I’d been looking for a good yoga teacher so it was really no surprise that a tall young Malayali walked up to me while I was walking past my apartment complex’s department store and said he’s a yoga teacher and available at a very reasonable rate in the comfort of my own home.
It’s also no surprise that his name is Krishna.
So I’ve been doing his brand of yoga (he has a school called Sri Rudra Yoga) for the past four days and he’s going very slow and easy so far and I love it. He’s a former banker from Standard Chartered and I enjoy chatting with him as well.
What I don’t enjoy is the shavasana (dead-body pose). He forces 10 minutes or even more of it at the end of every session and I feel like I’ve been boxed up in a prison with 10 or maybe 10,000 voices in my head.
He says it will get better, and I will actually begin to feel like a log of wood. My thoughts will slow down and my body will relax.
So far, however, it’s been a cacophony of thoughts – from the work I have to do in the day, to randomly connected TV shows, to something someone said, to what I’m going to wear, to something that’s happened in the past, to a joke someone made, to a tear that remained unshed. (While meditating, I usually use some technique or the other, so the thoughts are more easily controlled. Here, he refused to teach me any technique and instructed me to just lie there). The result is far from relaxing.
I jerked my eyes open today and complained that it wasn’t working for me. Maybe it’s the coffee or some hormonal upheavals, I reasoned with a pout. He offered a few reassurances and left, promising to teach me a new kind of meditation this weekend.
On my way to work, I had a mental conversation with Krishna (my Krishna, not this yoga teacher, though they are perhaps the same at some level for me). “Why is it so noisy in my head, even though there is peace in my heart?” I asked.
“Be thankful that you are even able to notice the noise. Some years ago you would have identified with it,” came the reply. “Don’t worry. Kaam ho raha hai.” The last sentence was in the voice of a young Vipassana volunteer who’d said the same thing to me when I’d cried my heart out to her on day four of the silence, in an absolute state of mess that I wasn’t ‘getting it’. “The fact that you are so agitated means work is going on.”
It’s the storm before the calm.
Loosen up and let go.