Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Rest of The Day...

So... You might wonder what we do after practice every morning.

Well, obviously a trip to Mysore, India with a small toddler is a little different then being here without a child.

When you are here studying without the householder duties of making sure your child doesn't run into traffic, or eat garbage, or drink the water from the tap...  some students will study Sanskrit, Yoga Sutras, or other sacred texts, learn chanting, and possibly have a long enjoyable breakfast or lunch with friends, and certainly enjoy an afternoon nap (or two)...

During the weekends, many students go and visit famous temple sites, or the near by Tibetan settlement, or stay in Coorg at a coffee plantation for a night or two. 

Practicing in Mysore with a toddler is a little different... There is not much time for resting. 
Naps are almost unheard of, and pretty much from the time we finish practice and get home, we are "on the move" - no time for temples or deep introspective contemplation.   
It's Karma & Bhakti Yoga all wrapped into one little bundle of energy, and so we just keep practicing all day long...

Jediah loves being outside.  So, here are some of the things you can do for fun with a toddler in Mysore... or at least some of the things we've been doing.

One Saturday morning we went to the main Market downtown.  That was so much fun for him.  Very entertaining to see all the food, flowers, colors and different people all around.

Just watch out for the dead rats you might possible find laying in the middle of the market from time to time!  eeks!  No one wants to touch them, so they just get covered over with Newspaper, and so if you're not careful where you are stepping... yup - you might just step on one! 

Another Saturday morning we found ourselves at the Mysore Zoo.  Also a fun place to visit with a child.  You can see the animals really close up, and it is pretty hilarious to see his reactions to all the different animals there.  It's an "old school" Zoo though, so if you have allergies (like I do) then I recommend making sure you have some Benadryl on hand, as there is a lot of dust & hair & animal excrement smell in the air!  

Every night we have Bath Time.  Yes - small people can bath here right inside a bucket! 
Jediah loves it.  He climbs right into the bucket and jumps up & down making a huge splash all over the floor.  Definitely a favorite time of the day for all of us!

Most of the day during the week we are just Monkeying around.  Jediah is jumping on us, running around the house, jumping onto or off of furniture, and almost every day we go to the park so he can run around and climb on everything there. 

Parks in India are mostly wide open spaces with a path around, which suits him just fine, as he can run & play to his heart's content. They can be a lot of fun for a certain type of "adventurous" spirit.

As a parent though you will have to watch out for some serious "death traps" that might be around, like slides that are about 8 feet tall and straight down with a large bump in the middle!  yikes!
Or how about a merry-go-round that only moves backwards, is completely rusted out, and hanging off it's center point.  Fun Times have been had by all at these parks! 
If you're a little more relaxed though, it is super funny, and Jediah loves them - especially the most hazardous play things. 

For the past couple weeks we've been having Sudha come in and help babysit Jediah in the morning, so that we can practice together at the same time.  She is a wonderful help, as are the other baby-sitters we've had here: Ratna and Anita.  He loves playing with her, and they have a great time.  The India people love children so much, and so in many ways it is a real joy to be here with a child, and Jediah loves all the attention.

For lunch we will either cook our own food or have Ratna bring us some of her delicious home cooked food or we will make the trip over to Sandhya's house for an amazing meal.  Sandhya is a dear friend of ours and an amazing woman, whom we've had the good fortune to spend time with both here in India and in Thailand as well!

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What Mysore Trip would be complete without a few surprise visits and a Special Indian Function?

Earlier this month, we were super happy and surprised to have a wonderful visit from Kimberly "Kiki" Flynn.  A good friend of ours from NY, and many years of practice here in Mysore, who was just passing through for a week.  We took a sweet sweet walk down memory lane with her!

Another surprise visit happened... our friend Isaac Murchie also came to hang out with us for a couple days, passing through on his way to do some research in Chennai.  Lots of laughs, and good times were had by all as we tripled on our little scooter around Gokulam.  What a fantastic couple weeks with some amazing friends that we don't get the opportunity  to see very often!

Certainly, the Surprise "Indian Function" was a wonderful afternoon for us!
We felt so blessed to be included in the celebration of a very special moment last week as we attending our friend's wedding!  We have known Taran for many years from practicing here in Mysore, and this year was a really special one for both us, and her, as she married her best friend and true love.

This was a gorgeous day in every way, and the ceremony was one of the most beautiful and symbolic weddings that I have ever had the good fortune of attending.  What a wonderful way to honor this couple and experience our first Sikh wedding as well!  Taran was stunning - as you can see!

 * * * * *

Another must while in Mysore is a visit to Chamundi Hill to sit and chat with Swamiji.  This was a real highlight for me this trip.  I was left wishing we had another month here so that we could come and visit him a few more times - an enlightening and inspiring human being.


You can always stop at the New & Fancy "Mysore Mall" on the way home as well...  A new thing for us this trip, as it never existed in previous years here.

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We've been enjoying some relaxing days by the pool... well, swimming, splashing, jumping, running, and maybe once in awhile stopping to warm up in a towel and drink some juice.

It has been part of the enjoyment this trip to spend some days with Jediah playing outside in the sun and laughing with friends by the pool.  It is such a great way of getting a little "holiday" while in India... and if you've spent any long periods of time in India, then you will understand and appreciate how much you need a "holiday" from time to time! 

It's our last week here in Mysore (insert sad face here)...  :(

So on Friday night we went out with some good friends, and had a dinner at the Green Hotel.  The Green Hotel is a Heritage Spot here in Mysore, and a beautiful place to watch the sun set and eat some "chats" while drinking "fresh lime soda" with friends.
It was such a fantastic night!  So many laughs & good times.
We'll be missing many of these beautiful faces, but hopefully meeting many of them once again either in Canada or somewhere else around the world sooner rather then later!

Pretty much every day we go and get a fresh coconut from our friend Prasad or his Father Guru at the Coconut stand.  Jediah loves the Young Coconuts, as well as the "Straw Wands",  and he will drink almost a whole one to himself.  What he loves even more is the huge rock pile beside the coconut stand that he gets to climb and jump down while we drink our coconuts! 

There is never a lack of interesting sites to show Jediah even just walking down the neighborhood streets.  We need not go very far... there is always something new and interesting for him to see and learn about!  I think we'll have to find some extra ways to stimulate him when we return to Canada after being here for 2 months!  Unfortunately, we don't get many sacred ox walking around the streets of Victoria.

Well, that is pretty much a little glimpse into what we get up to for the rest of the day in Mysore - after finishing practice at 7am.  

Jediah loves Idly & Dosa - so we always tend to go for Indian Breakfast, which is very inexpensive and delicious!  I think we will be missing the South Indian Breakfast as much as our friends and the practice here, once we return home at the end of the week.

It has been an amazing two months of learning, growth, introspection, recovery, rejuvenation, and intense practice.
This visit back to our roots here in Mysore could not have come at a better time for us personally, and we will be returning home feeling more inspired and energized to keep sharing the wisdom and mystery of this incredible practice of Ashtanga Yoga. 

It is always a bit sad for us to leave Mother India... and she has been both gentle and sweet to us this trip (thankfully!) so it is definitely difficult to say "goodbye".
However, one must at some point return to the place from which they've come, and so we go, and carry India with us in our hearts for another year.

Well, that's all for now... I guess we'll be seeing some of you very soon!

And for other... May You Be Held Safe in the Hand of God Until We Meet Again!  

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