The Blog title poster above forms part of a series of posters I made up for a book, 'Krishnamacharya's original Ashtanga Yoga', based on the public domain translation from the Tamil edition of Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda (Mysore 1934) . It's available for free on my Free Downloads page above. There is a print edition on Lulu.com ( Note: It's best to buy it in print from Lulu as I can reduce the price down almost to cost rather than on Amazon where I have less control of pricing.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Two Mysore dreams.... or was that three UPDATED


Restless night last night, kept waking up between 2 and 4am. Dreamt, though, I don't tend to or at least don't usually  remember them.

All this talk of going to Mysore, the first dream was about practicing, a long room. I was doing Primary somewhere in the middle of the room over on the left. Sharath adjusting here and there over on the other side, don't think I heard his voice though.

Actually there were three dreams.

The second one, I was arriving after the long journey, turned up at a sort of cafeteria that seemed to be part of the shala or in the AYRI 'compound'. I came in noticed Sharath sitting at a table talking to some students who had clearly been a few times, authorised teachers perhaps. Guruji (that's how I thought about him in the dream, he was even wearing his trademark shala vest)) was there moving around being busy, tidying up this, fixing that. It wasn't so much that he was working there but that he couldn't see a bowl left at a table without picking it up and taking it back to the kitchen or a table that was crooked without fixing it and I think at one point he was doing something with the coffee machine, adjusting it....ha, hadn't realised until I wrote it out he was being busy going around, adjusting...fixing, Guruji as a repairer : ) (for those of you who don't know, that's my job, A woodwind repairer).

The third dream was like a continuation of the first. I was back in the shala of the first dream, it had filled up and the only space was forward on the right, I was making space and there was a mat somebody had put down at a bit of an angle. Guruji came over, and I forget a lot of what he said but he was chatty, got me to move the crooked mat over so there would be space. Then I noticed, just as we were getting ready to practice, that my mat was on some kind of long sideboard and I was a bit nervous about practicing up there and falling off. Moved the mat down and we started to practice but then I realised I was right at the front, bugger. The guy whose mat we'd moved came back and made a bit of a fuss, guruji came over and the guy settled down to practice.

Know there was more to them but as dreams do they are drifting away.

Claudia would ask how I felt throughout.  Relaxed, comfortably anonymous except perhaps in the last dream where I would have preferred to be away from the front back over on one of the sides of the room.

These are a bit different from my earlier Mysore dream First Mysore dream and Pink Saris

Looked at Claudia's Mysorepedia yesterday and her costing page How Much Does it Cost to Go to Mysore? And Practice Ashtanga at the AYRI it looks doable for next January, see what the boss says but it's quiet at work this time of year.

Still not sure why I'm thinking of going but Krishnamacharya was there, was that old 1930's video shout there do you think? And the old shala, would be nice to visit that while it's still standing and I guess practice in the current shala although all the nonsense about people manoeuvring to get into the room is a bit of a turn off, would be tempted to say screw it and go and practice in the yard.



Seems there's no getting away from Ashtanga, under my skin it seems so I might as well just embrace it and go and practice at the mothership at least once. Especially as Ashtanga and Vinyasa Krama seem to be coexisting so well at the moment, one in the morning one in the evening.

My Stiff back is a bit of a worry though if I end up with an early slot, need an hour or two to loosen up. can see me getting up at 3am for a pre practice practice.

Think I'd want to find somewhere really close to the shala, finish practice and then get back to the room quickly for a long session of pranayama, could do the full 80 rounds everyday and then a long sit...or two, could still do my VK practice in the afternoon....starting to appeal, perhaps a little sanskrit, get back into some chanting.....

Time for practice, back felt better this morning, less stiff, perhaps a good 2nd was just what I needed.

UPDATE
I referred to concerns about a  Club Mysore aspect in my comments section and that it puts me off going a bit.  Seems that was perceived as turning my nose up. Was going to defend myself here, but on reflection it's probably right. Turning ones nose up suggests a certain distaste and I guess I do have that, the social aspect of having several hundred Ashtangis floating around Gokulam at this time of year I find quite nauseating, would hate it. Individually I'm sure pretty much everyone is great, but a town full, awful, can't bare to think of it. But that's just me..... except perhaps it's not. How many I wonder yearn for the eighties when there were just a handful of earnest young Ashtangis there at a time with nothing else on their mind than their practice and turning inwards.

