Going To Bed At 9 pm


Friday... Yooohooo!!! 

Of course, last night I went to bed at 9 pm. This morning got up at 6 am and I did 4th practice with Pathabi Jois counts. Exact five breaths in standing postures. Week 4 - Practice 4 done! My plan is to go to studio tomorrow for Half Primary Led class at 12:15 pm and on Sunday for Ashtanga level 1 at 3:15 pm. Week 5 is starting, Monday will be a rest day. I feel great...

Ever since I started practicing yoga, 8 years ago, I always got so tired by mid-evening. Most people fall asleep on the couch around 9 pm, and I too was feeling very sleepy at that time. I hear my friends said they fell asleep around that time too, yet they would continue their evenings until 11 pm or maybe later. 

As you know, most social things happened in the evenings, and the nights out actually never start until 9 pm. Before I used to follow the crowds and do the same. In order to do this I needed to use something to keep me awake, such as drinking two cups of coffee. I did, however, find that I was always struggling to stay awake, even with coffee. I would sit watching my friends leaping around, talking and having fun, while my whole body just felt like going to bed.

In my relationship, my marriage,  again, by 9 pm I was always struggling to stay awake, and my Ex was working late so she would come to bedroom just to say goodnight. So many times I was forcing myself to stay awake until she comes from the work so that we can have some conversation. I used to stay on the net or watch all kinds of boring series on TV just to stay awake.

It was always a strange feeling for me to be awake and not to go to bed because it is just early in the night. The push to stay up made me feel constantly on edge, and by the time I got to bed I was so tired I often so hungry that I needed to eat something to put me to sleep. But this put me in a constant daily cycle of sleeping restlessly and feeling exhausted when I awoke.

During all of this I would often say to myself, why am I not going to bed when I am tired? Yet it kept on going; it continued to place a toll on my well being, and I was so irritable. What I found was that, when I tried to stay up later, the quality of my sleep was always deeply affected, I felt too hot and I sweat a lot in the sleep. 

After divorce I am living alone and things changed. I am my own boss now. Really. In the beginning of September, I read on the net that the most natural sleep rhythm for our bodies is to be in bed by 9 pm, this being the time when our body is able to rest and gain optimum healing during the night. This for me was one of my life changing moments, and made so much sense. I could now feel that my  body, since being a middle-aged, is asking me to go to bed around 9 pm. I realized I'm not the one who is abnormal, as there is a natural truth in our biological make up whereby being in bed by 9 pm is normal.

Since September I gave myself permission to go to bed when I was tired, and in particular to go to bed around 9 pm. Daily yoga practice became easy. At first, friends joked with me, but by now they all just got used to me going to bed early. I absolutely love being in bed by 9 pm, and I love taking the time early in the evening to go into a peaceful phase prior to going to bed. I usually read a book before falling to sleep.  I love the mornings whether it is 5 am or 6 am. I like to be quiet, to watch sun rising, to actually feel the new day beginning before all of the usual daily traffic sounds. 

Simple things make a huge amount of difference. Nowadays, I feel my yoga practice makes me stronger but I feel so much less tired than I ever did.

Full Primary - One Pose at a Time


Life is happening in the present moment. But so often, I let the present slip away, allowing time to rush in and then I'm swallowed by thoughts, considering past or worrying about future. Everyone agrees it's important to live in the moment, but the problem is how. When I am not in the moment, I'm not there to know that I'm not there. It is a paradox: I can't pursue "living in the present" so what can I do... 

Now is Thursday morning, October 23, it is the new-moon day so there is no yoga. I got up at 6 AM as usually. Today and yesterday morning I have practiced mula bandha awareness. I was siting in the cross-legged position for about 20 minutes and I was trying to isolate mula bandha. I was contracting and relaxing the muscles of my ass :-). Will see what comes from this practice.

Week 4 of my daily yoga practice is going very well. I did 3 consecutive practices and today I enjoy deserved rest. Last night I was on led full primary series in local studio. The class was at 6:00 PM, it was packed, there was more than 20 people and energy was high. During the class I tried to place my attention on mula bandha. It is really hard...

We started with the chant followed by Sun Salutations... 5 A and 3 B. I'm not quite sure what is the reason but now days at the lead primary class it is always 3A+3B or 5A+3B. I was taught that it should be 5A+5B. Anyway, in sun salutations I was stretching myself and I enjoyed the movements. 

