Adventures in Mysore India,  Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized

A.P.P Goes To Mysore: Keeping the Mind Stable Under Any Conditions Is Yoga

The 411

Nothing new with physical practice. Sharath says that Primary Series is a healer. It helps the organs to function properly. My organs should be looking pretty good by the end of this trip LOL!!!

Sharath also says that, keeping the mind steady under any conditions is Yoga. I am not very good at Yoga!!!  My mind vacillates wildly throughout the day.  One moment I  am glad to be here, the next I am not. One moment I am loving the city, the next moment I want to go home. One moment I am in love with Ashtanga,the next moment I am questioning why am I even doing this. One moment, I think I understand where Sharath is coming from, the next moment he may as well be an alien. This is foreign to me. I am one of those all or nothing, jump in head first sort of people.  I am either all the way committed or I am all the way out. Vacillating makes me feel weird LOL.

Being in Mysore brings everything out of you. Usually, when I am feeling some type of way, I can talk to my teachers and they will help me navigate. I have a few teacher friends with me but they are navigating their own stuff. Sharath…well…lets just say I have not seen anyone having long heartfelt conversations with him in the Shala. Plus, with like  200-300 students (I have no clue how many people come through there every day), I would imagine that would open up a door that would be much too difficult for him to close.  As a teacher, I could only imagine 2oo people telling me their stories every day would be incredibly draining.

Plus, for some reason, I have no problem joking with Sharath but when I need to say something half way intelligent, nothing comes out! I just nod my head and smile.  Seriously. Like, he could be saying, “The earth is flat”. In my brain I would be giving all the scientific reasons why this is not true but my head would be  nodding and my mouth would be smiling. Sigh.


Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail