Last night I dreamt that I accidentally left Mysore without re-packing my trunk and storing it. I got home and realized that I had left the sheets on the bed, the dishes in the kitchen, and frantically tried to get in touch with friends who were still in Mysore to ask them to take care of it for me but no one could, so I had to spend another $1500 on a plane ticket back, so I could do it myself. So… am I that concerned about my Winnie the Pooh coffee cup or was this dream about something else? I was so relieved when I woke up. My first thoughts: I am still here. I have work to do.
Five quick thoughts. Also, unrelated pictures.
1. It’s very easy to feel, when you’re engaged in a daily practice, that progress is nonexistent, simply because it is very slow. I’m realizing now that I have to start living in a world where that thing that was sooooo hard last trip is actually fairly drama-free this trip. So, neat. But that also means that whatever the Big Struggle version 20.14 has not yet revealed itself. Bring it on, meestru.
2. I’m taking a Kannada class. (Kannada is the language spoken in Karnataka, the state where Mysore is. It’s the third oldest language in India, after Sanskrit and Tamil.) Ten days in a row, at the end of which I will– according to the class description– not be able to write epic poetry, but converse with the locals. So far my favorite expressions are “What’s up, teacher?” (Eenu, meestre), and “Too much!” (thumba jasti).
3. My next-door neighbor likes having bhangra dance parties. I don’t hate it.
4. The smile that Sharath gives me when I stand in the doorway after practice waiting to catch his eye and thank him with a little bow (this is a common thing to do) is simply magical. Despite his long teaching hours and so much physical strain, he clearly loves sharing this practice with students. I’m so lucky to be here.
5. I have a little cold, something I seem to recall happening early on in my other trips too. My system’s adjusting to the climate, perhaps. Sharath told a story in conference of a student who missed class with Guruji for a few days, and when she told him she had a cold, he made her come to the shala and do sutra neti (like using a neti pot, except instead of water you’re pulling thread or string through the nasal passageway). Sounds like fun! In any case, the moon day tomorrow couldn’t have come at a better time.
Happy New Year! I’m not typically one to make resolutions, but if you twisted my arm about it I suppose I’d like to write in this space more frequently, so perhaps let’s make that my resolution. And now is a perfect time to begin, the week before my departure to a faraway land. Because there are always writeaboutable adventures to be had in faraway lands.
While we’re on the topic of the new year: last night as Peter and I were working on our jigsaw puzzle* (an annual family tradition of mine that I’ve successfully made ours, as this is the third year we’ve done it), we decided to name our top five events of 2013, as well as the top five things we’re looking forward to in 2014. Four of my five events of this past year involved travel: trips to Chicago, California, Ann Arbor, Ohio, and my in-laws’ house up north. (Yes, that was five places. I counted two as one, because those are the rules I made up.) Which is funny because one of the reasons I love living in Minnesota is how grounded this state, where everyone has roots extending twenty feet down, makes me feel. Travel is easier for me when home feels like home.
*Last year we got a gajillion-piece puzzle that we didn’t actually finish because it just got too hard. So this year, to compensate, Peter got us a 100-piecer, a kids puzzle that glows in the dark. We finished it in about ten minutes. Perhaps next year we should step up our game.
In two weeks, I’ll be packed up and ready to fly halfway around the world for the third time. Two months in Mysore, India to practice Ashtanga at the source. I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity to do this; it’s not cheap, and knowing that I’ll [likely] have a job after so much time away is a luxury. But there’s also a little trepidation that comes with the excitement of going; it’s a long time away from the home life that I love, my husband can’t come with me, and I was so sick for so long last trip that my hair fell out when I got home. Not exactly the stuff of spa vacations. But there’s a lot of good, too: friends from around the world, long lunches at Sixth Main, and the practice, Oh God the practice. There is a fire there that doesn’t burn as brightly anywhere else, and every time I go I get to save a little bit of it for the negative whatever degree day solo practices back at home. So that’s why I go. To top up on the fire; to hit my head on a brick over and over until coins come out.
I discovered the other night that my husband and I have a fundamental disagreement about the nature of the world. And by “the nature of the world,” I mean “the holiday season.” Same-same. He was boiling water on the stove, I was getting out cups and tea. I reached for a holiday mug, pictured above, for my own tea, but he stopped me.
You can’t use that mug. It’s too early.
But it’s November! We are past Halloween! It is officially the holiday season.
No, it’s still fall. We haven’t hit Thanksgiving yet.
We’ve had the first snowfall! Snow equals winter.
Yeah, but the snow didn’t stick. There’s the first snow, and then the first SNOW snow.
That doesn’t make any sense. We’ve already had snow, the sun sets before 5pm, and if I wanted to I could go out and purchase a Christmas ornament or a lawn reindeer. All of this equals the holiday season.
Because really, snow and darkness WITHOUT the joy of the holiday season is, well, February. And nobody likes that.
I’m right, right? We’re officially in HOLIDAY 2013?
There’s a rumor going around that people tend to get sick during the winter. I know! I couldn’t believe it either. I mean, who would want to have a cold and/or the flu when it’s already stupid cold outside? Not me.
Since one of my jobs involves sweaty people in stretchy pants and the other involves teaching yoga (I’ll be here all night, folks), it might behoove me to be a little extra intentional about what I put in my body to protect it from the so-called cold and flu season. Did you know that turmeric prevents colds and possibly cancer? It also reduces inflammation and improves digestion, among other things.
Laruga at PeaceLoveYoga wrote about this Golden Milk tonic, and included the recipe on her blog. I made it this afternoon; it’s simple and delicious. You should try it too. Two things to note, however: 1. Turmeric dyes everything yellow. Be forewarned and 2. It’s a good idea to stir it as you drink it, otherwise the turmeric will sink to the bottom and get a little gritty towards the end.