I wish I was going to be in Mysore one more month. I spoke to someone who said a 3 month trip to Mysore normally goes, 'first month broken, second month pain, third month flying'....and I whilst I haven't and won't get to experience the 3rd month of an extended trip to Mysore, I can believe this. The first month I was all over the place, my body just did not feel like my own. Having spoken to my massage therapist (yes I have my own massage guy now;) my circulation isn't great and long periods of sitting, on planes, trains etc wreaks havoc on my body, causing inflammation of the knees, feet and ankles.
Just as the inflammation had gone down I took a trip to Gokarna, supposedly to surf, however unfortunately due to the heavy rain, the decision to move up the coast to south Goa was taken and we ended up spending the rest of the time there. Thankfully the rain stopped earlier than forecast and we were able to enjoy a few days of scorching sun on the beautiful beach of Palolem. But I was miserable, I'd only come to the coast for the surf and this threw me and I had no way of getting back to Mysore earlier than scheduled. Then out of the blue I met another friend from Mysore who had left a week previously and had just arrived to Goa. It was so good to see her....
Monsoon on Om Beach
But more inflammation! Luckily this time I went straight for a massage and the swelling has gone down again. So, my practice is back to normal! I feel inside myself again and I'm enjoying it, able to try out new postures and deepen others. I'm even back to grabbing my ankles in chakra bandhasana which I'd thought I'd lost for ever! Vijay is convinced that in just 3 weeks of practicing every day that I will be able to grab them on my own...however my mind has other ideas! Vijay's teaching style is hardcore. He will crouch at the side of you and watch you whilst you are doing the postures you hate and will make you do them again, maybe 2 or 3 times, just to make sure you're really putting the effort in and not cutting corners. However, as a result of this 'tough love' I can now jump into bujapidasana and touch my chin down with feet off the floor and transition out which I have never been able to do before and jump into tittibhasana and lower down to kurmasana. They're both messy and work in progress, but who cares!?
I'm not sure what it is about being in Mysore that makes your practice grow, maybe it's the language barrier- complaining/moaning doesn't work here, they just don't get it, you just have to do what they say, or maybe it's the fact you are really giving time to your practice, you don't have to rush to a job/home etc, (I was practicing from 7:15 to 10am this morning!), or maybe it's just the great teaching - my teacher is in his twenties and has been studying yoga for the majority of his life, his knowledge of the practice is immense and his teaching is completely sincere and from the heart. (I heard a lovely story about the brothers, my teacher Vijay and his elder brother Vinay at a bhajan the other night...apparently all throughout they're childhood they were made to chant even when playing with their toys...I loved this..) Nonetheless, there is something magic about Mysore which can transform your practice (if you let it - I've heard stories of people coming and leaving after 2 days) and this goes for all students across all the shalas, not just for students at KPJAYI.
As an aside, whilst still young, the Kumar brothers are excellent teachers and whilst I have not practiced with Vinay, the students who have rave about him...everyone loves Vinay! These brothers are really the yoga teachers to study with, no-one knows who their teachers were, I think it's a bit of a secret, but they are both shining stars!!
This week has been the festival of Dasara in Mysore. Its culmination being the procession which some friends and I attended yesterday. The brochure said expected to be seated for 4 hours, I think we were there for a bit longer! However, it was great to see that an organisation in Mysore who care for their visitors put on a special 'foreigners section', complete with shade, seats and free water and biscuits, especially to protect us (women especially) from intimidation, groping and general molestation! I have to give it to them, the Mysoreans do know how to how to put on a parade!
|Everyone loves the elephants!|
|Just one more elephant photo!|