I am an Ashtanga Vinyasa Student and teacher. I teach Mysore and Led classes although I do not teach a regular daily Mysore program.
I do practice at one though….actually at the moment I practice in a few Mysore rooms around London due to work and time logistics though I have deeper connection to some than others.
For many years at the beginning of my Ashtanga Yoga journey, I lived nowhere near a studio..let alone a studio that offered a daily Mysore Practice, so I travelled into London when I could and practiced at home which I still do not find easy.
Now I am lucky enough to be able to jump on a tube and get to one of these magical places most days. I have been pondering, what makes them special?….why do I get up at crazy o clock in the cold and dark to get on crowded public transport?
What is the magic of a Mysore Room anyway? Here are some of my thoughts….
We connect with others…..
In our society we are becoming less and less dependant on others and more independent in many things that we do day to day. We get ourselves from place to place, buy our own food, pay our own bills. Theres a kind of ‘Im alright jack’ attitude that helps us ‘get through life’. But heres the thing….we do need human connection. To be together…share our space. So in the Mysore room we get to do that. Be with other humans, breathe and dare I say it be vulnerable. When I walk into my space of choice, I feel seen, it matters that Im there and I’m contributing to the collective energy of the group.
And now I think of it…there are so few other opportunities for us to get to do that in life…I mean were constantly around others…but not with a shared purpose.
We are part of a community
This follows on from my last point….but those of us ‘in the know’ are very aware that no matter if our Mysore group is small or large we are part of an immediate and global community. A tribe of the likeminded! And how much do we want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves? Well I’m pretty sure many of us do….even my little yoga community in Berkshire…mention a pot luck or a charity event and people get really excited! We really want to contribute and have the opportunity to come together as a collective.
We get to be needy AND learn self reliance
The role of a teacher in the Mysore Room is a vital and complex one and if you are lucky enough to have a regular teacher you will totally understand their importance. Personally in the most part of my life I hold me together. I do occasionally lean on my friends and family but most of the time I push forward solo. When we practice…we constantly try things we cannot do. Alot of the time we need help with these things…enter the Mysore teacher. I’m currently attempting many things in my practice that I have yet to master. I find it liberating to ask for help! A great teacher knows when to help and when to leave you to find your own way when your ready. Too much help and we can never do it alone. If we are constantly assisted in the same poses day after day how can we learn how to do it by ourselves?
We experiment with life…
The practice brings with it challanges…sometimes seemingly impossible feats…I’ve just started working on a pose I doubt I will master in this lifetime! But the Mysore room lends a safe space to try these things. We come face to face with our self doubt and see how we deal with it. It mirrors life. Everyday a new challenge sometimes impossible situations. If we get to play with this in the Mysore room, surrounded by others in the same space perhaps we can be better equipted to deal with the real life stuff!
I’m still unsure what the magic is exactly and these are just a few of my thoughts…I would love to hear yours….