Archive | March, 2012

Time

8 Mar

Time is a great teacher of lessons – if one can just hang on, one can learn alot. I was thinking about time during practice recently…

time to leave London life behind and settle into India

time to develop a relationship with my teacher

time to become more flexible and strong

time to understand the practice better

time to make friends

time to find myself again

I’ve been here now for  six weeks and the time has moved quickly, almost flown by. And this is only my second blog posting! When I first came here at the end of January, I was starting my practice at 10:30 am. Now I begin at 7am, still vacation-like compared to my life in London waking at 4:30. This also gives me a chance to do sitting meditation on the terrace before going to the shala. My last trip here I was given one new pose in two months time. This trip I have already been given six new poses. That, coupled with the heat, is kicking my butt. Which is good, and in time, will get easier.

On Sundays, all the students meet in the Yoga shala for a “conference” with Sharath, the director of the K.Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute and my teacher. This is really the only time one gets to hear more than a few instructive words flowing from his mouth. A point he keeps repeating is that yoga is what happens inside you. So one comes to Mysore and practices yoga asana. It’s intense and sweaty, sometimes painful, often blissful. Finally it makes life so much sweeter because it helps one to develop a perspective on life which helps it flow more smoothly. The cobwebs get dusted away from the heart, and it begins to shine and become more open.

I spent the day with friends yesterday; just relaxing, speaking and a bit of eating! This is one of the great reasons to return again and again to Mysore – the wonderful friends one meets here. You keep them in your heart forever. Then when you go away from here, each new day they are practicing with you. On a practical level, you meet some of the most dedicated practitioners of ashtanga yoga here in Mysore and much knowledge and insight can be gained from the many conversations you will have with them during your stay.

This time I am attending a Yoga Sutra class during the afternoons with Lakshmish, the Vedic scholar, at the Institute. While I have dipped into the Sutras over the years since beginning yoga, this time I am giving them much more time and focus. They are such an integral part of the practice and bring greater understanding to Yoga as being far more than a physical practice. Patanjali is attributed with writing the Sutras, which systemized Yoga, sometime between 5,000 BCE to 300 CE. The Sutras are comprised of 196 statements which define the real practice of Yoga – the understanding and mastering of the mind.

The first sutra begins with the word, Now – “Now the exposition of Yoga”. We can read this simply as an introduction: “Now the practice of Yoga will be explained”. But as Sharath pointed out in a recent conference, this word Now means much more… You have tried many things to obtain happiness: escape through drinking and drugs, self-help books, shopping, television and numerous other things. So, Now you come to Yoga. If you can truly devote yourself to this practice, then real happiness can be obtained. Again this takes time! But with that simple three-letter word, Now, you are ready to give it a go.

When I was a little girl and my Mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I told her I wanted to own a farm with horses which I could ride everyday; to brush them and scoop their poop. Easy. When I became a teenager and my Mother asked me what I wanted to be when I got older, I told her simply that I wanted to be happy. Oh teenage angst! Many difficult years ensued, but perhaps I can say it was all leading up to Now.

I keep returning here just as I return to my mat each morning. My yoga practice has strengthened my body and my mind, and I am gaining a greater understanding for the practice of yoga. I am in Mysore again for Now.

my new friend, the gardener

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