Sunday, November 11, 2007

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson


Happy Sunday to you all! I wish love, happiness, and contentment to everyone! I am just trying to relax and enjoy my last few days here in Mysore before I head back to the States on Thursday. I can’t believe the time has come and gone and I’m now heading home. But I can happily say I’ve had such an amazing experience here in India this year full of many new and different experiences, great yoga practice, and the beginning of a new love – Odissi!

I had dance with Sindhu today at 11am – we usually don’t meet on Sundays but I wanted to fit in as many lessons with her as possible the last few days before I go home. Today was a little sad b/c she told me she is just now getting sad as she’s realizing I’m leaving so soon. I too got sad for a minute, but smiled knowing that I will see her again next year. We have accomplished quite a lot in the time I’ve had with her, and I can’t wait to come back next year having worked on my dancing at home alone – want to come back and make Sindhu proud of me by showing her how much I’ve grown in my dance back in the States.

Thinking back on the last three months, so much has happened….many wonderful things, quite a few sad ones, some confusing moments, and many new experiences…It really blows my mind actually – the time that I’ve had this year, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve been able to do, and the memories I have to take home with me ;)

Tomorrow and the rest of the week will prove to be very busy indeed. I have quite a few final errands to run in the next few days, and a few of my newly found friends want to fill these last few days taking me to do some fun things – planning to go to the exhibition today (it’s like a fair back home), tomorrow is the zoo, and Tuesday we plan to go to the Circus! I’m really excited about the exhibition today and the Circus Tuesday as It’s been YEARS since I’ve been to a Circus (actually think the last time was when my father was still alive), and the fair has been at least five years. I’ve already been to the Mysore zoo but think it will be fun to go one last time with my friends. So, in addition to all that I have very little time to get everything else done – but it will all happen – no worries there.

Wishing you all a gorgeous day – wherever you are in the world!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I've felt pretty worthless today...Sad...But its all gonna be just fine. I am really looking forward to going home, trying to get things finished up here in India, feeling loss, feeling pain for Angela's family and my own, feeling a bit ill, and feeling like things in life are always so - well so...

I really want to be home right now - never want to go to funerals but I do wish I could have gone to this one. Angela was so young - my sisters and I grew up with her - I feel as though I should be there to pay my respects. But I coundn't be - so I must accept and let go of my desire. I am sure it was a beautiful funeral!

Friday, November 09, 2007

I woke up this new moon day to a phone call from my mama...She informed me that a childhood friend of mine passed away yesterday in a car crash! She was only 28 years old, full of life, finishing law school....I spent a few minutes talking to my mother - but couldn't talk long as i couldn't keep from crying.....Death - it's all around, always....but sometimes it doesn't seem to get any easier to accept. I sort of feel lucky b/c I've been abroad everytime someone close to me has died in the last five years...I HATE funerals and am really feel blessed not to be able to go...My mother started crying though b/c she fears that I will be abroad when she passes away - i asked her not to talk about her death - couldn't handle the thought today......

Monday, November 05, 2007

Happy, happy, happy Monday!!! I just got back from the most delicious practice I’ve had in eons…What a wonderful way to start the day.

As I got ready for practice I realized I only have seven more at the shala before I leave – and while it is a little sad it made me smile inside – realized I MUST enjoy each and every single second I have with Saraswati over the next week because it will be a while before I have the fortune to do it again.

I walked to the shala listening to some good ole Cat Stevens – and as I did my daddy entered my mind – he loved Cat Stevens! I took a moment to ‘speak to him’ and thank him for always being here by my side and watching over me. And again when I stepped on my mat I thought of him – thanked him for many things…Today I asked the universe to help me work on patience and clarity. I dedicated my practice to my mother, my father, and to Kwang, thanked Saraswati for her teaching, and silently chanted my opening mantra…and then I was off to a gorgeous moving meditation that didn’t end til I lifted myself from Shavasana.

