Chennai Journal
Sunday, June 03, 2007
A Restful Weekend

This weekend I spent a night at Fisherman's Cove, which is a resort hotel on the East Coast Road, not far from Mamallapuram. I've been there for dinner a few times, but had not stayed overnight since Marty and Sara and I spent the weekend there in July 2005.

Marty has been nudzhing (sp) me for a while now to get back into yoga and meditation, both of which I enjoyed and did a lot of in the States. Ironically, since being in India, I've done very little of either, other than taking the Art of Living course. This weekend I had a chance to change that and
had some sessions in yoga practice as well as an Ayurvedic consultation.

Last night after dark I did trataka, concentrated gazing, using a candle. In this meditation, you stare a candle until your eyes water, and then close your eyes and try to hold the "after image" steady for as long as you can. The practice is to develop powers of concentration and focus. This morning I did two others, Surya Namaskar and Hirdayakasha Dharana. One of the foundational poses, or asanas, in yoga is the Surya Namaskar, literally "Salutation to the Sun." There was a whole class just on this pose, which took over an hour. The instructor, Anand, was from the Bihar School of Yoga, (publishers of Yoga Magazine) and was both patient and very knowledgeable--- it almost felt like he was an instrument of the teaching, rather than the teacher---a place that few Western teachers of yoga reach. The Hirdayakasha Dharana, which literally means "concentration on the heart space" was a guided meditation to open the heart chakra. I found it very powerful.

When I went to the spa yesterday afternoon to make appointments, I was carrying a book that one of my staff had given me on Friday---the team had a celebration for my 20th anniversary with Ford---Ken Blanchard's Leading at a Higher Level. The Ayurvedic doctor spotted the book and asked if he could look at it. The spa wasn't too busy, so over the course of the next day he read about half the book while I did yoga sessions with Anand. Finally, I also did an Ayurvedic consultation with him as well. He didn't try to sell me a lot of medicines but gave me some oil to rub on my legs and feet to help with the neuroma (enlarged nerve) I have in my left foot.

Both of them were really lovely and spiritual people, and made the stay not only relaxing but uplifting as well. How much time I make to get back into regular practice is another matter...

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