Sunday, January 31, 2010


It is the beginning of my last full week. I almost can't believe that I just typed that sentence. Could I stay on for another month or two...absolutely. Do I need that experience...not exactly. I know that I will be back and maybe the next trip I will be able to squeeze out some more time and maybe not. While I am not quite ready to do the "what I have figured out this trip" post I must admit my biggest accomplishment...has been practice itself.

It has been 15 months since my last trip to Mysore and in all that time I have had a nearly solo practice effort. It has been all me making it to my mat and not the glow of the teacher or the energy provided by the group dynamic. I have seen the results of that work here in Mysore. Practice works. Sharath said in conference tonight "the more you practice the more you mature and you begin to understand (yoga)."




Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week #4 | Climb On

The longer the stay the faster time moves. This week was like a blip. I can't believe it is Saturday evening again and I am gearing up for my last full week of practice.

I'll just get right down to the stats

(17) 3:30 am wake up calls
(9) 3:30am wake up calls left/maybe 10 if I ask Sharath to "drop-in" on the day that I depart
(1) entire volume of The Best American Short Stories 2009 edited by Alice Sebold read
(1) Pada completely in my memory palace and the 2nd Pada worming its way in
(1) new pose the highly dramatized Kapotasana
(40) Drop backs
(countless) times that I have been moved this trip physically, mentally, emotionally
(countless) moments of gratitude
(7) is what my I-Touch is telling me the temperature is in Providence, RI
(85) is what my alarm clock is telling me the temperature is in Mysore

I have been loving reading all the comments and feel so supported in this and all my journeys.

Adam sent me this quote after my last return from this far away place that feels like my second has been on my mind today

'You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this; What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can on longer see, one can at least still know.'Rene Daumal

Friday, January 29, 2010

Falling my way to the finish line

I fell down the stairs at Sapna book store yesterday...marble stairs. I am OK but when I got up for practice this morning my right side felt I fell down a set of marble stairs.

I took it easy at Led Primary this morning and Sharath even put my into Supta Konasana. I am so happy that I did not have to do it myself. This has been some week with more than one major break through. I am feeling the week and it has left e exhausted and exhilarated all at that same time. I promise to write more about this tomorrow but right now my brain feels swollen and my body needs rest (all in an amazing kind of way.)

I'll leave you with this new definition of (being in the state of) yoga:

when you have adjusted to the environment rather then demanding the environment adjust to you.Think about all the drama surrounding whether the fan is off or close are you to that state?

TDB- 40

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Faith, Logic, Emotion

These are topics that come up frequently during philosophy. Some days I take what feels like endless amounts of notes and then there are days where I draw really strange diagrams with arrows or swirls. Yesterday I put those three words in a spaced out circle with arrows going one to the next.




I am at the end of a perfect day. Practice was great. Sweat was sweet. Kapotasana steady. After practice I had a real treat of going back to Thomas' house at 6am sitting on the flat roof while he made me a cup of coffee and together witnessing the red sun rise over palm trees. I nearly cried.

Led primary tomorrow.

Drop backs - 40

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Let me see."

Today I could have blogged about several things. I had a post developing in my head about how having a teacher (one teacher) is like being in a marriage and how I often observe how students run from one to the next when something better comes along. It is a strange king of love.

Maybe that will be a post for another day.

I also have a post in me that will be titled, "The Sharath Standard." That is going to be good one and kind of hooks into my post for today....the "Let me see" post. As I was finishing up practice today I dutifully practiced up to Lagu Vajrasana and moved onto back bends. Three Urdhva Dhanurasanas followed by standing up and dropping backs 4 times (there was a long wait to be assisted.)