In yesterdays entry I said that Maureen had decided to stay another week – well last night she said she isn’t going to after all, but will leave tomorrow morning and make her way back to Florida! Although I’m sad she’s gonna leave, if that is what she wants to do than I am happy for her – not to mention I’ll see her as soon as I get back home in ten days – so it’s not a big deal. Just gonna be lonely in our flat is all and who in the world am I gonna go to the pool with? No one here enjoys the sun like us Florida girls ;)


Talked to Kwang last night and he said that it is getting cold in Florida! While I’m not a fan of the cold I am sooooo excited to go home to chilly Florida winter. It just brings a smile to my face thinking about stepping off that plane and out into the crisp, breezy, chilly, evening Florida air ;) Kwang also said he’d finished his soccer game and couldn’t help but wish I were there to take a nice long walk around winter park. I almost cried b/c I used to beg him to take walks with me and he never wanted to – he said there are a lot of things he wants to do with me when I get home…He continued to tell me he can’t wait to make me a nice piece of salmon with broccoli and share a nice bottle of wine! Oh yeah – I can’t wait for that either! He always did do more cooking for us than I did – and for good reason – he’s better at it and he enjoys it far more. Kwang and I have a lot to work on when I return, but I look forward to seeing him and working to figure things out.


I wish everyone back home a beautiful Monday – simply cannot wait to see all of you when I return home – I’m counting down the days now! It seems like it has been so long since I’ve been home – and the funny thing is that while I’ve been gone three months, I’ll get home and about three months into my life back in the US I’ll start getting excited about returning to India…You see, for those of you who don’t know – mother India is a mystical place that gets into your heart and your soul – and once you come you fall in love! She will always have a special place in my heart – she is my second home ;)

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,The Glory of Action,The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

- Kalidasa

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Happy Sunday everyone! It is indeed a happy day for me because Maureen has opted not to go to Goa! She's gonna stay in Mysore for one extra week, which means she only leaves two days before I do ;) Yeah!!!! The two of us have had a great day thus far hanging out, walking around town, doing a little necessary shopping, checking email, and eating :) At Subway!! It was sooooo good and boy did it remind us of home - we are both beyond ready to get back to Orlando in a bad way - but we opted today to spend this last week really working hard to enjoy the little precious remaining time we have here in India. So that is what we shall do this week - enjoy the fact that all good things must come to an end - and we are so very close to the end of this particular journey.

Wishing everyone back home lots of love and positive energy - can't wait to see you all soon ;)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I just finished having Erin's official goodbye lunch...I was totally fine through lunch, but as I was leaving and gave Erin a big hug, I almost started to cry...That's one reason I never go to these goodbye lunches or dinners - I hate goodbyes...But Erin is a very special person I've had the pleasure to meet here in Mysore this year, and I couldn't miss this one - even though it made me very sad ;( She leaves on a bus this evening heading to Kerala, and then will travel a bit more of India before heading back to the states...Don't know when I'll see her again, but I know I will....

Everyone else is leaving by the early part of next week...Almost all of the yogis here now are heading to Goa, including Maureen. She was gonna leave next Wednesday but now she's bumped it up to Tuesday ;( She is really trying hard to get me to go with her and spend my last week in India in Goa - but I just can't swing that this year - especially not with such short notice - that would give me four more days in Mysore - and money is an issue too - so maybe next time...But it is gonna be really quiet and a bit lonely the last week here in good ole Mysore....

I hope everyone back home had a rockin Halloween! I'm sure you did - and man how I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you all. I have a few local friends here in Mysore who insisted we go out for a bit last night to celebrate Halloween - we did nothing Halloweenish at all b/c there simply isn't any such thing here - but it was fun to hang out...I told them they all need to come to America to experience a REAL Halloween someday....

I have dance class soon and man I'm low on zee energy today....kinda dragging zee bum...but I'm sure Sindhu will give me a much needed boost of energy, and also kick my fanny....She has been working me to the bone recently and loving every second of it too ;) We are moving really quickly through the current item I'm learning and I'm curious to see just how much of it we can cover before i head home....

