It’s been rough to return to Wisconsin winter after 6 weeks in India, traveling with my family for 2 weeks and studying in Pune at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute for 4 weeks. Not only have I left the wonderful teachings of the Iyengar family behind, but also the glorious tropical fruit (papayas, pineapples, figs, the peach/apple-like chikku), the lack of responsibility, the collegiality , and the warm sunshine.
On the other hand, tap water I can drink is nice, hot water at the turn of any spigot, plumbing pipes wide enough for toilet paper, no garbage incineration on the streets, the absence of jostling and crowds, and the company of my sweet son and husband. I’ll be back in India soon enough.
The main thing I’ve brought back with me from India is good health. In fact, I feel healthier than I have in 15 years. Even though Pune is ranked 5th in the world in terms of air pollution, my sinus and breathing issues completely cleared up. My digestion improved and I was able to eat just about anything. My eczema completely disappeared. And these symptoms have stayed away. It’s a miracle!
What happened? I can think of several factors:
1. 5 hours of yoga each day: we had a daily 2-hour class, and a 3-hour practice period. I had nothing else I was responsible for to stop me from devoting myself to as much practice as possible. Most mornings I spent in meditation followed by pranayama. Then breakfast and morning practice, and class in the evening. Believe me, these were full, rigorous, well-rounded classes taught by the brilliant Geetaji and Prashantji.
2. I found a wonderful homeopath, Dr. (Mrs.) Nileema Dhoble, whose office was just up the street from me. I chose her blindly out of convenience, and it turned out she’s an excellent diagnostician and prescriber. 2 days after I began the constitutional treatment I fell quite ill with a bad cough. The cough cleared up in a few days and took away with it all my other symptoms. Before I left Pune, I saw her again, and she gave me enough remedies to last me until my friend Debra Johnson returns to India in July 2009, when she can refresh my supply, if I still need it.
3. No stress. No classes to teach, no family nor household to tend to, no meals to cook for anyone except for myself. No driving, no telephone, no television, no computer.
4. Saladmaster. OK, I spent a fortune on cookware back in December. My anxiety about this indulgence vanished however, when I received the pots and pans and started using them. I promise I won’t go on and on about them. Suffice to say for now, that for the first time in my life, I am aluminum and Teflon-free, because the pots are lined with 316L surgical steel, the most non-porous, non-reactive metal available. My health up-turn began around the time I started using Saladmaster. (And I brought the pots to India!) Coincidence? I’m starting to wonder.
I came home to a crashed, demolished, totally crumbled hard drive. On one hand, what could be worse for a writer than to lose 5 years of material?
On the other hand, what could be better? All those unfinished drafts, all that accumulated sludge.
Yours, starting fresh in Wisconsin,