Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday led practice - confused auto drivers

So this is our 8th full day in Mysore. I've practiced 6 times here, 5 of those in the shala. This mornings practice was led by Guruji. It was what I've been calling a smiling practice, as I had a smile on my face through most of it. Guruji leads the class more quickly than Sharath and I'm not going to say that it is easier, but when you move more quickly from one asana to the next the practice seems lighter, more airy. The big news in practice is that I'm improving in Urdhva Danurasana. I actually made it up for the entire five count on the first one. The other two were a bit shaky, but it is coming. Guruji did fall asleep a few times while counting the class. He'd say "one, two, three..." then there would be a long pause until there was a noise and he'd call out "four." At one point Saraswathi had to go up and touch his hand to wake him. That's what happens when you get to 90! It was an honor to be in a led class with him. It so much more powerful and intimate than New York. I'm very blessed to be here.

After practice I had the requisite coconut and then headed over to the Kev Inn to meet a few folks. I ended up sitting next to Nancy Gilgoff and listened to her and a few of the other advanced students discussing details about the advanced series. Nancy is going to Goa to teach in a few weeks. If I have my bearings right Nancy was one of the first students to come to Mysore and she was the person responsible for bringing Guruji to the States for the first time. I'm sure there's someone out there who will straighten that out for me if I'm wrong.

As far as breakfast here goes I lean towards Kev Inn because they have soy milk and I can order a french press coffee. They've a great fruit bowl and I've been eating ragi toast and ghee as well. It's a light breakfast, but a good one. After breakfast I ran home for a bucket bath. I then got an auto at the corner, my usual driver wasn't there so I used a different one and headed to the coconut stand to pick up D. From there we the auto driver assured us we were heading to the Green Hotel for the Organic Market. As we were going I asked him three times if he was sure where we were going and each time he said yes. Finally, when we were in downtown Mysore he finally stopped the car and let us out. I only gave him 10 rupees because I told him so many times he was going the wrong way. We then jumped in the slowest auto in Mysore and headed back out towards Gokulam and the Green Hotel. I mean, this rickshaw was so slow that bikes were passing it!

Eventually we made it to the Green Hotel and hit the market. There wasn't much there but I did order some cool Ganesha business cards that I will pick up next week. D and I sat down with a few yoga students from Canada and I ordered a "lime soda sweet" which is my new fave drink! I had one last night when I met a few other students for a very late dinner at the Green Hotel last night. Last night I also had a pineapple cherry cheese sandwich. It was good, but bizarre as hell. The Green Hotel is a strange spot. I'm not sure what to think of it. To me it reeks of the colonial days here in India. It is beautiful and it's nice to walk on green grass and sit in big white wooden lawn chairs but there is an air of servitude there that rubs me wrong. It reminds me of what it would be like to go down to Georgia, have dinner at a plantation while being served by blacks in white formal uniforms. Yeah, something like that. I need to get my head around it more. Or just accept it and roll. :)

What else? Yesterday I met up with R at Gokul Chats for lunch. Now that was an experience! I'm still not certain of how to order here and if there are menus at Gokul Chat they didn't give us any. The waiter just came up and said "two lunch, ghee rice?" I said yes and then we got this MASSIVE amount of food. We then went downtown and I ordered some clothes from Rashinkar’s that will be ready on Wednesday. I am getting tired of wearing the same jeans everyday! I ordered a pair of trousers, a shirt and a hooded jacket. If I like these I’ll probably order a few more items.

Oh, there’s so much more to write, but I’ve got to get up and walk around a bit. Too much internet cafĂ© makes Gregg a stiff guy. Check out the photos, the stories behind them are coming.

1 comment:

Ryan Anderson said...

Your blog has been such a joy to read -- so full of wonderful details . . . the pictures complementing them so nicely. Very gracious of you to take the time to give us such a rich description of what must be a mind-blowing experience for you.

But you're making me hungry as Hell!;-)

Enjoy, Gregg!