Speaking of home.....this time two weeks from today I will be sleeping in my very own bed! Oh how sweet that will be....To all my friends and family - i love you all very much, and I can't wait to see you and give you great big hugs!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BEST POEM EVER

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...enough money within her control to move outand rent a place of her own,even if she never wants to or needs to...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...something perfect to wear if the employer,or date of her dreams want s to see her in an hour...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..a youth she's content to leave behind....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...a past juicy enough that she's looking forward toretelling it in her old age....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .....a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...a feeling of control over her destiny...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...how to fall in love witho ut losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...how to quit a job,break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...that she can't change the length of her calves,the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...how to live al one... even if she doesn't like it...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. .whom she can trust,whom she can't,and why she shouldn't take it personally...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...where to go...be it to her best friend's kitchen table...or a charming inn in the woods...when her soul needs soothing...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...what she can and can't accomplish in a day...a month...and a year...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pretty much everyone I’ve grown close to in Mysore this year will be leaving this week or the beginning of next…I’ll have a little over a week here all by myself…Makes me sad…Erin leaves this week and Maureen will leave next week. Not too many other people left now – will be sad to say goodbyes but hopefully they are just, “see you laters.” I too am really getting ready to go home. The last week or so has been a lot of mental preparation for my upcoming return home – a little over two weeks left. I’m really excited but also a bit sad – natural I know but interesting nonetheless. But as I sit here and think about arriving in the Orlando International airport, getting home to my clean house, seeing and touching my things again, eating lots of foods I’ve missed for quite some time, sleeping in my bed, riding my bike, driving my car, seeing all my friends, and getting back into my life routine, I have a big smile on my face. Mysore is most certainly my second home – but Orlando is my first – and I do miss her right now.

I feel like I have a lot to do before I leave, and I have time but part of me wants to make sure to take care of all the little details now so I can just sit back and relax my last few days here…Need to get on top of that…Today will prove to be another pretty full day, but full of life in Mysore type stuff – need to make time this week for lots of little errands and emails to set myself to go home. Sounds kinda strange – going home. Oh, I hate that I’ll be missing Halloween this year – but luckily I’ll home for Thanksgiving – ah, thanksgiving feast – nothing in the world like it. Can’t believe this year is almost over – where in the world did 2007 go?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Moon Day! I personally slept in til 8 this morning and I must admit it was quite glorious! Once I got up I finished doing yet more laundry before having a lovely shower. Been reading the last few hours and soon will head off to Anu’s to upload this blog entry for all to read. I have dance soon too – and I can’t wait. I’m really gonna miss Sindhu when I got home – but plan to continue doing Odissi – only on my own til I return to India next year. I figure if I can dedicate 45 minutes to an hour about four days per week practicing what she’s taught me, I should be able to come back next May and pretty much start back where we left off. Odissi dancing is most definitely something I’d like to keep a part of my life from here on out, much like my yoga practice. And while it won’t be nearly the same without Sindhu – I do my yoga practice alone back home, so I know it wont’ be a problem to keep up with the practice. Makes me a little sad though to think that I won’t get to go to dance class each day with Sindhu when I leave – oh well, all good things must come to an end at some point – but the good news is that its only for a short time – I truly hope to study with her each year when I come to continue my yoga studies!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ugh…Woke up too late to have my morning shower before practice today! Although it’s Thursday it was led primary today because tomorrow is Full Moon day – no practice. I sprinted from my bed, threw on my clothes, brushed my teeth, and ran out the door in lightening speed…Made it to the shala with just minutes to spare before practice began. And since I am attached to my morning shower, I must admit my practice suffered considerably. All good though as practice of any sort is better than no practice at all.

When I woke up I got my shower, and headed to Anus’ for some emails before heading to the BMH hospital…You see I don’t have health insurance and I want to get all necessary health checkups done here as its FAR less expensive than the US. Before I leave I will get my teeth cleaned – but today was the day to get my ladies yearly examination out of the way. Now, I have heard wonderful things about the BMH hospital, and had no inclinations whatsoever about going for my yearly exam here in India. But I couldn’t have been more wrong – it was a pretty mortifying experience to say the least. When I arrived the receptionist was quite efficient at taking my money for my ‘consultation with the OBGYN’ – and I use the word consultation quite lightly. I went in and spent all of 60 seconds with this lady who said, “Tell me what is the problem?” I explained to her that I was here for a yearly exam; you know a pap smear and the whole nine yards. She didn’t seem to even pay attention to what I was saying – she simply told me to go to room 8 and get a test run there. I thought maybe it was the Pap smear, but no – it was a freaking ultrasound of my tummy and uterus. Having done that a nurse took me back to reception to pay for that service, which was pointless and not what I wanted…Then I was taken back to the doctor, who said the ultra sound looked fine – no problems. I said, “GREAT!” but I’m here for a pap smear. She asked me how old I was and if I was married – “25 years old, not married,” I replied…She said I didn’t need a pap smear. Apparently things work quite differently here in India b/c I’ve been getting yearly paps since I was eighteen years old back in the states, and it has been ingrained in me that they are VERY NECESSARY procedures for women to have on a yearly basis. At this point I was quite past annoyed – I simply told the woman that is what I came here for and I did want one. She hesitatingly agreed, and with a swiftness I’ve never seen in an OBGYN’s office, she performed what I assume was a proper pap. Man, when that was over I felt exhausted, annoyed, and quite at a loss for words…That is until the nurse instructed me to go back to reception to pay for that examination. I looked at her dumbfounded and asked her why I had to pay so much for so many ridiculous procedures…She didn’t say anything, simply pointed at the receptionists desk, as if I didn’t have the location committed to memory by now. At the end of it all it was still less than twenty dollars US for all ‘procedures, and consultations’ – but shit man….I was really spoiled a few weeks ago when I went to the most amazing eye clinic I’ve ever seen here or elsewhere – guess it created some sort of expectation about this doctor visit. But whatever, it is over and I am happy it is…

