I start my yoga practice at 5.30 in the morning and just as I hear the instructor go “No extra breathing, no extra movement” pop comes the ad “do you want to be a yoga teacher?”. I mutter, I even curse I think, debating staying put in the pose for 20 more seconds versus bringing in that extra movement! Do you see the irony of the ad? All I am trying to do is get a practice in place – same time, same place. That’s all. Please allow me! Almost all the time I choose the latter of course, choose to get up and skip ads. Oh, come on! You should also consider the difficulty of the pose I am in This happens day after day after day and I tell you what, I am building patience with the pop-ups and my own attitude. Now I understand that sometimes there is going to be extra breathing, extra movement. The challenge is keeping that breath controlled no matter what! Why I choose youtube for a practice is a different story and we can talk about it later. As I drive to work, it is drizzling. I have had a good start to the day. The colors on the trees look even more spectacular on a cloudy day – perhaps it is the eyes of a photographer. I always feel the brightness of the sun subdues the beauty of the world. I agree we feel good inside with that sun though. But then we also learn to take it for granted and seek him when he is not there. That irony again I tell you. Don’t get me wrong – I love love sun but sometimes beauty can be found without sun too. How else would you begin to brace for winters tell me? The drizzle is spectacular, you know that mist against your car. How I wish it was against my face. Just the other day while doing dishes, water suddenly splashed on to my face and the joy I felt!!Fallen leaves are getting blown away from here to there, from this neighbor to that with that wind, colorful leaves peeping down from the branches knowing well that they would be there on the ground soon. There are heaps of leaves raked and left on the sides of the streets, soaking up the little droplets, the cloudy skies adding to the beauty of the surroundings. I wish I could be walking rather than driving but here I am appreciating the drive! As I enjoy the roller coaster road, trees appear and disappear, cars appear and disappear, and I do notice signs like “Love thy neighbor”,“ Unity over diversity” among many other signs! I do not know why; the lovely morning reminds me of my grandmother. Perhaps it is the scattered signs on the streets urging people to be kind, trying to bring people closer and together. I think of all the summers spent with her. Anytime, we visited her, there would always be another cousin or two or four visiting, not to mention other aunts and uncles and relatives not known to me or relatives that I cannot connect with dots. It was always a full house and it helped us get to know other members of the extended family. It is thanks to her that even today I am in touch with a lot of extended family. Don’t even get me talking about those summers. Oh those days! Sitting around her in a semicircle for lunch with our out stretched hands for that bisibelebhath thuthu (morsel) as we quickly gobbled it up only to extend our hand again, always watching if other cousins got a tad bit more than you! All of us were drawn to the house because of her. It was just not just her ancestral home, the same thing happened when she visited any of her kids’ houses – everyone would invariably come to see her! It kept our families together as all differences were dropped in the name of grandmother, for grandmother. She was the matriarch of the family. She was the magnet that drew us all under one roof. Talking with a friend that same evening about her I was pleasantly surprised when I heard her say “Some people are binders, S”! They just know how to bind families together. You were fortunate to have one. I think about it. Binders – what a beautiful word. Look at our paper binders, similar papers or different, they are all bound, keeping it all together no matter what is written on each sheet or not! Perhaps all the signs that I saw on my drive to work were doing just that – trying to bind people, no matter the circumstances. I sit in my class – I know I have a busy day. But the truth is I need to get in those 3 hours for myself without any guilt. The running around will always be there. So, I drop everything else that I am doing, everything else that is supposed to be important, everything else that is needed to make my day easier and sit down in the class. I have to say, that is the best thing I have done. The joy of spending time the way I wanted and not running after things, made my day even better. The chores left behind did not seem like chores at all I think of my grandmother again, she was never quiet even for a moment – even at her weakest self she would make those Indian wicks for god to light a lamp not once complaining about her inability to help people with her ayurvedic medicine like she used to, still giving us her grandchildren and our children some leham,some kashayam when needed. Her inner world was always quiet, despite all the challenges of living, she had mastered that. I think that is what drew all of us to her, wanting a piece of that mastery for our own selves perhaps even wanting to learn to be a binder!