Anusara Yoga: Class #1
They got one thing authentically Indian: class started late. The teacher had a child care issue or something equally excusable, and so I take it with a grain of sugar that she is working on Indian Standard Time (IST) * , that being things start at 'whenever you deem it appropriate to show up' o’clock. Thankfully, she uses the delay to sort of hurry on up through the introductory business, and we have only to do a little bit of Om-ing- no Sanskrit chanting today, and I, for one, am grateful. I’m still too self-conscious to “Om” properly; I hum along, as if I was in church and trying to follow a hymn that I didn’t know the words to.
It is the “Beginner” class and the teacher is pleasant enough, albeit a little heavy-handed with the Downward Dog. We extend our hips in rather ungodly ways, and I feel, after class, if someone has laced my synovial fluid with pulverized glass. I’m not sore the next day- I’m sore now.
Still, the most remarkable thing happens. As we relax at the end of the class, lights dimmed- I assume this is supposed to be the “deprivation of senses” that is one of the eight limbs of Hatha Yoga- I start to nod off, just a little. When she strikes what I’ve taken to call the ‘re-awakening’ gong- in the most literal way- I can feel the waves of sound in a synesthesic sense. They are translucent gold, syrupy viscous fluid, flattening along the floor like pancake batter, enveloping me . I could chalk the first wave up to being in half-sleepy land, but the second and the third time, I am awake, eyes open, and still the waves come. I’m not one prone to being mystical- if I can visualize someone’s aura, I usually go home and clean my contacts or call it a night at the bar- but these waves are tangible, as real and as present as the boom box in the corner churning out the “Peaceful Waterfall Spirit Ungulations” CD in the corner, and it is COOL AS FUCK.
* It’s interesting to note that India, as a country, is bisected by a time-zone line. It is either 10 or 11 hours off from Eastern Standard Time (EST), depending on where the chips fall. This is not interesting in itself. What IS interesting is that the country, as a whole, decided to say “fuck it, that’s too difficult” and so decided to split the difference and just call it 10 ½ hours off of EST for the whole of the sub-continent. To be of the only country one-half hour off the rest of the civilized world makes me proud to be half-Indian.