I met my best friend for a hike in the woods with the dogs. While hanging out at her house I picked up a photo album and started flipping through memories. A long time ago before families, professions and mortgages we turned our tassels, grabbed our degrees and giddy with freedom headed out into the world. We had a plan, a map, and a tent. Drive cross country, discover America and then figure out what to do with the rest of our lives. We found a company looking for someone to drive a car cross country and deliver it to California. Perfect! We shopped around and found really good flights to Hawaii, even better! The car turned out to be a brand new upscale luxury automobile. Yes! The day of our departure we gleefully started hauling our stuff out to the curb. The owner, paranoid and mistrustful had locked the stereo in the trunk. After locking up the cars only storage area the jerk flew to Europe for the Summer. This meant everything had to fit in the back seat and no radio meant no traffic updates, weather reports, blues through the Delta and only our voices to serenade us through Kansas. The company jammed a trip tick in our hands and told us under no circumstances were we to veer even an inch from the prescribed route agreed upon. Our atlas turned out to be quite outdated with mention of camping spots that had long since closed down. We didn’t make that discovery for a while though. After packing, repacking and finally leaving stuff we really didn’t need (I used to be a notorious over packer) we headed out to discover America! We discovered many many things along the way. The Eureka tent was unbelievably well made, and survived flash floods in Kentucky, wipping winds in Colorado, and stayed relatively cool and was quite comfortable when perched by the ocean in Hawaii. We discovered why nobody wanted to set up their tent on a gorgeous mountain side in Colorado when the winds came and we nearly lost everything in the canyon. We found out just how many camp sites had gone under since the Atlas was published in the 70’s. We drove through a ranch in the Midwest called boot ranch and had a pack of dogs chase us while looking for one camp ground. We had an honest moment in Kansas. Yes it’s true; neither of us can carry a tune and don’t really know the words to any songs. We discovered Utah was beautiful, Kansas is boring, St.louis has the worst traffic and if we bent over really low when we played pool we could drink beer all night for free, as long as we kept playing pool. (Hey come on, we were 22) I discovered I was allergic to bees, C is the best driver on the planet, as proven by her ability to navigate unbelievable roads not made for cars or trucks and we are both incredibly frightened of being eaten by black bears. We also discovered how beautiful our country is and how warm, friendly and inviting Americans can be. We caught that plane to Hawaii. Good surf, beautiful beaches, great people. It was bliss. As the months passed our thoughts turned toward our future lives. Eventually we packed our bags and headed home again. C stayed for a holiday with her boyfriend, but we met up shortly, just in time for the snow, graduate applications and resume building. We were just two kids on the road to life. Yeah... happiness can happen with a can of spam, a sturdy tent and believing anything is possible. Peace and love Jai Bahgwan
Spring with its many glorious virtues does have a few drawbacks. Excessive pollen in the air has had a few of us sneezing, scratching our eyes and feeling upper respiratory congestion. Bronchial mudra helps ease shallow breath and clears the bronchial tubes. Place the little finger at the base of the thumb, the ring finger on the upper thumb joint and the middle finger on the pads of the thumb. Extend the index finger. I feel this mudra is best applied in the beginning of a practice to ease breath or as a meditation as itself for 4 to 6 minutes. It can be applied to a variety of respiratory afflictions. On the emotional level this mudra is helpful with loneliness, isolation, sadness and sexual problems. It increases inner reserve of strength, decreasing fear, sadness, discontentment and exaggerated sensitivity. For those of us deep in pollen season it helps clear out the junk in our lungs.
I finally managed to get my paperwork right, my Visa was processed and I got my passport back. I really wanted to just stare at my passport and gloat for a little while but this was not to be. In a blink the light went out and it took the rest of the day to get things running again. Something was broken or cracked on my meter. Does that happen? Evidently it does. It's a good thing I was home or I'd be writing papers by candlelight tonight. So now I have a shiny new visa from India, a shiny new meter from the electric company and a car that still isn't fixed. Oh well You can't have everything!
Apan mudra seems appropriate considering the previous weeks events. Join the thumb, middle and ring finger together, extend the remaining two fingers. It is best to hold this mudra for at least five minutes or use three times during the course of your practice or a total of 15 minutes. I suggest incorporating this mudra into twisting asanas such as Jathara Parivartanasana (supine twist), twisting Utkatasana ( chair), and Ardha Matsyendrasana ( Lord of the Fishes or Half-spinal-twist Posture). This mudra has a balancing effect on the mind. It gives patience, serenity, confidence, inner balance and harmony. On a physical level by moving energy to the periphery of the body it supports the removal of waste materials and toxins.