Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Practice Peeves

1. People with flaky mats
Every mat that isn't from the Manduka Pro series should be BANNED and OUTLAWED as far as I'm concerned (their eKo series is crap; mine flaked after 6 months. So just get the Manduka Pro or Pro-Lite). It is INCONSIDERATE to keep practicing on your flaky mat, so CHUCK IT! Spare a thought for your neighbours (not all of us are Pratyahara Queens and other people's flaky mat bits stuck on your sweaty limbs is just plain GROSS).

2. People with extra-long length mats
If you're gonna get a Manduka Pro, DON'T bring the extra-long length one to Mysore. I was guilty of practicing on one of these while in Sydney. BUT!!!! The difference is... There was space in my Sydney shala. However, there is NO wiggle room in the Mysore shala. This causes great distress to your neighbours in front and behind you as they're trying to be polite by not touching your mat/ invading your space... BUT!!! You leave them no choice but to be rude and plonk their feet on your mat in seated postures.

3. Practising next to the shala door
- The draft.
- All eyes on you of the people queuing to get in.
- The constant traffic of people entering and leaving.

4. Heavy breathers
Enough said.

Like I said, not everyone is a Pratyahara Queen.

I'm running on a few hours' sleep, can you tell? I fall asleep fine, but seem to wake up at 2am most nights then lay in bed till my alarm rings for practice at 5.35am (for 6.30 slot). My time-slot got moved up half-hour earlier from tomorrow onwards. Less sleep beckons.




  1. You're hilarious! This is the down and dirty stuff that most bloggers don't ever write about when visiting Mysore (well, there was the post Miss Stan wrote about all the bathrooms in Mysore- including a photo of the disgusting shala bathroom... one of my top favorite posts ever!!).

    The flakey mats are horrible. My teacher lets people use a loaner Manduka when he sees a crap mat come through the door... then the person realizes how luxurious it is to practice on a good mat and they end up buying one eventually! Problem solved! HA!!

  2. Oh UGH. I read this post this morning on my iPhone and couldn't post a comment. And now all I can say is UGH UGH UGH, flaky mats? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I think I am not cut out for Mysore and the jammed packed room. Delicate flower yogi, I guess. I'm sorry you're not sleeping either. Poor little Skip.

    (word verify was skabbe!)

  3. i adore my prAna revolution mat- no flaking and it's been around six months so far. (Jade yoga mats flake, lulu's mats flake, eKo colours leach-No manduka pro- PVC just isn't a part of my yoga practice).
    However- it is pretty darn long and wide.... which is fine since i don't go to mysore :)

    Also- i gotta put in a little stickler- please please recycle your mat ( send your mat here and get a discount for your new manduka mat!)

  4. Each little piece of mat litter is saturated in someone's foot sweat, too.

    Is it evil to notice that?

    There are some heavy breathers who say that not bellowing is incorrect practice. Sometimes at a restaurant I overhear someone from that school complaining that the advanced practitioner next her her/him that morning must not have really understood the practice since she didn't breathe loudly. What a funny idea! Maybe it's been done, but honestly I can't imagine anyone surviving advanced for very long with Vader-level aggression. :-)

  5. How weird, I have had no issues with my Manduka Eko and I've had for like two years now. But yeah, the flaking is gross.

    One really tall dude had the extra long mat I forgave him because he was extra tall.

    The Darth Vader breathers are ridiculous.

    Word verification 'hotter', LOL.

  6. i was happy to be by the door yesterday because i looked up and saw a woman i know who had just arrived the day before! it took me a good long moment to figure out who she was though, but i looked up and we both had that moment of recognition and a big smile. it was nice.
    on the other hand a woman walked in and completely knocked me over in upavistha konasana. not sure how she didn't see my leg there in front of her.
    as for recycling my heavy black mat, not sure when i will have the opportunity to do that. i have had mine for 8 years. still going strong.

  7. I'm with you on #4 - we have a Darth Vader breather in our shala that is SO DISTRACTING!! Fortunately our teacher installed a heating system that can get pretty noisy too so it drowns him out a little.

    Sorry to hear you haven't been sleeping well - maybe it's the jetlag? I've been enjoying your posts (and the fffffooooodd!!)

  8. I read this before I went to practice this morning and had a person with a "flaky mat" next to me. It even had the portions of it worn off and nearly holes where the hands and feet always are....don't you think that's a hint that a new mat is needed? I don't know, I would THINK so! What about those with stinky mats?!?! I practiced next to someone yesterday, that the moment he unrolled it next to me, there was a funk that came from it. EEK!
    I hope you get more sleep soon!

  9. These comments are cracking me up!!!

    Tova, I'm with you- my Manduka will be with me till I die. Then I can be rolled up in it and buried under a garden. Seems better than buying a million mats (which have to be manufactured using resources, transported to a shop or through the mail, and then ultimately fall apart) and recycling them all.

    Some people have toes that are like talons. I see mats that show wear that doesn't show on mine. I use a rug, though... a rug that will also be with me until I die!