Padagustasanas, Trigonasanas and Parsvakonasanas were strong and I did it with precision and long breaths. I kept contracting mula bandha while I was pulling my stomach in. Teacher counted a long 5 breaths in each pose and my heart-rate increased. 

I calmed the breath in Prasarita poses and Parsvotanasana. In Prasarita, my head is just an inch from the floor. Since I started daily practice, here, I see the most improvement. I'm hoping by next month or so I'll be able to touch the floor with my head. 

In Uthita-hasta-padangustasanas my standing leg was not straight and I was fighting with the balance. Teacher counted so slowly and I lost balance and touched the floor couple of times. I was breathing heavily and mula bandha was nowhere to be found. 

I did modification for Ardha-badha-padmotanasana, I bend the knee and touched the floor with my both hands. I was feeling pain like something puling out from the hips. Indeed, good hip opener but very unpleasant pose.

Utkatasana and Virabidrasanas were okay. I was breathing heavily and my legs were trembling. Long five breaths on each side so I felt we are in the poses forever. I could hardly wait to sit down. I noticed that I don't bend the legs enough like in sun salutation B. 

Breathing heavily and sweating like in the rain, I sit in Pashimotanasanas. I tried to engage mula bandha as hard as I could. I used long ujai breathing in order to calm the heart. In Urvatasana I was refreshed and strong.

In Janu-sirsasanas I tried to save the energy as much as I can. Long inhalation and exhalations in the poses and strong arms in vinayasas. I used blocks for the vinayasas. I am learning jump back and now I can lift myself up, do the rolling and extend my legs back. For now I can do that only with the blocks. Then I put blocks on the side and do jump through but that is not even close as how should be. 

Maryachasana A was okay, B - done with modification, C - just stop sigh, I can not bind as I use to do it before (stomach fat issue), and D - done with modification.

Navasana, 5 times, 5 long counts, with straight legs. On third time I started trembling and shaking, my heart started to beat faster... First time since we started the practice I was feeling tired. Yes I was accustomed to half primary class. But here I have to continue.

Bujapidasanas and kurmasana are out of my comfort zone so I did just modification, mimicking the poses. I was breathing heavily and I tried to reconnect with the ujai breathing and keep a kind of pressure on mula bandha. 

I don't know how I did Pindasana and Kukutasana, I simply don't remember those poses. My mind went blank. My breath returned in Badha Konasanas and Padagustasanas. I felt a bit recovered from tiredness, my breathing become normal and I performed Setu-bandasana okay. I even did chakrasana.

Urdva Dandursana was performed 3 times with five breaths. I was quick and I did not follow teacher's count but I did it three times. I went straight to forward bend, my heart wanted to go out of the chest. The back-bend was so intense and I almost strengthen my hands. I felt warm and flexible.

I calmed the breath in Sarvagasana and Halasana. I was feeling panic in pindasanas. My stomack was pressing me. OMG such a large stomach I have. I can see it clearly in these poses. Matsyasana was okay and I did Utana-padmasana too. I like those poses, they feel good for the back.

Sirsana - 15 breath counts. I was strong and I supported the pose by arms and elbows and very little by head. I can not stand more then 15 breaths in the pose due to such balance or rather imbalance, I am not relaxed into the pose. 

I can not sit in the lotus position so Yoga-mudra, Padmasana and Utplithi were done with cross -legged modification. I was exhausted and when we stand for the last sun salutation I was so shaky. But my mind was quiet.

In Shavasana I did not think. I did not have power to think. I just lied down observing my trembling muscles.

Does Practicing Yoga Causes Divorce?


Interesting articles about yoga....

The Dark Side of Yoga
...Even though I was pretty athletic, I found yoga to be somewhat awkward and strangely difficult. I wasn't sure if yoga was actually causing me more body pain, since I was so disconnected from my own body. Sports injuries and stress from work had me tied up in knots. I trusted the teacher's instructions, but often wondered why my joints hurt so bad after class. Paradoxically, I often felt worse after practicing yoga. It seemed like everyone but me could do the yoga postures. What was I doing something wrong? I practiced all the time and I still couldn't touch my toes. It made me feel inadequate. Yoga class was not a place where I felt good about myself...

Does Practicing Yoga Causes Divorce?
...I would love to take a survey to see just how many women who started practicing yoga seriously, in their late 30’s and into their 40’s, have since gotten divorced.  Now I don’t mean just practicing yoga a few times a week in your local hot studio, trying to get a better body.  I am speaking of those women who embarked on an introspective journey, sparked by the spiritual practices of yoga.  I am willing to bet that number is at least 80%.  Really?  Yes, really.   Out of 10 of my closest girlfriends through yoga, 8 of them have gotten divorced since they started practicing seriously.  I know that can’t be an isolated statistic…or is it?...

