I’m back home from Encinitas and feeling relaxed, content, strong, clean, light and happy. In a word, sattvic. It seems as if the many impurities in my body and psyche were put into a high pressure steam machine and pressed into a perfect tiny diamond inside my body. It was a lot of work. I am used to doing my intermediate practice Sunday through Thursday with primary series on Fridays. I have even started adding the first part of third series these past few months. But in a room full (FULL) of people who have a similar daily practice and being led by Sharath who is only a few years my senior and who has been immersed in the heart of this practice his entire life, the work felt more intense than ever before. By far. It was like my practice died and woke up in Ashtanga heaven, and Sharath was directing us through our daily cleansing ritual. Our clothes were sopping wet and even my ankles were sweating. The breathing was deep, smooth and measured. There was room for nothing but the breath, the asana, vinyasa, dristi and the teacher, Sharath. you feel as if he is directly speaking to you and even though there are more than 50 people in the room, he takes time for each of us. I never felt a lack of attention or caring. he is sweet and strict at once. I am definitely going to start going to Mysore to study with him. This year.
Being surrounded by people from all over the world with the same love for this immensely beautiful practice and the similar required lifestyle with all its stringencies and freedoms was refreshing and comforting. I made a new friend from Sao Paolo, Brasil who is in a similar situation as I am with struggling to pay the bills and keep traveling (because we have to!) to study with authorized or certified teachers and teaching all over the city. I met a lovely couple, Joan and Eric from Denver who have a Mysore program that they teach together. So inspiring. I met the charismatic PJ full of energy who has PJ’s Yoga Shala in Wisconsin; and Franco who has been assisting for years and is looking for the perfect place anywhere in the US to start his own Mysore class. I got to hang out with an old friend, Asya from my first teacher training that moved to the US from Egypt recently and started her own Shala in Chicago. We talked about doing an Ashtanga retreat in Bali sometime within the next year, so if you’re interested, let me know!
The clean food, sunbathing by the ocean, daily bike rides and walks, good, real and deep conversation, connection, pranayama, yoga practice, words of wisdom and the loveliest company all combine to help create this peaceful sattvic state of contentment.
Now the work is to keep things as sattvic as possible by taking the massive amount of info with me and putting it into my daily practice, including my teaching practice to keep things pure and vital in my life and to help my students and friends do the same. And to share that wonderful feeling with everyone I meet. It’s all about spreading the love.