chitta chatter

the foreign legion

Posted in being human, India, yoga by Nancy on January 26, 2010

It’s taken about a week and a half (since my back injury), but Monday morning I got my chakrasana back! The first one I did in slow motion, but by the third, it was clean and relatively strong. I was also able to do the 9 rolls in Garba Pindasana without pain. Now if I could just get my jump-throughs back…

After practice, I pretty much slept the day away, apart from eating and hanging out at the Mandala café. There’s usually an interesting crowd over there, though… people from all over the world converging on little ol’ Mysore just to be yoga bums for a while. Aside from me and D, there are a few other Americans here right now (from Berkeley, Wisconsin and Seattle). Also several Aussies. A few Brits. An Italian. A couple of Swiss folks (who are not a couple). An Iranian girl who came to India to study yoga at university but dropped out and has been creating her own “curriculum” ever since. There’s an Israeli guy who’s been part of our morning coffee klatch, along with the hysterically funny Spaniard who desperately needs his own sitcom. Then there are 2 Icelandic guys who just showed up a few days ago (they’ve been traveling around India for 6 weeks and have covered a lot of ground in that short time) and are studying with Iyengar in the 7am time slot.

When we were planning this trip and trying to decide where we wanted to look for housing, D really wanted to be near the Mandala. I can see why. I mean, it’s great to live amongst the locals and all, but in India—or at least in Mysore—you’ll never really be an insider. Certainly not in a matter of months. So sometimes you just need to be with people you understand, who understand you. Who know what it’s like being a stranger in an even stranger land. And those are the people you’ll meet at the Mandala. The few, the proud, the fehringes.

We could have chosen to live in Gokulam, but it’s a very different scene up there (Gokulam is a Mysore suburb that grew up around Pattabhi Jois’ shala). It doesn’t appear to be flooded with white people, but it’s definitely set up for us. You can get a real latte there, French toast and sushi (not together), live in a clean flat with all the western conveniences, including A/C… and the locals—knowing full well which side their bread is buttered on—seem a bit more accepting of the white interlopers. I can see why so many western yogis enjoy it so much. It’s quite the little holiday up there. But then, that’s not really India, is it?

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2 Responses

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  1. sara said, on January 29, 2010 at 3:01 am

    I’d love to see a ‘Friends’ remake with you, Daniel, and your cafe crowd. Sorry you broke your chakrasana. I will now retreat to look-up what a ‘chakrasana’ is… Miss you Nanc.

  2. Nancy said, on January 29, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Miss you, too… see you soon!!!

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