Noticing Things…

Starting the second week here I begin to have enough clarity to notice things. I slowly come out of the fog of adjusting to everything, from food, to washing teeth with bottled water, to masala taste, to temperature, cold showers if too early, intensity of practice, letting go of trip stresses.

And I notice a few things.  For example: the chai they make on the main street is done completely, in its entirety, with milk. There is no water involved as I always thought.

I watched carefully as the chai master (as I call him) poured about 5 cups of milk and had it boil on a very strong fire, only to then, when boiling -I assume as my view was only partial- he added two and a half measures (ounces?) of black tea, then turned the fire low into a simmer where it would stay for a while before being poured into the container for from which the teenager boy serves the general public.

My main focus this afternoon

I had two glasses just now. I love it. It was hot and spicy.  I don’t know when the spices are added, will have to notice more.

I noticed that Tina, who is famous for her cooking and her strong, charismatic personality, does indeed have a place near the shala  (where incidentally I rented a room in 2008 before it was her place) as well as her regular restaurant.  I asked her about it today and she said it is her house, not a coffee shop, and she opens it 8 to 11 and only for students of the shala.  Now I am curious.

But perhaps the greatest notice comes from the practice

I don’t know what got into me.  Maybe is the combination of being here, having made it after not even being sure if I would because of how I sick I was a few months ago.

I gave it my all today (and every day since arriving and since recovering really). And primary series is an intense practice, no matter how you look at it, or how long you have been going with it.  It is a dance of breath, movement, focus, strength, grace, bandhas, quietness, hardness and softness, balance, floating, surrendering, and coordination that requires the intensity of an athlete.

Right around the marichasanas I noticed a huge low in energy.  Down I went!  This business of starting at 10:30, which gratefully has now been moved back to 10:15 (but still) makes me start practice at a time I normally eat and when I am the most hungry with my digestive system and body craving action.

I had to push hard to keep going at the rate that Mysore seems to draw out of me maybe due to, what? The room’s history, the other practitioners collective energy, the watchful eyes of Sharath, Saraswathi, Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamcharya (hanging pictures on the wall), the heat, my eagerness and delightful attitude at having the opportunity to be here?

I am going to have to rethink eating habits, maybe an early wake up for nuts and tea, mostly some nuts, some solid energy boosters.

I could not even sing at chanting afterwards.  I was wiped out.  Was barely able to make sounds as Lakshimish patiently taught us the proper up and down tones of the Vedic chants.

And yet I’ve never been more happy.


6 Responses to Noticing Things…

  1. lilasvb January 16, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    i also feel very happy and powerfull to be in mysore

  2. Carmen January 16, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    Me gusta mucho el blog, gracias por compartir tus experiencias, podrías hablar un poco sobre los habitos de alimentación de un practicante, recomendaciones y expexperiencias? Y si tambien nos puedes recomendar otros blogs donde podamos encontrar info y diferentes experiencias relacionadas con el ashtanga. Un saludo.

  3. Claudia January 16, 2012 at 6:22 am #


  4. Claudia January 16, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Carmen, gracias por el comentario me alegra que te guta. Yo como lo que me pide el cuerpo generalmente dieta vegetariana (aunque a veces si hay necesidad la modifico) Cada practicante tiene su propia filosofia, no puedo hablar sobre ellos, cada uno con sus necesidades… Sobre blogs puedes ver el blog roll aqui, estos son los que yo sigo, hay mucha informacion alli 🙂

  5. Uta January 18, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Thank you, Claudia for this post. I just remembered my time working in India. Everyday, in fact twice every day, I would look forward to the &quot;tea wallah&quot; rushing though the office and putting a cup of delicious (taste was subject to variation depending on the moods of his wife who used to prepare the tea) chai in front of everybody. <br />Enjoy your time in Mysore! I am also flirting

  6. Claudia January 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi Uta, thanks for your comment, did not know about tae wallah, interesting! and also how interesting that you studied with Shamila! Greetings back