When we moved from Kovalam to Mysore in 2015 I was slightly depressed. To be very precise we move to Srirangnapatna which is located about 30 minutes away from Mysore and basically in the middle of nowhere. For a big city kind of girl like me who lived in Paris, moving to India was already something but then moving in the country side of Mysore was not at all what I had planned for my life.
I then had two choices, first going back to Europe and I do admit that I was about to do it but for some reason I was “not ready”; or trying to take advantage of it and start practicing seriously Ashtanga Yoga. I chose the second option.
Since I started practicing at the main Shala my all practice drastically changed.
Fact number 1.
When people are telling you bad things about practicing at KPJAYI it is most probably because they never practiced over there OR IF they did practice they had too many expectations… such as being “authorised” after their first visit.. 😯
Fact number 2.
When people are telling you that Sharat is egoistic and do nothing else than counting while sitting on his chair, it is all about jealousy. Sharat is working like hell, adjusting students, scolding others, helping students into drop back and this even if the student is taller, bigger than him. Sharat is giving is 100%, you can not deny it.
Fact number 3.
Practicing at the main Shala is everything but not a ego booster. This is what I learnt on the very first day I unfolded my mat. You can not behave with attitude. Sharat feels this kind of thing and as soon as he will spot it on you he will let you know 😉
What is like to practice at KPJAYI?
Honestly speaking that is the BEST THING I ever done in all my Yogic Path!
A unique experience, truly amazing, appealing and truly speaking a life changing experience.
First of all the practice, the commitment, the contract that you signed between you and your yoga mat, between You and Yourself.
The energy is simply unique. By practicing at the main shala I brought my practice to another level. People are all practitioners, so even thought you think that you are “pretty” cool because you can do Marichyasana D without a flinch there is nothing compare to what “they” do. All levels are mixed so some of them are practicing Primary, Secondary or Third Series.
Authorised Teachers or “Famous” teachers are also there to assist, therefore you can be adjusted by Ajay Tokas for instance – this is what happened to me last year 🙂 At that time I was not passing Supta Kurmasana and one day someone adjusted me, when I lift up I realised it was Ajay Tokas! And it made my day!
Last year when I was practicing with Sarawasthi I was doing my back bend with David Roche.
When Sharat says “Next” while you are finishing your backbends and rise your head up it could be Kino coming to start her practice…. (The Journey of my Practice).
Unlikely to all gossips most of the well-known practitioners are not there to show off. If Sharat says “you stop there” then they stop, everyone does, no one complain.
By practicing at the main shala as per the rule of no variation permit, you do or you don’t do, you catch or you don’t catch but ideally you should try to catch, I have healed my body. I understood that variation does not help at all, that using a brick or a yoga belt is just to allow you to do an asana for which you are not ready and therefore to entertain your ego.
I used to have huge knee pain so I was not flattening my back foot on the mat during Parshvokonasana B (I was lifting the heel up) and at the main Shala it was a big no. Therefore I did not even think of doing the variation and after 2 or 3 weeks (maybe less) I was able to do it without any problem at all. Knee pain gone as well…..
By following the rule of no variation, a lot of things happened into my body. I had new pain coming, got rid off others, parts of my body were opening, others closing and I realised that the process was never ending. Each day was different, the first year has been excruciating I thought at one point I won’t be able to continue, the second year was okay and especially now is amazing. Since the last 3 months my practice has reached another level, a level that I will have never ever expected and furthermore not at 43 years old!
I have been “promoted” to Pasasana…. which I can’t do at all 😉
Last year I was practicing with Sharat, this year I am practicing with Sarawasthi, it is my second time with her. My practice starts at 5.30 AM but I usually wake up at 3.00 AM or sometimes at 2.30 AM. I have a coffee, do what I have to do, take a shower, scrub, moisturize, do some pranayama and then jump into the car to go to the main shala.
My practice finishes around 7.00 or 7.30 AM depends on my breathe and on how many drop back I do.
Each day I am loosing something that I thought I got but it is for gaining a new thing that I though I will never have!
For instance one morning was not able to grab the wrist in Marichyasana C, but did a slow lifting jump back from Padamasana after Gharbapindasana, did not expect it at all but it happens.
Another morning I was feeling really weak in all the standing series, Uttitha Hasta Padangustana was awful but did my best Supta Kurmasana crossing my legs, ankles and catching my hands (not only fingers).
Also I understood how to do Setu Bhandasana.
Each night before going to bed I got excited because of the next morning practice. I am looking forward to it!
I think if you are practicing Ashtanga you should at least one time in your life practice at the Main Shala.