The things we do! I really must love yoga.

Part of being advanced practitioners and teachers means we need to learn all the major Kriyas (cleansing techniques) and experience them all too. As we all know, and cannot forget, last week was Shankaprakshalana (explosive cleansing of the entire digestive tract) and this weekend will be: Jala Neti, Sutra Neti and Vamana Dhouti. Translation: Water in my nose and out my mouth, catheter in my nose and out my mouth, 3+ litres of my favourite saline water and then vomiting it all up again (and everything else in my stomach). Excellent!

To be honest, I love all these little experiments with the body. Yes, none of it is glamorous, but the benefits experienced are just amazing. After last weekends effort, I’ve never felt healthier - until I returned to eating certain foods which I now know my body is not friends with. The power of Kriyas is so wonderful. The danger, however, is becoming addicted to the Kriyas. The feeling of being healthy and amazingly energised can be so addictive that people then complete Kriyas regularly without a need to. This is when the opposite effects can happen - turn from help to harm.

Yoga really is so beautifully holistic in its approach. People commonly forget that yoga is not only about asana practice. There is pranayama, kriyas, bandhas, mudras etc. And nothing about yoga is religious. It’s a science, another reason why I respect it so much. But bringing it back to this weekend, it’s certainly going to be yet another whole new experience, but a great one no doubt. I’m not sure how we will all look vomiting on the street, but we’ll see!

Moving onto a completely different topic now. I’m beginning to become very aware that my course is nearing it’s end, and although I cannot wait to get home, I feel so terribly sad about leaving. Whilst in class tonight chanting with Bharath’s wife, with eyes closed and chanting quietly with the group I found myself crying. It was near uncontrollable. From before sunrise until well after sunset I am in that Shala with my classmates and teacher. My little India family. And I have been inspired so much that the thought of not learning from Bharath each day is terribly upsetting. Again, a true yogi does not get attached, but the Jessica deep down tends to get very attached to things. (I’m working on it!). For Bharath, I will become a distant memory as many more students have the good fortune to train with him, but for me - Bharath will always be my Guru. I was inspired by this man before I even met him (in France when I was taught by one of his students, which is why I came to him), but now I cannot even describe what a fundamental impact he has had on me which will stay with me for the rest of my life. How do you thank someone for that? What do you say? Do you say anything? How do you say goodbye to that person?

Don’t get me wrong - this has been the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. Ever. Emotionally, physically. You name it, it’s been tough. But maybe it’s because of the many hurdles I’ve been jumping over all this time which is making the process so much more enjoyable. Rewarding. Hence, why I feel so much gratitude for the opportunity to have learned from this wonderful man. I dunno - something to meditate on.

Ok, enough about that. I will definately chat with Bharath as some point about how I’m feeling. He always has something wise to say which helps me to centre myself. How lucky I am.

Namaste xx

Why not? If cows can, why not a pony!

Reality is beginning to set in

As of Wednesday this week, it will be 2 weeks until I leave Mysore and begin my travels in India. It’s quite a surreal feeling to be honest. I came here knowing it would be such a long time until I went home, and now the end is suddenly creeping up on me. In one month and two days I will be back in Australia. Wow - time is flying.

This place has become home. I’ve developed a routine living here and I can’t imagine not having the routine anymore. The 4.00am alarm clock, my muesli for breakfast, back to class, my vegan thali at lunch, back to class… I also can’t imagine not being in the Shala anymore. That place really has become like a home for me. The surroundings are so comforting every time I’m in the room. And then of course there is Bharath. I’m not sure how I will say goodbye to this wonderful teacher, this wonderful man. He has been such an inspiration for me that it’s going to be a sad moment when we part ways. I have loved hearing his stories, being challenged by him, and just being in his presence. He is so calm, so focused and so committed to yoga and his students that one can’t help but be inspired by such a person.

I actually chatted with Bharath about this last week. He told me to begin preparing myself for the lead up to when I have to go as this will make it easier. I’m not really sure how to prepare myself to be honest. I just know it’s coming! I guess one way of not feeling so upset about leaving, is the knowledge that I will then go forth and pass on what I have learned. It’s my time to now share this gift I have received from Bharath with others in the world. I am so very excited about that. Bharath has also agreed to come to Australia when I open my own Shala one day! That will be a wonderful reunion indeed.

Yes, class is intense, and yes everything hurts - but I wouldn’t change one bit of what I have been, and am still going through. This has been the most eye opening journey I have ever taken in my life and I will forever be a stronger, more aware and confident person for it. That is priceless.

So rather than be sad about the upcoming goodbye, I will work hard at focusing on all of those positives I’ve just mentioned. Yes my teacher may not be with me physically, but he will always be with me in spirit. Plus, he’s only a Facebook post away! Get a grip Jessica :)

Namaste xx

Beauty really is everywhere here

Side walk steps

Because it’s normal to burn your garbage, This is just outside my apartment.

That bike is going nowhere!

Life in Mysore