Total Dropbacks- 34

When Sharath came over to me he said, "what did you do?" I said nervously..umm...Laghu Vajrasana then he said, "let me see." gulp. So I went back and executed a laghu vajrasana that I hoped met the Sharath standard. When I came up he said, Kapotasana. Now I am slightly confused, did he mean tomorrow, next week, next trip, or right now. He walk over to assist someone in back bends but didn't take his eyes off me Frozen in fear he made a gesture that was do! So as I jumped back and began the proper vinyasa sequence into the dreaded Kapotasana I see he is still staring at me waiting. I arch back and pretend that I am 5 again. I always was fearless when backward diving into any body of water. There I was catching my heels (the Sharath standard) and breathing hugging the mid line of my body as to not have the mushy formless Kapotasana (not up to the standard...not even close.) When I came up I saw for the first time a smile and a nod that was a sign of approval.

I then vinyasa-ed back to stand for assisted back bends, then the smile turned devilish. He said, "back bending start again." I tried to hold back the you gotta be kidding me look that I often give David. I made my way back to the mat for three more Urdhva Dhanurasanas and then standing from there and yes three more drop backs.

Total Dropbacks- 37

After assisted back bends with Sharath I was off to the changing room for my closings. Total practice time 2 hours. I wrote a post last trip that was titled, "Sharath you totally set the bar." He sets the bar and doesn't settle for anything but your absolute best effort and you soon see that what was impossible is possible and that you are actually stronger, more sensitive, and down right more fearless that you ever thought was possible. The next time you think that you can't possible do anything, ask yourself, let me see?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I have had many varied topics swirling through my head today. I was first going to write about how practice develops a certain sensitivity within the student. This sensitivity can be very helpful when it comes to finding appropriate food to fuel the practice and seeking out the necessary sleep. The other kind of emotional sensitivity feels harder to navigate. I find myself really open here and feeling like I give myself way too freely and totally to so many at home. I am always finding out the hard way that not everybody really should receive that support openness and generosity.

Today in philosophy we were talking about the yamas and niyamas and someone asked if your friend has you over for dinner and they are serving beef curry and you are a you eat the food to be "non-harming" to your host, or do you refuse the dish. Narasimha said, if it is your friend why would they serve you that? Then he said this,

"your friend is there to help
your enemy serves you poison."

Today I also returned to Emerson's Self-Reliance. I couldn't help but see the parallels between this work and the Bhagavad-Gita.

"Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself."

After chanting I went to lunch with Thomas. We haven't really connected since I've been here, but today at a downtown Thali restaurant far away from yoga students we sat and connected. Afterwards he drove me home on the back of his motor bike. There is nothing like riding through India on the back of a bike. I felt at home. I felt free in the beauty and the poverty and the chaos.

"There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less."

Total Dropbacks - 30

Monday, January 25, 2010

Somewhere between ease and effort

That is the location I find myself at today. I never thought that I would be practicing with full energy at 4:15am each morning. I am astounded that I bind with ease in Marichyasana D (both sides) and that I am for the first time ever putting myself into Supta Kurmasana daily. All of this happens before 5:30am. The chunk of second series that I practice ends with Lagu Vajrasana. This isn't a very straining section for me and then the real mental work begins with dropping back and standing up and then Sharath's insistence on ankle grabbing. Today he mid air placed first my right then left hand about calf height and I held on to everything except the breath. I tried to soften into this experience that is still quite effortful for me. I find myself in the same situation as last week wanting to move on to the next pose (a perfect natural breaking point) and having total faith in my teacher. I am not the driver.

Today in chanting and philosophy I noticed that there are key words that keep coming to the surface. I started to make a list:


Classes are filling up...if you want to practice sign up as always class size in limited

Classes in Providence, RI:

Classes in Cranston, RI:

Workshop in Phila, PA:

Total Dropbacks- 27

Sunday, January 24, 2010

When the student is ready...

These are the days that I live for in Mysore. These are days when I am ready to change my plans and stay for three months, when all the bullshit and bull-shiters are silenced. Not only did I have a relaxed and breathy led primary this morning, I positioned myself next to Katie and felt right at home, although the Brazilian man next to me did sweat on my mat.

I had plans to go to a Kirtan this afternoon but my stomach is still a little funny so I decided to rest. I stayed at home for the most part and chanted my sutras and to my total surprise with no problems all the way up to the 28th. Jai Jayashree!

