Sunday, August 06, 2006

12-Point Something About Yoga

Going through the previous post, which I had written for my paper, I suddenly find myself meditating upon my four-year-long association with yoga. So many thoughts are crossing my mind -- some sacred, some not-so-sacred, some erotic, some mundane. I am sharing some of them with you, just like that:

1. My 'yogic' journey began in a posh gym in Chennai, where I paid a lot of money considering that the classes were only four days a week, one hour a day. For all practical purposes, it was like an aerobics class, where you merely followed the instructor for one hour without even knowing which asana you are doing. But I moved on after three months because I wanted to learn yoga properly. Why I lasted three months, well, two reasons for that: one, I rapidly lost weight and my fitness levels increased drastically; and two, there were plenty of women in the class. I was the only guy. Whenever I bent to touch my right toe, I could see half a dozen butts turned to the right. And when I turned left, another set of butts would be turned to the left. Too sad it lasted only three months: I could have easily squeezed in an hour everyday in that gym in spite of my pursuit of serious yoga. Anyway, you lose some, gain some!

2. I begin my yoga session only after 11 in the morning -- a horrible time, but then, my writing begins only after 11 in the night.

3. My most favourite poses are the sarvangasana (shoulderstand), urdhva dhanurasana (wheel) and bakasana/kakasana (crane/crow). A recent addition to the favourites list is supta virasana (supine hero's pose): it is supposed to prevent blocking of arteries and keep your sexual organs healthy.

4. The pose I hate to do the most is paschimottasana (seated forward bend), so much so that I skip it most of the time, as a result of which, I am yet to achieve it. My loss -- and what a loss!

5. The cigarette I look forward to smoking the most is the one I light up after the yoga session.

6. For the last three years, I have been disappearing from time to time -- a week here and a week there -- to hide in some yoga ashram or the other. No alcohol there: you are automatically drunk on asana practice and the adrenalin it produces. And no Pancham either: you are high on the chants. You need a break from even Pancham, after all.

7. Collective chanting has tremendous power. It boosts your energy and at the same time, brings down your stress levels. Jaya Ganesha, Jaya Ganesha, Jaya Ganesha Paahimaam, Shree Ganesha Shree Ganesha Shree Ganesha Rakshamaam: the energy this chant infuses -- when sung in unison by people of various nationalities, religions and accents -- is to be felt to be believed.

8. Most yoga ashrams have strict rules, such as men and women not wearing sleeveless tops or shorts. But when Westerners run these ashrams -- which is usually the case -- the strictness is usually reduced to tokenism. During my stay in one of the ashrams in Rishikesh, I would often run into a Western saadhvi (renunciate). A gorgeous woman she was, and as per the ashram rules, she wore a white saree. But what was most obvious about her attire was the sexy, lacy white bra, which showed through her white, transparent blouse.

9. And then there was this most capitvating woman I had ever seen in my life. I noticed her during dinner on the first day of my stay in an ashram in South India: she was giving 'reiki' to her food -- face serene, eyes shut and palms stretched on top of her plate, she seemed to be saying a silent prayer. Later I realised that she wore silence as a necklace -- whether during the yoga class, or during the tea break under the banyan tree, or during the meals. And it was the silence that made me seek her. "If only men knew how painful periods are," she said in a heavy Italian accent when I first made conversation with her. A couple of mornings later, she was right opposite me during the yoga class. She wore a white kurta and salwar. But underneath the kurta, there was nothing: everytime we came to the plank pose, I caught a glimpse of the Italian nipples. And we came to the plank pose half a dozen times. But then, that was that -- she left the ashram soon after, giving her postal address in Rome. She said she did not believe in e-mailing.

10. Italian nipples are no different from their Indian counterpart.

11. I have never fully followed the rules of the ashrams I have stayed in. They primarily prohibit four things: smoking, drinking, doing drugs and sex. Well, I have never been into drugs. As for alcohol, I can happily do without it in the presence of other stimuli. But I have smoked in all the ashrams I have stayed in. In some ashrams, I smoked in the toilet and flushed the cigarette butts in the commode. In some other ashrams, where my room has been away from the smelling distance of the caretakers, I have smoked as usual, stubbing the cigarette in disposable coffee cups. And there are two kinds of smokes most enjoyable. I have already mentioned the pleasure of the post-yoga smoke. The other is post-coitus smoke.

12. Coitus is a form of yoga, to tell you the truth, because sex is a combination of yoga postures. Usually, the woman is in savasana (corpse pose) or the pavanmukta asana (wind-relieving pose), while the man alternates between chaturanga dandasana (push-up pose), adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) and urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog). And for a man, it is sin to miss such a combination of asanas -- it stengthens every muscle of his, makes him flexible and gives him excellent cardio. That is why I never missed it, no matter which ashram I lived in or how strict it was about the conduct of its inmates.


Arundhati said...

Hmm.. I was about to give you a sermon how it is NOT okay to smoke, especially while doing yoga! But will lay it off for now, guess you will find out ;)!

The 12 points are deliciously naughty! So, thats what you do when you go into those long absences, eh? Better watch out, tiger, you are married now ;)!!

dazedandconfused said...

@ point 12- Liar! :)

neha vish said...

Ahem. :)

Anonymous said...

point no 12, can't believe, howz it possible!!

Usha said...

Interesting post.

Zeppelin said...

cool post bro ! love the way you've said about the asanas and such in such vivid detail. many prudes would however stay away from commenting here.. if you know what i mean ;)


Visithra said...

Interesting - though i never saw yoga as sexy - maybe coz i did it as a kid