Friday, February 11, 2011

Re-Entry To Regular Life

Erm... Has it really been ONE WEEK since I've been back from Mysore? I'm not really sure what to make of it. I've settled back into life in Amsterdam quite nicely and Mysore feels like a distant dream already. Practising in my cold living room in the mornings is ALREADY a freaking mission. I had the good intention of cycling out to Prinseneiland to do P+R's Mysore workshop this week, but the COLD WINTER has made me go into hibernation mode already and I can't seem to roll myself out of my warm bed. WTF?!?

I've got some lovely pictures from those last few days in Mysore, but I suppose I was delaying downloading them from my camera coz... Well... Maybe that would make my being back in the Dam a reality. And reality bites. Kinda sorta, not really.

Here are pictures from those last days of all the beautiful people (and animals) that I met along the way.

Juanita of Anokhi Garden.

Baghee of Ganesh's (named after the character in Jungle Book)
PS. Alice: Jungle Book is by Rudyard Kipling. It's NOT a story from India! ;p

Spotty stray puppy who hangs out at the top of Shala street. He's sleeping in the dirt on the side of the road here, then Mama-Dog came to check out what I was doing!


Adil sells incense and essential oils at the Devaraj Market. He's the dude I met in my first week in Mysore, and he invited my friend Nass and I to a lunch he cooked. We brought a whole party to his shop to buy some oils before heading to his house.

She's a Korean lady living in Pennsylvania who practices an ancient form of healing called Pavanamukhasana (I hope I got the name right), and I can only describe it as a mash-up of Indian-style Osteopathy mixed with Rolfing mixed with Thai massage mixed with energetic realignment mixed with physical realignment. I call her my "healer" coz she combines all the above with her intuitive gift of sussing out where your problems are. I've had some woo-woo moments with her and meeting her is definitely one of the highlights of this Mysore trip.

Believe it or not, there is a BEAUTIFUL lake in Mysore. Some say it's a bit dangerous to go walking around it by yourself since it can be quite desolate depending on the time of day you go. Nass goes with our rickshaw driver, Maney, and Alice and I tagged along on my last day in Mysore. Yes, I went for a 45-minute walk around the lake after a 1.5hr led Primary class at 4.30am.

(Good old Maney, my rickshaw driver!)

No photos allowed in the shala. I DID NOT TAKE THESE SHOTS!! I took my camera back from my friend and was surprised to find these shots. There are more, but I am respectfully NOT posting them. ;)

Lakshmish, my Chanting and Sanskrit teacher. Good old Lakshmish, I'm very fond of him!

He also gave me back my last round of homework. I was surprised to get them all correct. I think he helped me with one stroke on the last word but counted that as all right. Hehe.

Saraswati. I will remember the day when she only seemed interested in assisting people with dropbacks. She was whizzing around to everyone who were finished with backbends just so she could drop them back. Which Grandma's gonna be doing THAT?!

Sharath, my teacher. I dunno why I'm in a mid-squat against the wall. My nervousness around him makes me do ridiculously un-normal things.

PS. You can see "Sharath is a Mac". Haha.

PPS. While we were all waiting to see him outside his office, here is Miss Tova with her little gift for his kids. Very cute!

For some reason, Facebook seems to have taken over the Ashtangis lives in Mysore. So I created a Facebook event as a Farewell lunch for a bunch of us who were leaving Mysore that week. I called it "B'Bye KPJAYI Class of January 2011!" HAHAHA!

The Ashtanga world is sooooo small, I am so sure I'll be meeting up with everyone in these pictures again soon enough, at some point down the road. There have already been so many instances of TWO degrees of separation (yes two, not six), it's still mind-boggling to me.

Also - Ashtangis are a truly special breed of people. I am thankful for having met so many of these gorgeous peeps. Yes, I said "peeps". So shoot me.

Yes, even though there is now ONE flight a day between Bangalore and Mysore airports, there's nothing quite like that 4-hour car ride to and from Bangalore Airport. We started at around 7pm and arrived around 11pm. Waaaaaaaaay past my bedtime. It's a tad freaky to be riding in a strange man's car in the middle of the night in India as a solo female, so I made sure to keep my eyes open. With the amount of tooting going on, that wasn't difficult at all.

