As we said our second round of ‘Om’s, my ever distracted mind was reminded of a conversation Amma had with us yesterday. She talked about a Vedic mantra ‘Om Purnamadah Purnamidam’ which roughly translates into “That is whole; this is whole; From that whole this whole came; From that whole, this whole removed, what remains is whole.” The conversation strangely reminded me of The Good Place and an analogy that Chidi uses about Life. Our life is like a wave in the Ocean – it emerges from it, distinct, with its own identity, direction and movement – and then it crashes back into the Ocean, becoming a part of the whole again.
My practice of Yoga so far has mostly been about my physical well-being. The focus has been on connecting with my body, something that has been a major struggle all my adult life. Now, as I discover the physical strength within me, I find an undercurrent of something else – a slow shift in my being. There’s always been a dissonance and restlessness within me, but that might be quietly and subconsciously changing.
I started learning Yoga during the lockdown via online classes. I would only hear Ishwarya, my Yoga instructor and founder of Kula – House of Yoga, during the group classes, and I could feel her voice and mine connect when we chanted. It felt good; finding the note, starting it together, and feeling it within.
Today, however, for the first time, I felt that undercurrent. About 10 of us came together at my cousin’s dance studio, Chinmudra Academy of Performing Arts, for an in-person class. After eight months of online classes, I finally met Ishwarya in person, though we both feel we have known each other for ages. The light hum of meditation music played in the background as we brought ourselves to our mats. The first ‘Om’ that we chanted together created a harmony that transcended any of the ones I had said before. Within that closed room, ten voices connected and reverberated, soothing our souls and calming our minds.
For an hour-and-a-half, we practised various asanas in the same space, without speaking to each other, many of us having never even met before. The first ‘Om’s connected us – we were a Whole – and then our individual practices were done by our individual selves, 10 complete people. At the end of the hour-and-a-half, we came together again, reconnecting as a Whole, to chant ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’. This diverse group of people from various walks of life, genders, ages, cities and experiences coalesced again to chant a prayer for peace for all beings.
In that moment, you feel the peace within, the silence, the harmony.
Article by Roshini Suparna Diwakar