Astanga Yoga London

22nd March 2020
22nd March 2020

We are so lucky we have so much. Spring, friends, music, books and a lovely practice. I know the shala has been taken away from us temporally and we all miss those yellow walls. We got the shala fifteen years ago. And Dave the builder started immediately. I remember this because Anna was in hospital giving birth to Talia (she didn’t have a name for a few days and was just called the squeaky beetroot) and Dave would phone up asking what colour we wanted or where we wanted the changing cubicles etc. I really hope I have provided a home for all of you in times of joy and need.

One thing that has kept Anna, Talia and myself sane over the last few days is staying present. Try not to think too much into the future. We also have years spent in India just trying to get one thing done without loosing it.

The Mahabharata was witnessed and told and participated in by Vyasa. Vyasa’s great grand parents were Vasishtha and Arundhati. Vasishtha was one of the original rishis (sages) born from Brahma. They are also represented in the stars. If you look at the plough and the second star along the handle is Vasishtha, actually if you look really carefully you will see it’s a double star, Vasishtha and Arundhati. Well, Vyasa asked Ganesh to write down everything he said and for that we have the Mahabharata.

Our story continues where King Shantanu has fallen in love with Ganga, the river Goddess. When Shantanu asked Ganga to be his wife she agreed under one condition. ‘Never question my actions’. (Now don’t you wish you’d thought of that before you met your boyfriend/husband). Obviously Shantanu’s lust got the better of good judgement and he agreed. They went on to have eight children. And on being born each baby was drowned by Ganga, the river of life. Eventually on the birth of the eighth child unable to hold back Shantanu asked ‘why are you doing this terrible thing?’ Ganga smiled and said ‘Before I leave with our child I will tell you why the previous babies died. Previously they had been the Gods of the elements and they had been cursed to be born as humans before returning to heaven. I was just making their life on earth short so that they return to heaven quickly. The eighth I will take to heaven and return him to you as a man of immense beauty and wisdom.’

This part of the Mahabharata is always sad. Life flows from sadness to happiness and round and round. I like to think of this episode when someone looses a child or baby. They were in their previous lives Gods and Goddess and just here on earth to bring a moment or two of joy before returning to heaven where they can look after us. To all mothers, every day is mothers day.

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