♯ ♭ ♮ 𝄞 𝄢 The joys of writing an Exam!𝄡 𝄤 𝄟 𝇐 𝇑 𝇞 𝄦

November 02, 2019: Grade 1 ABRSM Theory test has gone down in history of as the only test I have written in my life when I absolutely enjoyed preparing for a test and writing the test! I drove to the test center "cantabile"(Italian for "in a singling style"... my new found knowledge on musical terms! 😉), totally carefree and happy. I wondered why I didn’t approach all the tests of my school & college years in the same spirit. I am sure that’s a question or a thought all of us can ponder about…I was entering an exam hall after 21 years.
I pondered that fundamentally, all of us are happy at heart but it is the environment of intense competitiveness especially encouragedin India that puts us in the rat race at a very young age till we realize years later that it just robs us of all the simple joys of life—and writing an exam is one such simple joy!
The sight of 100’s of students at the exam center with an equal number of parents looking tensed made me pause a bit a…

Now Begins My Practice of Yoga (Atha Yogānuśāsanam)

अथयोगानुशासनम्॥१॥ I.1 Atha Yogānuśāsanam
It was in the summer of 2018 (March 2018) when my Ashtanga Yoga guide, Nitesh Batra, got us started on reading and reciting Chapter 1 of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra (a collection of 196 Sutras--aphorisms-- divided into 4 chapters on the theory and practice of yoga, compiled by sage Patanjali). My reaction then was a mix of wonder, excitement & apprehension. For one, it meant going back to school, sitting in a place with concentration and memorizing. This meant mental discipline. Over the previous 7 months or so, I had become reasonably disciplined physically, and was showing up at the shala, getting on the mat every morning at 5.30 am--about which I wrote in fair detail in my first blog post. But this was a different ball game altogether.

The last time I memorized a topic in Sanskrit was in school, 30 years ago. Thus, there was a sense of excitement with quite a bit of self doubt as well. 20 years of corporate life and out of academics had trai…

My 1st experience with Brahma Muhurta

I will remember today as the day when I broke my mental barrier. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, to practice meditation during "Brahma Muhurta". My Ashtanga Yoga guide had scheduled a 2 hour meditation session for us that was to begin at 4.00 am. 

This meant I had to wake up at least an hour and a quarter earlier, get done with my morning ablutions and arrive on time.  
Surprise # 1: I woke up at 2.31 am, 09 minutes before my alarm clock was set to ring. 
Surprise # 2: I did not grumble. Nor did I negotiate with my mind to sleep in for those extra precious minutes.
Surprise # 3: I showed up at the shala on time, at 3.55 am.
We started at 4.00 am with a short, 20 min asana practice, to prepare ourselves for the 2 hour long meditation. I now understand that stretching the body before a long meditation practice helps prepare the body for a longer meditation. 

I had read about the purity of the Brahma Muhurta (that 1.5 hours before dawn) and the benefits it bestows on a per…

My journey into the world of Ashtanga Yoga

I got introduced to Ashtanga Yoga about a year ago and quite by chance. At that point of time, I was 2 years into being a reasonably regular yoga practitioner at a popular, local yoga studio and I enjoyed turning up at the studio every single time. All of a sudden, my Yoga studio shut down and I couldn’t imagine a life without Yoga as by then, I had integrated it into my life. That’s when one of my then Yoga instructors suggested that I look at pursuing Ashtanga Yoga (I keep thanking her for that). Till then, I had no clue what Ashtanga Yoga was all about—I assumed it was another style of Yoga with some variations of asanas I was familiar with. 
So, in I walked into my 1st class on July 31, 2017 and a year later, here is who I am- a very different me, a better me. I wasn’t prepared for or aware of what the world of Ashtanga held and the wondrous wealth contained in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. I know what I have discovered is perhaps not even the tip of the iceberg. Co…