I just got back form conference and each time I think that I'll take notes but I find myself unable to take my gaze from Sharath. What an amazing teacher. I feel so blessed to be a student here at the shala. I feel myself connecting to this place as a vehicle of change and growth. I feel each trip solidifying the merger of my "real" life and my "yoga" life into one. Jayashree said last week to have yoga two things must join. Maybe for the first time I am experiencing a state of yoga...the feeling that I am fully merging myself to my soul.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Week #3

(11) 3:30 am wake up calls
(24) drop backs
(10) Short Stories read
(18) Yoga Sutra’s burned into memory
(8) 2+ hour long sessions with Jayashree and Narasimha
(2) full days with no Indian food consumed
(1) new pose added to practice Lagu Vajrasana

I think it takes two weeks before this whole thing starts to some together. Most things are better, very important things like sleep, and practice, and overall routine. Some things for me have been a little unsettled…my stomach mostly. I am so excited to return to teaching. My big intention or New Year’s resolution (what ever you want to call it) is to teach more. After nearly 10 years of teaching, I thought that what I wanted was to take a break from all that, but what I feel now is that I wanted to change and sometimes you need to break away to give yourself the space to change. It is funny this feeling I am experiencing it directly but I don’t think I can express it.

This I can express…please join me

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dots and Points

I was actually awake when my alarm went off this morning. For the past two weeks when my alarm has sounded at 3:30am I have no idea where I am, I thrash about unable to find the chirping clock and whine a little.

I felt the same sense of alertness with practice this morning. It seems that I have turned the corner, or maybe I was so grateful that Led Primary is just that and my endless practice could be a bit shorter. I even held Utplutih until Sharath counted 4 (that's like 20 for a normal count.)

Tomorrow is a much needed morning to sleep in and a day of rest. It is hard to communicate the depth of experience this trip is helping me to uncover. It's deep. I think that I am finally connecting some dots that have been a mystery to me for some time. I know this..that it is hard to be here alone, but it is so rewarding to know that a only pure intention for the love of a subject and longing to get as close to that subject as you can makes the whole thing possible. Without that there is no point and without the point there can be no practice.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Abhyasa..The Habit Formation

I can't say much today my brain is full and body is excited about practicing only primary tomorrow. Today Jayashree spoke about self study she said to go slowly emphasizing that it is a step by step process. She said,

"If I give you three days worth of food at once, can you eat? can you digest?


Total Dropbacks - 24

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

" happy to be here I could pee myself each morning!"

Yesterday I went on a Indian food fast. I think my internal organs needed a break from the relentless spicy pummeling. I decided to duck into the Bamboo hut which is like an extension of my lodging for a banana and curd smoothie. I sat down at a pretty full table of people that pretty much landed here in Mysore. Their enthusiasm was incredible. I met a man who had just starting the practice of Ashtanga Yoga 6 weeks ago. I am always so curious about how Sharath teaches new students and I was eager to hear how the experience has been for him. Let me just say he is not that young, and didn't seem to be that physically fit. He told that when he went to register with Sharath that he was open about his lack of experience and asked if he should be in the beginners group with Sarasvati. Sharath gave him a 7:15am start time and pretty much said, "see you tomorrow." From what he told me Sharath knows him by name and watches him like a hawk. This man made me ashamed of my lack of enthusiasm. He said every morning when he walks into that shala he is so happy he could pee himself.

Yoga is an attitude.

This morning as I practiced I put my beginners heart into it. I remembered my first trip to the shala when Guruji greeted me at the entrance and asked my name and where I was from and invited me through that amazing doorway. My life has not been the same since. I don't even need to say how practice went, but ankles grabbed and a new pose given all before 6am.

I am finally getting a spring workshop schedule together...details coming soon.

