Hmm…. so a few words on my experience of nearly 5 months in Mysore…
…..5 months without edible cheese, horns and horns and horns, cows, and men climbing up palm trees with their bare hands, and half lizards falling from the sky, and cows, and yellow and pink cows, and horses walking across a deserted road at 3am, and fluorescent cows jumping through fire, and decapitated chickens, and people spitting on you and children urinating on you, and taking a shit on a mountain, and men groping your breast, and sweat in places you didn’t even know had pores, and men pinching your thigh, and yoga students with stupid Om necklaces, and yoga students with stupider Om tattoos and sanskrit tattoos and sanskrit shawls and really bad chanting in sanskrit and buying Ganesh statues because they’re ‘cute’, and vegan food and people at breakfast with plastic containers of home made health drinks of flax seed and vomit, and scarily thin people, and aggressive adjustments in supta kurmasana, and Marichy D envy, and wishing you didn’t eat so you could do Marichy D and cursing your breasts for preventing you from doing Marichy D, and wishing you weren’t so attached to Marichy D, and tall people invading your yoga mat, and tall, blonde people stealing your spot in the shala, and monkeys stealing your yoga mat, and ‘One more!’, and dogs, and dogs barking, and dogs barking all night, and dogs running after you, and dogs encircling you in the deserted street at 3am, and hungry looking dogs, and ugly-looking dogs who stare at you while drinking chai, and chai, chai, chai, chai to infinity!!!!!! and idli :(, and dosa 😦 😦 , and huge cones of dosa 😦 😦 :(, and mosquitoes biting you in the ass even when you’re fully clothed, and ‘Chatvari jump back!’, and bruises everywhere, and smoothies in a bowl with plastic spoons, and coconuts, and ‘Let’s meet at the coconut stand!!’, and ‘Oh no the coconut stand is getting closed down by the police! Gokulam will never be the same again!! It is sooooo devastating!!!!!’, and ‘Oh crisis averted the coconut stand is still there, no need for our planned sit in!!’, and endless trips to the supermarket, and buying crap, and buying plastic pieces of crap, and getting ripped off by rickshaw drivers, and being semi-molested by rickshaw drivers, and staring into space, and staring at walls, at the sky, at the lake, at deserted wasteland, at the Green Hotel at sunset, at the ceiling, at the fan whirring round and round, and ‘Samasthi’, and tears, and sleeping away the days, and dust, and uncompromising heat, and burning plastic, and burning leaves, and cricket with a tennis ball, and geckos in the bed, and ants in the kettle, and boiled ants in my tea, and no bloody hot water again!, and no bloody electricity again!, and listening to old Hindi film tunes, and red toe nails, and ‘Utpluthi, lift up……………………………………………one………….two……((collapse))…………………………..lift up!!’, and too much ghee, and too much banana and carrot cake, and too much almond butter, and unexplained petals in the hair, and the led practice race into the shala, and elbowing yogis, and yoga mat spot fixation, and bollocks I’m in the changing room again, and bollocks I got the front left corner spot near the men’s changing room, and bollocks I’m on a ridge, no two ridges!!, and bollocks I am in the doorway and everyone is staring at me, and paper lantern dristhi, and glaring strip light destroying dristhi, and people who roll their mat out from front to back, and rolling to the side in chakrasana, and feeling the wrath of hatred from your neighbour when you roll sideways in chakrasana, and ‘Catching?’, and falling in love with Sharath, and developing KPJAYI shala smugness, and lineage, and ‘Happy Moon day!’, and no bandhas, where art thou mula bandha?????, and bucket baths, and waiting half an hour for the trickle of hot water to fill the bucket, and needing five buckets to wash your hair, and hand-washing clothes in a bucket, and destroying clothes from hand-washing them in a bucket, and spending stupid amounts of money at FabIndia, and giving away all FabIndia outfits after seeing other yoga students in the same ensembles, and ‘Happy Shivaratri!’, and superficial conversations at breakfast, and people reading Norman Peale Walsch unironically, and shiva, shiva, shiva, bhoh, and chakras, and yoga students in hideous “fisherman’s” pants, and ‘kirtans’ with white people playing tabla really badly, and mispronunciation of indian food items, and every yogi supplementing their income by thai massage/reiki/healing stuff, and street seller’s yelling out cucumbers/minature lemons/other crap, and humungous dead rats in the road, and sunburn, and sandals set alight by firecrackers, and child labour, and strangers telling you your face is full of pimples/you need size XL pants/your hair is dry, and being laughed at by locals, and being looked at with disgust by indian women, and no vegetables in a predominately vegetarian country, and Mirinda the grossest beverage ever, and squat toilets, and toilets with the water spray thing, and boys in flares, and a hundred spoons and ten plates for one meal, and a new napkin for each chai, and crafting a napkin into the perfect holder for the burning glass of chai, and clogged pores, and scrubbing feet over and over but never getting clean, and losing your mind, and sitting in padmasana in restaurants, and pashmina overload, and having to cover all your flesh in unbearable heat, and stripping off to your underwear as soon as you get in to the privacy of your room, and Hindu’s doing the whirly-whirly thing with a candle in front of a picture of Ganesh, and tired all the time, and waking up at 3am, and no sleep, and watching Eastenders on youtube, and searching for the ultimate shala tune, and goodbyes to friends, and the oceanic feeling in the shala, and ‘I want to go home now!!!’, and the most amazing yoga practices ever, and falling more in love with Sharath, and vowing life-long dedication to Ashtanga, and letting your life revolve around your yoga practice, and castor oil baths, and dreams of sushi, and stillness, and a deep sensation of internal silence, and faith, and reading the Bhagavadgita, and changing the beliefs of a lifetime, and understanding the divine, and climbing a mountain, and embracing fears, and no more crying in headstand, and grieving, and laughing, and learning how to simply be with one’s self, and never being the same again, and being stuck in the relentless emptiness of the present, and the vacancy of purpose in life, and no escape, and every day is the same, and it never ends, and everything getting destroyed, and hopes and dreams born and ruined in the same day, and living in the haphazard, and pain everywhere, and feeling like a child, and feeling a little bit of freedom, and waiting for transformation, and waiting for an epiphany, and remembering – there are no epiphanies, it just happens. Yoga happens.
So yeah… see you next year?
Lokha Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.