Wednesday, January 30, 2013

how to OMMMMM

I bought a Groupon deal for 20 hot yoga sessions with a friend of mine. She has been on a quest to lose weight / get fit even though she is probably less than 90pounds (40kgs). Though I've dabbled in hot yoga before and not really loved it, I took this as a challenge to add to my Ashtanga practice and support a friend.

Yesterday was our first session at Fitness 4 Life in Dubai Silicon Oasis. I got through the 90 minutes session in a 40 degree room with ease. I even surprised myself when I wished it was a little more challenging.

This, my friends, is what Ashtanga does to you. This was my defining moment realizing that the Ashtanga practice is one of the most challenging and energized of them all. Hot yoga, Power yoga, Vinyasa flow, 90 minutes, nothing can wear me out like the primary series with all those vinyasas.

This past weekend, I was surrounded by fellow fit Ashtangis at a workshop at Yoga Room Dubai. The bodies that have been trained by this practice are truly refined and I can't wait to get older for this one reason. You see Mark Darby (probably in his early 70s) bringing his elbows to the floor in Uttanasana and it's so exciting!

When Darby lets out his "ommmm" at the beginning and end of a led class, the deepness of the sound resonates through your entire body and mind. I challenge you not to love Ashtanga.

Darby and his wife Joanne examine our Urdhva Dhanurasanas after giving us some helpful adjustments/ tips.
Like, Really. "How to hinge at your hips"
All of us AFTER the last day of back-bending. Spot me :)
 You can find more photos here.

A HUGE thank you to Joumana. She flew in the Darbys from Montreal for us!! Founder of Yoga Room, my light into Ashtanga and a good friend. Love you! 


Friday, January 25, 2013

How to be a wuss.

I didn't have the keys to the apartment, and I needed to use the washroom. Typical.

I decided to shorten my wait and just use the washroom by the gym on the first floor. It was usually open and since there wouldn't be any people using it at this time, it would be convenient. I swung my car door open and headed to the elevators.

I saw him look at me as I walked by, and just as the elevator door closed, I caught a glimpse of his stare again. He was the building's security guard, a new guy, I don't know him very well. He was an old Indian/Pakistani/Bengali guy, probably in his mid 50s with bad posture. I hoped it was just a watchful stare, but I had bigger worries - like getting to the damn washroom. Quick.

From a blurry memory of a summer day there, I kind of remembered the way to go. I heard the elevator doors close behind me and the hallway was dark. I ran to the washroom and suddenly heard footsteps as I was about to finish up. Shit. I prayed it wasn't him.

He was standing at the entrance to the washroom, blocking my way out as I washed my hands. Fuck!

"Madam, who are you here for?"
my friend lives here, sorry, just needed to use the washroom and I didnt want to wait.

"I've seen you here before..."
Yes, my friend lives here.

"Are you African?"

"But your friend is African?"
.....I'm Indian.

I suddenly see him coming toward me. My heart had already left the building. I'm shaking. "I have to go" and I tried to dodge him. He grabbed my waist. I pushed him. He grabbed my hand and I pushed him harder.

"I'm Indian too" he said. "Are you sure your friend is just a friend?....not just a friend correct?"

"Leave me alone" I pushed him again and tried to get past him. It wasnt a physical struggle, but I was scared in retrospect. I didn't want to touch him. Not even slap him. I just wanted to leave. I start heading back to the elevators. He starts pleading. He grabbed my hair and I started to get louder, push harder, walk faster.

"Hey, I'll pay you, I have money" he yelled at me.

At this point I was visibly shaking and he was backing off. I figured he could hear the people in the elevator and that he would back off. He did.

I got into an elevator filled with about 6 people who seemed like they were leaving a party. I got out one floor below and ran back in disbelief..

I am safe. Nothing happened. But my mind won't stop replaying the fear. I just feel weak and stupid.

Note: This happened to me yesterday. What was I wearing? Who was I waiting for? Where was I? What time was it?. These are questions I do not feel like answering, because it should not matter. The incident went unreported (Can you guess why?).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to bring in 2013.

Have you ever watched someone lose their health? It's the most heartbreaking feeling. My Grandma (Dama) has to be one of the strongest women on this earth to be able to take care of my ageing grandpa the way she does.

 I don't have much more to say in this post. I have been thinking a lot about my grandparents since I spent New Year's with them. It was a short, beautiful, bittersweet trip to Chennai. And it was the first time I bawled my eyes out when I had to leave.

Here are a few moments...

Mahabilpuram. This is an ancient rock formation at the southern tip of Madras and its absolutely gorgeous. Beaches for days!
This is a super old photo of my Grandma's side of the family. My grandmum and dad are the couple in the top left corner of the photo. My dad and his siblings are sitting in the bottom row (Second one from the left is Dad). Hilarious. I know....

This is kulfi (ice cream) in a clay pot. The pot has a lot of frost in this photo... the contents are basically creamy crack.


These hands were once so strong. They held me up and held me strong. They held me in a warm embrace everytime I saw him.

These hands are those of the only Grandfather I know.

Happy New Year everybody!

Here's to another year trying to make it.