Monday, July 11, 2011

Boston yoga and Amma

2 highlights of the week: Master class with Natasha Rizpolous at Back Bay Yoga and attending the Amma experience. My friend and fellow yogi Vito Napolitano (teacher at many studios in the Boston area including Kismet Wellness in Andover, where I sub for the summer) told me about Natasha and highly recommended her class. On Friday I took the train into Boston to Back Bay Yoga. The studio is located right off the T and in the upstairs to a nondescript building. The room we were in was really long, and not as wide, with a beautiful statue of Shiva. The class was 2 hours, not heated, with about 50 students in attendance. Natasha is in her 40s or 50s, a very well practiced yogi who has spent years studying and practicing alignment. Her class reminded me of Kofi Busia, which made me so happy. I also corrected my up dog (make SURE your wrists are under your shoulders, not pitched forward like mine = really sore wrists). No music, all yoga. Loved it.

My other highlight is Amma, the hugging saint from India. I have heard great stories about her from several of my friends, and she was in Boxboro, MA yesterday, just 30 minutes from my house. It was certainly a sight! I arrived early to wait in line next to the chlorine filled pool at the Holiday Inn. Half an hour later I was inside the huge function room with booths of clothing, jewelery, Amma dolls etc. We received tokens to wait our turn to hug the saint. A half hour later Amma came in and sat on the stage on a cushion where she would stay for 6 hours without a break while she hugs people. We opened with a short meditation and then commenced the hugs. I was N1, which meant I waited for about 2 hours until it was my turn. I walked around outside, laid down in the grass, looked at stuff for sale. I did find it ironic that there were clothes for sale when she advocates for buying only one outfit a year. The crowd there was interesting to say the least. Some cool folks, but also a lot of Indian families, and a plethora of middle aged white women. I was skeptical of the hug- I almost left a few times. However my turn arrived and I waited in line and came up to her where her helpers sat me down on a chair and pushed me into her bosom. She smelled AMAZING because they brushed some stuff on her before each hug.
I melted. Literally as soon as I touched her I felt like I was melting into her and my judgment of time was gone, my judgment of her dissipated and I felt wrapped in a love so great my heart ached for her as soon as my turn was up. She put a hershey kiss in my mouth that honestly was the most amazing thing I have eaten. As soon as you see her, smiles abound. As soon as you touch her, you melt.
After that I made a donation to her funds (of which there are thousands of communities she helps including orphanages, educations, building houses, etc. Check it out) and got a delicious Indian lunch.

Great day. This next week I am working at Beyond Soccer teaching at risk youth the love of soccer and moving your body. Of course, the forecast is nearly 100 each day this week.

Tip of the week: Give someone you love a huge, heartfelt hug. And go take an alignment focused yoga class, it will help prevent injuries.

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