This is the 52nd Pranayama workshop in Auroville. When I was walking to Savitri Bhavan on the first day, I wondered what the workshop holds for us. Auroville is very beautiful at this time of the year, very green even though we did not have much rain this year. The mornings are misty, crisp and cool and the rising sun is a spectacular sight. You see a huge orange ball that slowly changes it color to brilliant while light and seems to shrink in size as it changes color. The Statue of Sri Aurobindo is in Savitri Bhavan is west facing and when I stand in front of it, the rising sun creates an ethereal experience and it is great way to start the day.
We had more participants than any other workshop in Savitri Bhavan, making it the largest ever and we felt constrained for space. We could shift to the ‘L shaped’ inner lobby that can easily hold a larger group. New space always makes the experience interesting and this is a wonderful space. I wondered why I was not using this right from the beginning!
It is wonderful to have a large group and I was fortunate to connect with many of the participants. Martin and Danny form UK is one such delightful connection and it was a pleasure meeting them and start getting to know them. Hamish and Fif form Canada were in a workshop last year and it was wonderful to meet them again and now they are here as new comers! Helen, who was in a workshop a year ago , was participating again and this is very special for me as we work in the same office. There are the regulars – Gido, Margrit, John, Vardharajan and Syamala. Their presence is a source of strength and constant encouragement for me.
One of the practices is that is working well is the sharing by people who have been practicing. It is having many positive aspects. It inspires the new participants to give the practice a good try. This by itself is very valuable because the benefits manifest in practice. No practice = no power of Pranayama. When people share, their benefits become more real for them and enhance the self-motivation in regular practice. I have my own agenda. When people share the benefits, it is not only music to my ears; it also gives me a sense of fulfillment in my mission. Finally, it somehow makes the atmosphere of the workshop more alive with positive energy.
One of the questions some people ask me is “How can you keep doing the same workshop again and again?” I used to find it difficult to convey how it is form me. My experience of facilitating workshops is same as playing a game or going for a walk in a beautiful place. I feel alive, joyous and fully immersed in what I am doing. Time stands still and the world ceases to exist. In my estimate, it may be the same for performing artists. I find it difficult to convey this to people and nowadays I say “because I like it”.
I am only recently recognizing that I am twice blessed by Pranayama. First, I am getting benefitted. Next, others are getting benefitted. I am happy and grateful for being blessed. Twice.