dancer from Somanathapura (near Mysore) Chenakesvara Temple, from 13th C
note:2 small mridungam players at her left and right

Mud and Sky

By 8 or 9 AM in Mysore there is a consistent hum established. The pre-dawn Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) and the vendors' chants have given way to layers of sounds. The roar and rumble of motorcycles, auto rickshaws, bird calls, scooters, barking dogs, and human voices crowd into morning's empty spaces just as yogis are silently surging into the Shala's large practice room for their led Sunday class.  

While the cool air still has an edge, the students move in one mass up the steps toward the outer door where they are sifted one-by-one into the shala. It is high season here, and some yogis end up in the ad hoc practice spaces—the atrium or the dressing rooms. 

Today I arrived late (5:30 for 6AM class) with low energy, so I easily accepted my spot in the atrium next to the outer door, a site that just happened to give me a front row seat to a small melodrama. 

At about sirsasana there was burst of laughter in the main room, (not unusual—Sharath has a great sense of humor that eases energy/intensity). As Sharath entered the atrium holding a towel, he said "Anyone would like a cockroach?" More laughter. Stepping across my mat with an apology, he handed off the swaddled roach to someone in the next batch of yogis with the polite imperative—"Don't squeeze!"

It pleases me that such a creature was so carefully treated and apparently has a place of respect equal to just about anything else in the Shala. My status and that of a cockroach is what it is—equally valued!

Equality and equanimity,* both were mentioned in Sharath's talk and Q&A session (called Conference) last Sunday.

"There are some good and bad practice days. Experience both good and bad.... Take "sukkha and dukkha" (happiness and sorrow) equally,"  

Soothing and wise words.

"When we start yoga we experience many things—ups and downs in our practice. If there is pain, enjoy the pain also.... Practice brings mental stability," 

He then compared yoga to a 4-wheel drive vehicle to much laughter. "Yoga is terrain management." 

I hear it. Yes. Regard the cockroach and butterfly (experiences) equally. 

And the hummmmm, the underlying consistency of life goes on either way.


*Sharath is a Libra, by the way

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