    We have a 12 year old kid who breaths so loud and so laboriously that I want to scream. But he's 12 and has no clue that he's even in his scrawny body. I try to cut him a break. (but still, shut the fuck up).

  10. Dear Jaime
    I like the discipline they give you. I've tried it on myself. I'm moving my practice at home 15 minutes earlier, but the body hasn't listened to the mind and the emotions complain. Maybe tomorrow they will listen.

    I have an Eko and you must be right because I never brought it to China and have brought everything else imaginable yoga related. It's in permanent storage. I found it too thin anyhow.

    If I went, or when I go to Mysore (in 2014) I will have the same angst to see a lot. I'm an architect, so outside of practice I have to go see places and buildings. I can't fanthom how I would spend three months at a stretch doing only yoga- except at or near retirement, and with the income to support myself.


  11. Liz - that's very smart of your teacher to do that. Even though I haven't needed another mat in the last 3 years I've had the black mat now... I think I'm lusting after the regular sized black mat now. I feel greedy for claiming so much floor space in a shala and I'm not even that tall!

    Loo - I thought so too, but the 2 week workshop Sharath did in Sydney had a similar sardine-packed situation and it was a great experience and small taster of the Mysore shala room. If you can make it to his Encinitas or NY workshops in April/ May this year, DO IT!

    Eco - Different strokes for different folks! As long as you recycle that mat at the first sign of flaking or I will get the Flake-Police on your case STAT!

    Owl - EWWWWW!! I was thinking that the flakes would be bathed in sweat but I didn't say it. Thanks for mentioning it. And interestingly, the second or third day after giving me Pasasana, my teacher in Sydney came over while I was in Trikonasana and said something along the lines of "Now that you're practising Intermediate, learn to soften and quieten the breath a lot more. Internalize it. Louder breaths are OK for people starting out in Primary." And I find that a good observation - the quieter the breath, the more internalized the practice. I suppose you'd need that for the more advanced asanas, but what would I know.

    Sonya - I think I'm lazy in jumpbacks and jumpthroughs and drag my feet and yes, I have talon-toenails, so I guess my mat takes the hit. Since I started using the black mat AND a mat towel, I no longer have that problem. And you're right, I shouldn't be so bitchy. The extra-long mat dude was also extra-tall, so I shouldn't hold that against him. I think it was the combo of people running in and out, long mat sticking in my face etc etc that just got on my tits.

    Tova - I will happily swap spots with you next time! Today, I got the spot waaaaay in the opposite corner, right next to Guruji's picture with flashing blue lights. I MUCH prefer that spot. Plus, the assistants tend to hang out there too so I got loads more lovely assists today! ;p

    Danielle - Well... I'm feeling a bit guilty today for the post coz when I first started out, I'm pretty sure I was a pretty damn loud breather too. So... I just need to learn to chillax and drown out other people's breath issues.

    Lilli - STINKY MAT IS WORSE THAN FLAKY MAT!! Can't the person smell it in every single chaturanga when their nose is right in the Stink? I don't get it!!

    Arturo - I was rather annoyed this morning when I turned up at 6am and had something like 10 people waiting before me. By the time I got on the mat, it was around 6.20am. THE SAME TIME I WOULD'VE GOTTEN ON THE MAT if I'd just stuck to the 6.30am slot (I'm usually a little early). And usually when I arrived at around 6.15am for my 6.30am slot, there would be NOBODY in line and I would sail right through to be next in line. But... Yes, now I have to wake up half an hour earlier, to get stuck in a queue for half an hour so I can get on the mat at the same time I would've anyway if I'd woken up half hour later. It defies logic. But since my teacher says so, I shall do so. Sigh.

  12. Jaime, one of our heavy-breathers is on loan to KPJAYI ;) he is lovely though! I though of you this morning as the person in front of me (who is tall but only the same amount of tall as I am...) practiced on their mat, plus a space about twelve inches in front of their mat, AND six inches off the back i.e. in my face. Would a long mat have been preferable I wondered?? (and it's front OR back for mat overspill people, not both!!)

  13. Mel - YES! YOU TELL EM!! It's front OR back! Grrrrrrrr.

  14. Hahaha.... nothing like a good rant huh??

    In defence of lulu, I've had one of their mats for 3 years and it hasn't flaked a bit. Maybe it's not their normal mat, it's a strange texture. Good mat. But now I have the manduka and agree with Ev, roll me up and bury me in it when I die! Hahaha!!!

    Mel knows how I feel about the heavy breather :) Sweetest guy in the world, funny, lovely, but I could just clobber him sometimes during practice!! Oh and we had a smelly mat guy, I kept moving away from him, prompting Cary to ask me about it and give him a talking to. Ha!

  15. Susan: Didn't Lulu and Manduka do a limited edition mash-up mat once upon a time? Maybe that's the mat you've got. Which would still make it a MANDUKA (They really should give me shares in their stock!)


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