Total Dropbacks -21

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I must admit it. Yesterday I was in a crap mood. My belly ached all day and I felt irritated by everything. I also felt defeated. I asked myself the question, “How am I going to get up at 3:30am 6 days a week for the next three and a half weeks?” I nearly booked a flight home right then and there (I am being dramatic) but when you are in belly pain everything just sucks.

My salvation came in the form of a freshly cleaned room and even better still clean sheets! When I woke this morning my pain was gone I felt pretty rested and I was off to practice. After the sun salutations I feel no trace of the crazy early hour. Practice is feeling strong and focused although I am getting the feeling that I am not going to get any more poses until I am taking both hands to my ankles. Today the right hand went and when I picked the left off the floor I swear I squealed a little and came out of the pose. As Sharath assisted me in my forward floor he laughed a little. Who wants to do Laghu Vajrasana anyway?

I love chanting and philosophy class. It is amazing to have this chance to just get right into it everyday. At the end of class a new students asked this question, “Patanjali what is this all about?” Narasimha answered so quickly he said that this text shows us that man is miserable because of his mind, and the mind is miserable because it continues to identify with objects outside of itself. This method teaches us practices to correct that misidentification.

Total Dropbacks - 17

Monday, January 18, 2010

What to say?

This mornings practice was long and hot. Today if you have been given any Intermediate series you added on after primary. I have been looking forward to working on Intermediate here and today as I finished up Primary I kept practicing and practiced up to ustrasana and then I started my back bending section. When I returned back to my room, all of this happened before 6am, I just crashed hard. Talk about taking a savasana!

I have so many mixed emotions about being here. I love the practice and everyday when I go to philosophy and chanting I feel that I am exactly where I should be. I can feel that this trip is restoring my love of practice and igniting my passion for teaching and that I should work harder to find more opportunities to teach back home. I am amazed by the layers of learning that I experience with each practice. I am amazed by the ability to sit with myself and some very uncomfortable moments and remain still in my mind. I remembered today when I was on the Wake Up Yoga pilgrimage in India at Akbar’s tomb there were many bees and our guide directed us to just “be still” and we would be ok.

I wish I had more words today…..maybe tomorrow. Sending my love from here to wherever you are.

Total Dropbacks -13

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Begin Again.

While two days of no yoga related activities nearly drove me to madness my body thanked me this morning. Even at the wicked early hour of 4:15am my body felt pretty open and fairly ready for the assault that is Sharath's Led Primary Series. It feels be back on the yoga train. Today was the first conference of 2010 at the shala. It was nice to see everyone assembled together.

Sharath gave a very sweet talk about Guruji. He went over the details of his life and how he came to be a student of Krishnamacharya. He stressed that yoga requires action and effort. He also made a point of saying that today no one wants to be the student and everyone wants to be the teacher. Everyone in the room giggled. It is true. I find that here is Mysore I love so deeply this time to be solely a student. I crave it when I am at home. That is what has me coming back year after year the freedom to be taught. I pray to not loose that need to be a student. To put myself in the hands of another teacher(s) literally and unpack everything I thought I had come to understand and begin again.

After conference KCDV and her cousin Trice and I went for an evening dosa and a nice stroll home. While it is not the best pircture of us it is the enjoy..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week #2

It feels a bit like a week one recap all over again since this was the first week of practice at the shala. I can’t really express how good it felt to be back in the shala, and while it does have a different energy now that Guruji has left his body. Part of that energy is a reverence and part a steadiness. My last three trips have had a bit of sadness and general confusion but now the overall mood it less chaotic and that is a very nice vibration to align with. I have not had one of those frenzied first day nervy practices. I guess it only took 3 trips to work that out.

(5) 3:30 am wake up calls
(10) drop backs
(8 ) Short Stories read
(12) Yoga Sutra’s burned into memory
(4) 2+ hour long sessions with Jayashree and Narasimha
(10) mosquito coils purchased
(100’s) curry leaves consumed

Jill Margraff asked my in a facebook post if I was alright. I feel like I made her worry about me. What I am learning about myself it that I do get homesick. It is a weird feeling because I have yet to really claim Providence as my home. I often feel homesick there as well. I think that I feel homesick for a time when I really had a yoga home. A time when I felt like a member of a community and gave and received inspiration nearly continually. Memory weighs heavy.

