Saturday, March 15, 2014

The journey inward

Joined this Yoga class two month ago and I am enjoying it.  The classes are at walking distance from where I live and I chose the early morning batch thinking that there won’t be much rush. But I was wrong. People do get up before sunrise (unlike me)  

On the first day when I saw these contraptions hanging on the wall I asked myself “where have I come to?”

But when you see how these ropes are put to use you realise how it helps in stretching different parts of the body.

In fact, after attending for about two months I realised that this Yoga class is something different and the basic principal on which it works is “stretch your body” Something that we forget to do in our daily lives.
Every student who attends the class is ready with a blanket, a belt, a brick and a bolster (all provided by the class)

The brick is not an actual brick but it’s made of wood.

The belt is put to good use especially when you have to stretch and straighten your lower limbs.

In case you are wondering about those chairs in the above picture, they are also a part of the prop. Notice that they have no back rests.

There are more appendages and props that I have seen and I am sure I will see them in use in due course. It is not right to ask “what is this used for?” 

If you look at the wooden block on which his left leg is resting (picture below) it is smooth and curved, ensuring that his heel does not get hurt.  

The class starts with a small prayer.

There are classes dedicated for all age groups: senior citizens, teenagers, ladies and for children. I shot these pictures while the class was in progress as I did not want to disturb anyone nor did I want them to pose for me.

There is a difference in being in a pose with the eyes bandaged (as compared to having your eyes closed), another appendage that is used to concentrate with your mind. The bandage will help us see better as introspection gives better actions - physical, physiological and emotional intelligence. So the journey takes you inward. The institution is rightly named Shriyog (the journey inward)   

While I took a break in between classes, I saw these birds outside doing the balancing act on a small twig to get to their favourite flower.

And this guy was hanging on his hind legs to get his choice fruit. Maybe he does have a clear view of the classes from the window.

They do have an open library and I found some interesting books in their collection.

I like some of the thoughts of the Guru. Like “Giving does not impoverish, withholding does not enrich”

And this one “Life is immortal, death is mortal”

For that matter, I like the board which is placed at the entrance:

And those small graphic displays at different locations, like the one above indicating where the footwear has to be kept.
At the entrance there is a small idol of Hanuman with a bell hanging

When the class is in progress emphasis is given to explain which muscle in the body benefits by each pose. And to understand where the muscle is, they explain with these visual aids.

One of the best things I noticed in the class was that the instructors/teachers were sincere and made all efforts to see that you did it the right way. They allow you to perform within your limitations.

While in Shavasan, a light instrumental or Carnatic music is played in the background which soothes the mind and helps you to relax.
As I attend the early morning class, I can “sense” the dawn breaking by listening to the different bird calls outside the class. As it gets brighter each bird has its own time slot of tweeting. I was particularly fascinated by the call of the white browed fantail. You can hear it here. (Click here)

Is this bird new to Pune? Or is it that it was always here but I never “listened” to it before?

Maybe, by concentrating and listening with my inner mind, I am slowly being aware of the surroundings and the nature. 
You can get more information at their site

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Visual treat

Yes, this is going to be a visual treat for those who like to drink.

Had been to this liquor store in Colorado, with my friends. This is supposed to be the largest liquor store in Colorado and has been there for almost half a decade.
While my friends were picking up their bottles, I took a stroll around the store. I was fascinated by the colourful labels that some of the bottles had.   

Designing a label (especially for a bottle) requires ingenuity.  For example this one of Skinny Girl has four varieties, and the one which says “Island Coconut” makes it look like as if half a coconut is inside the bottle.

The shape and the size of the bottle too have to match the name, when you compare this with the Livingston.

This Momo Kawa reminded me of my school days when I used to come home with ink sprays on my uniform almost everyday to the exasperation of my mother.

The collection of bottles here is from all over the world. Like the Vieux Telegraphe  which is from France

The label of Alice White makes it obvious that it is from Australia

More from Australia

I like this simple sketch and the colour scheme used for these Red Wine bottles (they are from north eastern Spain)

Cono Sur from Chile – the bicycle represents their spirit of innovation, passion, commitment and respect for environment.

Maybe M F Hussein could have thrown some light about the drawing on the label of Lagar.  

Like this simple design of the Wine from Germany (Riesling) Wonder what that conch is doing at the top. 

This bottle has a painting by the famous artist Gaby Hahn. 

This Pinot Grigio is made from grapes hand selected from some of the best sites along the Italian border in Slovenia. 

A Chianti wine is produced in the Chianti region in central Tuscany. 

The Ladoucette family have been producing wines for over 600 years in their 165 hectare estate of Chateau di Nozet in Pouilly (France) 

What a unique way to name a brand. Seven Daughters is a blend of seven carefully chosen grape varieties, crafted together into a sophisticated yet fun wine. 

Flame Thrower will attract any one’s attention. Schnapps is a term that refers to any kind of strong alcoholic beverage. The English “schnapps” is derived from the German Schnaps. 

Liqueurs are a class apart. What a way to seal a bottle. Reminds me of the good old Post Office and their seal and the sealing wax. 

This Hazelnut Liqueur has a story. According to legend Frangelico lived three centuries ago in a hilly area bound by the river Po. He lived as a hermit and through his love of nature and knowledge of its secrets, created unique recipes for liqueurs. The most precious one of all was one of liqueur made from wild hazelnuts with infusions of berries and flowers to enrich the flavour.
Well, the shape of the bottle looks convincing which includes the Cincture around the waist. (Brother Juniper?)

Another one from Ireland, Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream Liqueur.

Like this container of Corn Whisky 

Are these mugs for the Moscow Mule? I don’t know but these copper mugs are a familiar sight in pubs. The christening of the Moscow Mule is an interesting story as per Wikipedia 

This may look like some fancy stuff but these Vinocopia Wines has developed a barrel in which you can store your wine. So when guests arrive, you can fill their glass from a tap. Ever wondered how the wine is stored in this wooden barrel?

OK, all this is coming from a teetotaler, so you may have to verify the authenticity of all what I said above.
Cheers J