Didn't find it?
RSS feed from Feedburner

 Subscribe to this Blog ?


Sundar Narayanan's Travelog

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Just another spider on the web
Powered by Squarespace
Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
« "You have no right, appa!" | Main | Happy New Year 2018 »

The double red line

Everything in my life right now is linked to Yoga. Even this blog post. Not sure if this is true, but Gandhi is said to have mentioned that on a normal day you do your yoga and on a busy day you do it twice, or some such thing. Even if he had not said that, it makes sense!

The last week was a good one, because I did not fall sick. Nothing incubated inside of me after that Asia trip and ravaged me a few days later. The week felt like it had 10 days though. Sometimes you just get into that mode of improving your batting average at work and the more you focus on it, the more balls seem to come your way! It was that kind of week. On Friday, my voice started to crack. That is always an early warning sign for the impending aliens to put me back in bed. One thing leads to another and I am thinking.. "Hmm, I am behind on my yoga attendance and this may be the day to do two classes back to back". 

This is not the first time I am going to a yoga class twice in a day (did 4 over a 24 hour period two years ago with a good nights sleep thrown in) or doing two classes back to back. Usually, I look at the schedule and make sure it is not the "tough love" teachers in both the classes to pace myself and take a breath here and there when we get to the "I am definitely going to die on this mat today" part of class.

The first class was taught by a teacher who is from the "tough love" school. Her default is to kick my ass in class. Just at the exact moment, my head is filled with "best standing bow EVER!" she will go "Sundar, kick harder! you are not kicking hard enough" and I will be screaming inside my head going "that wasn't enough? that is all I got lady! Any more kicking and my head is going to spontaneously combust and you will have to scrape my smoking remains off the mat!". I would get the same feeling from when I was at the toll booth on 680, trying to collect every last quarter, nickel and penny in the car to make the 5$ toll, or risk a 27$ fine only to find that I am 17 cents short!  

All said, made it through the first class! After a quick internal debate with myself on the sanity of going back into the hot room, the side that said "why not? It cannot get any worse!" won. Drank a packet of Vitamins (and the 5g of sugar and electrolytes in it) and went back in. Took a nice 10 minute nap and before I could finish an evening dream of doing a better standing bow, the bell rang and the next class started. 

This time, I did not check the schedule to see who was teaching the two classes. Even if I HAD seen the schedule, it would not have made a difference. The next teacher who showed up, had taught me maybe twice before. Both those classes were overflowing with people and she didn't give me any corrections. This time was different. She knew it was my second class in a row...

If you have watched enough National Geographic videos, you will know that a lioness knows which gazelle is most likely to end up dead at the end of the short video clip, even before she takes the first step towards the watering hole. I was that Gazelle! Okay, that was stretching it a bit far. If you got visions of me gracefully moving through the savanah, let me stop you right there! The comparison is purely for the "dying at the end fo the clip" part. There was no grace, no strength or any sign of a fight left in me, or so I thought. It is one thing for the lioness to know which Gazelle.. but I wonder how the cameraman knows which one. He seems to pick it out with as much accuracy as the lioness.. and if a lioness and a cameraman know..why are the gazelles not able to know as well?!  Where were we? Too much Planet Earth in my head right now. Getting back to the topic...

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is like infinity and 1 is next to nothing, my strength was a 5 and flexibilty was a 3 during the first class. At the end of that class, my strength was a 2 and flexibility was  5! You become suddenly aware that bending comes easy and holding the bend is incredibly hard. 15 minutes into the second class, we are doing the first back bend and the teacher goes "you are already relaxed Sundar. Go for it.. bend!" and I went back in one smooth motion and didn't stop. Almost fell backwards after I could see the baseboard on the back wall! That is as far back as I have ever "back bended" standing up all these years.

Then I promptly panicked. The realization that there was not enough strength to get that heavy head and upper body back up hit me. Tried to come out of the posture immediately and there was a rush of blood from somewhere to somewhere.. and the next thing I know, was sitting down on the mat. For a few moments, everything was white and the teachers voice could not be heard. She was saying something to me but my ears shut down. There were an uncountable number of Jedi warriors fighting in my forehead with light sabres.. or was it an uncountable number of people using vacuum cleaners?!  Maybe it was Jedi warriers with vacuum cleaners?! It was hard to tell.

For reasons unknown to me or anyone else in the Universe (except probably my wife), I got back up and kept going. At some point the teacher mentioned she was picking on me to make sure I didn't go into "auto pilot" mode. Translation: "Not going to let you make it easy on yourself. It is my job to make sure you push yourself past that point". Went along with it and did my best ever, on a lot of poses in that class. There was some cramping, but came out of that as well and finished it still breathing. To an average Nat Geo cameraman, it might not have been very impressive, but I came out of that class alive and well!

After class we are having a chat and the teacher goes "I was going to pick on my fiance who was in the class. Didn't pick on him enough. Was trying to make sure you don't take it easy on the 2nd class". I told her "you don't have to say anything to him, to pick on him. You just have to look at him!. When my wife looks at me, I know one of two things...

a. I forgot to do something or

b. I did something wrong in a way it was not supposed to be done

a look is enough!"

Everyone had a good laugh and I started driving back home...

Isn't life like Yoga?! In the almost 19 years of married life, there are the same emotions you go through on the mat that get repeated over longer time frames outside the yoga room. Everything from elation to disappointment, but only fleeting because you know it is all good in the end! and there is the red line..

When San gives me that look, I know that the first red line has been crossed! Something has been forgotten or done wrong. Now it is a question of seconds.. the clock is ticking. If the mistake can be identified within those precious few seconds, sanctions can be avoided and wars can be off the table. Problem is when you don't know that you have crossed the red line. 

This could happen when you have screwed up on multiple fronts and are trying to figure out which one got you that look from your wife. You forgot to wash the dishes.. no, you forgot to put the clothes in the dryer..no, she is at her laptop with that look.. you forgot to print and sign that damn thing at work and our printer at home is out of paper or toner or you were supposed to tell your boss something or you forgot to file your reimbursement or .. or.. or .. your head spins as you try to correct any and all mistakes within those few seconds.. kind of like you try to correct that standing bow with the teacher staring at you.. 

What have you done?! not lock that knee? not stretched that hand? not looking at the right place? not kicking hard enough? The teacher is still going "Sundar.. come on?" They won't tell you, what it is that you are not doing for an agonizing second or two!

(had some fun just now with Jr. recording me doing a standing bow that  I used to do almost 7 years ago, almost 3 years ago and close to present day.. right after munching a lot of carbs while watching Superbowl with friends)

That is when you cross the "double red line"!  Be it home or Yoga room.. that is the "don't make me come there and show you!" look which by now elicits a Pavlovian response from me :

1. Hang down head in shame

2. mutter something to myself

3. realize that I was definitely in the wrong, given my track record 

4. find out if there is any chance to undo the damage real fast

At home, chances of undoing damage fast are a hit or miss, but in the hot room... we do everything TWICE! Thank god for small favors. So I do get to show that what is being said has been understood and corrected in "take two"!

As I write this post, have crossed three red lines and one double red line already. But it shall pass. When you are surrounded by folks who have your back, life is good!

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>