Tuesday, January 17, 2012

friendship and the bonds of practice

It's 9pm, quite late by shala standards, especially if you're practicing at 4:30 in the morning. I've just come home after squatting outside Amruth's, nursing for a few minutes a Bonvita, no sugar. We were a small group, the last remaining of a day of farewell for one of the good friends I've made this trip.

Though I should be saving this entry for the morning, I feel compelled to write about one of the really special gifts of coming out here: the people you meet, particularly the ones you connect with, who are as much a part of the Mysore experience as the practice itself.

The yoga students that are drawn here come from all around the world. We come from different backgrounds, cultures, and fields of expertise. We're all so different, except for the love and dedication to this practice. We all come so willing to dive into the depths of asana and the depths of the depths that our physical practice helps us access. We come and surrender. That makes us incredibly open not just to the practice, not just to Sharath, not just to ourselves but to each other too.

I've been here three full months now, practicing and sharing this experience with the same room day in, day out. As we practice, we each individually create this incredible energy. And then we share it with each other. That builds a unique bond. Outside the shala, relationships solidify over coconut, chai, shared meals and adventures. Some people you get to know well. Some, barely at all.

For those that we establish deep connections with, these people become our source of support especially in these intense times that we are being pried open. We gravitate to each other quite naturally, we prop each other up, we look out for each other--sometimes in very quiet and loving ways, gracious and beautiful in its subtlety. Though somethings are extraordinary, mostly we do the most ordinary things with each other. We break bread. We swap jokes. We cry on each others' shoulders. We're real with each other. We check in and see how we're feeling, how the pose or the pain is going. And we give each other shelter through our personal storms. We thrive in community. We remind each other that we aren't alone in this crazy pressure cooker.

But even the connections that are not so defined are also special here. For example, the sweet girl who practiced beside me for the last month, whose name I didn't get to know until her very last day. She congratulated me so warmly, with so much sincerity when she realized that my practice had shortened and I'd been split. She really felt for me. And when she had to go, I missed her presence.

Though one friend is leaving, I look forward to seeing the familiar faces in the room again tomorrow morning. Whether I know them well or not, I feel so much love for this amazing set of people. I feel so much gratitude that I can continue to share this experience with them. That, for me at least, there is still time left to get to dig deeper into these human connections that truly enrich my life here in Mysore and the overall experience of the practice.


  1. I miss you. Yes, dear, we are all part of the bigger Soul. :)

  2. i love to read those mysore specials. it is 3 weeks now that i am study in mysore and days are son differents, sometimes up, sometimes less but each day is a gift

  3. Thanks again dear sweet Kaz! You keep us connected thoughout the world, love to you.