So, yes it’s Thanksgiving in Mysore, I thought I would do a thank you post. There are many people to thank. And maybe this will give people some sense of how life works here in Mysore for an American yoga student.
First, there is of course Guruji who fills the shala in the mornings. You get a sense of the man’s energy in the mornings, as he shouts out “Yes, one more” and the next yogi stumbles into the shala to find the space that has just been vacated. Saraswati has kept us all moving for the last couple of weeks while Sharath is away. Some how in the midst of all of the dropbacks, she has the time to remember that the German guy needs help in Supta Kurmasana and the guy from San Francisco (that would be me) still needs a little tug to get into Marichyasana D on the left side. Sharath is of course missed and my desire to spend some more time with Sharath will probably lead me back to Mysore again in the near future.
There are also those particular Mysore institutions that cater to foreign yoga students, keeping everybody healthy and especially fed and housed. Anu’s (where I am blogging from) is the local internet cafe and really everyone’s living room. If you can’t find someone, then the chances are high that they are at Anu’s. There are the three women (Satu, Holly and Trisha) who make up Shakti House which is a favorite breakfast stop. Then there is Tina’s which is run by the hostess with the mostess, Tina who serves up breakfast and any advice you may need on housing, eating, shopping travel, or any other particular curious Indian habit you may encounter. If you are here and want to have a rich dose of Indian culture served up through a course on how to make roti’s or Dal Makhani, Tina’s is the pace to go. It is really one long discussion of how India is reflected in the food, utensils, and lots of other aspects of the physical culture. As you can see, much of Mysore revolves around food, with breakfast being the most important meal of the day.
You can’t say enough about the resident yoga students who bring a lot of talent, skill, and caring to their time in Mysore. Lunch can become a rich discussion of Vedanta philosophy or a free back massage to take the pressure off a sore shoulder. The richness of the community is definitely one of the things that will bring me back to Mysore.
Finally, there are the residents of Gokulam who whether they wanted to, or planned to have made a hundred or so yoga students feel at home – the gentleman at the corner store who remembers that you buy curd and milk every morning and will let you pay tomorrow, or whenever (head wag added). The landlords men who walk the dogs, or sell papaya … Everyone has a smile in exchange for a smile.
So, in all, Mysore is pretty great and an amazingly comfortable place to practice yoga and try to take in some aspects of Indian culture. I am reminded by several people who this is Mysore which is like Bangalore, but with more trees. India in other places is not this comfortable. But it is certainly the best way, I can think of to practice and get a taste of India.
So, I thank all of these facets of my trip to India. I can’t believe that I ever had second thoughts about coming.
Now with that I think that this will probably be close to my last post from India. To be honest I have been trying to keep my internet time to a minimum,
since I hate to spend time on blogging when there is so much else to do
like practice and massages and shopping and Chamundi Hill. So, as I get closer to my return which is about two weeks off now, I will probably not be blogging. But if there are questions about specific aspects of my trip to Mysore or anything else, post a comment or send an email.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.