Why I left yoga
Like millions of Westerners out there, I too joined the yoga bandwagon about eight years ago after trying out my first Bikram class, moving on to Moksha and then settled at a hot yoga studio which practices all types of yoga in a hot space.
I too fell in love with how yoga made my body feel after a particularly tough workout.
I too fell into the pseudo-spiritual aspects of the practice.
And, finally I too got burned out by the practice, disillusioned and at times, even disgusted at the people who I thought should be setting an example to the rest of us but turns out that they are even more messed up than you realize and the yoga was just an effective cloak to hide their true nature and personalities...

I have no comment about these articles, yoga or anything else... 

Just engage your mula bandha!


"You mean like this..."

Please don't show it. Mula bandha is so close to the anus so it's not the type of thing you will show to your teacher. :-)

The most important thing to learn in ashtanga yoga is to keep mula bandha tight. What it means and how to that is the theme of this post. I have taken references from internet sites about this subject and I have compiled it in this post.

Mula bandha, the root lock, is most important subject to be learned for yoga practitioners, but one that is often left over into the back pages of yoga manuals. The Sanskrit word mula refers to the root of a plant or tree. The word bandha has many meanings, some contradictory. For example, the word has been translated as “fetter, block, check, obstruct, restrain, lock.” In this sense bandha is described as the damming up of a river. But it also translates as “bond, connect, put together, unite, combine, join.” In this sense bandha is described as bridging over a river. 

During practice of ashtanga yoga especially while working vinayasa the mula bandha must be tightly contracted at the center of the perineum. Contraction of these muscles is called the lock and it is said to affect the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, and endocrine systems, and most important, the system of internal energy, or prana.  

Mula bandha is associated with the center of the perineum. In men, mula bandha results from contractions of the muscles surrounding the perineal body, which lies midway between the anus and the genitals. For women, the contraction of mula bandha is said to be felt not at the perineal body, but at the area surrounding the base of the cervix. Practically speaking, attention might be focused on the back, the front, or the middle of the perineum—or on more than one area at a time. To practice mula bandha you must learn to activate the perineum at its center.

Once you can comfortably hold mula bandha, you can employ it during yoga practice. 

It is often difficult to isolate the contractions in perineum area but developing awareness of mula bandha is a matter of daily practice. It should not be rushed, because working slowly and gradually allows muscles to strengthen at the same time that mental discrimination is developing. An obstacle to practice is that the muscles of the perineum tend to work together, and frequently when one contracts they all contract. In addition, it is quite easy to inadvertently tense respiratory muscles along with the perineal muscles, and unnecessary tension may occur in other areas of the body as well. It takes careful attention and regular practice to sort this out.

Developing Awareness of Mula Bandha

The first task is to develop the simple ability to contract and relax the perineal muscles. To begin, sit in any erect, preferably a cross-legged seated pose. Close your eyes; rest your body; and relax your breath. 

Breathing freely, and without coordinating the breath with your muscle contractions, squeeze the entire perineal region—front, middle, and back—inward and upward. Keep the breath as steady and smooth as possible, without pausing. Press in slowly, and when the contraction is complete, release it slowly. In this exercise you are not trying to discriminate between individual areas, but to strengthen all the muscles of the perineal region while increasing awareness of them. 

Next, contract all the muscles of the perineum and hold to your comfortable capacity. While the tension is being maintained, continue to breathe slowly and smoothly. Sense the area around the anus, then move to the central contraction at the perineal body or cervix, and finally examine the contraction in the urogenital area. Tighten each area as you focus on it, feeling the sensations there. Then release the entire contraction slowly, and relax.

Finally, when you are ready, center your attention on the center of the perineum, and contract the muscles there tightly with minimal involvement of the anal and urogenital areas. This is the initial version of mula bandha, and it will take some time to accomplish it. There is no hurry, and it is better to prolong the practice rather than rush it.

Once the contraction can be held without affecting the breath, other sympathetic muscle tensions are relaxed, and you will be able to comfortably hold mula bandha for some time. Then it can be employed during yoga practice.

It's often difficult to isolate the contractions in the perineal muscles. That's why developing awareness of mula bandha is a matter of daily practice.

