I sort of bumped into Sharath on the last moon day that I was in Mysore. It was outside the Shala on the street. Here is the thing, a lot of what we do starts there and even on the moon day where we are supposed to be taking rest, this is a perfect place to meet or have a car pick you up for an excursion. So instead of describing where you are and giving directions we make it easy by saying something like, meet you at the Shala. However this is also where our teacher lives. I mean we all flock down there and wait to enter every day starting around four o’clock in the morning and students keep coming till everyone has practiced. So knowing that this was where Sharath would be resting on the moon day and may not want to greet students, seeing him outside his house took me off guard or just sort of made me think, now what, what do I do? Do I say hello, make some small talk or give him his space?
I certainly did not rush in and start babbling. For once, I took a minute to pause and breathe and think. This has been helpful and if you are in the habit of reacting, practice helps to bring the attention to your breath in any situation and let the mind clear. I am sure we are all familiar with the feeling of saying to yourself I should have waited a second or it would have been better if I thought about it just for a second first. It is nice to be able to use the tools that we practice every day in our lives off the mat. Focus on the breath makes everything better.
I certainly wanted to give him his space and I also could not ignore the fact that I was waiting there so I went over and said hello. I told him I would be leaving Sunday. This was a perfect opportunity to share that connection and I explained that I had to get my son back to school and mumbled something about my affairs. I must have had in my head something that I saw in my computer with regards to Yoga and I had thoughts dancing in my head along the lines of the meaning of yoga and how we like to add the word yoga to everything from walking, lifting weights, dancing or maybe even eating chocolate. I wanted to express to Sharath that I truly feel like I am finally getting it and that I so much enjoyed my stay and his teaching and the conferences and my yoga sutra class, the chanting classes, sanscrit classes and the course on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Don’t worry I did not go into all that and could only get the words out that I really liked it in Mysore, really liked his teachings and practice and how I will be back. I made reference to my thoughts as to how the word yoga is overused and came back to the teachings on this practice. He said something like, yes, everyone wants to do yoga but no one wants to struggle. You see in order to grow and evolve you have to move through difficulty. It could be mental, physical or a little of both. And you know, the struggles that I may have had at one time are in the past and new things come up but if I work with the tools that I have learned somehow we get through both on the mat and off the mat and whatever struggle I have today is something that I will get through . . . eventually.