I also noticed this week that my heart is super soft. When people push me in at the gate in the morning I nearly cry. I had one of those days yesterday when I was amazed by the way the “yogis” behave. These feelings have not been limited to the yogis in Mysore. I kept hearing Narasimha saying that the yama’s and niyama’s train our humanity…the yama’s and niyama’s as a practice are designed to awaken our own humanness.

I am happy to get back to practice tomorrow although I did need these two days of rest.

I hope everyone back home (where ever that is for you) is playing their edges, softening their heart and awakening humanity from the inside out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Solar Eclipse of the Heart

Slept until 6am today. What an amazing feeling! It is the first solar eclipse of 2010and India is very quiet. Still much mythology surrounds these celestial events so many store haven't opened and many warnings for pregnant women to stay inside for fear that there may be some demon force(s) attacking the sun. While I was walking around today I noticed what appeared to be little kids running around with X-rays. When I stopped at the Coconut Stand to chat with a friend, again a little boy ran up with an X-ray. He then guided me out from under the refuge of the trees toward the "surya!", the sun. He pantomimed that I should hold up the X-ray and look toward the sky.

Amazing. I saw the eclipse.

No practice until Sunday. I must admit I am missing home and looking forward to getting back to teaching. One of my 2010 intentions is to teach more. I have been putting together some workshops that I would like to offer, so if you own a yoga studio or practice at one and would like me to come and teach send me an email ( I have been working on my 2010 schedule from India. Jayashree has memorizing 12 sutra's a week, and chanting entire pada's as well. I think the first 12 are finally burnt into my memory, i wake up chanting them. Starting Monday really focusing on the next 12.

That's the Indian way. Pade Pade. Step by step.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Sister, The Yogi?

I am so grateful that I get a brief respite from the pre-pre dawn practice schedule. Tomorrow is the new moon day and as always we are gifted Saturday as the official day of rest for the week. It has been a tough week. Practice is hard and from here on out it will only get harder. Next Monday I will add on the part of second that Sharath brought me up to from my last trip, and then the possibility of adding more from there…that is a lot of asana.

I really missed home this week. This is how I know I really love my life. Some people here don’t give a thought about home and could care less if they ever landed. I am jealous of that spirit, but I wouldn’t trade my home, my husband, and my dogs for anything. I guess I feel more like myself here and I want to share that with my loved ones like NOW.

Most people know that I have a pretty stellar sister, Joy. Most people know that we live very different “lifestyles.” She eats and drinks for her living, and gets people to eat and drink with her. I yoga for a living, and the last time I was at her house I grabbed the local yoga studio’s schedule and hung it on her fridge next to the Ganesha magnet I bought her when she got married. I want people to yoga. I was totally impressed with her blog that I read this morning. You should read it as well it is the perfect expression of yoga, freedom from distraction, sitting with what is uncomfortable and confronting reality without any distortion.
January 13th post

Here is the big thought of the day. The state of zero is Samadhi. This is also the egoless state of pure love between two people—both arrive at zero.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steadiness and Sweetness

So many people ask me about my routine while I am in India. What do I do with myself all day? Well, all day is an interesting concept around here, but here is my schedule so far. It may be tweaked over the next 4 weeks but for now here goes.

I wake up at 3.30am. This will happen 6 days a week with out variation. I shuffle to the gate at the AYRI which is locked and I take a seat alongside of yoga students and rough housing street dogs. I wait. We all wait. At around 4.15am the gate opens and it is like a rock concert or scary soccer match. Students rush into the shala and find their spot and shortly after that practice individually and collectively begins. It has been for me that on the right side of Utthita Trikonasana Sharath comes out of his office and calls us to Samasthiti. This is the best part of the first practice slot we chant. No other time slot chants as a call and response group.