A variety of physical benefits have been attributed to mula bandha. It has been suggested that through this practice unstable menstrual periods can be regulated, respiration rate lowered, heart rate and blood pressure reduced, sympathetic arousal calmed, digestion improved, and urogenital functioning harmonized. These effects are noted by adepts in yoga, but there seems as yet to have been little scientific research to investigate them. 

More important for yogis, through the practice of mula bandha the direction of the downward-moving energies located in the root chakra and the upward-moving energies located at the heart chakra are said to be reversed and the energies united. This internal union leads to the expansion of awareness.

The Downward Doggie... aww, awww


From your first class of ashtanga yoga Downward Facing Dog is the pose you do most often. You simply have to learn to relax there. It is the ultimate resting pose in ashtanga yoga. That's why it's important to do the pose correctly, not only to avoid injury, but also to make it as comfortable as possible. 

There are numerous instructions on the internet how to do Downward Facing Dog and I will not write that here. I want just to say that this pose is all about upper-body strength. If your arms and shoulders are weak, you might turn your shoulders up to your ears. This is a big no-no, as it can cause injuries. Be sure to create space around neck. If you find your hands shaking or shoulders tensing up, it probably means you need to take a break. 

A good amount of body weight is in your hands, so be sure this base is strong and stable. Don't lift up the palms... Make sure your back stays long and straight. If your hamstrings are extremely tight and you struggle to straighten them, you'll make mistake by rounding your spine.  The best thing to do is to bend knees softly, so you can lengthen pelvis away from shoulders.

Yoga Teachers Training - Maui, October 2014

Week 4 of my daily yoga practice is started. Tomorrow is next practice.

How do you balance your daily yoga practice with your relationships?


You feel sad and lonely and perhaps romantic at the same time.  That is the first tip of fearlessness, and the first sign of real warrior ship.
~ Chogyam Trungpa

Originally Pathabi Jois made Saturday to be the rest day for ashtanga yoga practitioners. Recently Sharat changed the rest day to be Sunday. My rest day is Monday or Tuesday. I practice ashtanga yoga on Saturdays and Sundays in a yoga studio. The studio is 15 minutes from my home and if weather permits I'm walking to the class. 

The studio is spacious and clean. Unfortunately there is only three ashtanga yoga classes offered by the studio. I've asked a teacher about the reason for so small number of ashtanga classes and she told me that ashtanga yoga is not so popular. I just laughed. She told me that studio offers Mysore classes as well but I did not go. The teacher in Mysore classes is the owner of the studio and she is not certified by Sharat to be Mysore teacher. As far as I know, she have never been in Mysore, India. But that is for some other post.

This weekend starts 4th week of my daily ashtanga yoga practice. I am very much satisfied with the progress. (If there is any progress at all) Every practice is difficult to me although I've started gaining more energy and I've started working on jump back and jump through. It is still early to talk about that. But it is slowly coming. 

If there is any progress then it is in my understanding of ashtanga yoga. It is not about strength so much as it is about keeping attention on mula bandha and breath. Only daily practice and endless repetition builds the strength slowly like in a race of a snails. Unfortunately, there is no shortcuts.

In my introspection of this practice I have to mention again... Daily practice of ashtanga yoga have changed my life. I need to go very early to bed in order to get up for the practice and due to that I have lost the connection with my friends. During the week I'm not going out with them. On the weekend I am with the Angel and she've started questioning me about my practice. She would like to see me more often but I am busy with the practice. 

Can daily practice break up my relationship with the Angel? I think it can. I told her that if she is not satisfied with Who I am, she is free to find another guy. It sounds cold but it is not so. I am not talking here about feelings. I just want to continue with my daily practice. I am curios what will happen after 5th, 6th, 10th week. I want to see how I will feel after a year of daily ashtanga yoga practice. 

In order for two people to be together they have to share similar interests. I would like that someone who reads my blog, and I know there is a lot of ashtanga practitioners reading my blog, to answer me simple question: 

How do you balance your daily yoga practice with your relationships?

... the relationship with your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, children, friends.  As you can see I have trouble with that.

Melting belly fat away


Everyone has some belly fat, even people who have six-pack abs. That's normal. But too much belly fat affects our health in a way that other fat doesn't. Some of our fat is right under skin. Other fat is deeper inside, around our heart, lungs, liver, and other organs. It's that deeper fat - called "visceral" fat - that is problem, even for thin people.

