I had attended the occasional yoga class during my early twenties but nothing really grabbed me until I made a major lifestyle change and found Ashtanga yoga when I was living in Hong Kong.
To take part in a yatra is an important part of the yoga tradition. It is to go on a pilgrimage to a place of spiritual significance. For practitioners of Ashtanga yoga, travelling to Mysore India,
When we embark on the journey of learning the Ashtanga yoga sequence of asanas, invariably along the way we come into contact with asanas that we don’t really like.
Today I stepped back on the mat after almost a week and a half. After a week of tonsillitis (practising with fever is definitely not advised!) and then my cycle I couldn’t wait to “begin again.”
When Ashtanga yoga is practiced in the Mysore style, students of all levels of ability practice alongside each other. And even though they share the same sequence of postures, the differences in their physical practices are apparent.
When I first heard the word Mysore – I thought it had something to do with “My sore…hamstrings!”. I later found out that this is the name of the city in South India from where the practice originates.
These were the words of advice from Kumar the rickshaw driver when he saw me earlier this week on a scooter for the first time. He also said, “Madam, full traffic – no!”
It seems I have a penchant for religious festivals. Recent events in Dubai have reminded me of this eccentricity and to be honest I am wondering what is next!
Last weekend I went to the wedding party of the first person I met in Mysore. It was 2006 and I had travelled to Mysore in Southern India to study Ashtanga Yoga.
Six months and 15 countries later, I thought I would write a little summary of the simple yet valuable lessons learnt from continuing a daily practice of Ashtanga yoga while travelling.