Tagebuch: November 2006

Columns | Isabella Vatter | November 2006

Dear Diary,   

In these times of chronic cultural misunderstanding, it sometimes seems impossible to find a peaceful bridge between the West and the East. That is why every Thursday morning around 10:00, I am relieved to find it is sometimes still achievable.

Entering the bright studio of the Sivananda Yoga Centre in the Prinz-Eugen Strasse, the scent of incense fills my lungs. Lying on the floor of the sun-flooded room, the initial relaxation phase, stimulated by controlled breathing, immediately blends out my nagging, everyday worries. A cycle of eight ‘sun-salutations’ activates every muscle, sending a rush through my sleepy body. By the end of the 90-minute session I am in a state of deep-relaxation, and we join in several Sanskrit chants, led by the Viennese teacher. The ancient, foreign words penetrate my consciousness, magically conveying the India-rooted tradition of yoga. I am overflowing with energy and a contented feeling of harmony and tranquillity.

Yet there is also a tinge of sadness, as I wonder why cultural mingling can’t always be this undemanding and serene.

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