Also, my driver was blasting Bangra versions of Indian chants, I had a blast bopping along to them. Except when they came on repeat for the FIFTH TIME. Yes, the lyrics are really "Hare Om, Hare Om, Hare Krishna Krishna Om". Turn up the sound on your computer to listen to this. :)

Phew... I hope this super long post with shitloads of photos and a video has made up for my radio silence in the past week. I still have more Mysore stories and memories to share but I suppose I'm also readjusting back to life in the "real world" at the moment (where winter exists).

Right now, it's just nice to be able to do my laundry (WITH SOFTENER!), throw my toilet paper down the toilet (not in a bin next to the loo) and eat Thai food (non-existent in Mysore). But since it's Friday tonight, I'm going out to dinner (my first Indian meal since being back!) and the movies (I think it's gonna be Black Swan).



  1. Happy you are home safe and sound, that drive sounded a wee bit scary on many levels! I love all these photos and stories, keep 'em coming. You've made me want the Mysore experience, because you've shown me how to do it not only with style but humor! PS squatting next to Sharath = priceless

  2. The coconut guru looks like such a sweet dude....actually all the people you met in India look like sweet souls! Love your cropped pants (from the illegal shala shots) and sending warm sunny thoughts from California!

  3. oh my GOD! What a wrap up!! Thanks for sharing such a fun and thorough scrapbook!

    Your squat by Sharath and the description of the photo are so hilarious.

    And... I can't BELIEVE you have criminal shala shots! I like how you quickly pointed out that you didn't take them. Your friend is gutsy! (I like it).

  4. You are just too damn cute. No one should be allowed to look that good in Mysore :-)

  5. Loo: haha! I was almost gonna tell Sharath "why don't you stand up?" ...but of course that would've been rude of me. And I considered kneeling down next to him in that brief moment before the picture was taken. So that's how I ended up with something in between. Sonya helped to take that picture and she burst into the office while I was in mid-conversation with him. Another funny story in itself!

    Danielle: thanks for your Cali warmth! One of my friends tried to get Rashinkar the tailor to alter a pair of pants she made to look like this pants I'm wearing in that shot... But they wouldn't do it. Another not-so-satisfied customer.

    Evelyn - did you notice the choo choo train on the Shala carpet? I hadn't noticed until someone else posted it on FB. Also, people seem to take illegal shots during chanting classes, wen there are more students in the Shala and less teachers around. I'm just glad I have a clear conscience coz I didn't take those shots! Haha!

    V: awww! Too sweet! But everyone looks good in Mysore. My friend Jill swears everybody looks younger the longer they stay in Mysore. I mean Saraswati must be in her 70s right but she looks like she's in her 50s!

  6. there is a sparkle gone here in mysore :( very missing your happy face.

    as for home practice: i found that creating a really loving space was key. my old home space had a shrine and i spent kind of a silly amount of money on statues and what not, but i figured i was not paying a shala fee. treat yourself to some nice things that will make you excited for home practice. i bought a bigass ganesh from silver nest for supercheap. i would be happy to pick something up for you and send it :) let me know. oh, or an inflatable horse! many colors available ;) hahahaha!

    missing you, hope you are settling back home nicely!


  7. Nah, in my Mysore pictures I look sweaty and way too thin.

  8. You look so gorgeous with your hair down! I saw a video on FB of Lakshmish demonstrating proper pronunciation of the opening and closing chants. He's got such a beautiful voice!

  9. Wow! What a finish! Now wonder you are so good at what you do. Thanks again.

  10. Hey Tova! Well... I live in a 1-bedroom apartment and don't have space for a dedicated yoga room/ space. I basically roll my mat out between the stairs and my desk in the living room. Maybe I need to change this coz your idea of a dedicated space sounds great! (Maybe the laundry room...?)

    V - sweaty and skinny sounds... erm... Fabulous! ;p

    Yyogini - yes he does! He's also charming coz he's so oldskool and easily embarassed by us "Westerners". Hehe.

    SF - My pleasure! Can't wait to go back. :)

  11. I miss Sunny already!!!!!!

    I didn't know I was supposed to take the picture of you with Sharath!!!!! Everyone in the lobby started yelling at me, ha ha ha.

  12. dear Jaime
    so many faces look familiar to me, even if it's through blogdom.

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