namaaste and dahl: an indian post

Slice of Life

Slice of Life

Today I should have gone to yoga class. But I had to meet with my colleague to finish our unit planner, task specific assessment clarifications and assignment sheet (All the MYP peeps feel this pain or maybe you love it.) . . . so I can return to work after the break with legitimate lessons to present. In any case, even though I was delinquent, I thought I could relive this Tuesday afternoon ritual in writing.

We meet in the mirrored dance studio at school. Fiska, our instructor, is exactly what you would expect a yoga instructor who lives in Indonesia to be: adorable, naturally competent, genuinely committed to the philosophy that with focus and good practice anyone can do the bakasana. Some people have been driven away because she looks amused when people struggle. My interpretation is not so much mocking, but “this person is about to do something they never thought they could–watch her / him blow his mind,” as she steps in to coach.

She’s usually pacing around. Giving tips here and there. Then back to the front to effortlessly return to the pose she’s demonstrating. She has come beside me while I’m struggling for balance, only to pull my shoulder back or lift my core higher. It’s like I would imagine sky jumping with an instructor might be like. You think I can do what?

During inversions time, she says (any squeamish readers may skip this paragraph if necessary), “You can go like this, ya? But for challenge, you can put higher. But if you have period, stay here, ya?” Recently, the women in the class asked each other for the first time what she might mean by that. With a little searching, here’s one opinion on this little known–to novices–aspect of yoga.

We always end our sessions by lying our backs, eyes covered with towel or closed, just chilling. While a soloist sings hauntingly beautiful notes in the background we often fall into the first stages of sleep. Until, we’re invited to roll on our side and sit up. Crossed legged, we breathe out stress. Breathe in joy and peace. Then after a bit. Pause. Head bow. Namaaste.

To round out this “dot not feather” Indian post, I thought I’d share a delicious Red Lentil Dahl recipe I made recently. You guessed it, no ghee.

Note: I write this at the peril of sounding all Eat Pray Love. I’m not a fan of that book, for the record. But nothing personal against the author, I’m sure she’s a lovely person.

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About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in life and culture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to namaaste and dahl: an indian post

  1. debbussewitz says:

    Your post made me smile for a number of reasons this morning. I am not going to the mat this afternoon because of a conflict commitment. I will reread your post instead.

  2. jhaworthoy says:

    Your post made me want to take up yoga again. It has been too long and I can no longer say that I have not time. Your words brought pictures to my mind. Very nice. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  3. Betsy says:

    I really enjoy yoga. Your explanation of how the instructor walks, corrects, encourages was humorous. Sometimes it is exactly like you put it,,,you want me to do what?

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