Fiona Stang, May 2004 – Ekaminhale
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Fiona Stang, May 2004

May 2004, Mysore, India.

It was Julian's sixth day of practice with Guruji and Sharath. Meanwhile, I was thirty-two weeks pregnant with our first child, and back home chomping at the bit as I would have loved to be in Mysore, India. Julian's tendency was to feel heavy, with an overactive and restless mind. Combine this with a bit of stiffness (Sharath used to call Julian "Mr. Marichyasana D" since it took him six years to sit comfortably in the pose) and the thought of practice could be daunting for Julian. When Julian first started early morning practice, in the wee hours of Vancouver's damp mornings, it was not uncommon for me to clap my hands as I practiced across from him and tell him to just get moving. Apparently, day six of practice on that morning in Mysore 2004 was one of those lethargic, tight body mornings.

Julian met the first obstacle, lethargy, and showed up at the shala. He was clever to head to the very back of the room to hide in the mass of sixty students. Guruji arrived to teach class and sat down on his chair. Julian heard a sharp and piercing, "You come here." Since he was not wearing his glasses, Julian assumed Guruji was speaking to someone else. Again, a more piercing call rose above the murmur of sixty students, "You come here!" Finally Guruji's grandson, Sharath, clarified the situation calling, "Julian, you come," pointing to the one open spot right in front of Guruji's chair. Thus began Julian's sixth day of practice.

"Hurry up!" Guruji belted throughout the flow as if he could see that Julian's mind was unnecessarily stuck in heaviness.

"HURRY UP!" he commanded Julian again, as if to tell Julian to get over his mind created, sore body, lethargic, heavy day.
"Hurry UP," he commanded, as if to remind Julian to move beyond his mind towards a new possibility.

Guruji read Julian's mind and helped him override the self- imposed limitations we all create in one form or another, Julian's being heaviness. Guruji showed Julian that he could connect back to pure energy, finish the practice, and feel light and peaceful yet again. Julian told me that he left class refreshed and buzzing, quite a change from where the day began. And all Julian did was "just show up." Guruji was not interested in being held back by the physical body or the fluctuations of our minds. He wanted us to see God and experience grace as we practiced, so that we could see God in life itself.

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