Guilty as charged.... and your right I probably shouldn't go, except perhaps to have my fears proved unfounded because, truth be told everyone who ever blogs from there or comments seems to be in bed by 9.

25 comments:

  1. I haven't had any Mysore dreams. Yet my fears about going are the same as yours. Generally about getting into the shala in the morning without disturbing others and whether I'll find a space for my mat. Silly, isn't it? I'm starting saving up to do a bit of a yoga world tour in 2013, obviously Mysore for a few months, thinking Byron Bay in Austrailia, Maui in Hawaii and Boulder, Colorado. Anywhere that there is a big ashtanga community. Exciting!

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  2. Not so much fears of finding a space but rather the disappointment of finding the same kind of BS you find everywhere else, think I want to find a community of studious ascetics rather than Club Mysore : )
    World tour sounds great the Ashtangis' always seem to end up in the most beautiful places. Be fun to pick up a world map and then stick pins in for all the great Ashtanga teachers....a post there perhaps.

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  3. :-)

    I also find anxiety before trips, but it dissipates once there. There are many students who keep to themselves, some that gather only for meditation, some who only focus on practice and going back home to keep with practice and reading scripture...

    The asana part however, the energy of that room, is just something to absolutely live through once if not many times!

    Loving those dreams... funny that part where Guruji was going around the cafeteria (no coffee no prana?) adjusting bowls (containers?) (you being and adjuster of homes), taking them back to the kitchen... there is SO much there, I better stop!

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  4. Posted this with you in mind Claudia, know how much you like dreams.

    it's just me, tend to want to avoid large groups of people at all costs, running joke at work that I never go to any of the birthday or christmas parties or dinners, not just shalas I avoid. Felt a bit the same before going to LA for Ramaswami's course but really enjoyed being with the people on the course though I mostly kept to myself.
    The blog is in a sense pretty much the only wider social interaction I engage in, probably good for me.

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  5. Ha, know exactly how you feel...I found the big practice shala quite daunting, full of lovely lovely people, but even lovely people en mass is a bit much for me. I tended to whiz off alone on my scooter most days..think you'd like the energy in the practice room though.

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  6. yes yes 'but even lovely people en mass is a bit much for me.' that's exactly what I meant, thank you エスタ ... a scooter maybe that's the answer.

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  7. I actually also feel quite similar to this about the whole Mysore thing, especially the Club Mysore feeling is what I want to avoid. Though as Claudia says one doesn't have to be a part of it as much. It's kind of unlikely I'll go anytime soon but have gotten more tempted after I heard about Venkatesh and the backbending, could imagine doing a double-whammy. Have been thinking about whether there's some other time of year to go there instead, some time when it would be less crowded (and also nice and warm). But then, if I'm going to go for an intensive with somebody fabulous there's always Dena and Jack in Byron Bay and they will actually get hands on right from the start too, as opposed to what often seems to be the case in Mysore - hardly any adjustments for the first month doesn't seem worth the money almost (and I know some Sharath fans will probably shoot me for saying that so maybe I just have to try it to see what they mean). Love Micqui's idea of a yoga tour though, that sounds fantastic!

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  8. You are so lucky, that your only constriction from experiencing a month in Mysore is your state of mind. There must be thousands who are blocked by their work & domestic commitments.

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  9. Hi Bibi, going by the Mysore blogs there seems to be quieter times, i think around the beginning and end of the season. january sounds busiest, March sounds like the quietest but that's only what I've picked up from the blogs. The Shala is open it seems until April 5th but their site doesn't say when it opens I'm guessing November. Winter is Dec-feb so March would be warmer too.

    Yes, lots of excellent teachers around the world does beg the question why Mysore.

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  10. Well Steve, I will still be away from my Wife for a Month or more which we would both hate M. would be left with Nietzsche (chinchilla) to look after which is difficult as she leaves for work at 7 and doesn't tend to get home until 10 or 11pm so he would suffer too. I would use up all my holiday so we we wouldn't be able to go away anywhere together for a year which again, given the amount of hours she works and that we don't see each other much would be pretty crap. Obviously I would also have to take some unpaid leave and in in a low paid occupation like mine would mean taking quit a financial hit. So domestic and financial considerations, if not a complete block are painful enough to ask WHY go to Mysore in the first place.

