As most of you who have been following know, for the first time, this year I took a student with me to Mysore. Having Allison with me was so special. In some ways it was like coming full circle since I was fortunate to have my teacher bring me for my first trip. Her instant reaction upon walking into the shala was a clear indicator that this decision was right. I documented Allison’s experience during her time here and asked her to write once more about how she is feeling now that she is back home. Here’s what she had to say:
Before I left for Mysore I was admittedly a little nervous, not really knowing what to expect being so far away from home. However, sometimes in order to grow you must step into the unknown and face your fears. While in Mysore I was simply immersing myself in my new environment, local culture, and my practice (of course); I didn’t really think about how the trip would impact me. Only after I started settling back into the hectic NYC lifestyle did I fully appreciate and miss the yogic lifestyle of Mysore.
It’s as if my ‘batteries’ have been recharged; I feel rejuvenated from the rest, yoga, and freshly made Indian food. As a result, my under eye circles disappeared, skin cleared, and I have a slight glow from the warm Indian sun. Not only do I feel refreshed mentally, but also physically I feel different. Previous to Mysore I was able to easily practice in the evenings after work without a problem. After three weeks in Mysore my body became used to 5:00 A.M. practices on a completely empty stomach. I now find myself in need to make the switch to early morning practices. Will I become a ‘morning’ person?
While I am blessed to live & love in a beautiful city with ample hot water, comfortable beds, reliable power and seatbelts, one thing is certain: I miss Mysore. NYC was simply a shock to return to, three weeks of yoga and relaxation left me in a new state of mind. The first day back was just spent ‘catching up’ from being away…so much to do with so little time (at least it felt like this). Going back to work was a major shock, so fast paced and productivity based. Experiencing the yogic lifestyle in Mysore reminds me how important our daily practices are at ‘home’, wherever that may be. Since, I have returned everyday to Land Yoga with pure happiness and appreciation for the Ashtanga practice.
Making the journey to Mysore has certainly allowed me to grow as a person; I am stronger and more adventurous than I realized. Even the practice in Mysore changes you. You have to be strong and self-reliant in the Shala, it can be intense at times. I’ll always remember my experiences I had during this journey, even after my post-Mysore glow disappears. The practice, people, and the place stay with you. I am already dreaming about the next trip!