Wednesday, February 27, 2008
We arrived in Mysore on Sunday around 1pm after a 20 hour journey from Arambol, Goa. We took an overnight bus with MRI-like sleeper compartments. Trixie and I shared one and luckily I could lie down, because I couldn't sit up (we were on the top "bunk" and the roof of the bus was too low). The roads were so rough that at certain points I felt like I was inside a bulldozer. I got nervous when the bus swayed turning corners and thought for sure we'd be toast before we made it to Bangalore. But we made it. From Bangalore we took a 2 hour train ride (a luxury ride in comparison).
Here in Mysore we are staying in a private home that Trixie lived in for 4 months a few years back when she first came to India. The house is owned (and lived in) by a family consisting of a retired mom (Swaji), her adult son (Gautam), and his new wife (Katiya). The house is in a really nice area of the city and they have a beautiful garden and really nice property. There are 9 new puppies there too and the moms are VERY protective of them. We are occupying the top floor of the house, have private (and very clean) bathrooms, and are treated like gold. I've had my first restful sleep this trip (even though it's in a single bed and I worry I'll roll over and fall out!) It sure beats sleeping in a hut!
We are doing some pretty intense Ashtanga yoga classes here. The teacher, Shushadri, is really into pushing students deeper into the poses. I'm blown away by the depth to which I can get into poses when he or his son or one of the teacher trainees adjusts me. I'm actually enjoying the intensity of this style of yoga as the Iyengar yoga we did in Arambol was quite slow and precise. Ashtanga on the other hand has a nice flow and we work at our own pace.
This is Sheshadri, the guru at Mysore Yoga Mandala
We are also taking Bollywood dance classes here! It's hilarious! The teacher (a man) was showing us the "woman's moves" today - they included things like doing a catwalk and sassy pelvis thrusts. He was wearing a dress shirt and dress pants (the Indian uniform, I think), and watching him do these really feminine moves was quite funny. He had them down pat. I really enjoyed it and was flattered when he said to me "you a dancer, yes?".
I have been riding around Mysore on the back of Trixie's motorbike. At first I was refusing to do so, but later gave it a shot. I'm surprised at myself! I find it really liberating now, and am not scared. I am beginning understand the traffic patterns after watching drivers, and she's a really good driver. It helps that she knows where she's going (and that I now have a helmet).
I leave for Bangalore tomorrow (Thurs) for my Nia workshop which is happening on the 1st and 2nd of March. Last I heard we had 30-40 people registered and there will be both print and TV coverage!