After a short stop in Paris, I have completed my first week in Mysore after a two year hiatus. It’s still the same and except for a few new huge houses going up in the neighborhood, it hasn’t changed very much since I last left.
I arrived early on Saturday morning, around 5am on January 2nd. Immediately I retrieved the keys to my apartment and crashed right onto the bed for about 6 hours. When I woke up, I messaged a friend that I knew had been in town for the last couple of months and met him for some lunch at the cafe where I help out serving smoothies in the evenings, except that evening they were planning on serving dinner. Luckily, I wasn’t so tired and was able to help out, and boy, was it busy. In the bustle of the dinner service I ran into a few people I had known over my past trips here, but very few.
There are many new people here and in class I can see that it’s frustrating to Sharath when they don’t listen to him. For example, in class he seems to always be shouting at people when they go past the pose that he told them to stop at, when they don’t put their hands in the proper place for asanas or when they are not using the correct drishti. In led class on Friday he even stopped class to say, “Some students are like children, they don’t listen.” In conference after class on Friday, he even scolded people for looking around the room while they are doing their asanas. He said, “You don’t think that I see you, but I do. You need to focus and stop looking around.”
The first week you come here you only do primary series. We have two led classes, one each at the beginning and end of the week. Saturday is a moon day, so we got Saturday & Sunday off this week. Since the last time I was here he has changed the rest day to Sunday to accommodate his children’s school schedule. Kids here go to school every other Saturday.
After the first week you go back to doing the poses that Sharath gave you on your last trip. My start time is 9:30am, which is pretty late considering that classes start at 4:30am and the last start time is 10am. My friend has the 4:30am time slot and says that they open the doors at 3:45am. I am grateful to have the later time slot because that means I don’t have to walk to the Shala in the dark alone. There have been several sexual assaults of women here over the past few years. Sharath reminds us to walk in groups and keep your phone out to call the police. He says that they come from other villages to prey on the foreign women. And he reminds us to be respectful of how we dress, “Don’t go out on the street in your yoga clothes, cover up.”
Overall, I’ve been pretty much keeping to myself. I hang out with my few friends for breakfast, a coconut or chai. I’ve been reading and catching up on Netflix. I’ve been naughty and not attended a chanting class yet. But now that the jetlag has worn off, I will promise myself to go next week.