25 February 2013

So new Ashtanga yoga book coming - Sharath Jois

So Sharath has written a new Ashtanga yoga book  (with the help of a couple of his students, whose names I didn't catch). As far as I am aware, this is his first book.

He told us about this in the conference yesterday and even made light of some of the then/ now photographs of himself contained in the book. I also believe he said it contained some health related asana -but this could be a "lost in translation" on my part.

There are lots of photographs contained in the book-some with him as a young man practising with his grandfather Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. I know this book will go on sale in the Shala in the next few weeks, but not sure when/where it will be on general sale. If you have friends currently in Mysore, get them to pick up a copy for you.

I also managed to find the courage to ask a question in that conference yesterday, but that's for another post perhaps.

22 February 2013

A day in the life of a yoga student Mysore: The massage

So after a week or so of practising here in the shale in Mysore, you catch on quickly that massage is going to be part of your weekly schedule (well, it is mine).

Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre

My first massage this time was at an Ayurvedic spa situated at the foot of the Chamundi Hills. A beautiful location and  really peaceful (also pretty expensive). I've forgotten the name of the treatment I had, but there was a lot of oil involved and a lot of hands. I sloshed about on this very large table, drank an odd drink and was sent on my way looking like I had been put in a chip pan. It was relaxing but not really my kind of thing. All sorts of treatments are available here including Panchakarama, the detox /rejuvenating package. (A wonderful day out but a bit pricey).

Indus valley Ayurvedic centre: www.ayurindus.com

Despina Psarra

I was then lucky enough to meet the wonderful Despina who is practising yoga in the shala (in fact we met last year). Her massage has really kept my body ticking over as the aches and pains shift from one area of the body to another. I would highly recommend her, although she is pretty busy (because of the reasons above :-))
Despina Psarra: www.metta-yoga.info

Silent Shores resort and spa

Silent Shores is a resort that is a rickshaw/scooter ride away from Gokulam. It has a beautiful pool and has been pretty quiet on the few occasions I have been there.

I opted for the the head and neck treatment. This I have to say was one of the funniest massage experiences I have had ( funny, odd and hysterical).

I was sat in a chair in a very nice relaxing treatment room and "slapped" about the head for half an hour. "You okay madam?",  I was asked on a number of occasions.  I wasn't sure how to explain to someone who speaks little English "I think my brain is about to come out of my ears". Next I get to lie down on the large table and had a 45 minute Shirodhara. This is a wonderful treatment where warm oil is continuously poured onto the forehead. This was a fantastic treatment that I would highly recommend. I've experienced Shirodhara before, but this was the most relaxing one I've had (maybe it was the head slapping first that did it). 

Thinking about introducing the "head slapping" massage to our London clinic. Do you think people will pay good money like I did for this? :-)

20 February 2013

17 February 2013

Pimp my rickshaw

Well, I have been in many rickshaws; some plush, some not so plush. Here are a couple of varying rides...

This is the Rolls Royce of rickshaws

This one has taken the toilet mat for the front seat look (homely)

This one has gone for the Hawaiian adorned goddess look

This one has a very dodgy looking rickshaw driver... Give it a miss.

16 February 2013

My Mysore yoga bag

This is the hand bag/yoga bag I use whilst in Mysore, so it is now referred to as my "Mysore Bag". It was given to me by a dear friend and she knows it comes travelling with me.

It's a bit different to a lot of the yoga students bags I suppose, as its not really fit for purpose (i.e. carrying a yoga mat). It does however contain my rupees, my trusty torch, my mosquito zapper, my shala pass and factor 40 face cream. What more does a girl need?

It is not really suitable for day to day life in London, but perfect for Mysore and I could step out at any red carpet event here in Gokulam, should I get a last minute invite. Indeed it's wonderful arm candy for sitting in a chauffeur driven rickshaw to loyal world (food shopping, like Waitrose but not). Again, not exactly fit for purpose but it is a beautiful bag. So if you see this bag wandering around in India, please say hello to its owner :-)

 If Lulu Guinness does a remake of this bag or one similar-I think it should be called " The Mysore".


15 February 2013

Moaning Minnie Mysore

Okay, I'm going to have a bit of a moan here... I have worked really hard to get myself to Mysore this year (much like a lot of people). Indeed, I wasn't even sure I would be able to get on the flight, as I was awaiting some pretty significant test results (which thankfully came back all clear). I landed in Mysore exhausted and with stitches in a wound in my chest. This is not my moan, this is just life stuff and we all come to Mysore with a story to tell. My point being I'm VERY grateful to be here.

