I’m sitting my favourite way on the train — facing backwards. I like to watch the landscape unfold in front of my eyes rather than seeking it out, craning forwards. It’s like what one of my teachers says about receiving an asana rather than grasping for it. If there’s a yoga of train journeys this is how I’d practise it. Graceful, grateful, and patient.
I’m travelling back now after a trip that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some months. I just spent the day with one of my longest, most loyal readers, someone who has offered so many ideas, so much reassurance, so much companionship in the sharing of my yoga journey. I’m caught between delight and sadness, a sense of joy and wonder that yoga blogging brought us together across an ocean and a continent, tinged now with sadness that this shy first encounter is now past. We have seen and touched each other.
It’s often said that social media is an evil, buffering us from genuine connection, allowing us to hide between airbrushed images and carefully edited synopses of our lives. My blog is more raw than that and the connections with my readers resultingly much more precious: I lay myself and my experiences out in my words, feeling vulnerable yet also hopeful. Sometimes I know my words touch someone and I’m delighted if this helps them in their journey; perhaps a reader offers some compassionate comment to me and I’m grateful for their companionship and understanding. Often that reader is k8. svadhyaya pravacaneca, as she says — one studies in order to share, student turning teacher and back again.
She’s quite some teacher and quite some student. We filled the all too short hours together walking in nature, talking yoga asana and Sanskrit. And inevitably we sneaked in a short practice together. To be honest I’d been anticipating and dreading this part in equal measure. k8 suggested we take turns to lead the practice and I felt wholly inadequate to that idea. What could I offer her? In the end she subtly arranged it, refusing to allow it to be a big deal. And of course it was quite lovely. Her cues and sequencing were fascinating to me — I wanted to analyse and record it for digestion later, I wanted to tap her wisdom and experience with 101 beginner questions. But there was no time. Just a too short savasana during which I felt so full of peace and belonging I could have outstayed my welcome a hundred-fold, just resting on her wooden floor.
But time and train timetables wait for no-one. Bye bye k8. It was short and undeniably sweet. namo namaḥ vandanamca.