I am back in my bed by 6.20am. I nap a bit until breakfast.

Breakfast. Check emails. Bucket Bathe. Off to a 2 hour chanting and philosophy class.

I am home now trying to beat the power outage to get this out and it is 3pm. I am having a chai and I’ll read and reflect on the frenzied notes I took during class. A light dinner and then lights out at 7pm.

3.30am comes really fast.

We have a two day holiday this weekend with Friday and Saturday off. I hope to share some juice that seems to flood this place. I am so grateful to have this time here. I am so grateful to the teachers that continue to hold the bar so high and keep the light of yoga bright. I am so…

Total Dropbacks-10

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Joking

After the other night battling the mosquito's I took some serious action. I got coils and cream, and I closed all my windows at 6pm. It worked I slept pretty soundly and when my alarm went off at 3:30am I felt rested. Thank Ganesha!

Practice this morning was nice, hot and the whole room seemed be moved slowly in a good way. Two notable moments on practice just after I put myself down into Supta Kurmasana I felt this sensation in my left chest and lung area and I felt a slight panic or anxiety. I did my best to breathe there and I felt all that move and shift out of my body. Then there is always the drama of back bending. Today as I worked with Sharath he said as he tells everyone, "walk." Walk I did, first with straight arms and the with the arms bending I could feel and see my heels and I thought I was done so I started to come up not realizing that Shararth had bent down to help place my hand on my ankle. I hit him in the top of the head. I apologized profusely and then he said..."don't fear."

Jayashree's was great this afternoon. Two hours of uninterrupted study. It seems that I have technical problems here in India. My computer has been acting funny and now my camera will not communicate with the computer to release my photos from the day. Hopefully I can work that out. There is always so much dancing between how you want things to go and how and when they actually do...go.

Maybe more tomorrow I have a lot to do before the power goes out again. That I can rely on.

Total Dropbacks-6

Monday, January 11, 2010

What is Yoga?

When I worked on Teacher Training at Wake Up Yoga an essay that TT's are assigned to write is entitled, "what is yoga?" Over the 5 years I worked on that program I found myself aways amazing at what I like to call the 'heart and unicorn' descriptions of students personal relationship with yoga. Today I find myself sitting at the end of power outage number 9 of the day. It all started really early this morning just past midnight, fan off, stagnant air, and mosquito's buzzing by. I was awake until the power came back on an hour and half later bringing my ceiling fan back to life and keeping the mosquito's struggling against a current of air.

3:30am. The alarm goes off and yet again the power is out. I struggle to find my flashlight and then my headlight. I brush my teeth in the dark, put my clothes on, and manage to unlock my gate all before 4am. With no street lights it is really dark, and I regret not bringing my flashlight for the walk to shala.

Today is the first day of Mysore practice and again being in the first batch really sets the bar. Despite the poor sleep practice is good. I noticed today that Sharath is really keeping his eyes on Supta Kurmasana maybe even more so because this week everyone does Primary Series only and he is stopping people if they aren't binding themselves or if he can't bind them. Shockingly, and I don't know where this has come from I put myself into it deeply.

Today I started philosophy and chanting at Jayashree's. Like everything around here a new course started and we will be all this month (Monday- Thursday) memorizing and discussing chapter one of the Sutra's. I am so excited. Today's class was amazing two hours long and a small group. After we covered the material Jayashree's brother kept teaching and after the day I've had it was like he speaking to me first he said, "yoga is not a continuous process....this is hard." Followed by this new definition of yoga that I am going to sit with for a long time I can tell:

Yoga is not a sugar coated pill it is a bitter coated sugar.

I am going to put some balm on my bites and set my alarm for 3:30am and it is nearly time for bed.

Good Night & OM Shanti

Total Dropbacks-3

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's 3:25am..Time to Wake Up!

Practice makes everything make sense here.

