Sunday, February 24, 2013

Immersion


I have two primary reasons for making this trip to Mysore.

Firstly, setting aside the money and time for this trip is my way of thanking the Jois family for keeping this practice alive and sharing it.  This practice has changed my life and continues to alter my life course.  I'm a far better person with this practice in my life.

Secondly, spending a month in Mysore helps to put my daily practice in context.  Although the practice can be done by anyone (except lazy people!), its roots are not in the west.  Immersing myself in the culture which birthed the practice that I do, adds color and depth to my understanding of the practice.  I will likely not understand all the ways in which this trip has shifted my understanding of the practice for months or years to come.

In conference this morning, Sharath reminded us that asana is the foundation of our spiritual practice.  It is a tool that we use to learn to be stable.  I like that word, "stable"...not floaty, not flashy, not strong, not flexible...STABLE.  I especially liked this quote (this one's for you Bob!):
      Sharath said, "Body bending or body not bending, this is not important.  You did  
      the practice; that is important."

In addition to morning asana practice, I've just finished the second week of a class on the Yoga Sutra.  The beginning Sanskrit class and Hatha Yoga Pradipika class started on Thursday.  I'm absorbing as much as I can.
I especially loved this exchange from class today when discussing the 3 types of pain referred to in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.  One type of pain translates into "suffering caused by animals".  A student asks our teacher, "does that mean like mosquitos?"  "Yes," says our teacher.  "It means like mosquito bites, bee stings, lion attacks..."
Oh, right...lion attacks....definitely adds some color and context.   ;-)

In non-yoga related immersion news, I took an Indian cooking class at the famed Anu's Bamboo Hut yesterday. We made palak paneer, aloo mutter, and pineapple kesari bhath...yum!  I'm thinking we'll have to have a potluck for students & friends when I return so I can try out the new recipes!!

6 comments:

  1. I love that quote by Sharath body bending or not bending, this is not important. You did the practice; that is important." I wish I could teach my students this but I guess ultimately we have to come to our own realisations.

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  2. I agree Helen! It's such an important thing to learn and a very difficult thing to teach. I think you're right that it's just one of those things that everyone has to learn in their own time.

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  3. YES to potlucks!!! Yes to stiffness but practicing anyway :-) !

    Hope you're having fun over there.

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  4. Yes to having fun over here! :-)

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