India: Yoga Week 3

I spoke way too soon. Last Tuesday, we had a beautiful sunny day in Nasik for our weekly afternoon away from the wet, dreary ashram. Unfortunately, all of our sun salutations were not enough, because on Wednesday the grey storm clouds rolled in and the monsoon officially began to take its toll on the ashram and its inhabitants. Now, let me elaborate on the wonders of an Indian Monsoon. Torrential downpour. Gale force winds. Hurricane conditions. At least, that is how it is right over our ashram in the hills; the weather is much dryer, warmer, and calmer only forty-five minutes away in Nasik City. I do not understand this phenomena, and I am determined that our ashram is cursed!

Flooding in Nasik! Posted by Picasa

That being said, we all began to slowly lapse into bad moods, short tempers, and overall depression. Just going from your cottage to the mess hall meant getting completely soaked by the pelting, sideways rain. In addition, trying to dry any wet clothes indoors was impossible because of the dampness, so we would just have to opt for cold, wet clothing everyday. To add insult to injury, I awoke around 3:00 am on Friday with the roof leaking right over my head! Finally, on Saturday evening, after we had been without power and water for twenty-four hours already, our director rushed us into taxis and we made the drive into Nasik town through the pouring rain. He wanted us to stay in town at the ashram’s main office until the power was restored, and also because the bridge was nearly impassable due to flooding.

This is what happens when you’re locked up in an ashram for too long. Posted by Picasa

To say that I was thrilled to ecstasy would be an understatement. I was shocked that quite a few of my fellow students were upset with this decision…I guess none of them had water leak on their foreheads all night! The forty of us arrived at the office around 10:00 pm, and after laying out mats on the floor and a short discussion, I immediately passed out, having one of the best night’s sleep in weeks. The next morning we began our final day of lectures, and I was excited about the prospect of learning about Ayurveda Diet and Obesity (a nice change from the oh-so-boring pranic energy mumbo-jumbo lectures!). After the lectures, we went into town and I finally was able to check email!

Another example of Ashram madness! Posted by Picasa

Yesterday morning we awoke to another partly sunny day in Nasik…pure brilliance. It was a written exam day (our final, thank God!), which meant we had loads of time to go into town and play on the internet. After finishing our exam, my friends Hayli, Cecilia, and I decided to walk into town for one more internet session before our 4:30 pm yoga class. Well, we were sitting outside on a step, looking at some of Hayli’s newly-developed photos, when some Indian guy came and sat next to me. He started asking us the usual questions…Where are you from? How long have you been in Nasik?…of course, we ignored him (after two months in India, you get tired of the small talk). Cecilia started speaking Spanish to him to get rid of him. Finally, he asked if we spoke English, followed by, “I like sex.” I turned to him, told him to go away, that he was a sick man, and maybe an expletive or two for elaboration. We three girls stormed off, and Hayli kept going on and on about how gross that was. Well, it seems in my anger at his comment I failed to notice what he was doing below the belt! Ew, ew, EWWWWW!!! I cannot believe that happened to us!

Happy Evacuees! Posted by Picasa

Today is our final official day off from the course. We slept in (meaning, we awoke around 6:45 am) and after breakfast Cecilia, Hayli, Chris, and I went into town for shopping. We splashed through the muddy streets and took some photos of the angry, flooding river where women were washing clothes in the numerous ghats. We came back to the office for lunch before heading to the theatre to catch the 2:45 pm showing of “Omkara,” a supposed Indian rendition of Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Chris and I struggled through over two hours of the film before telling the girls goodbye and heading to the internet cafe.

Apparently, the power has been restored at the ashram, so tonight we will be going back to complete our final week. It should be a pretty easy week, as we have no lectures planned. We are supposed to be preparing for our final exam, which will involve planning and teaching a one-hour yoga course. The course will commence on Monday with a little yoga graduation, and we are headed by train to Bombay on Tuesday.

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