Monday, August 12, 2013


The whole assisting thing was new on my first trip to Mysore. Not just for me, but for everyone involved. And though I had no prior experience to compare it to, no old impression of the shala to hold it against, I couldn't help but feel like I was witnessing a little bit of shala history. There was Sharath working the room, not on his own but with the shala's first foreign assistants. My first back bend in the shala was by an assistant, and she took me to ankles. I was startled--maybe even a little disoriented--yes, but I also felt very supported. I didn't even know such a feat was possible.

Fast forward to late January. I'm reregistering for month two when Sharath tells me in his usual matter-of-fact way, the same manner he says most things, authoritative but somehow strangely off-key, like the way he might inform you that your time has changed, like somehow you had it wrong all along, "You assist for me next month."

I wish I could report that I'm the kind of person that was just totally cool and even minded about it. When in reality, my mind went blank and I think I went all bug-eyed. My mouth might have dropped. I was just glad I was sitting down, else I might have actually fallen over, so much was the mixture of shock, excitement, and joy that he thought I might be ready.

Then reality set in, "Next month, which is...?" Next week, he answered. That's just about when the anxiety chimed in.

What to say about assisting? I've been trying to sum up the experience now for some time now. Maybe there's just no summing it up. There are so many layers to it. So many different lessons-- about the shala, Sharath, myself, my practice, my abilities--and all my issues that have to do with said abilities or my perception of them.

It's a unique opportunity to learn, to share, and to serve at the shala in Mysore, under the guidance of Sharath, with the energy of the seriously devoted practitioners that come and practice there. It was an incredibly intense experience, ridiculously tiring that I would repeat again in a heart beat.

But if I could sum my experience up with one word, it would be "gratitude." To the boss man Sharath, to the students who trusted me with their bodies/practices, to those who gave me good feedback, to the friends who encouraged me, to my first yoga teacher and to every person who helped me along this path. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment