Obviously we have been in India for ages. Sorry for that but we have been busy, super busy in fact. Nic and I are now officially yogis in training and have been bending ourselves in unnatural ways once a day (almost) every day for the past two months.
We arrived in Bangalore from Morocco (straight from the frying-pan into the fire), after bribing the customs official to avoid (possibly, probably not) paying larger import fees on the bikes we made our merry way to Mysore – the birthplace of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and our home for the next little while.
We spent a few days looking around to find suitable lodgings, after longing for a permanent roof over our heads for so long it was quite an important decision – we were very happy to find Tranquil Blues, a clean serviced apartment with modest kitchen and comfortable living area. It didn’t take us too long to make it our home, adding the carpet we picked up in Morocco along with removing some questionable plastic ferns covered in gold glitter.
The Mystic School was where we had decided to begin our foray into yoga, the school, run by the very enthusiastic Shashi is quite small in comparison to the hefty and extremely intimidating Pattabhi Jois Shala just down the road. The Mystic School offered small classes (at that time they were no more than 5 people) which could happily accommodate two über-novices like Nic and myself. Off we went to buy our new yoga mats (mine is green Nics is orange), classes began with Jaiprakash the following Monday at 6am.
(Thankfully) We LOVED IT! The painful arms, legs and backs were all worth it as we could see ourselves improving on a weekly basis. We also enjoyed the company of our teacher Jai, he certainly enjoyed our attempts at some of the asanas.
After yoga we would ride our bikes home, have oatmeal and a cup of tea, read the paper and then prepare ourselves for the variety of extra-curricular activities that we enrolled ourselves in, ranging from Yoga Philosophy, Meditation and Pranayama to Himalayan Singing Bowl Healing. That’s right people, our chakras are looking pretty good!
After a month or so at the Mystic School, Nic and I were fortunate enough to meet Mr Badri, he was introduced to us by our friend and human whirlwind Mr Neel Kulkarni, our Philosophy teacher. Badri began teaching us Pranayama, a breathing technique that helps to focus and calm the mind by the regulation and counting of the breath. We enjoyed this time with Badri so much that we decided to join him at his yoga school to continue our yoga practice. We would love you to have a look at his website www.badriyogaschool.com – we created it because we wanted to help other western yoga students find their way to his amazing school.
Now we find ourselves a world away from Mysore. We travelled by train to Bangalore and then from there took an overnight sleeper bus to Hampi, a small town on a river that is about 400 kilometres north of Mysore, parallel with Goa.
We have spent the last six days exploring the huge number of temples and royal palace ruins that were built around the 16th Century.