I've mentioned here before that going to Mysore has never felt particularly relevant to me personally, something to do with being a home Ashtangi perhaps.
That said it would be nice to be in Mysore itself, see where Krishnamacharya taught (in the old 'British' palace), the hills he practiced in for the classic B and W video etc. And of course it would be great to see too Pattabhi Jois' old shala and, why not, practice for a few of weeks in the company of others so committed to the practice that they chose to make the trip. Always good to take yourself away from everything where you can just focus on all aspects of practice and why not make it Mysore. I'm not concerned with 'getting postures' or adjustments or assists either getting them or the lack of them (never had em, never missed em). I'm happy to practice even half primary for a month and be nice to practice along to Sharath's count on Friday's.
It would be nice to do, I've spent a lot of years traveling but never made it to India, although I'd prefer to get a month train pass, travel all over and lay down my mat wherever I happen to find myself each morning.
There are minor things that put me off going too of course (and seem more insignificant each year), not important in and of themselves but perhaps lean me towards not going, the cost of the trip (was planning on going this year until I saw how expensive it would work out, decided on Crete with Manju instead), the time away from M., perhaps TOO many Ashtangi's in the same town (what is it three hundred or so peak period?), the supposed rush to get mat space each morning (I'd rather practice on the steps outside)... But truth be told I'm just not a Shala Ashtangi (although a month or two with Manju in Encinitas is appealing, small classes supposedly, bit like the 70's perhaps), so less of a draw for me personally. I enjoy solo practice, my own space, my own energy for motivation, my own air to breath rather that of eighty others , I like to breathe slowly and I like to practice pranayama and meditation following my asana practice rather than having to rush off home to do them ....small things and it's only a month, still they add up and tip the balance somewhat.
Maybe it's because it's expected and
I like to buck the trend,
I'll go when the rugs are damp and threadbare
and Sharath in a spacious sunday conference
" ...nobody visits Mysore".
However should the opportunity came up, a good chance to go, I'd make the trip, be nice to practice with a few loved friends I've made through here.
"Just not a shala yogi.." which brings me back to the types of Ashtangi subject. Coffee drunk....and done it's job, time to practice so I'll just cut and paste my comments in from FB and get to the Mat.
This will be my fifth full practice in a row, it's coming back perhaps- Update: added on ustrasana and kapo after dropbacks just to see...
Anthony Grim Hall Haven't read this but does the Home Ashtangi fit into the Mysore group of the shala group?
11 hours ago
Anthony Grim Hall Just glanced through it, bit silly but some interesting points in the comments. To play the binary opposite game perhaps the home Ashtangi fits somewhere in the middle, we aim perhaps for the 'Mysore style', no props and without modifications but are happy to employ props and modifications ('shala style') along the way and in place of the assists that are unavailable to us at home. Always like the idea of a shala as a slightly stricter, slightly more formal version of home practice (no faffing) and Mysore itself as performance, bringing our best practice day in day out for a month or three but then what do I know, haven't been to a shala more than twice or Mysore at all.....yet
10 hours ago
for context see...
Two Yoga Types
Small Blue pearls
Shala Visits Redux
Yoga in the Dragon's Den
There are only twelve Ashtangi models; or, what Battlestar Galactica might teach us about Ashtanga
UPDATE: Nice piece from David Garrigues in Elephant journal
You Want to Know What Inspires Me?
I've chosen a couple of quotes below but best to click on the link to Elephant above and read the full article (not so long) to put this into context
J: "...I’ve gone months, dare I say years, without being inspired, but you, my daily teacher and my home studio, help me get through those cycles. You wake up at 4 a.m. in the winter, practice in our kitchen, and still have maintained a daily practice since ’93. So what helps you get through those times of challenge? What keeps you inspired?"
"DG: ...Also, you aren’t going to believe it, but practicing alone, by myself, does inspire me in its own way. It is a very different inspiration than attending a class with a teacher. But, as I often point out to many students who have a home practice, the sacred texts say that yoga is to be practiced alone. I take that to heart because I have to, and it does suit me.I can tell you this: you wouldn’t want me as your student. Ha! All joking aside, I do genuinely like practicing by myself. I find that important things happen for me when I practice in solitude, without anyone else around.
(Joy gives incredulous look.)"
And this on losing and regaining his practice, great for me to read just now as I work on getting my practice back.
"DG: But part of the value of having a practice at all, is the sobering experience of being shown the consequences of your choices directly in your body. But also you have the opportunity to be inspired by what you learn about your self through the challenges and failures that come up for you. You return to the mat again with renewed inspiration, vigor and humility. It may not seem like it because I’m such a diehard Ashtangi, but I have battled with consistency, commitment and dedication to my practice even though I have always maintained a daily practice for the past 20 years.
So what I’m revealing may seem contradictory, but I am referring to the times when my fire, passion and real care were missing from my practice. It’s true that just getting on your mat each day (in any capacity) is positive, and is far better than not doing anything, but to extract the wisdom and soul from practice requires a tremendous amount of energy from you and is more than just simply going through the motions of a series.
So what I’ve concluded from these experiences is that it seems to me that each of us must go through cycles of losing focus on the things that are truly most important to us. Apparently, we must be wounded by this type of failure, and having a practice shows us how to learn from it and heal and thus gain wisdom. I personally have been able to become inspired again, to recommit to my practice, to pick it up again each time I lose focus regardless of how different it may be compared to where it used to be. Now, partly my inspiration comes from cherishing what I can do now. I know from painful experience what happens when I don’t stay focused, and this helps me to bring real energy each day to my practice."