That done, I was more than happy to get myself back to Gokulam and relax for a little while before heading to dance class…But Maureen called and asked if I’d like to grab some grub with her – which I was happy to as I hadn’t realized how hungry I was…So we went to Cubs to grab some food – not too shabby but most certainly not my favorite – they have some great coffee, but I don’t think I’ll be eating there again.
As has been the trend for the last four days here in Mysore, it rained ALL day long, and much of the evening as well….Rain, rain, rain, rain…I’m starting to feel like a wet dog all day – from the time I walk to practice in the morning til the time I walk home at night – there is a small film of wetness pervading your being…

I had a most amazing dance lesson with Sindhu today. We started class by reviewing all ten chowkas, from the 1st to the 10th. I enjoyed it thoroughly b/c it’s been a while since we’ve done all the chowkas. Afterwards, we spent the last hour working on the item I’m learning. I’ve come a pretty long way thus far, and today we added a few more segments to the dance…Luckily for me, I seemed to catch on pretty quickly to the new material – unlike Tuesday when I had the worst time with some new stuff she was teaching me. My energy remained high throughout our lesson, and Sindhu’s presence always uplifts my spirits – she is such a beautiful soul! After class we discussed going to yet another performance tomorrow night – I’m really excited – not only because I really enjoy seeing the different styles of Indian dance, but I absolutely love going with Sindhu. So I’ll be practicing at 4pm tomorrow and we’ll head to the palace around 6:30pm to see another show!

On my way home I stopped by the store to grab a few groceries – came home and emptied the bucket of soaking laundry so I could refill it with fresh water and wash my clothes…You see I’m now back to doing all my own laundry – not such a bad thing in America as we have washers and dryers – and man do I miss my washer and dryer – far more than words could ever express. I’ve been really spoiled this trip b/c I had someone do my laundry for me at Tina’s and at my old flat – just paid the maid about $12.00 per month to come clean the house every other day and also do my laundry – was so sweet! Now that I’m here with Maureen we don’t have a maid – which is really quite fine by me, but I do miss having someone do my laundry. You have to wash everything by hand, and since I sweat in my yoga clothes in the morning, have day clothes to wear, and sweat thorough and through in my dance class, I’ve got at least three sets of clothes to wash per day – that is a hellofalot of laundry to do…Needless to say I feel like all I do anymore is laundry – and those of you who have ever hand washed clothes – it’s a long drawn out process for sure – you must soak the dirty clothes, then soak them again in detergent and scrub and swish them before finally draining that soapy water, rinsing the clothes, ringing them out, and then hanging them to dry (and drying, should take a day in the sun but since it’s been raining for days and days and days, well clothes aren’t drying) – finally yesterday I put all my clothes in the house and let them dry there – looked like a laundry mat in our flat – but after turning the fans on for several hours it did the trick!)

After my adventures with the laundry, I showered and got ready to go out with Maureen, Jackie, Joyce, Erin, and a sleuth of other people for a fun night of dancing at high octane! Since tomorrow is a moon day it seems a lot more yogis came out of the woodwork for some good ole hip hop at High Octane. It was a blast – tons of people at the club, great music, lots of dancing – just good old fashioned fun. While I didn’t take my camera last night, Maureen did, and if I can get her pictures I’ll post some here for your entertainment!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Kama!

