Props to Caroline Williams for my first post title LOL. A select few will understand. Tomorrow, August 1st, means I am exactly 8 weeks away from my journey to Mysore, India, where I will immerse myself in six weeks of daily yoga practice. Some of you may be asking “Why the $@*! India???” The food, duh!
No but really, why?
Yoga had always been another form of physical exercise to me. As a highly competitive volleyball player I saw the benefits immediately. I gained strength, I was never injured, and I learned some pretty sick party tricks. “Hey guys look where I can put my legs!” But that was it. Purely physical. As life trudged on, I found myself dealing with the stresses of figuring out college stuff, boyfriends, and an eating disorder that would soon change my life. (Ya, shit just got real) Graduation, beach week, and summer came and went and BOOM i was in college.
Freshman year was…interesting to say the VERY least. I was facing a new social scene, depression, and my spiraling out of control bulimia. Basically just hated life. Did and said things I wish I could take back but life just doesn’t work that way. So the next thing you know Im home for my second year of college. Hell yeahhh NOVA. It had been well over a year since I had been on my shitty, over priced yoga mat and I thought it was a good time to buy a new fancy Manduka (which I love) and find a new studio. I started taking class at Flow Yoga in Leesburg, Virginia and before I knew it was was working front desk and finding myself practicing regularly. I then decided, with the encouragement of my parents, to do the 200 hour teacher training that was starting up in January led by Marcia Hoffheins and Julia Kalish. And so I did. And boy what a journey.
January 2011, began the six month training or transformation I like to call it. I immediately connected with everyone in my group and we all became very close. It was pure bliss the first few weekends learning postures, sequencing, anatomoy and then oh shit…the Sutras, the Gita, philosophy…. All of a sudden my deep rooted issues of my sense of failure from my freshman year, my depression, bulimia, and stress of the unknown ahead of me bubbled to surface. I had to deal with them head on. As Marcia would say, this is when the REAL yoga happens. REAL life crap. I worked through it. Come May 2011, a month before we all graduate, Michael Gannon, a well known Ashtanga yoga teacher, came to Flow to put on a two day workshop. I had some hours to make up for training so I signed up for the led primary series and bandhas workshop. I didn’t think anything of it. After the first session with Michel I signed up for the rest of the weekend. Those two magical days changed everything, I had found my practice. Ashtanga Yoga. Those last few months of training were indescribable. I was so at peace with who i was, where I was, and where I was going. THAT was pure bliss.
Fast Forwarding…left that summer to life guard at the beach, went to my “dream” school at USC, my bulimia flared up HARDCORE, and BOOM im home again. W.T.F.
I dragged myself a long, feeling more down than ever. I was working, subbing at Flow, and taking class. Then Michael Gannon came back in February for a week long Ashtanga intensive training (obvi i did it). And thats all it took. I was recharged, inspired AGAIN, and ready to move forward and to take this as an opportunity. Next thing you know, by brother fronts me 1400 bucks for a plane ticket to Mysore. Say WHAT??!!??!
WORDS OF ADVISE: do not wait to tell your parents about life changing decisions. ( I did) and it was not pretty. BUT after months of serious tension, they are pretty pumped about it. LOVE YOU MOM AND DAD.
So again, Why Mysore, India???
Mysore, India is the birth place of Ashtanga Yoga. Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya passed down this system of yoga to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois who then opened K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga (research) Institute (KPJAYI). Though Guruji (Jois) no longer walks this earth, his passion and teachings still remain very much alive by his daughter (Saraswathi), son (Manju), grandson (Sharath, who I will be studying with), and the select who were authorized by him or his family to teach. So, Im going to mysore to learn from the direct source. But I am really going 8487.3 milllleeesss away from home to deepen my practice, open my heart, to heal, and to transform. And I want you all with me along the way.
The link attached is KPJAYI’s website for those interested in more info.
Buckle up folks and let the count down BEGIN!