My retreat

The motivation was my friend Jacob who lives in the US and also my creaking knees which had started grating like wheels without bearings, making even a brisk walk an onerous task. And so, leaving behind my cynicism, I decided to take a break from work and attend a five-day yoga retreat. What an experience it turned out to be!
Like all momentous events in life, it started with high drama. The day after I  booked for the course, my knees became worse. My doctor suggested I give it complete rest and forbade squatting and kneeling.

Do I go or not? Overcoming Hamlet’s predicament, I reached the resort and checked in. Waking at an unearthly 5 am, I sauntered into the yoga hall. Pot-bellied and balding executives lined up, bending and crawling like teeny boppers at the wish and command of a petite damsel in leotards. Intimidated, I tried to ensconce behind a corpulent corporate CEO to camouflage my slipups, but not for long.

After an excruciating spell, a furtive glance at the watch told that ten minutes was all that had passed! And she was only warming up. After an eternity of feigning and stooging, she stopped. I sighed in relief thinking it was over for the session, when the smiling assassin announced, “..start again..”

I do not know how the day ended, but trust me, it really did. By then I felt awfully tired — doing what, I honestly have no clue. On the few occasions when I had sincerely tried to cope, I was hopelessly out of sync with others. Yet, don’t think I always lagged behind. I was ahead of the pack and already waiting whenever she said, “.. now relax”.

Reaching home, I congratulated myself for having survived the ordeal without denting my pride. Lest you should get me wrong, let me confess: I came back with the highest regard for a practice I thought was mumbo-jumbo. I walked towards the buggy, and noticed that I wasn’t limping any more. It didn’t hurt when I flexed it!
It was not just my body that was transformed. I was feeling humbled by the fact that the edifice of logic I prided myself over was crumbling.

Throughout the grueling sessions, I grumbled and cursed through every movement, longing for rest. But when rest finally came and the robot lady told us “….. Now lie on your back. Be absolutely still as if you are dead”, I was overcome by an intense desire to become alive.

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