Here is the next section of Prana (previously Esther) Book 6 of Waldmeer.
In Prana Community:
In India, Mahashivratri immediately precedes the spring equinox which is the herald of spring. In Prana Community, Mahashivratri precedes the autumnal equinox which is the beginning of autumn. Both equinoxes have the same amount of day as night. Thus, they are a time of transition and reset.
Rybert said that the autumnal equinox or Mabon was the Witches Thanksgiving. It is the end of a year’s growth cycle, he would say. Everything changes. The trees change colour. They shed their leaves. It’s a time of general shedding. He would then add with a wink, Shedding clothes is also appropriate, but it does depend on who is doing the shedding.
One end-of-summer morning, after Farkas’s dance aerobics class at the Waldmeer Warriors, Merlyn decided to stay and chat with her older friend, Ide. Merlyn had become so immersed in her life at Prana Community that she hadn’t been outside its perimeter since moving there. She wasn’t sure if her self-imposed isolation was due to an increased desire for spiritual progress or if it was a way of avoiding the pain of Ben’s relationship with Esther. Either way, it now seemed sensible to re-enter the world, even though that meant an hour-and-a-half drive for a single dance class.
Six months ago, in the interdimensional Borderfirma Lowlands:
In the middle of winter, three intrepid travellers stood below the ancient portal bell of Floating Cave Monastery with the equally ancient monk looking on.
“Welcome back, Lady Faith and Rybert,” said the monk with eyes that resembled the mystical waters of Floating Cave. “I’ve been waiting for you.” He walked towards Maria and peered at her. Into her would be more accurate. He nodded in approval and said with a half-smile and a half-bow, “Welcome, Lady Maria. I see your father, young Malik, has done a good job.”
Twice a day, Prana Community members were expected to do a forty-five-minute program of asanas (physical exercises), kriyas (breathing practices), bandhas (energy locks), and meditation. A lot of it was in lotus position (cross-legged on the floor) or some version thereof. That, in itself, was hard unless you were Indian. For Westerners, there were many problems – hips that weren’t open enough to comfortably get into the position, legs that went numb (and you weren’t meant to move), and cores that weren’t strong enough to maintain a straight spine. The sitting posture was merely the first problem. Then there were the asanas. They were demanding. The kriyas were more challenging. Merlyn usually felt that she was about to drown from lack of oxygen which then sent her into panic mode and made her breathing even shallower. The bandhas seemed like they were meant for yogis who lived in caves. Merlyn had no idea if the invisible bandhas she was trying to target were hit or missed. The thought crossed her mind, more than once, Are they even real?