I walked to the gate at about 3:45am to find I am like the 7th person to arrive. I think if I didn't practice here in Mysore and someone tried to explain this ritual to me I would definitely think that this is something that only crazy people would subject themselves to. I am pretty sure that the 4:30am group is all returning students. It is funny to be that large of a group and the straight leg jump-through is the rule not the exception. 80% of the students sit up and wrap both legs tightly behind their head before lying down and binding hands behind the small part of the back....quickly. The heat and the energy was that intense. I must say, that after nearly 6 months of exclusive home-alone practice, I definitely met my own bar and felt right in step and breath.

Sharath ever vigilant did need to bust out a few, "Why you hurry?" I did notice that some of the counts have changed since I was last here in July/August 2008. A breath added here and taken away there. I guess even the steadiest teacher does tailor the material over time.

Overall it was a great first day of school, although a mosquito did bite my face in a pretty long headstand and headstand half-way. I am excited to practice Mysore Style for the remainder of the week.

Practice makes everything make sense (period.)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Week #1

I have never done this before but I am taking a suggestion from my sister's WIWT blog.

Weekly Wrap-Up

I never thought I say this, but so far I have enjoyed my time alone more than the time I have spent with other people. I guess yoga really is freedom from chit chat.

I think I really needed this first week as a rest. The move to Providence really was hard and I had some pretty dark moments. There were times that I felt like I was hitting my stride, but I see here I never really recovered from the heartbreak of the move, the anxiety to find work, and the loss of my yoga community.

I am ready practice in all its forms. Again, too much talking and not enough practicing!

I feel more like myself than I have in ages. My eyes are bright, my skin is clear (except for some mosquito bites) and I will be returning to Providence this time as my real self.

Oh! I think I am in love with Simon Baker.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Morning Sky & Afternoon Chai

Where are you from?

Now that practice starts this Sunday Mysore is filling up fast with students. Earlier this week it was just me and Vivian at her sweet little breakfast place on Shala Rd. After practicing with Thomas this morning we went there together and the place was packed. People have started to ask me where I am from. I don’t really know how to answer that question. I know they mean, “Where did you come from to get here?” That answer is Providence, RI. Sometimes I stop there and sometimes if they know that area I explain that I am there temporarily because of my husbands’ high ambitions and extreme talent.

Practice this morning was so nice. To stand next to someone and chant the opening mantra together I felt recharged. I felt connected to my practice partner, myself, to Guruji and the lineage of Ahtanga Yoga. It feels like going far away is just what you need to feel close to home. On my arrival in Mysore I received an email wishing me a happy New Year from a dear student and its message with sutra like precision said it all, “I hope this year brings you lots of adventure, tons of peace and much happiness in your heartland (India) and homeland (Providence)."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Power Cuts

I didn't write that much about registration yeserday because the power kept cutting in and out and I wanted to make sure I got a blog out. All in all it went rather smoothly and yes I got the most desired time (4:30am) but more than that I noticed that Sharath seemed happy. Last time I was here (July '08) Sharath seemed stressed at registration and I remember feeling off because of that. Maybe it is this new system, maybe Sharath is ready to take on the reigns fully, I dont know.

After regstration it felt like a giant weight had been lifted and I am so excited about practice. Just before this last power cut (about 3 hours ago) I heard a friend call my name from the street below. My dear friend Thomas has arrived. We will practice in my little room tomorrow at half past seven (his phrasing.)


Wednesday, January 06, 2010


So my sister Joy (you can find her link under the “stuff I love” heading) totally razed me about my lack of food description. Hey, I am a yogi not a foodie. Sleep has been hard to come by I find myself around 8pm literally unable to keep my eyes open so I go to bed. Then I wake up so many times. Today I finally just got up at 3am. I am sure that when practice at the shala begins my sleep cycle will be ironed out. I am having a really lovely day today. At 8am I went to Vivian’s to have my favorite breakfast (see food photo.) Although she has many Western breakfast options I prefer two paratha’s with home made curd and coffee. After I fully digested this light and lovely meal I practiced in my room. Today was the first day since the epic journey that I included drop backs in my practice. Shockingly they went smoothly. I can already feel the enviromental changes in my body. The heat, the massive consumption of water, and the spices found in India cooking. Everything here really supports the practice.

