Everything has an end – and so has this trip to Mysore. And I’m actually ready to go. This time last year I couldn’t envisage going back yet, I really needed that third month. But this time I’m ready to go after 2 months here. No more can be done right now and I need to get back home and digest what I’ve learnt and do my homework. The next few months also have some exciting projects lined up and I’m eager to go back and start working on them. I’m full of gratitude to my teacher, my fellow yogis and to the universe which has made it possible for me to spend time here once again and learn more on my yogic path.
Each trip to the KPJAYI is different – I always know that even before arriving. Yet it’s difficult not to have expectations, or maybe high hopes. One invests so much in coming here – time, money, relationships sometimes…and it’s only human to hope for something in return. But that’s the ego talking – right? Happiness and wisdom is only gained through selfless action or not expecting anything from ones actions. So Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita (ch 3 on Karma yoga) – and it is so true.
This trip has been particularly difficult I find. Most of the things I had set out to deal with I didn’t manage to control at all. Emotion took over completely. I must have cried on my mat every second day out of frustration, anger, fear, disappointment with myself for being such a wuss and out of shame for “failing” and being pathetic. I just wasn’t able to get over myself and see beyond my chaos of emotions. However, these last few days I finally managed to break a little hole into the wall and peak at the other side. Things started looking brighter, the emotions evaporated and my body started to relax and so did my mind.
Out of this rather strong experience came the realisation how much I struggle with surrender, how much I want to control absolutely everything. How much pressure I put onto myself. How difficult it is for me to trust both others and myself and how I fear the unknown. Sharath’s words from the last conference echo in my head: “A person who has fear will never be able to see inwards or see who they really are, the purest of themselves”.
It also became so apparent to me how I’ve always identified with being praised for my achievements or performance. I’m still so used to being the “good girl” and when this doesn’t happen things start to crumble in my mind (despite my efforts not to). It’s again the ego talking and the misidentification of the self with one’s actions. In reality I know I am not the doer, I am part of something beyond that – but this is still difficult to grasp. During my time here I stumbled upon a Taoist text on the True self which I found very inspiring
These two months have been very enlightening in the way that I’ve had to face my fears and darkest emotions on and off the mat. But this doesn’t mean it’s been depressive. Rather the opposite! I’m so glad to have had to dig through this.
Also, making the decision to go and study yoga philosophy at the Anantha Research Foundation with Dr Jayashree and Prof. Narasimha was the best thing I could have done. Meeting these two lovely souls so full of knowledge and love profoundly changed something in me and in my yoga practice. Chanting and studying the Bhagavad Gita every day after asana practice became something sacred, something that I will miss a lot when going back home. For those of you who are interested in knowing more about Dr Jayashree and Prof. Narasimha – check out this lovely video by my friend Alessandro:
I’m going home with a new calm inside. I know I’ll be back soon. Maybe not at the time I had hoped, but still before the end of the year. After a comforting chat with my teacher Sharath yesterday I feel much more reassured. I now know that he believes in me and this gives me the courage to start trusting myself. I leave here much stronger than when I came – physically and mentally – and my task in the months to come is to practice this trust.
“You have to be brave, do not fear”
Sharath R Jois