What happens once you've been here more than three weeks, is you subtly switch from Mysore-tourist to Mysore resident. Granted yes, this is temporary for most students enrolled at AYI, but many people, minimally, stay on 6 months of each year, and a handful really call it home (albeit as much as one can without official residency). Along with this transition—if you haven't already done it—is an emphasis on home-cooked meals rather than breakfasts and lunches at the several cafes that have sprung up over the years specifically to cater to Western tastes. Given the cosmopolitan nature of the yoga crowd, as well as an acute concern with what one puts in ones body to facilitate practice, there are plenty of options for truly delicious home-prepared meals. While some friends spend their time mastering the local cuisine by taking South Indian cooking lessons, others have simply packed their suitcases with enough condiments from home to replicate meals from their native countries. Seasoned visitors leave room in the luggage for pantry staples like quinoa, nori, tamari and raw cacao that are a little harder to find here (I opted to bring a couple large bottles of Vitamineral Green & Earth to supplement my now-habitual coconut banana smoothies). Potlucks here are a real and welcome treat, as are cuisine-specific dinner parties. Recent and ongoing highlights have included a New Moon Gyoza party, Dosas & Mimosa brunch, a pasta feast and a visiting pastry chef's periodic bake sales including raw and vegan treats featuring imported chocolate and gold leaf. Yum!