The Misfit Ashtangi

Scattered thoughts from a particularly scattered mind…

So India: just as I imagined – heat, dust, cows, pervy men. Oh there is much more I know, but I cannot see how visitors get so easily enamoured with the place. You need a tough skin – and I thought London was bad.

The first yoga practice today was at 4.30am (which requires being there at 4.15am thus waking up at 3.30am, and then rolling out of bed around 3.45am cursing and panicking…)and after a hiatus of drinking too much, eating too much and generally involving myself in all bad habits, it was intense. I was (fortunately) stopped in my usual stopping place in the primary series which is Marichyasana D, and was overwhelmed with gratitude as the heat was intense and the sweat was pouring like water from my softened limbs – the copious cocktails consumed on my leaving night on Wednesday emerging through my skin.

The practice just highlighted to me what an outsider I feel here. As I came without a rug (necessary with all the sweating), without a towel (which is just stupid, and due to my own poor packing abilities) and without the ability to do headstand, I wondered if this really was the right choice for me.

And yet I feel the purpose is to learn, to take time with one’s practice and body. Yoga is not just being the most accomplished, but to rid oneself of ego, of the competitive spirit.

And so far I have met people that do share these ideals. But I have also encountered a number who I feel desire only to fit in with this limited vision of yoga, that is to say, a very western concept. I am saying this because 1) This is my blog and not many people read it anyway, so little chance of offending! but 2) because I am yet to be proved wrong.

I don’t want to stay in a little ashtanga clique. I came to do my practice, to learn, to explore and that is it. Perhaps I will change my mind, perhaps I will look back in a month and feel very differently. But I am not sure.

I should have learnt by now that though you can escape a place you cannot escape the predictability of people. I feel much the same as I did when I was ‘part of’ academia. All the potential to change, to be new people, but resulting in a disappointing fate.

Perhaps that is just how it is. Perhaps I am just homesick. Perhaps I just want a real conversation with someone. Perhaps I just want something true, honest. Perhaps it is just me.

And so I wait to witness the human side of India. But I must confess a hideous truth: I feel alone. The misfit ashtangi.


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