Ashtanga Blog

Mysore diaries: The practice of letting go

How this trip is teaching me to do less and feel more.

Sunset in Mysore, India.

This one is my 6th trip to Mysore and I knew before I got here that I didn’t want to have any agenda this time. It is so easy to get caught in too many expectations regarding the practice, all the things that you want to do, learn, and share and I have done this more than once in the past.

Philosophy classes, chanting, cooking, photoshooting…are among the things people usually fill their time with here. And fair enough, free time is plenty and being here opens the door to many more opportunities to dive into all these things than we have back home.

This time though I wanted to offer myself the “luxury” of not planning anything and expecting as little as possible. I wanted to allow myself to just be and observe how it feels not to have to tick boxes, try things and “perform”. I wanted this trip to be more about experiencing and feeling and less about doing.

This has allowed me to empty my mind, to a degree that I didn’t think was possible for me. I have been spending a lot of time resting, reading and resisting my innate tendency to always wanting to be active. 

And now, 40 days into this trip I realise this is what I needed the most. To go with the flow, see where this trip takes me, without judging myself for not doing enough. It is no coincidence that I haven’t been posting any asana pictures of me since I got here. It might happen later but so far I felt the need to cherish my practice at the moment when it is done, in the Shala and not go back to it until the next day. Practice is sacred to me and even more so here, especially on this trip. So sacred that I haven’t felt the need to share its external aspects so far.

I guess I wanted this trip to be less about my physical practice as an “accomplishment’ and more about using the practice as a tool to turn my attention inwards, observe all the tendencies and thought patterns and bring them to light. 

Asana practice is a powerful tool for self inquiry.

It also has a tremendous power when it is shared because it catches the attention of the receiver immediately. Still, in oversharing it (and I have done so in the past) one inevitably tends to glorify the external aspects of it and overlook its other powers than cannot be captured in a picture.

Still I believe that there is no right and wrong way to spend your time while you are here, everyone experiences things in a different way and comparison is the killer of joy (more on this on a future post).

I will be sharing more about my realisations during this trip. With or without asana pictures 😉