Mysore Week 1: Ashtanga got me good!

“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling” Rumi


One completed week studying with Saraswathi in Mysore.

End of week 1. Tired and happy after class

End of week 1. Tired and happy after class

A lot of things I thought I would do when I booked this trip in January, a lot of them just words and good intentions. Since then I’ve climbed mountains, dived oceans and now (almost) managed to get my feet behind my head. A lot can happen when you set the intention.

I was wondering whether this is for me, early mornings, sweat dripping from my nose and a permanent burning in my thighs.

I’ve been wondering this because it requires hard work and patience and I’m not too much of a patient person, I also don’t like to be bad at things, I’m very proud and facing my flaws is often followed by a temper tantrum in my head reminiscent of my 5 year old self.

So I wondered this at 6.45am when my alarm went off and again at 8.15am as I rolled out my mat, I wondered it again when I forgot, not for the first time, the next asana I was supposed to be going into. I wondered because I am scared. I am scared to be judged. I am scared to fail. I am scared because as I was wondering all these things I felt irritation and annoyance. I felt helpless and a little bit naive.

Early morning company

Early morning company

It seems silly really because all these things I was feeling, were down to myself. They were my expectations. Not the person on the mat next to me effortlessly easing themself into their vinyasa. Not the assistant patiently smiling at me as I gave my apologetic shrug to what came next. Not even the guy outside supplying coconuts to me every morning while I look like I’ve just stepped under a waterfall.

Post 'waterfall'

Post ‘waterfall’ practice pic

Expectations have no place in yoga. I sat in conference on Saturday and listened to Sharath talk of the 6 shells we have, I sat and ticked all six of them off on my list of personality traits.

I am at the beginning of my journey, that is very clear to me (now) when sitting with any one of the other students studying alongside me, yet I am trying to place myself in the middle. But here you can’t lie about your practice. Mysore is like a truth serum, you can not fool anybody, your actions, eventually, will always speak louder than your words.

Surrounded by my fellow yogi’s in the Shala I can’t help but think are they all going through the same battles as me?

In good company in the shall

In good company in the shall

My week has concluded with no great physical feats but many small ones, a bind I struggled with just 6 days ago, a strength in my arms I didn’t know I could have… a determination brought just with turning up.

It’s been an entire week spent struggling demons in my mind and on the mat. With released tension it seems you also release a lifetime worth of ill addressed emotions (I think us English have this one down to a T), you keep that in and around your hips, did you know that?
Me neither, someone should of warned me of that before I did all those hip openers that lead to an afternoon listening to Adele (Hello. It’s me….) and watching cat videos on youtube, had someone given me a bottle of wine and tub of icecream my apartment would of been reminiscent of a scene from a Bridget Jones movie.

But stepping into lead class this morning, I noted that I left my ego with my shoes at the door and rolled out my mat with less anxiety and more excitement at what Ashtanga would teach me today…

                    …As it turns out it was that I have terrible focus, an allergy to Drishdi (point of focus) and a tendency to think of food and writing while doing my asanas.

Good job I have 3 more weeks here, by the end of it when Saraswathi asks “What you do?” I might actually have a clue!

5 thoughts on “Mysore Week 1: Ashtanga got me good!

  1. Deb says:

    Good blog. I myself had a crazy thought this year in one of the LED classes . It was like “I’m not worthy or like these people are so much better than me, who the heck do I think I am?!” Then someone said to me the next day – “aw be yourself”. Omg that’s right, be myself . . . I experienced it and felt it and it was a relief.

    • says:

      You are so right! Sometimes we forget the simplest things, I’m really glad you could relate to the blog, seems we’re all on this journey together!

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