Wednesday, December 11, 2013

mysore withdrawal

For me, 'tis the season for Mysore. It's not been so very long for me but since 2010, I've spent this time of year in India to study with Sharath at KPJAYI. Until now, that is.

When the season started in Mysore this October, it made me smile to know that the shala life around Gokulam was restarting, that even from afar I felt I could revel in it.

The more time passes, however, the more I feel the shakes for shala practice, for that intense energy that goes into practice, preparing for practice, eating early for practice, pre-practice coffee, post-practice chai...

There's this itch to check on the Ashtanga Mysore Community Facebook page--just to see what's going on--or to stalk friends who I know are there now or are headed that way. Then, there's this deep down feeling of longing that I feel when I see a Mysore shot on Instagram or an update on my newsfeed.

Mysore withdrawal symptoms, all of them, confirming my (healthy! at least on most days) addiction to Mysore, India. (The informal definition in the dictionary for "addict" is "devotee" incidentally, which I think applies well here.)

My body, heart, mind, spirit are having a Pavlovian response to this time of year! I'm not salivating, thank goodness, but am definitely having an interesting reaction to shots of random cows walking the streets, coco stand portraits and especially wide-angle shots of the packed room and expectant faces at conferences. There is a craving for depth of practice with my teacher, the camaraderie of friends who understand similarly the experience of yoga practice in their muscles and their joints and the intensity of the more subtle clenches and the openings that come with it.

And it's not just the practice. Missing Mysore in so many different levels, from the most mundane simple acts that typify a day in the life there, (i.e. morning post-practice chai, Sri Durg Indian breakfast or trip to the Chocolate man for curd) to special Sunday afternoons a capela kirtan in Saraswathipuram leading to conference at the shala with Sharath.

It's interesting now to observe how my attention is drawn to that part of the world, all the way here in Egypt, how connected I continue to feel despite skipping a season, but also how that connection constantly craves for to explain...deepening--which I think is a pretty good kind of addiction.