The power of observation

So, yesterday I did pasasana for the first time in the big shala. Has the world changed since that moment? Have I become a better person because of it? Of course not! But it felt good to be moving forward nevertheless… 🙂 As usual, my heels didn’t touch the floor and I placed my towel beneath them so I could feel some kind of contact with the ground, from which to push against and strengthen/lengthen my ankles. Sharath’s voice carried across the room, and, instinctively, I just knew it was aimed at me.

‘No padding!’

He doesn’t miss a trick! Honestly, his powers of observation never fail to amaze me. I know he’s one of the most advanced ashtangis in the world and, if all of Patanjali’s claims in the sutras are true, then it’s almost certain that his yoga practice has enhanced his sensory abilities. With all these things, the proof is in the pudding, and Sharath definitely seems to possess super-powers of observation and memory, despite the huge numbers of students that he teaches and the long hours he works – he’s so on the ball!

Anyway, the rest of the day flowed very smoothly. I had my penultimate rolfing session with Ken and, at the end of  treatment, I tried out my newly integrated, educated body and couldn’t stop grinning and giggling as I walked back and forth in the treatment room, feeling my whole body move with absolute freedom, space and natural mobility – it felt amazing! There’s definitely some kind of rolfing magic going on in that room… So much so that I googled ‘becoming a rolfer’ when I was back home. But, my enthusiasm was short-lived when I saw it costs nearly twenty thousand pounds to train, which takes over 2.5 years! Wow, that is some serious commitment…

After the treatment, Ken said he was off to watch a film about a bike trip around India’s ashrams. It sounded intriguing and Chris and I were at a loose end (there are lots of loose end in this Mysore life ;)), so we decided to tag along. Turns out it was actually about a bike trip that Mandy Creighton (who’s currently in Mysore) and her then boyfriend made around the USA, visiting various sustainable communities, ranging from hippy communes, cooperative farms, ec0-villages, spiritual-based groups and everything in between.

As I watched the inspiring footage, I felt goose-bumps all over my skin and a funny buzzing feeling inside. I’ve learnt to tune into and listen to these physical sensations (perhaps enhanced due to coming here straight from rolfing?), as they are usually telling me that whatever is happening is important and I need to pay attention to what this means for me. It’s happened a few times on this trip, and I can’t help but feel that India’s imbued spirituality makes special, ‘synchronous’ things happen and accelerates anyone’s inner journey, if that’s what you want.

Anyway, Mandy talked more about her experiences after the film and it was wonderful to watch and listen someone so passionate, knowledgeable, humble and downright lovely speak about their life passion. Most intriguing to me was to see how much she had positively changed since the film – then she was seeking, and embarking on a huge journey of self-discovery as well as outward discovery about the communities and she often appeared a bit frazzled, thoughtful, doubtful, even melancholy in her monologues during the film. Now, although still seeking, it was clear she had found something that she believed in and, through it, had found her true self, too. She shone with a beautiful self-assurance, warmth and radiance, that you always see in those people who have found their ‘thing’ and are living it with passion and integrity, for the simple reason that it’s their truth, it’s who they are, there’s nothing else they would rather be doing. And that is the most inspiring thing of all. I know lots of people like that – it doesn’t matter what they’re doing. The inspiring thing is that their motivation for doing it is pure, almost inevitable… 🙂

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