I get up really early for a 6am led class. I get up at 4am and potter about for a bit then go and sit quietly outside the shala. My moan is the people who turn up and talk about the most banal stuff whilst waiting. I'm not talking about the polite whispered "good mornings" people share. Today's loud conversation really took the biscuit... "If you were a piece of fruit what would you be?" or "if you were a painting?" blah, blah, blah... Do people love the sound of their own voice so much that they need to chat this rubbish outside a led class? Don't get me wrong... I am able to chat crap with the best of them, but I think there is a time and a place for this and this, in my opinion, is not it!

Sharath is teaching the 4am led class. You can hear the breath from inside the shala. You can hear the "sing song" sound of his voice as he leads the practice in Sanskrit. A wonderful opportunity to sit and be. As mentioned, I'm really grateful to be here in Mysore and to learn from Sharath and his mother (who say very little, but teach loads). A few lessons to be learnt here perhaps?

Rant over.

13 February 2013

Surprise, surprise

So for the past four weeks the security man outside my apartment block has greeted me everyday with the word "bye". This has been regardless of  me coming in or going out of the building and often in response to me saying "hello".

Imagine my surprise when entering the building yesterday... He said "hello, how are you?" (in the same voice as Manuel in Fawlty Towers does). I was so taken aback I just looked blankly at him at first and then respond "very good". When I got inside the apartment I laughed my head off. He really has had a crash course in English and took me completely by surprise.

I wondered if he would revert back to "bye" this morning... But no, his response to my "how are you? was "fine" ( with, of course, an Indian sideways nod of the head).

Everyone keeps you on your toes here in India.

12 February 2013

A day in the life of a yoga student: Mysore - The Lingo.

A little tongue in cheek item about understanding shala speak here in Mysore. :-)

  1. Shala time and real time do not match. Be prepared to show up at the wrong time for a week.
  2. "One more" doesn't always mean its your turn to enter the shala (although you thought you were next in line).
  3. "what's your time?" usually means a) you are too early, b) too late, or c) your time is about to change.
  4. "Move" means can you please move.
  5. "Walk" doesn't mean its time to leave. You've got to get your hands closer to your feet in back bends.
  6. "Catching" doesn't mean someone is about to throw something at you. You are about to do something quite unbelievable (or not, in my case) in a back bend.
  7. "hmmmm" means your doing something good (I think)
  8. "The grunt" could be good or could be bad. Got to listen up here (a bit like when you have a baby and are unsure what that crying is for? milk, changing etc... the same principal applies).
  9. "small one" or "short one" usually means you will practice on the stage or inside the door (don't say you were not warned :-) )
  10. " What did you do?" means new pose coming or you have forgotten something (or maybe that's just me)

All of the above will become perfectly normal in a very short space of time and it's wonderful.

11 February 2013

Coconut Starbucks?

This is the nearest thing to Starbucks here in Gokulam Mysore. As far as I'm aware they do not sell coffee. "Coconut sweet or water?" is the request from the barista. It's a favourite hang out for many yoga students and local young people. The post practice fresh coconut is like nectar from the gods.

10 February 2013

Tibetan Monks in Bylakuppe, India

Took a day trip from Gokulam in Mysore to the monastery in Bylakuppe yesterday.

Myself and some other yoga students took our life in our hands with a taxi ride that took a few hours (a taxi ride here is an experience in itself).

Bylakuppe is a beautiful, tranquil place and attracts people from all faiths. I saw Christian nuns, women clad in burqas and of course many Hindus.

There was a festival going on in the temple and I feel we were very lucky to have witnessed this.

07 February 2013

A day in the life of a yoga student in Mysore

So I'm here in Mysore India to practice yoga at the Ashtanga yoga institute. I could write a long monologue of my practice, the shala, the students, the gossip and all the other "stuff" that keeps the yoga students entertained when they are not practising asana. Instead I will give you a glimpse into the life of the people of India who are teaching me lessons every day that I am here.

05 February 2013

Hugging Guru Amma

The hugging guru Amma is currently here in Mysore India. It is said that she has embraced over 32 million people, spreading a message of love and compassion.

Whilst I didn't actually get a hug myself (I couldn't wait until midnight), it was amazing to be part of this huge spiritual gathering and Amma was clearly offering hope to a lot of people both rich and poor. Amma is also the guru made famous by the book and film "Eat, Love, Pray" in which her ashram appears.

04 February 2013

Vain Cow

This made me laugh... A cow randomly standing outside a beauty salon, obviously waiting for it to open. Only in India.

Below another cow just innocently hanging out? or destroying someone's front garden :-)

02 February 2013

Quote of the day

"It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self and intelligence"

B.K.S Iyengar