Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coming Home

Had my first practice in the Shala this morning and it felt amazing, like coming home after a very long journey.  Sitting in the lobby before being called in, I thought back to my first trip where I was nervous beyond belief, and last trip where I was feeling energetically overwhelmed in the room with so many people after practising alone for a year, and now a feeling of excitement, but complete calm as well.  As I was making my way through standing postures I was called to move up to a different spot.  By name.  After being away for a year, and literally thousands of students practicing with Sharath between now and then, I certainly didn't expect him to pull my name out of the memory banks on day one, especially since he didn't do my registration yesterday.  What a good feeling.  Physically I felt good, energetically strong and my muscles weren't complaining after the long plane/car ride here.  Getting to do the closing postures in the practice space was also something new for me; I have always had to do them in the change room, but it sure feels good to stay all the way to the end of the practice.  Breakfast didn't happen until about 11:45, after chanting with Lakshmish, but luckily I had time to drink a few coconuts in the few minutes in between.  My tummy was chanting louder than I was!  Primary series for the next few days will feel great, and then Sunday I have to go to the led intermediate class, which will undoubtedly be a bit of a rude awakening.  Tomorrow afternoon I will start a yoga sutras class and hopefully I can organise some volunteer work soon as well... my schedule will be hectic in no time.  More news coming soon as I plan to try and update more often while I have the opportunity.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mother India, please be nice to me!

Arrived in Mysore last night, exhilarated and exhausted, but more than anything it feels like coming home.  The trip went smoothly and other than struggling to find a vegetarian food option in the Kuala Lumpur airport, it was no problem.  No luggage hassles, no delays, and very little turbulence.  Upon arrival in Bangalore my wandering yogi friend and I hopped in our waiting taxi and headed straight out to Mysore, finally getting to our destination at about 9PM, a late night after getting up at 2:30AM to reach the airport  in time.  We were welcomed by two other friends at our flat, conveniently located next door to the ice cream parlour, and went to sleep on the hardest beds I have ever encountered.  This morning brought a breakfast date with an old friend, many greetings with familiar faces, and a list of errands that we managed to accomplish by the afternoon.  Registration at the shala happened this afternoon, and we were given a start time of  9AM.  9AM!!!!  That is currently the latest start time being handed out and it means we will be beginning to practice around the time that most people are sitting down to eat breakfast (after having practiced and gone home for a nap and a shower).  Our breakfast will happen more around lunch time.  At least we will be wide awake and the room will be toasty and warm.  Tomorrow will only bring more adventures...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prepare for takeoff...

Countdown to Mysore: 5 more sleeps!

Finally got my passport back with a visa in it and I'm starting to pack up my room and my life in Australia.  The kiwi is hanging onto my little bit of stuff for me and it will be good to come back to him.  Me thinks he will miss having a certain someone around!  Over the weekend he and I got to spend some nice quality time together working in his garden and going for an adventure to this beautiful spot called Moses Rock.  It is on the 'Cape to Cape Trail' and there is a stunning beach as well as a path up to a waterfall.  In the pool at the bottom of the waterfall there are kajillions of little tadpoles just waiting to turn into frogs, and down near the beach we found some of the best seashells I have ever collected.  To top it off we stopped for ice cream at Samudra on the way back to my house.  Yum-o!

happy hikers
The farm is looking amazing, veggies sprouting up everywhere, and little seedlings taking root in their new homes.  After the weekend there were so many changes; tomato plants laden with tiny little fruits, beans climbing up the spokes of the bamboo trellis, greens that are pretty well ready to eat!  I have been busy weeding, mulching around citrus trees and making colour coded signs for on the sides of the veggie beds.  It's hard to believe there are only a few farm days left; the time has absolutely flown by!

My practice is going to be interesting in Mysore... rumour has it that the start times for new students are quite late, so sleeping in will be a change, as will not having to expend so much energy in a manual labour job!!!  I can only imagine it will feel fantastic to have so much time to rest and be at leisure.  That being said, I fully plan to go on another crocheting crusade and maybe hold another fundraiser for Odanadi if I can swing it, and ideally it would be great to get out to the center a few times a week as well just to hang out with the kids.  Maybe there won't be so much free time after all?  My fingers are crossed that if I take another level one Sanskrit class, a little more of it just might make sense this time.  The first attempt in 2009 was pretty bad.  I couldn't stop giggling when Lakshmish lectured on labial consonants.  That's right.  Labial consonants.  Want to know more, well, better study Sanskrit.  There are yoga sutra classes as well, so that will be on the agenda if possible too.  Learning learning learning.