    Was one thing perhaps when Jois was around but now when it's just Sharath and he's so busy that he has to bring in a bunch of teaching assistants, why bother? It's not even the original Shala and a long way to go for just an hour and a half in the morning. Mysore is perhaps not everyones first choice when planning a visit to India.

    Just so you can say to yourself you've been there once or practiced in THAT room for a few mornings? Doesn't seem much of a reason so your left with something intangible, something that draws you there that you can't quite put your finger on which makes it hard to use as a justification.

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  11. This, from Spark's blog this morning, kind of outlines nicely a little of what I was talking about

    http://sparksdiaries.blogspot.com/2012/01/crazy-and-competitive-people.html

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  12. Your chinchilla just mailed me; says he'll be fine as long as you have a Skype connection. LOL

    As for Mrs G., "Absence makes the heart go fonder".

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  13. Oops. Of course I meant 'grow'.

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  14. Mr's G will be throwing something at the screen when she reads that Steve, better duck but I know, that's what I tried to tell her when I went to LA for Ramaswami's course.... seem to remember it didn't go down well then either : )

    Hey Steve love your Super 8 video, can I show it here the Konasana one (love your entry into Badha konasana by the way, never done it that way at home, will be from now on), thought I'd better ask first.

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  15. Had my first practice at the shala today, under the beautiful watchful eyes of Guruji (there's a huge painting of him, which is draped with jasmine) and Krishnamacharya. Sharath was kind and smiled at me as I tried not to knock the person behind me with a chakrasana. Practiced between Robbie (Eeyore) and Laruga, which was terrific. I was utterly terrified at the beginning -- so much history in that room. I'm grateful for the chance to be part of it.

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  16. Thanks for asking. That's fine. I've had a lot of fun looking over what we filmed, and have teased out lots of little gremlins that I can apply a bit of key-focus too in coming weeks. Until now, I never really saw any purpose in filming but, hey, iPads make it so do-able and it's quite weird being 'outside, looking in' after so many years of quite the opposite.

    As for Mysore; You really should seize the opportunity. It's only one month.

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  17. I hate to be rude but did you really say 'Just Sharath'?

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  18. Yeah.... I would still say go, go, go despite all of your concerns..... but if your attitude is 'just Sharath' - then don't.

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  19. hi Karen, glad your having a good time and a good first practice. Yes THAT room, the main reason i'm tempted to go.

    Just broached the subject with my Boss and he seemed OK for next Jan-feb so may well see you there.

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  20. Context is everything Lil, Susan. I meant 'just Sharath' in the context of his Grandfather I didn't mean it to sound disrespectful, I wouldn't be dismissive of any senior teacher or long term practitioner. That said, to practice with Sharath isn't a reason for me to go to Mysore, I wouldn't be concerned if he was away on sabbatical, it's the room I'm interested in, though I imagine the room has a more intense feel about it when he is there.

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  21. I wanted to add this other more positive post from Spark's Diaries to balance the one I linked to in the earlier comment
    http://sparksdiaries.blogspot.com/2011/12/why-i-am-here.html

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  22. In general people can chose any teacher they want to practice with. I am not judging

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  23. ...or choose not to practice with a teacher altogether Claudia. My alignment could be a LOT better my practice MUCH tidier but I've never really felt that matters that much. For me the important thing is to just practice, a personal, solitary thing. Postures work themselves out sooner or later ...or not, never feel I've missed out on adjustments by never having them the important adjustment is my own focus and concentration nobody can do that for you ). That's why practicing with Sharath doesn't really feel an issue for me except perhaps the effect he has on that room. It's not disrespect, I'm not that interested in practising with any teacher, which is why I never really take advantage of all the excellent teachers who come and teach workshops in London.

    Ramaswami was different, I didn't do his course to practice asana so much as to develop a more integrated practice.

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  24. maybe your wife could join you in Mysore for part of your trip.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Laura, we talked about that, I think if I was to stay for more than a month the possibly but I think she needs to go home to Japan this year so we would most likely be using up most of our holiday seperately anyway, another reason for making it this year.


    She's also quite wonderful in that she knows it's a ...'turning inward' time so kind of wants to leave me too it.... perhaps so i won't make a fuss when she wants to go off on a six month retreat somewhere, sometime...she's smart as well as wonderful.

    I spoke to my boss today and he seemed OK about me taking four or five weeks off so it could be on. Wonderful pictures on your site btw, all these Mysore blogs most encouraging to all of us who are thinking about going, thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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