Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Day of the Vrttis

Damn! What a day! This has been a day of much vrtti (or fluctuations, if you are not familiar with Sanskrit). Where do I even start telling this story? Well, I think I'll start from the beginning, or at least what I perceive to be the beginning.

It all started when I was doing my practice this morning. Practice was good, and there were two notable incidents:

First incident: I had a space-cadet moment in the Marichyanasanas. I did Mari A, and then went straight into Mari D from there! I must have been spacing out (I was probably thinking about something that happened in one of my classes yesterday), and wasn't paying much attention to the sequence of postures. After Mari A, I put my left foot in half-lotus and right foot flat on the mat, and then, instead of bending forward to go into Mari B, I twisted into Mari D! I remember thinking: Hey, this feels good, but...different. I actually stayed in it for at least 2 or 3 breaths before I figured out that I had gone into Mari D before its time! I promptly exited the pose, "rewound" and went into Mari B. Then I went through the Marichyasanas in their proper order. But that meant that I ended up doing Mari D twice on the first side. Has this happened to any of you before?

Which is probably just as well, because given the way the day unfolded, I probably needed that extra Mari D. Which brings me to the second incident: Around the time I was in Bhekasana (I can't remember the exact moment), my cell phone rang (actually, it vibrated, but I can hear the vibration).

Anyway, my cell-phone rang/vibrated (possible new word: "rangbrated"). First, I was surprised: Who would call me before 9 a.m.? I deliberated for a moment whether I should pick up. But I decided to stick to my established yoga practice phone policy, which is simply: Never pick up the phone during yoga practice. I learnt this policy from Maty Ezraty years ago, and decided that it is a good policy to follow. Yoga time is strictly personal care/development time, and nothing, absolutely nothing should disturb it (except maybe when the practice room is on fire!). Even if it is my family calling from halfway around the world with some emergency (real or otherwise), I decided, half an hour won't make that much of a difference. And besides, I was too close to kapotasana, and I needed all the focus I can get. As it turns out, this was a wise decision, because if I had actually picked up the phone right there and then, I would have been so riled up that I probably wouldn't have made it through kapo, and for a very stupid reason, at that.

So I went on to finish my practice--kapo today was deep and good, btw, almost deserving of a blog post all by itself, but this is for another blog post--before returning the call. It was from the rental car company that I had rented the car to drive to Iowa in. I had turned in the car at the airport last night. Nobody was at the rental counter, so I simply dropped the keys into the drop-box, and filled out a form saying that there was no damage to the car. They looked over the car in the morning (probably just before they called me and almost interrupted my powerful yoga practice), and claimed to have found a "ding" (what the hell is that, anyway?) on the body of the car, just above the rear passenger wheel well. I insisted that I had looked over the car both when I first got the car on Friday and just before I turned it in last night, and found no such damage. But they insisted that the car was my responsibility until they checked in the car (the contract says so). Then I asked them: Well, what about your responsibility? You weren't there to do a walk-over of the car with me, and now you insist that there's damage (and I'm not even there to see it!). How can I know you didn't just put a "ding" there yourself just to screw me over? He responded in an admirably professional, detached tone that they have no reason to be malicious and screw people over. Hmm... I should look over my business ethics course material again and think about that statement...

Anyway, the thing about corporate people (my apologies to all of you corporate folks out there, I promise I'll stop ranting presently, after I get this out of my system) is that you can't win an argument with them, especially if the contract is on their side (whatever happened to the good old "customer is always right" philosophy?). So, I fumed on the line for a little longer, but couldn't get anywhere. So I had to call my auto insurance company to file a claim. Fortunately, my insurance policy covers rental cars as well, so I don't have to pay a single cent for the supposed damages. I knew this all along, which is why I chose not to buy any of their bullshit coverage, which would have cost me an additional hundred-plus dollars on top of the cost of actually renting the car, but this is still a freaking hassle: I wasted the entire morning, and a significant chunk of the afternoon after my class talking to the rental car and insurance companies, and faxing paperwork to the insurance people. In fact, everything got settled just a few minutes before I started writing this post.

What's the moral of the story? I don't really know, honestly. Maybe it is simply: (1) Corporations are evil, but one needs to deal with them, (2) Never, ever interrupt your yoga practice to attend to any householder responsibilities. Everything else can always wait (except, of course, if the practice room is on fire, in which case you need to get out of whatever pose you happen to be in-even kapotasana-and get your ass out of the room, (3) Maybe one needs to do extra repetitions of Mari D (or hold it longer) on stressful days or during stressful times of one's life. 


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