It's actually a remarkable place, the teacher who had been there for a while decided to open another Mysore program elsewhere in town, some of the Ashtangis where able to follow but it was inconvenient for others and there also seems to have been a loyalty to the place itself where they had been practicing for a number of years with stewardship passing through several teachers.... and so they just hold the room and carry on regardless.
There is a wonderful spirit at the shala, sincere, committed and disciplined with or without a teacher, everyone just getting on with practice.
It felt almost like practicing at home.
It must have been like this in the old days when the early Ashtangis would get together and practice, with or without one of them taking the role of teacher and showing newcomers the ropes, perhaps after coming back from Mysore themselves, one of Pattabhi Jois' US visits or after having spent time with one who had practiced perhaps longer (although not necessarily) than themselves.
And then they would head back perhaps to wherever they came from and start sharing the practice, not so much teaching as passing along in turn, in one medium or other, parampara.
Authorising practice came later of course.
A teacherless shala strikes me as still very much of this tradition and lineage.
Monday I got up with a dodgy stomach and decided to practice at home M. ended up joining me, laying her mat beside mine. She had to run off to work but I had a long practice, taking my asana nice and slow.... longer stays, kumbhaka the odd variation and savouring finishing. After asana, pranayama, pratyahara and a sit, practicing at home does give you more time for actual practice,
Home practice will always be my preference, I'd rather spend the time traveling to and from a shala on the mat and cushion but I'm staring to understand shala practice a little more and more with each one I visit.
The June monsoon seems to have come, I'm about to roll out my mat for practice a little in awe of those I know who have already headed off to the shala in the rain.