Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yoga Unveiled

Today I had a beautiful yoga day. In the morning, despite my teacher Bob's absence (he went to study with his own teacher in LA), I went up to Costa Mesa to take my usual Saturday yoga class, particularly since I missed yesterday's class because of the meeting I went to yesterday morning at school. It was a bracing class, rather sparcely attended. After that, I was going to have an Indian vegetarian lunch at my teacher Denise's house with 49 other students and colleagues of Denise's, many of whom I know and I had not seen for some time, followed by a documentary a couple of blocks away at Chapman College called Yoga Unveiled.
This was a history of yoga, unraveling its complex roots in religion, history, and philosophy of India. I knew only a very little of what it taught, and that was convoluted and dense, but for me, enlightening, since we in the U.S. have disconnected yoga asana, physical postures, from their context in the culture, history, and religion of India. I personally know so little about that. I have not studied the Vedas though I have had the opportunity to do it. The next time I have an opportunity, I promise to take it.
The lunch, by the way, was delightful. We had Idlis, a steamed semolina cake in this case with cashews, served with a cardamon chutney and sambar, a spicy vegetable stew, among other things.
Then there were numerous home-baked desserts. I had a slice of almond torte. Yum. All of this took place in Denise's paradise of a back yard, a tropical corner of fruit trees, full of chattering birds.

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