It is cold, I am somehow feeling really cold, as the evening sets in and the winter darkness quickly envelopes everything. I have just finished a disturbing text conversation with someone, and I am very upset, and miserable. And cold.
Harish is teaching the class tonight, and eventhough I have a couple of people to meet and counsel about their well-being, I am not in a mood for anything, not even to practice. Usually, helping people find a way is therapeutic for me, but so close to an upset, and feeling as cold as I am, I cannot thaw out.
I step into the class, my mind and body in a state of trauma.
I am in a miserable world of my own. Mostly I am talking to myself and cannot hear Harish giving instructions. The initial part of the class, the opening prayer, Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma, and Surya Namaskar pass in a haze, mostly in a state of utter resistance. Some of my students are within the range of my vision, and a part of me, the teacher and mentor is observing them. Next to me, two mats away, I am keeping an eye on Hardeep and her progress in class, and the new, elderly couple in front of me have my constant, but partial attention. Mostly I am miserable.
Harish calls out the Headstand, and then the Shoulderstand. I notice, indifferently, while holding the pose, that I have a rounded tummy, some extra stuff I picked up in my recent travels. In the Plough I struggle with my breath and with the midriff. I am a bit annoyed now with myself for being in this condition. I can also feel the after effects of some coffee and some extra peanuts, had at the wrong time, just an hour before class. Yes, in addition to being upset, I am now also annoyed.
After the Fish, I usually feel better. Today the difference is marginal. I was in such a cloud at the beginning of the class, that I cannot say if I am better – yes, I am no longer cold, at all, and that is a blessing.
The class runs on its on tempo as usual, and I am still on the margins, going along. The Sitting Forward bend, the Cobra, the Locust (I struggle to get my legs off the ground) and the Bow (Harish does not make us hold long enough – my aching upper back needs it a lot today!), morph into the Spinal Twist and the Crow. I mindlessly wade through the Standing Forward bend and the Triangle, and flop down for the final relaxation.
Eight minutes later, Harish gets everyone up for the final prayer.
I have just completed the Sivananda class, mostly in a daze and for the millionth time.
Today it was 60 minutes, and at other times, it is 90 minutes.
Harish pauses for a moment, as he usually does. There is silence, and stillness. Nothing moves, outside or inside.
It is at this moment, that I feel, I connect with, I am, Santosha, contentment.