Monday, July 12, 2004

It would not be wrong to say that I am incredibly happy here.

Two months into my journey and I've settled into a dream-like routine that, in all honesty, involves not doing too much, a fact that still conflicts with my ingrained capitalist values---Good Lord, I should be at a job! Working! Working hard!

I get up at 3:30, which is ridiculously early, at least by the standards of my non-yogic peers. I do pranayama, then I sit in baddha konasana. (Ah, asana talk! It's been absent from here for too long.)

My two flat-mates get up around 4, leave for the shala at 4:45, and finish the practice by 7 AM. Usually there is some congregating in front of the shala as everyone sucks down a coconut or three.

(I personally do not either like or dislike drinking coconuts---I can take 'em or leave 'em. Usually I leave 'em.)

I get home, potter about, then head to one of three breakfast spots: Tina's, Holly's and Tony's, or my living room. A leisurely breakfast follows. Afternoon plans are often formulated over fresh fruit bowls at Tina's or the omelettes at Holly's and Tony's.

Thus far, I've tried to shy away from shopping. I try to make sure I'm not out spending money (i.e., shopping) as an end unto itself. I'd rather it were a utilitarian function. Not that I'm averse to shopping---I've been known to freak a bookstore for hours---it's just that while I'm in India, the money is essentially following a one-way path: out. There's nothing coming in. So every penny I save could mean another month at the main shala.

Today a group of us gathered at Gita's house for a brilliant lunch. Gita lives up the street from the main shala, and rents out two rooms to yoga students. She also makes incredible lunches. Afterwards, we scooter-rallied over to Lakshmipuram to the Three Sisters for the best lassis in Mysore.

(Don't sit on the bed-rolls. There are bed-bugs and/or fleas.)

Now I'm at iWay, the Internet cafe of choice. Quite a few people have laptops, so for tonight there are tentative plans to watch a movie at a friend's house. Tonight's bill might be Kill Bill 2 or Fahrenheit 9/11, depending on the concensus.

Yesterday after practice we had a double feature: the pre-conference movie was The Terminal (Shockingly bad. And that ending!), the post-conference movie was Spiderman 2 (A shockingly bad bootleg, with a quarter of the screen cropped).

"Where does the time go!" is a common refrain here, because as I mentioned, time just drifts. I've not been very inspired to take many of the classes that other yoga students use to fill their days. It seems like many people arrive in Mysore, relax for a week, and then recreate many of the same frenzied, hectic aspects of the lives they've left behind.

(This doesn't hold true for everyone, though---there are many full-time travellers/yogis/expats, who have decelerated off the "fast lane.")

So I've been whiling away the time by devouring books, and by napping, and by rediscovering a social life, one that revolves around yoga. And the time has truly whiled away---this Wednesday marks my official two-month mark!