KPJYRI in Mysore
On the day we arrived in Mysore after over 30 mostly sleepless hours on the road, I was pretty much fried. However, at the appointed time I went to the shala (photo above) to register, pay, and find out my practice times.
There was a large crowd waiting to be interviewed briefly by Sharath himself and most of us sat on the floor of the entry way outside the practice room, which one crosses to get to Sharath's office.
My eyes were red and sore from lack of sleep, and I closed them and made note of my acute discomfort. I could see through the open door of the practice room where Saraswati was teaching an afternoon class, and I watched the practitioners off and on until my eyelids would sag and close or a judgmental thought arise. The waiting group changed positions as people left for their interviews. At one point I was sitting directly in front of the open door, and I noticed a lean Indian male practicing. (I thought at first he was Sharath.)
I was fascinated and astounded by his practice. He was quietly doing very, very advanced asanas, but it was if the poses were doing him. How else can I put it? There was no flash nor flourish here, no concern with or awareness of a viewer, only the quiet light of devotion. Here it seemed was a yogi who —whether temporarily or not—had transcended ego. And dare I say it? Someone who appeared to have reached Pantanjali's 8th limb: samadhi.
Seeing this man practice made me realize why I have come to Mysore. It is not to "get" poses or achieve anything other than deeper, clearer awareness.
What an amazing beginning to this journey and what an auspicious gift.