Take the Practice into the Streets

Take the Practice into the Streets

After some time, after regular practice, something strange, different may happen…Before you know it your practice has gone beyond the four corners of your rubber mat.

I arrive Thursday evening. Al Cairo, the crazy city that somehow has drawn me back.

I found myself a little anxious as I boarded the plane. Was this an act of insanity, was I really returning to this crazy city? I worried about life on the road there, the gridlock, the hot tempers and near misses that characterizes life in Cairo.

My friend and fellow teacher, Iman Elsherbiny, has arranged for someone to pick me up. Ashraf is on a yoga study-exchange and only started with visiting teacher Sonja Radvila in February. He’s been going regularly ever since, and he tells me right away how much he loves it.

Not ten minutes out of the airport, a car full of people nearly back into us–we are on a highway. It’s a near miss, but horns are honked, and windows are rolled down and I am expecting the exchange of harsh words.

Ashraf surprises me. He smiles, speaks jovially across to the other driver.

For a split moment there is a sense of dismay; this is not supposed to happen. And then the whole thing shifts. Tension melts away as the other driver laughs as well, goodwill traveling between two cars in the middle of a bustling highway. Then we go our separate ways.

Something in me relaxes. All is well.

I commend Ashraf in his good humor, his ability to change what could have been an ugly situation. And he laughs and credits the ashtanga yoga practice. He says that he can feel the change.

I love this. I love how the process works, how the care, calm, consciousness cultivated in yoga practice inevitably spreads into daily life.

LIVING IN CAIRO & INTERESTED IN YOGA: Iman Elsherbiny (0122371729) and I (0101348097) are offering privates in Maadi. Iman’s regular class schedules can be found in Ashtanga Yoga Egypt’s FB page. We are taking a group into the White Dessert this weekend, March 27-30 for a special yoga retreat, if you’re interested, call or email me kaz.castillo@gmail.com. More details on FB, look for Ashtanga in the Desert.

PHOTO: On the road with Ashraf and Iman, sunset along the Corniche in Cairo.

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