When I was playing my trip to Mysore, I kind of thought that the ideal way to experience this trip would be to unplug — to step away from the digital networks I’m part of and to turn off the information hose of those channels.
But I have to work on this trip, so that option was out.
Now that I’m here, I realize that I’m loving staying digitally connected. It allows me to stay in touch with friends back home and here in Gokulam, the Mysore neighborhood where the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute is located.
Staying connected has allowed me to see, for instance, that back in the States, Small Blue Pearls has a lovely new Runways poster out — photos that practitioners all over the world have submitted of their self-practice while traveling.
It’s allowed me to stay in touch with yogis through my blog (because as I confessed here and here, I apparently have a problem), and through reading the posts of other ashtangis. There are conversations about life and practice that happen at the coconut stand at 9th Cross and Contour Road — or even closer, over breakfast on the rooftop of my building — and there are conversations about life and practice that happen over Facebook. Both have been interesting, and usually not redundant.
Posting from my building, there’s The Green Yogi and Yogiblog, featuring the adventures of Clive and Mark. Among my other friends, OvO has posted about joy rides, London-based Susan has updated Susananda, and Karen, a home practitioner from Arizona, has been juggling working and blogging via Journey to Mysore. Who else . . . Suzy has left Mysore, but Isabella continues to post faithfully about Conference. And so on. These are just the ones I am thinking of off the top of my head. Please throw down your blog link in comments if I failed to link to it here!
Being connected is even cool for my meditation practice, which is a big priority for my time here (probably as big as the ashtanga practice). I use the Insight Timer app for iPhone (it’s available for Android too), which tells you how many people are meditating when you are, and where in the world they are. Pretty cool. (If you’re looking for a good meditation app, I highly recommend this one. It’s even got a journal feature and guided meditations. )
Back over the Thanksgiving holiday, I wrote about my constant need for mini digital sabbaticals. Here in India, I am being careful to prioritize being here over being online, but it turns out this is quite easy to do, since I can only be connected when there’s wifi access, which is pretty much just when I’m in my room. I so far haven’t felt like my digital life is crowding out the spaciousness I need.
Tomorrow, I start telecommuting. I’m interested to see if this feeling holds. Will my digital access start to feel like a leash?
>>More Mysore dispatches:
Castor oil baths and not (particularly) getting things done
Rest day + castor oil! I think when you’re studying yoga in India, my day so far would have been considered productive. At home, this should have all been done by noon.
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?”
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.
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.