Yesterday I decided to take an extra day off. I was tired. My sleep has been lost for a while, so I was just exhausted and needed a break. It is always so hard to stay away from the Shala, but I just forced myself to sleep. I went for a massage to Aimee’s and felt much better afterwards. It feels that my body is little bit overexhausted and then I should do only a light practice, but that is so hard for me inside the Shala, so I took just one day off to calm my body. Today’s practice was stiff and dropback was a fiasco, but I got a very good sleep last night, which was my whole purpose.
Christmas in Mysore was easy-going. We had a led class and after that I had Christmas breakfast in Santosha, where we song some Christmas carrols together and opera singer Bo Chang from New York was performing for us. I feel always very relaxed in Santosha and I just love Ann’s and Magnus’s company. After that I went to see Helena and Mikko. They prepared real glögg and rice porridge for me, which was so great. Finnish group here is growing and Mikko’s and Helena’s neighbours Kaisa and Saku came over too. I had late lunch in Paschuzzi, which is an Italian restaurant in Mysore. Pizza is ok according to Indian stantards. During the whole Christmas period, we had quite much electricity breaks, so our lunch in Paschuzzi was partly eaten in darkness. It’s quite fun to eat in a restaurant in darkness…
After pizza I crashed a party again. Italian Elena gave me a lift and we went to Benji’s and his daddy’s party to Alex’s house. Upstairs was full of yogis singing together and after that some yogis showed us some proper dance moves. I love to watch people dancing and most of the people on the dance floor were professionals, so it was even more fun. Aimee, Tasha and I left quite early, because we weren’t really on the dance mood and went to Aimee’s place for some chocolate and drinks. Aimee had a Christmas tree with the lights, which was quite funny.
On Christmas Day I slept long and went to Barista with Tasia and Alyson. It was nice start for the day, just chill out and chat. Aimee had invited us for the Christmas lunch to her place and about ten persons gathered around the Christmas table. We ate mashed potatoes, green beans, tofy and gravy. It doesn’t sound that delicious, but it was actually so good. Aimee’s gravy was the best, which I have ever had. I never eat gravy, but that one was so yummy. Desert was great variation of different kinds of chocolate and cookies + brownies. After long lunch we started to watch Christmas Story, which is typical American tradition during Christmas Day.
On Sunday it was time to get back to the routine. We had our normal led class and after that I watched second group’s practice. During a couple of days, it has been quite empty in the Shala, because many people left back home for Christmas and new people haven’t arrived yet. People, who have arrived now, have been in Mysore many times before. The new people in Second group are quite advanced and the practice of (Swedish)-American Laruga is really worth to see. She is a light girl with a flying practice. Quite much handstands and other tricks, but so enjoyable to watch.
Sunday’s conference was very exciting, because Sharath announced two new certified teachers after four years’ break. The other teacher wasn’t present, but Australian Mark Robberts went over the stand to get his certificate. I was glad to see that Sharath decided to certify Australian surfer, who has been here a lot and who travels as well as teaches internationally. Mark seems to be a relaxed bloke with a strong practice without tricks. He will teach next in Tokyo and Southern America, but maybe he will come someday to Europe. Otherwise conference was quite basic stuff about vegetarian diet and pampara again.
Monday’s practice was quite stiff again and wasn’t full of energy. I didn’t go down in dropbacks, because my back wasn’t feeling too good and Saraswati was ok with my decision. On Monday, we went for a lunch to a new place for me called Paradise Hotel. I had thali, but I have noticed, that it isn’t really my favorit dish. It’s always sort of disapointment, because I don’t like something, which is included, or something is too spicy. Quite often thali seems to be cold also, so you end up easily getting stomack problems. My lassi in Paradise Hotel was good however.
Anriikka and Ian came here on Sunday after Mooji’s silent retreat. It was nice to see them and hear some yoga news from Finland. It is very interesting to see, how meditation and silent retreats affect people. For example, Ian doesn’t practice asana anymore at all and Anriikka has done only home practice after Mooji’s retreat in Stockholm this summer. For me personally, it’s very hard to imagine practice without strong asana practice. Asana is for me also the only way to keep my body in shape, build up strength around my spine and also relax. I feel that asana is very good way to empty your mind, get better sleep and calm down in your everyday life. Ian said, that he has noticed changes very quickly in his body after he stopped asana practice, but on the other hand he seems to be very happy with his new practice. He wants to let the asana practice go. I think that it’s not good to be too attached to your asana practice, so that you will get injuries or you don’t listen to your body, but because I am not into that spiritual side, asana is in the middle of my practice. If my physical body feels bad, also I will feel mentally lousy. Asana practice also forces me to watch out more, what I eat and when I sleep. My body is more sensitive in many ways because of ashtanga. But we all have our own ways to find our balance. The way how Sharath is teaching ashtanga seems to work for me.