Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pranayama Session for Savitri Study Group, NY.

 This is yet another workshop made possible, thanks to Julian. I am amazed with Julian and the extraordinary way he networks! He remembers the name and background of very person and he keeps the connection alive and vibrant. He is living Wikipedia of the immense network of the Integral Yoga of the Mother and Sri Aurbindo. It is wondrous to discover the Mani hara of the Integral Yoga Network and I am blessed to have friends like Julian and Wendy, who help me in my journey.

Julian introduced me to Sidharth (Sid for short), who is eh initiator and one of the coordinators of the Study Group. The group meets regularly on Mondays from 7-9 PM. In eh time that I was in USA, the only day that would have worked for me was the Monday of the Memorial Day Long Week-end. I was doubtful whether they would meet on that day. I was pleasantly surprised to get an enthusiastic positive response from Sid.
The event was held in Sid’s flat and we had a small but wonderful group, who were attentive and interested. I was a pleasure and privilege to meet this extraordinary group that meets every week – like a heart beat that maintains their Savitri consciousness. I immensely enjoyed meeting the group and sharing Pranayama with them.
I am grateful to Sid and Julian for making this happen and look forward to meeting this g group next year.

Pranayama and Stress Management workshops at Woodstock, NY

This is also the third successive year I had the pleasure of doing workshops in this charming town. All this thanks to Julian and Wendy. They are not only giving me the opportunity, but also host me at their charming home every year. They very kindly picked me up and dropped me back at my daughter’s home (about two and half hours drive) this year. They have also been continuously encouraging me and helping me to do more workshops in the East Coast. It is really Grace to have their friendship and goodwill.

The last two workshops were held in the library of Matagiri Sri Aurobindo Center. The Center is a serene space in sylvan, pristine nature.  This year, Julian shifted the venue to Woodstock Yoga Center  to make it easier for more people in Woodstock to participate. The Woodstock Yoga Center is a beautiful space and it was pleasure to meet Barbara, one of the owners and a renowned Yoga teacher, who had he benefit of learning from the great BKS Iyengar Along with Julian and Wendy, Barbara also attended my first session of Pranayama workshop with small group of participants. I feel fortunate that she liked the session and found my way of doing the workshops gentle and helpful for people to be motivated in practicing Yoga. She sent out a mail to all her students, recommending that they attend the next session and we had a full house! Wow, how fantastic and fabulous was that!

I word about the group of Barbara’s students. It is the first session ever for me where everybody kept their spine straight and here was no need to correct anyone at any stage. Keeping the spine straight is one of the basic principles of Yoga. This is an indicator of the sustained practice with seriousness of the group. Hey were also fully focused, attentive and receptive. It is indeed a privilege for me to share Pranayama with this group.
I am happy and grateful to Julian, Wendy and Barbara and look forward to being with them next year.  

Pranayama and micro-meditations: Durga Temple Yoga Group, Va, USA

This is the third time I am doing a workshop for this group in consecutive years during my visit to USA. The venue is the beautiful and serene Durga Temple at Fairfax Station, Varginia The Yoga group meets over the week-end s with the objective of practicing as a group to bring in regularity, commitment and consistency in the practice with mutual support and encouragement.  Jay Kalathil is passionate about making this group practice available to all and devotes a lot of his time and energy in making the sessions happen and lead them. He also gives opportunity to others to share their practice with the group. I met Jay in 2012 and am inspired by who he is. The meeting took place, thanks to Jacob, who introduced my work to Jay and requested him to consider giving me a chance to do a workshop. I am grateful to Jay and Jacob for creating this opportunity for me.  Jacob was instrumental in making all the three events happen. Apart form coordinating with Jay, Jacob and Susan have been hosting me every year. I am fortunate to enjoy their fabulous hospitality.

I wish to share a few of my impressions about this group. The group is just fabulous – they are focused, sincere and self-motivated in their practice of Yoga and as I know more and more about the group and get to know some of the members, I am developing a deep respect for this group. It is one of the best groups I had the opportunity to meet and it would be pleasure and privilege to keep up this association as I get a lot of inspiration and motivation in being with them.
This event was particularly enjoyable for me because I had the opportunity to introduce micro-meditations to the group. Most of the group had not been introduced to the technique of micro-meditation and many people told me that they find it very interesting and simple to practice.
I have done workshops for this group thrice in the last three years. My younger daughter Madhavi and her husband (Vikram) live n NJ. So, I am likely to keep going there often. I was not clear about how I can continue my association with this group as my friends Jacob and Susan are relocating to India. In the first workshop I did in 2012, my friend Subbu (TM Subramanium, another batch mate of ours in the Navy) was visiting his daughters. He  participated in the event along with his son-in-law Prasanna and they invited us for dinner, where I had the pleasure of meeting his whole family. It was pure joy to meet Nicki and Nina, the lovely grand children.
Prasanna came to this workshop venue with his daughters. That was very wonderful as I adore his kids and there was no time to go over and meet them during this trip. Lo and behold, Prasanna very graciously and generously offered to host me next year! The ease and grace with which all his happened can only be described aptly by the word ‘synchronicity’. I am grateful to Prasanna and Jacob, who said ‘here comes your host for next year’ when we met Prasanna at the end of the event.
I am reminded of what Ekhart Tolle said.  When you are walking in a mist with a flash light, you see only a small path in front of you (which he says is the NOW). As you keep walking, the path keeps unfolding and by being present and surrendering to the NOW, you enjoy the journey.
I find this a very helpful tenet. When you focus on the NOW, you dissolve the psychological time in which regrets and worries arise. It is like playing a game. You can really play to your potential only if you are present in the moment and flow along the NOW. That’s why we enjoy games and I learned that you can take this into the game of life and enjoy every moment. Because, ‘It is never not NOW’