Just Another Day in the Mysore Room
Lately, I have been thinking about our intentions behind starting this blog. It was created as a space to share our thoughts, a way to connect with others in the yoga community. We wanted to be honest about the things we experienced as we did our daily yoga practice. The past couple weeks, I’ve been trying to get back to that original intention by asking myself what it means to share my journey more completely. In my previous posts, I feel like I’ve written about many of the big-picture type struggles that come with a powerful, life-changing practice like Ashtanga…but then again, there are many small moments that happen within each practice that are just as important in describing my yoga journey as well.
I had an experience like that today during Mysore class. Of course, you’re meant to keep your focus on your own practice, but sometimes it is impossible not to tune into what is going on around you--especially in a laid-back atmosphere like my teacher’s house where I practice. Today as class went on, I noticed many remarkable things beyond my mat. There were the ladies in their fifties and sixties who were crushing the Primary Series with notable grace. There was the man in front of me with Multiple Sclerosis whose coordination in the standing series is improving by leaps and bounds. There was the 15-year-old boy to my left whose sincere passion for yoga is growing all on its own, independent of his yogi mother who first introduced him to Ashtanga. There was the recent high school graduate behind me who laid perfectly flat and incredibly peacefully in Yoga Mudra to close her practice. And, in the back corner, a visually impaired student completing the Primary Series with calm focus as her guide dog Frank laid quietly beside her mat. At the end of class, I saw her lying in final relaxation as Frank stretched out his paw to touch her hand. They looked like soulmates.
I also noticed how my teacher was really “on-point” today. I am sure teaching the Mysore room is incredibly challenging; the students are all working on different postures and have very individual needs. The main mode of instruction comes from physical assists, which can be tiring. But my teacher seemed to be exactly where she needed to be for each student, giving valuable insights one by one. Each time I thought about asking for an assist, I looked up and she was already there, ready to lend her guidance.
It was a fairly decent practice for me (funny how we tend to evaluate a practice by how well we were able to do our asanas), but what was most incredible was this amazing, beautiful energy of everyone practicing with a great sense of peace. This is the power of yoga. This power is not limited to a specific gender, age, race, occupation, state of health, or anything else. Yoga is truly for everyone. Of all of those unique beings in the room today, I am sure we each left buzzing from the collective positive vibe we created--even Frank the Guide Dog. That energy was so much greater than what we would have created practicing on our own.
It was just another day in the Mysore room.