You leave your life outside the door, start looking inward and once you get on the mat, a bulk of the job has already been done.
Yes, I’m one of those Ashtanga Yoga practitioners who love to practice in Mysore at the source of it!
Being honest, it was not ‘love at first sight’ and it took three trips to the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute before I started getting into it or better, it started getting into me. And now, two months back home to Italy and already badly missing it!
1. The deep reverence for the practice.
A symbol of it is the little foyer where you sit and wait before being allowed to enter the Shala and practice. You’re running, absorbed in your thinking but, once you get there, you just sit in silence. You leave your life outside the door, start looking inward and once you get on the mat, a bulk of the job has already been done! Yeah, it can be annoying in the beginning; in the West we are so used to getting all that we want whenever we want, but in that little foyer that’s not the case.
2. The vibrant energy of the Shala.
Stepping inside, the only ‘noise’ to be heard is the deep breath. Nobody is talking, concentration seems to be at the highest, dharana and that results in a very strong energy imbibing the place, making you feel like giving your best in your spiritual quest and proud of being part of that magic.
3. The warm weather.
Practice at six a.m. can already see you sweating all over. You’re more than lucky if your practice is at 4.15 a.m. (or so!) when it is still a bit cool. Moreover, the Shala is very humid as well, so your flexibility is just at the top…though it doesn’t equal to say that your practice is easier.
4. The mutual support.
For some reason still unknown to me, once you are in the Shala, the support of the other practitioners is almost solid, highly perceptible and they can be amazing teachers to you while not even knowing it.
5. The great gratitude towards the master and the lineage transferring the knowledge over centuries.
That feeling took some time to put its roots in me and that only happened during the third trip to the source of Ashtanga yoga. I don’t exactly know what happened over the last two months there, but each and every morning I felt more and more blessed by being able to practice, exploring my inner self on a deeper level and glimpsing a knowledge transferred over centuries.
A deep gratitude started blooming within myself, and that is the main gift I brought back home.
Rosa Tagliafierro is a passionate and daily Ashtanga yoga practitioner who regularly flies to Mysore, India, to study it at the source. After 13 years spent in a global company, travelling a lot, living in different countries and being determined to fulfill high career aspirations, Ashtanga yoga came to her rescue and changed her life. She is now a professional photographer specializing in Yogascapes (pictures of yoga taken in urban contexts and not), currently based in Milan, Italy. She has an intense desire to share that huge life transformation, hoping to be of inspiration to others and she does it through her pictures, teaching Ashtanga yoga and her blog www.theprimerose.me
Editor: Jennifer Townsend