HEEEEEHHUUUUHHEEEEHHUUUHHH. This is the sound of my breathing as I mentally prepare myself for my India trip.
In two weeks, I’ll be headed to my mother’s town of birth, Mysore to study and practice at the Mysore Mandala yoga shala which was founded by one of Krishnamacharya’s disciples, B.N.S Iyengar. ERMAGAAHHHH HAFKJDHFJKADFHHHAHGH!!!!
Ahh Mysore. This princely state was ruled by the Wadiyar dynasty since its founding in 1399. It has a rich history in yoga thanks to one specific ruler, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.
Time for a brief history lesson!
Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was a strong patron of the arts. During his reign (1799-1831) as Maharaja, Mysore went through a renaissance in painting, architecture, music and literary productions. One such literary work that was published was the Sritattvanidhi. This manuscript is a compilation of meditative verses and the details of deities that are worshiped and meditated upon. One of the sections of the treatise is on yoga. Elaborate instructions and illustrations for 122 asanas (postures) are included in the text. Much of today’s Hatha yoga is said to have its roots in Mysore and this document further substantiates that claim.
The great Krishnamacharya (Father of modern day yoga) is said to have been influenced by the Sritattvanidhi. The Mysore royal court patronized Krishnamacharya and his yoga system in the 1930s and arranged for him to teach yoga to others by establishing the Yoga Shala (yoga school). Since then, yoga been spread far and wide by his world renowned disciples (some of whom are B.K.S Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, T.K.V Desikachar, Indira Devi, and A.G Mohan).
End history lesson.
I’m nervous, happy and grateful all at the same time. I am ready for the adjustments that I’m going to receive! Teachers in India are typically strict and are highly respected as part of the culture. They will be strict on alignment and I’m REALLy excited about that.
But, I promise – I’ll be real about it. I’m not going to chronicle my experience in India with phrases such as “I BLOSSOMED LIKE A LOTUS FLOWER IN THE MIDDLE OF A PEACEFUL LAKE OMMMMMM. I SAW A CHILD BEGGING ON THE STREET. SO POVERTY. MUCH CULTURE. <insert cloying quote>” Yoga isn’t ostentatious. It’s about discipline, practice, and concentration, non-violence, and waaaayyyyyy less about the ego and showing off. On a different note, poverty isn’t a culture that is celebrated in India either (it’s mostly ooh’d and ahh’d by tourists and CNN).
Thanks to all my students, and well-wishers thus far! I will surely miss teaching.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!