Monday, March 9, 2015

Back in Mysore

The view from my favorite place to enjoy breakfast on the roof.
A few of these have crashed into our front steps which makes me think
 about shifting my dining location.
So I've already been in Mysore for a week and a half. I've been slow to post anything which I think is partly because the first week has felt so routine. Move in was easy - I found a nice simple apartment at a good price with a lovely Australian-British-Spanish roommate. We have a kitchen and semi reliable internet and the family we rent from who live below us are sweet and accommodating. In contrast to last year when I was confused for two weeks, this year I had my phone, internet, and apartment settled in a day and a half.

Fruit sellers outside of Devaraja market
Arriving in India and making the 2 hour trip from Bangalore to Mysore was a rush. The air was warm even at 2am and filled with scents - food, animals, exhaust and I am sure many others. During my taxi ride I was flooded with a sense of being in the right place. It's funny to say that about a foreign country I have no familial or cultural connection to. I almost worry that I'm not really entitled to that emotion but it is there and very strong. I kind of recall having this feeling last year when I had barely been on the ground for an hour. It's not a feeling of belonging as I certainly don't - I am comfortable enough to be able to buy what I need and get where I want to go but often am aware that I am missing big cultural cues or have no idea why something is happening. I obviously stick out like a sore thumb but people are generally friendly and helpful (or want to sell me something or ask me for money). It is more maybe a sense of ease - I feel comfortable here even when things are chaotic and weird. Admittedly I live in a very comfortable neighborhood in a quiet chilled out city so maybe I would feel differently in a different place or if I wasn't half escaping from normal life to be here.

Flat mate Megan whose slang I seem to be acquiring. The vermilion on her forehead was applied somewhat non consensually by a man walking around collecting money on a tray and giving what might have been blessings.

Flower aisle of Devaraja market

Generally I have been laying low here. I am trying to be productive on my work and trying not to get distracted by socializing. I've been practicing with Sharath since Monday although Thursday was the full moon (no practice). Typically after yoga I come home and work if the power and the internet are on. I have made the time to get in to the city for a trip to the main market and today a few friends and I took a bus out to a temple and the river on the outskirts of Mysore.

Ranganatha temple at Sri Rangapatna

Shrin type building built around a tree on the river bank.
Washing, bathing, playing in the Cauvery river.

Time card. I have to bring this to every practice and
stick it under my mat. I have since been moved
from 9:30 to 8 which is much better for m.
Yoga-wise it's been an uneventful week. The lineage of yoga taught here and which I study at home is divided into sequences - primary, second etc (there are six but I've never heard of anyone besides Sharath going past fourth). At home I practice most of second series - there are still a few postures I don't do. When students arrive in Mysore they are asked to practice primary for a week and then they may or may not be instructed to move on. I have heard that Sharath is slow to move people on so I am kind of anticipating doing primary the whole month. I will admit that I have to make an effort to not get bored doing primary. This is probably a worth-while challenge to meet but it is a lot less exciting than meeting the challenge of physically demanding postures. I think it also might be a lot harder and worry that I either won't be able to or just won't do it and will let myself be bored and distracted. We'll see.

Finally - although India is covered with animals, I am still enamored with them. Here are a few- more to come.

There is a tiny baby on her back.
You can just see his little tail.

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