Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weird terms in yoga

This term first came about when i was in a meditative posture and were asked to watch my breath. in yoga, we are constantly engaging ourselves in countless awkward positions that makes 'watching the breath' sounds normal. this is, of course, when the conversation is among yogis. we are so used to weird sounding terms like 'keep the collar bones smiling' and the likes that make our conversations, most times, plain weird. a friend once told me about a teacher who told her to hug her shins and no, by no means using hands, at all. i guess that is one of the reason why some people think that yogis are bunch of weirdos. then again, most people have the knack for generalising for fun sake which has absolutely nothing to do with religion or belief. of course, after spending sometime in india, i do admit that some yogis do behave strange and give an open invite to wrong interpretations. as for me, i try to sound as normal as possible i.e. using easily understood terms when conducting classes for simple reason that i want the students to focus more on their breathing then wasting thoughts and energy trying to decipher my words. it is hard as it is to connect mind, body and breath when doing the asanas so let's not make it more complicated by using hard to understand jargons.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Life is Mysore: Part 2

since coming back about 4 weeks ago, i've been asked a lot on how i find living in mysore. i got these strong feeling that most of those who asked expected me to say not-so-nice things about the place. for benefits of others, mysore is about 3 hours by car from bangalore, yes the IT hub of India. mysore is in state of karnataka, where the people speak 'kannada', a slight twang from tamil language, at least what i used to hear in malaysia. it is one of the cleanest part of india that i've ever been anyway. for 2 months, i stayed in a middle/middle upper class neighbourhood called gokulam. it is a really nice area especially when it comes to security. i can certainly vouch for that having to walk at 5.30am daily to yoga shala. i never walk so much in my life till i get there and my heels were the testimony of that. even after 4 weeks being back, the cracked heels are stubborn at healing. over there, everything is within walking distance, be it 5 or 20mins walk. then again, with the cool breeze and good company, i'll take the walk anytime. sadly, my interaction with locals was limited to my landlord and family, tina (the cafe owner), pritti (the lady from lucknow), the 'brothers' at my fav chai shop, and lokesh the tailor. during the first week, i was so excited about learning hindi so i can converse with the locals but soon enough i realised tina is the only person that speak hindi at home while the rest don't. i don't even wanna talk about the rest of mysore population. so, safe to say that i kept the 'conversation hindi' book that i bought away with other books to be shipped back home. i did learn on how to count and simple 'how do you do' and 'i want some chai' in hindi. i called that progress! given the packed daily schedule, most of my interactions were with my coursemates and breakfast and lunch operators. sad, i know. but hey, i signed up the course to socialise so i had to make do with the little interactions i managed to get daily except perhaps on sunday where i can hang longer at breakfast joins without having to rush back or anything like that. so, sunday was for me and my book and tall glass of chai and if at santosha, some beautiful music. heavenly. a place called 'the coconut stand' is a very famous reference in gokulam. for example, someone who want to explain the direction will asked you whether you know the 'coconut stand'. curious why is it called such?!! simple. because it is just a pile of coconuts both fresh and used. at rs10 each, you get the freshest coconut and so nutritious. the thing about india is you can get the healthiest things at fraction of the cost back home and i'm saying that coming from malaysia. i can't imagine for those european, americans, japanese and others. india is so diverse as society and yet so cultured. i know i used the word 'cultured' because that is a fact. it has so much to offer if one willing to learn and let live. no wonder some who came would find it hard to leave...and those who left, can't wait to come back!