When you are in Mysore you have plenty of time for your thoughts.
Completely emerged in a yogic rhythm of life, the responsibilities you have at home melt away and you are left with a vast landscape stretching out ahead of you.
At times like these, if you do not allow yourself to become too distracted with socialising, your day can become a blank canvas that enables you to see how clearly emotions come and go. Your mind constantly turning over those familiar energetic patterns, like an engine turning over on a frosty morning. Feelings of isolation and loneliness, or euphoria and elation. Each arriving at your door to be greeted and acknowledged, before passing on through to make room for the next.
As Astangis, the discipline of a daily practice helps us to find the balance in our lives. To stave off those swirling thoughts and behaviours and acknowledge that permanence in life does not exist:
“The fundamental in Astanga is how to transform oneself within. Asana will come and go…asana will change your body and make your mind stable.” (Sharath Rangaswamy Jois)
In the first conference on 8 October, Sharath talked a lot about the breath:
“Breath controls your mind… actions… everything… The breath is the strength of your practice….it is the key”.
Our breath controls our mind and body so completely. When our emotional self starts to take control and dictate our actions, our breath will be erratic and irregular – causing changes in our body chemistry. We can notice this clearly in our practice. When we start to struggle with an asana, our focus on the breath and drishti (gazepoint) is the first thing we let go of. Our mind instead becomes intent on trying to achieve.
“Breath rhythm and flow are very important. Your breath also changes when your mind changes.” (Sharath Rangaswamy Jois)
The pace of life in India is so very different to the West. We are always busy in our quest for wanting more. Whereas culturally there seems to be a certain level of acceptance in India; being born into the life you have and not trying to move out of, or away from that.
You can see this Western behaviour exemplified within yoga shalas across the world that support our need to attain more asanas.
Mysore gives you time to reflect upon your very nature, not try to move forward or out of it but just to sit with it. Why do we feel the need for more constantly – more money, more food, more postures, just more? At what point do we feel that we have enough? Is there not enough to be done in working daily on our practice and trying to perfect the even flow of breath throughout?
“What’s the point in having many asanas if there is not perfection in that? Perfection in Primary Series is very important. So many organs get nourished and healed. More effective than deep back-bending”. (Sharath Rangaswamy Jois)