[Mysore dispatch] And then there were four — led classes, that is

In case anyone is wondering whether it really is the busiest season ever at KPJAYI or whether it just feels that way, here’s a clue. On Fridays for led primary, there are three classes: 4:30 a.m., 6 a.m., and 7:30 a.m. The earlier the start time of your Mysore practice, the earlier your led class.

Having just gotten here at the end of December, I’m in the last group, and today I once again got a spot ideal for shorties — in the first row way off to the right, under a beam. There were so many people today, though, that Sharath told those who were still standing with their mats rolled up at 7:30 to wait outside, and he would hold a class at 9 a.m. Gokulam veterans I talked to today said this is the first they’ve seen of four led classes.

It appears that part of the problem was that some people whose Mysore practice time had been moved up didn’t know that they also needed to move up their led class time. Sharath explained that the 7:30 led class was for people with 8:30 a.m. and later Mysore start times. Oh, and speaking of the weekday practices, since last I wrote about it, an even later Mysore start time has had to be added — 11 a.m. is now the latest Mysore practice group.

Sharath also announced at the end of our class that he’s not sure how the led classes on Sunday will go — he may have to add a fourth then as well.

I’m kind of loving how crowded it is because it’s making me wonder about what the draw is right now. Why are so many people here? Seasons — holidays, and climates and all that good stuff — matter, and given the cold back home, it seems like an especially good time to be here, especially for Americans and those from Scandinavian countries. Sure, this has to be a sign about the increasing popularity of ashtanga, which makes me happy to see.

From healing to teaching, from deepening to escaping, everyone here obviously has a unique and personal story about whey they’re here right now. But is there something drawing us, collectively, here now, at the dawn of 2014?


Someone yesterday made the comment that trying to retrieve your shoes after class is like tracking down your suitcase in baggage claim. So true! I am prone to misplacing my belongings even before the spaciness that can follow a practice, so I clip my compass wristlet around my flip flops to keep them together and to increase my chances of finding them.

>>More Mysore dispatches:

First breakfast, second shower, next electric practice
‘One more, 9 o’clock, small.’

How does Sharath know? And btw, where did my feet walk off to?
Since my first day at KPJAYI, I’ve found myself constantly wondering, “How does Sharath know?”

Pink kurta
One week into my month-long stay here, it seems obvious to me that a big part of coming here is not about the practice at all — it’s about seeing where our areas of density are in our life. It’s easy to spot when a tight shoulder is the obstacle to steady comfort in a pose. For some of us, it’s harder to spot our areas of density in our daily lives.

So familiar and yet . . . so familiar
In Mysore, it helps that even when I don’t know someone, I maybe know someone.

Rain down on me
No small part of what I hope to do in India is find a way to honor life and sit with loss. Back when I planned this trip, the most salient loss was my miscarriage from this summer. Having two friends take their own life in the past 30 days has amplified the grief.

Plugging my 120V self into this 220V space
When Sharath led my hands to my ankles in assisted dropbacks, I could feel my little 120V self had hit full charge.

#gratitude #possibilities
In my reflections today, I decided to try, in the spirit of noting arisings and passings in all things, to see if I can start each new day this year with the type of intention that I start New Year’s Day with each and every year. Toward that end, I’m quite grateful to get to start each day with the ashtanga yoga practice — that makes such a difference in being able to enter the rough and tumble with some equanimity.

Emptying the cup
‘It’s like water in a cup. If a cup is filled with dirty, stale water, it’s useless. Only when the old water is thrown out can the cup become useful. You must empty your minds of opinions — and then you will learn.’

#235, 8th Cross, an eternity and a blink of eye from my first ashtanga practice
This post is for all the home practitioners out there. Mysore is 10.5 hours off from home (9.5 hours without daylight savings). But that’s not the time that really matters, because the time that really matters is shala time, which is set 15 minutes ahead of local time.

Checked baggage for DTW –> CDG –> BLR
What I figuratively and literally packed, or didn’t, for my first journey to India.

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One thought on “[Mysore dispatch] And then there were four — led classes, that is

  1. Fast forward to Sunday. Everything went smoothly with two led primary series classes and one led second series class — no fourth class needed. That said, the 7:30 a.m. second series class was full enough that one second series practitioner had to practice in the foyer.

    Each week, there’s usually a sizable group that stays to observe the led second series class — so this person had to practice solo in the foyer while a big group of students sat or stood to watch everyone inside. Despite chatty babies and the movement of people entering and leaving the foyer, his dristi was on. Impressive!

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