Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mysore report

A couple of people from our practice group got back from a month in Mysore and, second hand, have reported a lot of disappointment with the experience. Lots of people talking about nothing but Ashtanga, little attention from the teachers at AYRI and even - apparently - an inkling that that PKJ is getting greedy with regards to money from fees etc. Ever heard that before? If one reads the current crop of Mysore blogs on for example there is never any serious griping about the experience. Far from it in fact. Observations of all sorts but very little opinion. Many of the bloggers of course are based in the US and there is a distinctly American flavour to the Mysore/Ashtanga blog community although this may moderate over time. No-one though is slagging off the AYRI experience.

I guess it has a lot to do with a combination of previous teacher/pupil experiences and expectations about the trip as well as personality. Certainly there are rumours of some pretty 'brutal' treatment being meted out by teachers at AYRI - for example the fabled 'head drop' in back bends. Gotta see it to believe it but on the other hand I have now heard it from an eye witness so who well as the ubiquitous claims that they try to 'break' your ego as a preliminary stage of instruction. All sounds pretty macho and inimical to the yoga mindset commonly assumed to prevail doesn't it?

I was interested to hear the refelctions of those who have recently returned, particularly since my own visit there is only a month away now. One thing that may be helping me to remain firmly detached is the fact that since I hurt my knee recently my asana practice has essentially gone into stasis - at least as far as any progression through the series is concerned. Thus I have no great expectations for the moment of myself with regard to 'being given' new asana or 'getting further' through primary series. Which means that, for the moment, I believe I will feel content to just go there and practice as instructed, hopefully not get too ill too often and enjoy the chance to meet lots of different folk, find a good place to live in for the duration and spend fun time with my mum when she comes to stay for a month from Oct 10th!

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