[Mysore dispatch] Castor oil baths and not (particularly) getting things done

It’s 4:30 p.m. on the rest day, and what I’ve accomplished so far is sleeping in until nearly 9, eating breakfast, drinking too much chai (a morning ritual for me, apparently), doing laundry, taking my first bonafide Saturday castor oil bath, and doing a 75-minute meditation on the roof the building. I think when you’re studying yoga in India that’s considered productive. At home, I would probably have felt that this should have all happened by noon.

One thing I realized today is that I have been enjoying being relatively inefficient. It’s a new concept to me, and I’ve been pretty content with it for these past two weeks. (Perhaps I’ve enjoyed it a little more than I might have otherwise because beginning on Monday, a new schedule begins: I will be online a couple hours a day to make sure all is well with my work clients back in Michigan.)

At home, I have to live at the height of efficiency in order to get things done. My daily calendar frequently gets parceled out by the quarter hour. I run personal errands outside the house in an order that hits stops clockwise and never requires backtracking, because left turns and retracing your route are a total waste of time and gas. I take advantage of time-saving tools like the delayed-start button on my washer, so that a load can start while I am sleeping and be ready for the dryer when I get up.

Here, I haven’t had to over-scheduled and haven’t had to multitask, unless you consider bucket-washing my laundry after I have just finished showering multitasking.

That said, I currently have a long list of things I should do — mostly in the form of Facebook messages and emails to respond to. I’ll get to them eventually!

P.S. The cumulative effect of a castor oil bath followed by meditation is that I think if anyone tried to hold a real conversation with me right now, my circuitry might just short. (Somehow, blogging doesn’t count.)

P.P.S. — If you’re coming to Mysore this year and wondering about castor oil, Green House, which I am told opened last year, is located on the same street as the shala — so just up 8th Cross, on the left. You can’t miss the green sign on the iron gate. The 70-rupee organic castor oil felt velvety, and the 75-rupee herbal bathing powder also sold there works as well as Dr. Bronner’s soaps back in the States, in my opinion.

>>More Mysore dispatches:

And then there were four — led classes, that is
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, at the dawn of 2014?

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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