Adventures in Mysore India

Follow Suzy’s Mysore Adventures

Suzy is a yogi who frequently travels to Mysore and I love to follow her blog when she goes and live vicariously through here. You can check her out at Suzy’s Mysore Blog and you can also stay posted to this blog as I share her adventures with you. If you or anyone you know is keeping an Ashtanga or Mysore blog, please let us know! We will feature it here!


Week one appelephant

by Suzanne El-Safty in Practice Tags: 

The week started off with two led Primary classes on Sunday and Monday, and then (shock, horror) Sharath announced in Monday’s led class that the following day’s Mysore practice would start one hour later than usual and that this would continue for the rest of the season i.e. if you have a 4.30am start time then you will start instead at 5.30am, and if you have a 6am start time then you will start at 7am etc. This is because there have been several attacks against female yoga students over the last few years whilst they have been walking to practice, and the Mysore police want to provide a police presence on the streets around the shala – but they don’t want to get to the shala at ridiculous o’clock when we all get to the gate in the morning – they want to get there at a more reasonable time like 4.30am.

I think that most of us felt pretty happy about the later start. However, it only lasted a day, and on Tuesday Sharath announced that class times are back to normal i.e. a 4.30am start time means a 4.30am start time (which actually it doesn’t as a 4.30am start time means 4.30am shala time, which is 4.15am normal time… confusing I know). This was accompanied by an additional instruction that we are not to leave our houses any earlier than 4am as he will get into trouble with the police if we do. This has proven problematic for me and this week I have had to face my extremely irrational fear of not being near the front of the queue (this could be any queue by the way, not just the shala queue – I have obsessive compulsive earliness – it’s been a really tough week). Tomorrow I will have to face another fear – the first led Intermediate class of the season. My stomach has been doing somersaults all day.

But apart from my complete weirdness about queuing and being scared of a yoga class (so ridiculous), things have been great: Sharath is on excellent form making us all laugh in led class (“Which one you do? No coffee this morning? You drink a little coffee to wake up.” “Why you’re hurrying?” “What you do? No handstand.”); the 4.30am Mysore class is quiet and calm; and it feels nice to be back in the shala. The first conference of the season will be tomorrow at 4pm, and chanting and Sanskrit classes started on Monday.

In other news the Mysore Dasara festival has been happening all week and will climax tomorrow and Monday, with the procession of the idol of the goddess Chamundeshwari taking place on Monday afternoon.  Unfortunately most of the events happen in the evening when I am in bed. And I have an infestation of tiny, biting red ants in my room, who like to hide in my yoga clothes and then bite me when I get dressed. Ahimsa has been very hard this week.

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

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