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Stay Calm, Stay Focused, Stay Strong


I cannot stop looking at the calendar.

I am looking at the calendar and counting the days until I get home.

In the meantime, I am loading up on probiotics and washing vegetables in Grapefruit Seed extract before cooking the crap out of them then eating them with a pouch of chicken, tuna, or salmon dumped on top in a very non-gourmet fashion.

Presently cooking on the camper stove, which is what we have in the apartment here in Pune, is a pot of beef stew that I made from beef jerky packed in my suitcase. It’s quite good actually. So, I look at the calendar, count the days and tell myself that I can do this.

I can do this.

Then there are days like today. We had a horrible class with Prashant, Mr. Iyengar’s son. He was in a nasty mood, yelling and spitting at us for every little thing. He was speaking faster than usual, and when he gave instructions or called out a pose we would all look around at one another, wondering who caught that and was it correct? Either way we just braced ourselves to be shouted at some more since that seemed to be his point to the class this morning, with particular emphasis on “hurry up!”

I returned to the apartment with my friend Maribeth, and we just could not stop expressing to one another how difficult being in that room was for us and every student in there.We decided we could not take much longer, so we began the quest for an earlier flight home. Thus passed a few hopeful hours of imagining a flight carrying us home as early as next MondayTuesday, or Wednesday, no sum too high, just get us the heck out of India.

The reality set in when we finally put the Delta app on our phones and saw the amount of money it would cost to bust out of here early. A thousand dollars.

I had to change my tune.

The fact is that this will not be the last day that I wish wholeheartedly to get home earlier than originally planned.

I find myself repeating to myself what I often say to all of you: stay calm, stay focused, stay strong.

1924341_664846646932726_6001876866647354278_nHonestly, I don’t have anything inspirational or encouraging to add at the end of this post. I believe in being honest, especially with those of you whom I teach. I only hope that my experiences can help be better understand and help you with your trials.

Vitarka badhane prati pakshabhavanam.
“When harassed by negative thoughts, cultivate a more wholesome outlook, consider the opposite viewpoint.”

So, I will not dwell on the negative. We had a fantastic practice session today. I am discovering new ways to keep my back muscles out of spasm. A lovely lady from Australia taught me a great little trick in Bhekasana. I watched this crazy Indian guy do Mandalasana! (Look it up; it’s a wacky pose.)

So, I am going to keep looking at the calendar. I can do this.

  1. Ah kquvien I am so glad for this post and your mentioning of your ” old mantra” Stay calm and stay focus ! You know because I told you many times, that this instruction of yours that touches many layers of the practice has being of vital importance in many moments of my daily life!
    One day while traveling I decided to write down as a note on my iPhone; then I told myself :- but what do I do when the moment of need comes and and overtaken by old habits I don’t remember to look at the note ?? So I wrote myself another note: when in doubt about ANYTHING look at note N.6
    At this point I hope you are smiling … the point is I could always send you my notes and there you will find your life saving instructions in case you forget them:))

  2. Katherine says:

    Thank you, Kquvien, for sharing…

  3. All I can think is how strong you are mentally and physically to go thru this. So many clever plans for eating to keep yourself from getting sick and staying in shape. I had a similar backpack of food that I took with on my last trip out of the US. It felt silly at the beginning but saved me so many times. This will all make great stories someday when it is behind you.

  4. Jan LeFrancois says:

    Kquvien, I love your raw honesty. I’m wishing you the best. Yes, you can do this, Jan

  5. Glad I didn’t know you had tuna, would have been tempted to steal some of your stash during practice. My survival tip, the local chocolate bars. Put them on peanut butter sandwiches. Skip the marmalade – a chocolate bar has 3.5g protein, peanut butter 8g, and the bread probably 2g… doesn’t sound like much but is probably twice what the local food provides in a day. Not bad to heat it up and use a spoon if needed.

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