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APP Goes To Mysore: First Day Of Mysore Practice with Sharath

Today was our first day of Mysore practice and it was pretty awesome. I heard all these horror stories about the line to get into the Shala so we left early to get a good spot. We showed up and…..there was no line.  There was a line on the led practice days but it was nonexistant this morning. There were a few people milling about waiting to get in but the epic struggle I had heard of to get a spot in the Shala did not happen. It was totally peaceful. Sharath came out, asked us our time and how many times we had been. People with earlier times and that had been to the Shala got priority. No one seemed to be trying to get in way before time. Everyone was chill and courteous. There was a decent amount of space in the Shala. It was busy but not stupid packed. I had enough room to do what I needed to do.

Practice felt great. The temp was perfect. Sharath called me out on letting my toes touch down on  the transition back to Chaturanga out of Supta Kurmasana. I didn’t get enough lift in my Bakasana so I didn’t stick it the way I needed too. No real reason. My awareness just wasn’t there. It is hard so I have gotten a bit comfortable with half assing it. He helped me do backbend dips and walk my hands to my ankles. He told me to move my mat rug when I do backbends because it is too slippery and to take my feet wider. He also had me walk in after every drop back before lifting up. I got a smoosh in Pascimattanasa and he sent me to the locker room to do closing.

Pradipika Class Takeaways

  • Yoga should only be shared with people who are ready for it
  • Yogi’s should be independent
  • Yoga should be done on and off the mat
  • A Yogi should not overeat, engage in energy draining activities that take away from the Yoga practice, talk too much, hang out with energy draining people, and over think things
  • When it comes to friends, quality over quantity
  • The Yogi should seek to perfect Yamas and Niyamas
  • Practitioners should control 6 enemies: kama (lust), krodha (anger), moha (attraction), lobha (greed), madhya (pride), matsarya (jealousy)
  • Through sacrifice, one can achieve enlightenment
  • Lifestyle, not a certificate or website shows that someone is a Yogi
  • Godisnowhere- Whether you see “God is now here” or “God is no where” depends on you. You attract what you are inside.
  • Yogis should live in a place surrounded by spiritual people
  • For success in Yoga, you need dedication, determination and devotion
  • If you need comfort, give up leaning. If you need learning, give up comfort. Yoga needs work and sincere effort.

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@ashtangayogaproject.com.

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