The power went out so I decided to walk and have an afternoon cappuccino in the sun and read some and write some. In a bit I am going to head over to the shala to register. I can feel my nervous energy rising.



Feeling good

Start time 4:15am

Must eat

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I don’t think ever spent this much time by my self. Oddly I am really enjoying the down time. I have small interactions with people but most of the time it is me and me. Maybe I am ok with it because I know starting this weekend it will be full,yoga,yoga. I have been doing a lot of thinking about what has been going on in my life and where I want to make changes. I have been missing Mike thinking about our first trip to India and how everything was so new and so different. I find myself walking around the way I used to in NYC, walking with confidence knowing where things are, how much they should cost, what time meals are.

Speaking of meals I had a North India Thali for lunch today (see picture.) I forgot how much spicier Indian food in India really is. It is so hot out. So hot that you even hear the locals complain. I should have brought a hat.

I brought a copy of Emerson’s Self Reliance with me. It is the copy that Make has had since high school. I read where my husband at 16 years old underlined and starred and I now underline around those underlines. This morning this bit really spoke to me.

"what I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think. This
rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it."

Monday, January 04, 2010

Mike said that I am being stingy with my pictures. The truth is that I haven’t taken all that many pictures. I am going to try harder. Mysore has changed so much since my first visit in November 2006. I have just this afternoon spotted some goats on the road. The changes are hard to capture with the camera.

I have been up since 1am. I am hoping that this jet-lag will pass soon. I feel if I were practicing at the shala it would have passed already. Registration begins on Wednesday and if my plane ticket weren’t significantly cheaper I would have waited a little longer to leave Providence. So, I am in Mysore practicing still alone, but it feels different somehow. First of all it’s hot. So I am sweating with practice for the first time since like October and then there is the Indian atmosphere, the smells and the sounds, the feel of bare feet on a marble floor. Mike says in social situations that he is, “the straw that stirs the drink.” I would call practice the pin, but really it is the straw that stirs the drink.

It is like a homecoming.

I have been doing a lot of reading and writing and walking. I have been looking at some blog posts on changes for the New Year. I was thinking about what I would like to change/bring into existence for this new decade and how I would frame these intentions. I think this will be a future blog…stay will definitely have a yoga flavor.

Now for an afternoon chai!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Bathroom View

The Snow Man

This picture was taken two weeks ago in Philadelphia. I came into town to teach a weekend workshop and wound up staying through Christmas. While the snow stopped many things it did not stop my workshop. Last year as I was getting ready to leave cozy Philadelphia for unknown Providence, I asked many people where my strengths were as a yoga teacher. I asked this not to boost my ego but because I couldn't "see" what made me a strong yoga teacher. I knew that overall I was good because I love what I do and I have been developing a relationship to the material and to teaching the material for nearly a decade. I got a lot of responses. Most of the responses weren't clear, students too could not put their finger on why they responded to me as a teacher. I was still so lost about how I could improve and offer meaningful workshops. After the winter wonderland workshop experience I think I know where my juice lies.

Last year I taught many one day, three hour yoga intensives. I always left not quite feeling I communicated what I wanted to, or gave the students a real picture of how I work and then how that may work for them. The answer hit me two weeks ago. I need at least two days. So simple. Two days with the same group of students I can give them the two things that I cherish with practice.

Foundation and Flight

One day to establish a dialog, to define my terms, to work quietly and deeply. Then the next session can soar and students can play their edges with me and the practice.
Hopefully there will be more two days workshops offered this spring. Maybe the series will be called:

Foundation and Flight

Mysore feels like home. Registration for the shala is Wednesday and practice starts next week. After my two day long journey here I rolled out my mat and practiced first, napped later. Students are arriving. Energy is building. The January sun is burning. (I should have brought a hat)

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wallace Stevens

Friday, January 01, 2010

Landed in Mysore

....blogging coming....