I Moved To Oaxaca

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Spanish continues to amuse me. Now, along with sin nada (without nothing) and no hay nada (there is no nothing) comes unas – that’s right, a plural singular. Ones.

I don’t feel so bad about inflicting lie, lying, and liar on my students.

We got a big maildrop yesterday. Yay! Greg’s student loan papers, some postcardX lovin’, a postcard we sent ourselves from the birthplace of Elvis, miscellaneous paperwork. And when I finally make it up to my mom’s we’ve got a friend’s wedding pictures, some squished pennies, and a signed copy of the latest Western Field Guide to Reptiles. I do love mail!

This morning I had a yoga class. My second. When I moved down here I figured I’d find another dojo, and while there are plenty of tae kwon do dojos around – something about a Mexican national or Olympic champ – and the rarer aikido or karate studios, I’ve been reluctant to try any of them out. Like I’m not being loyal to my old dojo, silly as that is. What, are they going to kick me out? So rather than deal with why I feel that way I sidestepped the issue and found a yoga studio a couple of blocks away. It’s hatha yoga, nothing too strenuous, and refreshingly low-key – I was a little worried it might be some scene straight out of the Marina, but my ragamuffiny appearance fit right in. It’s also cheap: $250 pesos a month for all the classes I care to cram in. I suppose I could do two classes a day, five days a week, if I wanted to. And yes, my arms were a little sore from Monday’s class.

Did you know that cats taught people hatha yoga? They did:

...most people are familiar with Hatha Yoga, which is the discipline of posturing the body that one may concentrate upon an awareness of the soul. Apparently we have cats to thank for this method of enlightenment. Here's what happened. There was once a young Indian prince who was filled with frustration because his mind continually wandered when attempting meditations in Karma Yoga. He went for a long walk in the jungle, when he happened to come upon a cat. This large cat was sitting as still as could be in a most meticulous posture. The prince was amazed at the sight and was captivated by the soft purr coming from this wonderful cat. Filled with desire to learn, the prince asked the cat how she could possibly concentrate with such focus when his own mind would not allow him the slightest meditative satisfaction. The cat, now alert and refreshed, arched her back, then stretched each of her four legs to their maximum length. She then twisted her entire body around with ease, once again stretching legs, paws, neck, even her tail. Upon completing her display, she told the prince that this was her method of meditation, preparing her body with stress relieving movements, tensing her muscles and then allowing them to relax. This, she said, helped calm the body, thus quieting the mind and allowing focused meditation. The cat taught him several stretching and twisting exercises, then she showed him a soothing sitting position with legs crossed and arms folded in his lap. As the prince allowed his body to settle, he imitated the cat's purr which came out sounding like "OM". Every day from then on the prince returned to the cat where she continued to teach him more and more of the art of Hatha Yoga. When the prince at last learned all there was to know of this spiritual system, the cat told him that together they should travel about India teaching others the system of Hatha Yoga. So the two did just that, remaining friends for the rest of their lives as they instructed the world in this method, first practiced by a very wise cat.


Post a Comment

<< Home