Must go get organized.  Every other day this week involves working, so I had best get sorted now!  So much to do! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inspiration part 2

This guy is amazing.  Also, his jeans are amazing... how much lycra must skinny jeans have to stretch like that??  If you are not flabergasted when you watch this, we are no longer friends. 
Just kidding. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There are a few ladies here in Dunsborough who practice ashtanga yoga and are in their 70's.  Not born in the 1970's, but their age begins with the number seven and is followed by another digit.  They don't faff around doing geriatric yoga, they do ashtanga.  No skipping vinyasas, no taking away hard postures.  I'm talking full marichasana D, urdhva dhanurasana, sirsasana, padmasana, correct method primary series postures, no grandma yoga for these ladies.  They do it all with smiles on their faces and focus in their eyes, week after week.  I can only hope to be in the same state of health and energy and vitality that many decades from now.  It is making me re-think the whole idea of aging... maybe it isn't something to fear after all?  Watching them is nothing short of inspirational. 

Also, 10 more sleeps until Mysore, if I get my visa back in time... why does the whole process have to take so long???  I sent it off on the Nov. 1st.  Shouldn't that be long enough? My fingers are crossed that it will get sent out in the mail to come back to me tomorrow.  Please cross your fingers too :)   

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gearing up

Looking back to this time last year leaves me reminiscing about dog bite recovery, diwali mayhem, the mysteries of pincha mayurasana, yoga friends from around the world and the experiences I had volunteering at Odanadi  .Now every full moon I still check myself for any signs of froth at the mouth or werewolf-style hairs sprouting up in unlikely areas, but I feel like I am on a big upwards arc of learning at the moment and I can't wait to see what comes up in the next while.  Gearing up to head back to Mysore leaves me a bit nostalgic, but helping a fellow yoga student plan her first Mysore adventure has provided an opportunity to think back to my first visit and it has been fun giving her some tips on what to expect/pack/etc.  Some things I have come up with:
~Do not, DO NOT bring black havianas.  Everyone will be wearing the same ones in different sizes and the chances of leaving the shala with your own, or even two of the same size can be next to impossible.
~Bring a camera.  The opportunities for amazing photographs are endless.
~As far as practice goes, get real with yourself before you go so that you are ready for either being stopped at the postures you don't really have yet, or ready to power through the longest navasana, sirsasana and uth pluthih you have ever experienced.
~Set your clock to Shala time, which is usually about 15 minutes ahead.  It catches people out every time, so be prepared when you go register to check the clock above the door. 
~Don't bring anything other than your mat and your registration card with you to the shala.  Sharath gets grumpy when people try and bring extra stuff in the room, and I don't blame him.  It is packed in there and the bodies are big enough obstacles without piles of stuff everywhere.
~Prepare your guts by taking pro-biotics before you leave to get the good bacteria pumped up and strong, and then take some with you.  Also purchase grapefruit seed extract to fend off hungry parasites. 
~Pack clothes that is appropriate for the culture.  If you want to be endlessly stared at, take lots of knee-revealing, shoulder-baring, cleavage displaying clothes.  Otherwise, be sensible and respectful and wear something more modest that you might normally go for in hot weather. 
~Two words:  EAR PLUGS
~Bring a big book, and be prepared to pass it on in the endless web of book exchanging that can happen among the yoga students.  It may not come back to you in the long run, but there is plenty of reading material available if you look hard enough.
~Know in advance that the Indian head wobble can mean yes, no, and maybe all at the same time.  You will develop the ability to decipher this after a while, and you will also start wobbling your own head at people much sooner than you would expect. 
~Enjoy the chai but don't look at the water the glasses get washed in. 

That is all I've got off the top of my head, but if I come up with more interesting items, I will edit the post or add to it... only 16 more sleeps till take-off!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The home stretch until departure for Mysore is looking crazy.  I think I have 2 days off in the next 25.  Should be interesting. 

Things are starting to really take off at the farm, beans are growing like crazy and yesterday lots of tomatoes, eggplants and chillies went in the veggie beds.  Carrots need more love, the greens are taking their time, and the compost we used is looking not quite ideal, but life is there, and growth is there, so now it is a matter of waiting and watering and weeding.  Time will tell

I have a big list of things to do before I head to India, one of those things (at the top of the list) is to  apply for my visa.  Knowing the loopholes that can come up in Indian bureaucracy, I will try and get it sorted this afternoon so there is lots of time and no need to worry about it.  Other things to think on.... such as the degree of urgency of purchasing new yoga tights.  My tights are all a little baggy these days, as the combo of practicing and teaching and farming is a bit hard to keep up with calorically.  Is a wee bit of bum crack visibility in practice inappropriate?  YES.  Will the amount of sweat that I can produce in the Mysore shala keep them from slipping?  Not sure.  It's been cool in the yoga room here for the early bird special lately, so I haven't been able to test it out.    Enough about sweat and bum crack visibility. 

Also of importance:  popsicles.  A batch of fruity popsicles went in the freezer about an hour ago and I can't wait for them to freeze so I can sample one.  It would blow my mind if they were anything but delicious though.  They consist of fresh strawberries, the juice of one lemon, a medium sized sploosh of orange juice, and a small sploosh of creamy coconut milk.  Everything gets blended, sampled (YUM!) and then frozen in a popsicle making tray thingy.  Then the hardest part is waiting for them to actually freeze. 

I am rambling.  Perhaps a nap is in order?