Thursday, February 24, 2011
And so ends the 2nd week of my adventures here in Mysore. Leaving Toronto was pretty much drama free. My sister drove me to the airport after I insisted on teaching 2 last classes only hours before I was boarding...something I need to work on! LOL! The flight was great! Flew with Etihad Airlines direct to Abu Dhabi. Great flight, food, and service. I, of course, was surrounded by my karma of small screaming children. Not sure what I need to do to get rid of that but anyway...layover in Abu Dhabi was short and uneventful. And a few short hrs later I was in the back of a taxi being chauffeured to Mysore!
I arrived at 8am and went straight to my friend Rachel's place to pick up my trunks. I had booked a room before I arrived and couldn't wait to get settled into it and take a nap! But Mysore being what it is, when I arrived to said room, it had been rented the night before to someone else. Sigh...so loaded down with luggage and now my Mysore trunks, I had to find somewhere to sleep! But this proved to be no easy feat. Gokulam, the section of the city that the KPJAYI (shala or studio) is located was packed to the gills with students. There are so many new students that the construction cannot keep up with the demand. There was literally nothing available. I ran into an old friend, who actually knew the guy who had taken my room! She felt in some way responsible so ended up finding me a bed at her friend Simone's place. I didn't know Simone from Jobe so I was beyond grateful that she would be willing to help. I called for the help of one local rickshaw (3 wheeler taxi) guys, Raju, and off we went to get my bags! For the next 3 days I searched high and low for my own space. I went back to old landlord's but they already had tenants. I had all of the room agents looking for something, anything, so I could move into my own home. But the news was always bad, "Sorry Madam. Gokulam is full. Next week space is coming." So when another friend told me she had a spare room I was over the moon! I moved in the following afternoon.
All the while I had started to practice at the shala. I arrived to Mysore on a Saturday which is day off. It also means the shala is closed so no registration. So technically I shouldn't have gone to class the next morning (at 430am) but I was in dire need so I snuck in. I figured if I didn't make eye contact w Sharath, he wouldn't notice me until it was too late to throw me out! LOL! I made it through led class squished in with about 70 other students and then went for coconut outside the shala. Ahhhhh....there's nothing like fresh coconut water after a sweaty practice! This is where the reunion began. I call going to Mysore "Yoga Camp". It's like, "This one time, at yoga camp...." - seriously...So many old friends from all over the world come together every year to practice at the source of Ashtanga yoga. It's a beautiful thing.
For the first month if your first trip you only practice Primary series, regardless of how far you normally practice at home. This is so Sharath can see your practice and work with you a little more than usual. The series is given to you pose by pose, so that you have time to memorize the sequence and your body has time to open safely. This can wreak havoc on your ego! But in the end it's all worth it. Once you are given all the poses in full Primary and you are able to stand up from a backbend, you will be given the first pose of the Second/Intermediate Series. On subsequent trips, if you have been given poses in the Intermediate or Advanced series, when you first arrive you practice Primary for one week before jumping into the rest of the practice. So the first week I got to relax and attempt to slow down my speedy practice (at 7am) before launching into my longer practice consisting of full Primary and part of Intermediate. I'm still finishing before most students who aren't even practicing full Primary! Slow down sister!! I'm still working on Toronto time. It probably doesn't help that there are so many people from Toronto here right now! It's like an AYCT yoga trip!
Speaking of whom, I'm off to meet the crew for Indian breakfast at Authana. So until next time, keep practicing!
Lots of Love from India