Sadashiva's toes tickled the palm trees in the mansion last night, his lithe body coiled in yoga. His bliss, such as it was before a gaping crowd of 60, occurred three feet from where Alice Roosevelt Longworth served tea and where presidents trod.
As for the famous Mrs. Longworth, well, she stayed upstairs with her C. G. Jung book and Pedigrew, the parakeet.
"They're doing exercises?" she giggled when told. "Poor simpletons."
"They're," who weren't actually doing exercises but merely watching Sadashiva do them, were doctors, nurses, salesmen, health-food store owners and assorted natural-living enthusiasts.
They had collected at the musty old Dupont Circle mansion to eat stuffed cabbage and tofu salad as well as to give money to the Integral Yoga Educational Resource Center.
Which sounds sort of complicated, but is simply explained as a facility in Pomfret, Conn., that communicates the principles of yoga to the uniformed. It is also Nicholaes Roosevelt's latest pet project.
And since Nicholaes Roosevelt, currently candlemaker and formerly a swami until he broke the vows and married, is a cousin (third, by his calculations) of Mrs. L, he asked for her house as a fund-raising spot.
She, who is 95, said sure. Nonetheless, she was not the least bit interested in tofu salad, thank you. Mrs. L remained upstairs.
But downstairs, this acid-witted daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt and widow of House Speaker Nicholas Longworth was very much in evidence. The Pillow, for instance.
"If you haven't got anything good to say anymore, come and sit here by me" is says.The yoga enthusiasts loved it.
"Oh, that's marvelous," said Rene Dopulos, who said her son, the doctor, was the one who discovered the "acne cure." She eyed the pillow again. "I want to write that down," she said, and did.
Dopulos, who was visiting from Detroit, said she'd probably give the yoga people some money. "I always donate to everything," she said, "except for the PLO and the Moonies."
The fund-raiser had a wooden beginning perhaps because talking about the merits of the half-lotus position as opposed to the cobra position is not the best conversation starter. So, people amused themselves by eating rice crackers and checking over the house they had heard so much about.
Host Nicholaes Roosevelt, who kind of looked like a Roosevelt because he had a full beard and wire rims, wore a navy-blue double-breasted jacket and penny loafers. He introduced the slide show called "The Light is Within," and said goodbye to guests by bowing over over his hands and saying "Om Shanti." Basically, he explained, this means "I appreciate your existence."