Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mysore: Full Moon Benefits

True to form, I've gotten to the point in my trip where I can't think about leaving, the Mysore yoga practice community knitting ever more together and providing a playground for learning on all levels. This week has already featured an adopted cat, a successful benefit performance event that raised a healthy sum for Operation Shanti and and a (very large) group lunch with our yoga teacher Sharath Rangaswamy. I've grown used to up most days at 3a.m., friends yelling from the gate to come to getting chai and/or coconuts after practice, and hearing a deep and wonderful story from at least once person each day. I'm feeling ever-more the 'coming' in the 'practice and all is coming' guidance given by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois that fuels Mysore-style Ashtanga. Sure, I'm somewhat frustrated with how long it's taking me to fully execute the one next-pose I've been given this trip thus far, but the subtler effects of breathing deeper into oneself each day, before dawn, with a rock-and-roll group of some of the world's most committed practitioners spills over into everything.
One thing I've been getting to in regards to writing about this trip is how Sharath Rangaswamy, the director of SKPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute has stressed the importance of the Yamas and Niyamas, two of the eight limbs of yoga to our practice. It's easier to talk about Asana, from the outside, the 'only' thing we're actually practicing each day in the studio, but these limbs, which outline behavior, observances and right conduct in the world and within onself, are perhaps the true test of one's practice. Sharath has emphasized that the Niyamas and Yamas will naturally arise with regular practice of Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga. And while there's a large spectrum of practice levels here, with everyone at different stages of their realization of the infinite depth of yoga, the generosity, effectiveness and large heart of the bulk of the students here speaks to that natural evolution.

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