The yoga program is amazing, learning so much from a teacher who not only lives the life he encourages, but also has such vast knowledge on so many topics, much of which he is kindly passing on to us. He's truly amazing, explaining very spiritual topics from a sound scientific viewpoint. He doesn't seem to do anything without a reason, whether its the way our fingers are spread in certain asanas or the specific three-hour meditations to initiate us into each reiki level. He is funny, down-to-earth, professional and kind. I couldn't have imagined a more inspiring teacher, and I can't wait to get home to back to teaching.
We had our naming ceremony. As we grow and learn in this course, we become different people, we change and, hopefully, become truer versions of ourselves. With this shedding of old ideas and ego-identities comes new understanding and a new name. I was anointed "Manisha" the Goddess of Mind and Desire. (The desire part doesn't seem super yogic, but I'm working to understand it better... Haha) The ceremony was so beautiful, in the sun-filled yoga hall, with organic incense filling the air and ghee (butter) candle to signify the light and knowledge that we have recieved. The new students were welcomed, the old ones recieved certificates and we all received gifts from our beloved Yogi. We (the outgoing group) also presented him with a Lapis ring, a small token of our gratitude and esteem, and he seemed touched. Mac is now "Dinesh" the God of the Day, and our buddy Sarah is Sarada, another version of Saraswati.
After the ceremony we had class, which Yogi stopped to so that we could all marvel at the rainbow coming down from the mountains. I've never seen the end of the rainbow before... There was no pot of gold, but it was beautiful. (Yogi is great with priorities, like the natural wonder of a rainbow at the end of a beautiful storm over an extra minute of forward bending, or five minutes of rest during lecture today because he was feeling a bit tired.)
Afterwards we passed by this little dark doorway on the way home. In the darkness there was a basket set over some candles, the light coming through in patterns of the weave on the dirt and concrete walls and floor, but it was so beautiful. I was lagging behind the group, but I made them all stop and come inside with me, the place was called Heart Rock Cafe. We entered through a little doorway and took a few steps in, the room opening up before us. It was like a cave, with other basket lights and pillows and small tables all around. The proprietor beckoned us in, a small Indian man, greeting Mac as "kind Sir." It was late, so we didn't stay, but we're heading back again soon, and will return with pictures.
Enough for now, more to come on hand-made tattoos (no machine, just needles), Buddhist meditation centers, mountains, monkeys, friends, and FOOD!! And... goats...