We need some visceral fat. It provides space around our organs. But if there is too much of it, we are likely to get high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. The fat doesn't just sit there. It's an active part of our body, making nasty substances.

My body is 190 cm (6.3 ft) tall and my weight is 89.8 kg (197.6 lbs) as of this morning. According to the internet calculator I am in the upper corner of the Ideal Weight. Based on the healthy recommendation, my recommended weight is between 80 - 90.3 kg. I need to slim 4 kg. And that is exactly the belly fat.

So far I have fight with stomach fat with regular yoga practice, drinking 3 l of water daily, drinking almond milk, eating fruits for breakfast, taking vitamin C daily, eating only one peace of whole wheat bread a day and having regular sleeping pattern of 8-9 hours a day. Now time for stomach crunches did not yet come. I will start the crunches and stomach exercises in a month or so. I still have a lot of fat around my belly. It is true, it is getting better as you can see on these pictures but what I need is to stick strictly to my daily routine.

In this period I did not persist to the my diet strongly as I should. In a month or so, I had two pizzas, eat large meals like pasta in the Italian restaurant, had two or three chocolates late at night before sleep, had pop drinks like coke, had large quantity of beer etc.. This is what I want to avoid. My routine for melting belly fat is excellent and it works. Just I need to be more conscious to persist and endure this routine. 

Daily practice of Ashtanga yoga makes my friendships suffer


One must never be either content with, or impatient with, oneself.
- C. S. Lewis

If you are new to my blog I must tell you that almost four weeks ago I started daily practice of ashtanga yoga at home. I am doing the half primary yoga practice six times a week and I've started to see the benefits of such practice. My practice starts between 7 - 7:30 AM and it is one hour long. I'm doing all the poses with all the vinyasas. 

Practicing daily is constant fight with my laziness. Yes, I am a very lazy guy. I don't like too much physical activity. The practice itself is not so hard. Everyone can do all the postures of half primary, with the average flexibility and good strength. What makes it hard is repetition,  the same sequence every day.

It is the mind that makes something hard. It is the mind that says doing something six days a week is impossible. It is the mind that insists I will never get into that mayachasanna D. It is the mind that tells me that repeating the same sequence every day is boring, boring, boring!

So, my dear reader, it is all about the mind. Anyway, What is mind - just thoughts. Without thoughts there is no separate entity called mind. 

I live a well-ordered life, going to bed at 9 PM, I don't drink or take drugs. I try to eat healthy and I try to lose belly fat :). I watch over my thoughts, feelings, words and I try to do proper actions. 

Since I started daily practice I simply need to go to bed very early. The yoga practice starts a day before the actual mat practice. My friends do not understand that. They make a fun of me because I go to sleep at 9 PM. I have lost connection with them and we don't go out as we use to. 

In the last three weeks I did not go for our beer night on Mondays. First, it is so late at night... we use to meet at 9 or 10 PM and stay well after midnight. Second, I had three to four large pines of beer and I was feeling heavy in the morning. I could not do any yoga practice after beer night. Third, the same stories are repeated all over again and I can not listen to that anymore. So I stopped going there. 

Since I started daily yoga practice, I have refused almost all invitation to go out with my friends. The invitations were usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays nights to go out for a drink after 9 PM. I noticed that at present they do not text me as much as before. I have became out of their circle. We are still friends but we do not share our life anymore as we use to.

Just do it


Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

This October is such a long month. At least that how I feel. I can not remember when it started and we are just a half a way through. Is this means that I am more concentrated on my daily tasks? Am I living in the present? Wow. It sounds so cool. Of course this is due to my daily yoga practice.

As I begin each day, I must remind myself -  Zee, stay strong and focused, the next practice is coming. Keeping my attention like that, I have a better chance of remaining in the here and now. What’s here and now is all there is, so I'm told. Most of us know this as a theory, but integrating it into our daily living is another thing. But it’s a yoga practice that grounds me and it always returns me to the present. 

Most of the times, when I am running in my daily activities, my head replays old stories — the stories of my past or the stories I am creating in my mind about the future. They are always painful and scary stories of "What if"...

Too often I notice myself feeling emotional due to my thoughts. The most common emotion is guilt, I remember things I’ve said that hurt people. Second emotion I feel is embarrassment, you know, feeling incredibly humiliated for being so stupid...

Lately, I am becoming aware sooner and quicker when this happens.

