Monday, October 01, 2007

MISSING FROM THE MYSORE BLOG... the following - a version of which I would like to include in the condensed version of my Mysore Diary but can't seem to get quite right.

It seems wrong to leave it out, but leaving it in makes me feel like a whiner. And like I'm going to be publicly flogged for writing about that which cannot be discussed.

Anyone care to weigh in?

DAY 21
Today I practiced between Vance-from-Berkeley and Guy-from-NYC; behind me was Peter-from-New Zealand and in front of me was Rolf-from-all-over. Even Lino, whom I adore, was nearby.

The energy was good. But my dropbacks were more like swimming frantically towards shore than floating.

Later in the day I returned to the shala to speak to Sharath about getting officially authorized to teach Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. (Although I’ve been teaching since 1998, official authorization requires at least four trips to Mysore, plus the candidate must “demonstrate appropriate attitude, devotion to the practice, and proficiency in the Primary Series (and usually at least half of the Second Series) as determined by the directors of AYRI,” while certfiication requires at least eight trips and proficiency in the first three series. According to the AYRI website, students are no longer allowed to even ask about authorization. But since I was left with the impression last year that I needed to come one more time and stay for one month in order to be authorized, I felt compelled to bring it up). After learning how many months I’ve studied in Mysore – nine – I was told to come back next year and stay for two more months.

DAY 22
This afternoon I smashed my foot between the kickstand and the Kaveri Lodge gate. It stung like hell, and it looked kind of dented but after awhle it seemed OK.

But in the evenining the foot swelled up and began to throb with pain, and I worried that I wouldn’t be able make tomorrow’s excursion to Kodagu - which would have entailed a lot of walking.

So I stopped to see the pharmacist, who gave me two tablets. He said to take one in the evening and one in the morning.

"And after that?" I asked.

"You will not need anything."

I iced my foot and took the tablets as prescribed.

The next day it was like new.

When I went back to the phamacist to thank him for curing me, he said, “It wasn’t me,” and pointed upward. “It was God.”

Apparently that's the same God who wants me to keep coming back to Mysore ad infinitum.

Here's hoping S/he provides the funds to make it happen.


  1. cara-you are a great teacher and a true yogi, you don't need a stinkin certificate. Obviously the "JOIS" family has become savy to the monetary benefit of having seekers return over and over. You of all should realize this attachment to a "PIECE OF PAPER" is ridiculous spend your time and money and energy serving yourself in a better way.

  2. Anonymous11:00 AM

    corporate ladder climbing yoga! and i thought the iyengar ppl were the only ones.

  3. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Even if you got 'authorized' you would have to return to Mysore every eighteen months to maintain the certificate. So you would still have to go to Mysore 'ad infinitum'. So either you enjoy returning to Mysore or not. If not, then why would you want to be authorized? (BTW from your blog it sounds as though you do love going to India to practice. So asking you to come back isn't really so bad is it?)

  4. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Your personal practice and dedication to the traditional method speaks for itself, and nobody needs to see a designation to understand what kind of teacher you are.

    This is obvious from your blog, so certainly your students and the studios where you teach, they all see this too.

    I do wish that the authorization process becomes a little more transparent, though, because I can see how frustrating this must be for you.

  5. i agree with all the above.

    AND as i told you-you would not be allowed to teach dharma mittra yoga (unless you sneak).
    you have to teach mysore class 6 days a week.
    is that really what you want?

    i'm not even trying to get authorized and i'm going there for the 4th time-almost 11 months in india.
    there are lots of amazing teachers who can't/don't have that paper. and lots who do have it abuse the privleges. like the ones who sign the contract at the shala & sneak over to shisadri/bns/ajay.

    honestly-i wouldn't at all be surprised if they stop authorization alltogether. the only thing that really matters is the certification. sometimes even that does not matter.

    wouldn't you rather go to india once & visit punjab instead? believe me-it's way better than mysore.

  6. Yes, I do enjoy going to Mysore and will keep going as long as I can afford it. What I don't like is being misled. My conundrum is how to convey this in print without sounding like a spoil-sport.

    Me- the "piece of paper" means that someone like me can move to a new city, where no one knows me, and find work teaching ashtanga.... which is all I'm good for now as my journalism career has petered out due to the trips to Mysore.

    Bindi - I wouldn't have to teach Mysore six days a week since I don't care about being on the website. (As it is I already teach three Mysores a week anyway). What I do care about is follow-through.

  7. Anonymous1:33 AM

    it smells like a
    cultish scam

    you will always
    be my yogi

    still alive in the

    love wrongway

  8. I wanted to weigh in but I am not sure what to say. A part of me considers this difficulty may be part of the practice, that is freeing yourself from this "deception". A great yogi is not just an accomplished and experienced practitioner, yes? You are on the path right now. This bad period is part of it. I don't have any worries about you, your authenticity, or success. Things are guarenteed to change.