Each time I go to Mysore I have a different experience.
The first time I went was in 1987. I remember practicing in my room on a mud floor with a Hatha Yoga book. If only I had known about Astanga then, and the path I would take, I might have been able to swerve some of life’s hard balls, but maybe not…
Since then I have visited another six times.
For personal reasons, every time I visit, I am restricted to one month at a time. Although that is a long time by western standards, when you are with your teacher, the first month is seen as a settling in period, which in many ways it is.
I always have mixed feelings about going.
Then as soon as you are standing on your mat in the shala with Sharath you realise why you work so hard to get there. Then I always have mixed feelings when I have to return home.
This last trip was definitely my favourite so far.
I’m in amongst all these hundreds of brightly shining, talented people, with my standard ability, I felt I had finally made a personal connection with Sharath.
Someone once told me ‘you can’t choose your teachers’ and it’s so true.
Over recent years it has becoming increasingly difficult to get in. It seems to have become more exclusive to the people that are good at IT and are able to sustain the financial commitment it takes to be there longer than a month.
Completely against my ethics in life ,and yet I have huge respect for how he deals with the demands made on him.
He is kind, he is devoted to his family and his students. He always shares his love of animals and nature, which I think must go a long way to influencing people in their practice of Ahimsa.
He is a great teacher and he is devoted to the practice. I miss him when I come home.
He isn’t my only teacher though, and I am very grateful to the others to have them in my life too.
Of course during this trip, I was lucky enough to be amongst the first season of people to practice the Led classes at the new shala.
To finish the week on a Saturday I would make my way on a fifteen minute scooter trip out to the new shala. He would often make it a really tough class (I counted up to forty breaths in Utpluthih once with very trembling arms). There would be a short coconut water break followed by conference.
It was a great way to finish the week and has inspired me to align our program once more with Sharath.
Therefore Friday 31 May will be our last Friday morning counted class. From Friday 7 June we will all practice Primary series Mysore style on a Friday. The class times will change to 6.15am opening with last entry at 7.30am.
Saturdays will be as normal apart from the last Saturday of every month will be our counted Led class. Perhaps followed by coffee rather than coconuts!?