doing the dreaded kapalbhati jumping jacks.

Instead, I got to assist and adjust, which was wonderful - and something I will always remember (and be grateful for).

* * *

That afternoon, instead of going back to the hotel, I stayed in the jungle - where it began to rain. I abandoned the hammock and took cover in the small palapa. There, I stayed in the digestion pose for 20 minutes after eating, as Dharma suggests (and which one rarely has time for). Then I rested, followed by asana, breathing and meditation. It was wonderful to sit still as the rain fell, the tiki torches were lit, and the sun went down.

That night we did no asana. Instead, Dharma discussed the three gates to hell (wrath, lust and greed) and the kleshas, among other things. He also told many wonderful stories to illustrate the points he was making. I heard things that were completely new to me, and again was floored by his knowledge and generosity.

As he was leaving that afternoon, I handed him a peeled orange. He wanted to know where I got it.

"Right here," I said, pointing to the table near the door.

"The orange you gave me yesterday tasted like lemons," he said.

Somehow, it made me love him even more.