I know we British are obsessed with talking about the weather but it is currently the main topic of conversation here as the mercury just keeps on rising. Even the locals are saying that it is hotter than usual for this time of year and everything has slowed right down as a result. The heat seems to have affected by ability to do anything and I need to lie down every couple of hours or so (which is quite nice really). I have taken to getting money out of the local ATM machine in smaller amounts so that I can visit more regularly as it has the best air conditioning I’ve found so far! The ceiling fan in my room seems to be just moving warm air around and the dogs don’t even seem to want to move around much in the evening anymore. Everything has taken on a slower, laid back energy which is actually really lovely. Even the cows have slowed down more, not that they were exactly fast before. One of them had her head inside a stall window opening the other day, obviously also trying to get a bit of shade!
It is even swealtering already at the start of the 4.30 am led practices. I literally have sweath dripping down my nose and onto my mat within 5 minutes of starting to move and am contemplating wearing goggles for the inversions as it then runs into my eyes. This heat is good though as the yoga and daily practice continues to work its subtle magic. With each day it becomes so much less about asana and about the ability to be completely in the moment. I find myself in a state of observation and enquiry more and more, watching my thoughts and questions and doubts (sometimes) and sitting with these thoughts. This is where the luxury of this practice and quiet time is so powerful. In the conference last week, Sharath talked about doubt and the the fact that that is completely part of our daily journey. Life is a series of choices and decisions and we can often feel conflict or have doubts. He said that if we continue with our daily practice and also to practise awareness in each moment then doubts will eventually be resolved. I think I still have a way to go with this one …
Outside of practice at the shala it was also fantastic to be invited along to a women’s group, or rather a little , group of gorgeous friends and acquaintances and local people, from all sorts of backgrounds who came together for a couple of hours to talk and share thoughts about how we see ourselves. Beautiful Anu kindly hosted us at her bamboo rooftop cafe space, and provided ginger tea and her delicious vegan fruit chocolate pie (which I love). Most of us were yogis here in Mysore to travel and practice but all of us, and we ranged from 20 something to 50 something in age, had interesting ideas and thoughts to share. It was a very frank and honest insight into the lens through which most of us see ourselves and our world. It was also wonderful that my friend Sandra and her daughter Emily were here too and came along to share their thoughts with the group. Thank you to Sophie whose idea it was to get us together and whose blog I am really looking forward to reading.
I have also been having fun sourcing some gorgeous cotton mats for our new little yoga space and beautiful Indian door handles and fittings which I’m hoping to use on the new doors and cupboards. As with anything here, even the smallest job takes half a day and usually involves several trips back to the shop because, despite all promises to the contrary, nothing is ever ready or even in the shop when it supposed to be. You really do have to be patient and let go of all time restraints. On the plus side you are nearly always offered a seat and a cup of chai with a smile whilst you are waiting … and if you are really lucky there might even be air-conditioning (although mostly not).
The Odanani garden is all planted now and we just need to make sure that it gets enough water to stay alive until the rains come in June. The girls are doing a wonderful job so far of watering the whole thing (by hand using buckets and watering cans filled from their water tank outide) every evening after school. The older girls have a team of younger ones to help them which is fantastic. It seems very apt to be made aware of the scarcity of water and how precious it is when we acknowledged world water day last week across the globe. This is one thing that I will definitely take back with me from here … never to take water for granted again!