You see, anger, guilt, fear, jealousy, envy, worry, doubt, mistrust — these are all things that I used to feel as very real to me at the time I was experiencing them. However, their nature is thoughts, they are of the mind. They are simply just ignorance or excuses to hang on to yesterday or to "plan" for tomorrow.

Emotions do not care if "things" are real or imaginary. Thoughts produce emotions and the thoughts sometimes are not even my thoughts. I picked them up like a dirt in a subway. Sometimes I just need to wash myself clean of everything I have ever learned or think I know, and just surrender to the yoga practice. 

The yoga practice does not generates thoughts. It is there for doing it. When I turn on the full primary lead class on dvd there is no time to wonder. The correct posture and breaths take all my attention. So often in the practice my mind is asking "When this will end?" Hmmm. But there is no answer. I just do it.

So you want to practice Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore


Five reasons to go to Mysore & five reasons you’re better off staying at home
written by Cara Brostrom

Considering a trip to India to practice ashtanga yoga at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) in Mysore?

Five signs you’re ready to go to Mysore:

 1. You love the practice.

Ashtanga yoga changed your life. Your body changed. Your mind changed. You stopped drinking. You began to eat better. Your relationships evolved. Your sex life improved. You were promoted. You got a book deal. You won the lottery. You don’t even know how all of this was possible, but when the alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. you happily trundle off in the dark with your yoga mat to embark on what is often the most challenging two hours of your day. Because you love the practice. And love is a good enough reason to say yes to anything in your life.

2. You like to be told what to do.

Check your ego at the door, because you are about to be no big deal. You’ll be told what time to come to the yoga shala (from Sanskrit, house of yoga), which could be anywhere between 4:30 a.m and noon. When you arrive, you’ll be told when you may enter the practice room. Then you’ll be told where to put your mat. When you reach an asana (yoga pose) with which you demonstrate some level of difficulty, you’ll be told to stop. At which point you’ll roll up your yoga mat and head to the changing rooms to take your savasana, because that’s what you’ve been told to do. And all of this is just fine with you.

3. You’re ready to face up to some of the less desirable aspects of your ego.

Remember that ego you left at the door? Its still there. Even if you think you’ve got a pretty good handle on things in the ego-department, you’ll be tested. The yoga will challenge you. The culture will challenge you. People will challenge you. They’ll elbow you on your way into the shala for a packed six a.m led Primary Series. And you might surprise yourself and elbow them back.

4. You’re looking for a spiritual experience.

There’s nothing like a harrowing ride down a busy highway in the back of a rickshaw to convince you to utter your first prayer. And when you arrive at your destination in one piece, you might just consider that there is a god, and he or she is in India turning chaos into some sort of intelligent system. And if you’re still paying attention, some of this new found spirituality will find its way onto your yoga mat. It might just be a spiritual experience.

5. You can’t get enough coconut water. 

This list would be incomplete without acknowledging the abundance of coconut water consumed by the average ashtangi practicing yoga in Mysore. You’ll pass by the coconut stand everyday, and if not they’ll come find you at the yoga shala. A machete-wielding entrepreneur will lob off the top of a young green coconut, stick a straw in it and hand it over. And for 12 rupees (about 25 cents) how could you resist?

Drinking straight from a coconut everyday after your yoga practice didn’t get you excited? Read on.

Five reasons you’re better off staying at home: 

1. You enjoy drinking water straight from the tap.

Its a germy world out there. Running your toothbrush under the faucet will give you second thoughts. The food you eat will have questionable effects on your digestive organs. It is likely you will have diarrhea for some or most of your time in Mysore. It will be unpleasant, but survivable.

2. You have a job. 

And you want to keep it. Spend a few months in Mysore, and you probably won’t want it anyways.

3. You love getting lots of attention from your yoga teacher.

With several hundreds of ashtangis flocking to the shala during teaching season, there just isn’t much personal attention to go around. Unless you’re willing to resort to some serious attention grabbing techniques (body paint? pom-poms?) you’ll be on your own for the most part. Which for the inquisitive student can be glorious. Or not, if you’re not into that sort of thing.

 4. You’re psyched to work on your six-pack.

If you’re psyched on getting a headstart on your bikini body, you’re missing the point. Stay home, save some time and money, and go to the gym.

5. You want to be authorized.

It is possible to be authorized by the Jois family to teach ashtanga yoga, though the process is vaguely defined and ever-evolving. You may be a long-time practitioner and teacher, but going to Mysore for the first time with the intention of getting authorized will only get in the way of what could be a subtle and personal transformational experience. If you go, go without expectations.