I’m approaching the end of my first month studying at KPJAYI in Mysore, India and I have to say, it has slightly exceeded my very few expectations. I’ve learned that you can’t have expectations when you come to India, or else you will be terribly, terribly disappointed. First world minds in a third world country are doomed, but to be honest, I really don’t mind cleaning my clothes in a bucket or sleeping on a rock hard mattress. “Welcome to India!” they like to say. :)
I’ve been in Mysore for a couple of weeks now and I’m settling in quite nicely. We wake up before the crack of dawn, we practice, we eat, we rest, repeat. Two hours of our day are spent practicing, and the other 22 hours are spent preparing our minds and bodies for the next day’s practice. Life is simple here, and the toughest decision of the day is where to go for the usual after-practice breakfast for fruit salads and bottomless chai.
Today I finished my second practice at the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, located in a quaint, but well-off neighborhood in the city of Mysore, India. The classes this week are all led-primary and start promptly at 4:30am (4:15 shala time). Thank goodness I was told that Sharath sets the clock 15 minutes fast, or I would have been one of the few trickling in late as everyone is on Sun Salutation B. Led-Primary classes are difficult, but exactly what I need to acclimate to the energy of the room. However, if you dare go into upward dog before Sharath says “pancha inhale” then everyone in the room must wait in Chaturanga until you make your way back down, and then he asks why you are in such a hurry.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve realized that I do most of my learning through making mistakes. It’s become my second nature, and I expect things to go wrong when I do something, especially for the first time. It may sound like I’m living pessimistically, but I view it as preparation and creating a sense of ease for when things “go wrong” because I expected it.
I’m actually surprised how few things went wrong on my recent trip to Costa Rica. Five girls who have never been to Central America with me being the only one who knows how to get by with Spanish, I was sure there would be some bumpy spots. But surprisingly, everything went smooth, except for a few minor details like not reapplying sunblock before surfing for two hours. I swear, I could not sit comfortably for 4 days, and I had to say goodbye to the idea of laying in a hammock. But I definitely will learn from that mistake and douse my body with sunblock next time I go surfing.
While waiting at the airport to fly to Oklahoma for a family reunion, I started to think about how much of our lives are spent “waiting”, as if we put our lives on hold. When I reached the terminal, I headed straight for Pappadeaux for my usual half dozen of raw oysters and a glass of vino blanco. It was during lunch hour so the restaurant was packed. They managed to find a single seat for me, in between a couple to my left and two strangers to my right. I felt a little awkward at first and instantly reached for my phone. Checked my Facebook.. nothing.. Instagram.. nothing. Then I realized I needed to put my phone down and stop avoiding awkward social interactions. The man in front to my right was buried in his book and to my left was a couple debating on what to order. The waiter brought their frozen cocktails and I couldn’t help but say “Yummmm”. We got to talking and found out they were bumped from their earlier flight headed to San Diego for a wedding and had to wait another 7 hours for the next available flight. It wasn’t long before I turned their “party of two” into a “party of three”. I later found out that the husband is a bartender at one of my favorite bars in the Heights, and the wife works in the building right next to mine in the Galleria area. We talked until my flight was about to board. We left with hugs, phone numbers, and plans to have lunch.