A line has formed from the top of the stairwell down the stairs and following the perimeter of the office, continuing all the way to the outside. The hall is crowded and loud. There is a mad rush to the props and a search for prime real estate near Prashantji. Don’t students realize that rushing to the front of Prashantji’s class is a fruitless effort? You won’t be there long. Practicing non-attachment is the only way to make it through his class. Your mat will not be your mat for long.
I am in the back near the windows holding a spot for a fellow teacher. There is another rush to the prop room for straps.
I am frazzled. How can you learn in this crowded space. June at the Institute is intimate, February is insane. I see Marcia Monroe. “Look that’s Marcia, she wrote a great book on scoliosis!” Shhhhh! I hear directed at me. I have monkey mind.
Triangle pose. We are two to a mat at the windows. I feel the hot breath of the woman in back of me, I feel the hair of the woman in front of me brush across my face. A woman’s watch beeps, a man burps, another woman has the loudest Ujjayi breath ever uttered in an Iyengar classroom. Chitta vrittis. How can I possibly learn anything today? This is insanity.
Sukasana twists. I see Bobby Clennell, I pat her on the knee for a silent hello. I twist.
I focus on my breath. Is my breath the “benefactor or the beneficiary”, I hear Prashantji’s voice in my head. I start to move inward. Yogaś-citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ. The waves are settling. The chatter in my mind and my wandering eyes quiet. I start to hear Prashantji instead of the noise in the room. I forget the size of the class and the closeness of the bodies.
The class ends, I feel whole.