Today is my sister's birthday!!!! Yeah! She is exactly 13 months older than me, but yet she looks younger than me....Wasn't her favorite when we were younger, but as we are grower older she's realizing what a wonderful quality that is to have - by the time I'm 70 I'll look 80 and she'll look 50....

Kama, I love you dearly, miss you more than words could express, and hope you have the most amazing birthday ever!!

My sister and I don't get to see each other very often, and I've missed her birthday the last few years in a row as I've been in India - I do hope to be able to visit her in the states next year to bring in her birthday with her.

Kama Marie - I love you!
I’ve had a wonderful couple of days here in Mysore! On Monday evening after my Odissi lesson with Sindhu, we went together to a dance performance. Monday’s performance was the classical bharatnatium Indian dance, which has become one of the most popular of the seven classical Indian dance styles. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, it was interesting to the see the difference in styles between bharatnatium and Odissi, but it also made me really grateful to be learning Odissi, as I feel Odissi is a much more beautiful, more expressive, more elegant, and more challenging style of Indian dance.

Tuesday, I had a glorious yoga practice, felt as though my energy has come back full force. After practice I even went to the gym for a while – felt so nice to be back in the usual routine! Then I enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Tina’s with Maureen, John, Joyce, and Erin. I spent some time dealing with necessary emails and whatnot at Anu’s before going to get a much needed pedicure – haven’t had one since Sasha was here, and I was beginning to get rat feet. Maureen and I then headed to Coffee day for a good ole cafĂ© Americano before heading to the city so I could pick up the ring I’d ordered weeks ago.

I got to dance at 4:30pm and after class yesterday Sindhu and I went to another dance performance – this time it was an Odissi performance! I was so excited to go see Odissi – I’d seen Sindhu do a performance right before I started working with her – but I really wanted to see another dancer performing items. Again it was a lovely show, and I really loved seeing many of the moves I’m learning being performed by someone with much more experience – it was truly beautiful to watch. It was raining pretty badly last night so Sindhu’s husband Kiran picked us up and took me home, which I was quite grateful for. I then ended up meeting up with some of my Indian friends for a few hours – we went to Opium, a rock-n-roll bar/club in the city. I’ve wanted to check the place out for quite a while but had not made it until last night. And I must say it was a really cool place with a great atmosphere and some really good rock tunes! I enjoyed a bit of dancing, a glass of wine, and some fun company…

Today has been really laid back – energy is a bit lower than yesterday, quite possibly because I filled yesterday to the rim. Also could have something to do with the coming full moon on Friday. Who knows…Regardless I’ve been able to get some much needed R&R, got the last of my bags from Girish, my hats from Lokash, went to the market, and plan to spend the next few hours doing some reading.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting out of bed was not the easiest thing I’ve done recently, but after my shower I was pretty good to go…When I stepped on my mat this morning I focused my intention on asking for guidance to surrender, to let go, to embrace…There are many things I want to let go of, many feelings, thoughts, habits, and people. My recent musings on Loss were heavy on my mind as I centered myself for practice – want to work towards getting past some of my tendencies regarding that. Although my body still feels a bit weak after the few days of being ill, I don’t think that is the only reason I felt weak in practice today. My mental energy was good, but my physical and emotional energy was very scattered. Thoughts rarely came, but when they did they seemed quite profound. In several postures I felt intense pangs of ‘fear’ – not of the pose itself but I guess of something that pose represented in my heart. I wish I could say I like it when that happens because it is something in my practice trying to help me with something in my life – but I don’t like it when it happens until I understand the significance behind it. As always, I must surrender to father time, for only he can unlock the mysteries behind all of this…


"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
-Gloria Steinem

I have spent several hours this afternoon writing…Ah, its been a while since I have had the time or the inclination to sit and write…Makes me feel quite good to do so, gets things off my chest, helps me make sense of things, makes me feel creative and free…

I also spent quite a bit of time reading today – another personal passion, and another thing I’ve not done enough of lately. Picked Bryson’s book back up and zoomed through another hundred pages by the pool with Maureen this afternoon….

The pool, yet another thing I haven’t indulged in for weeks. Looking back – today has been a glorious jewel of a day! So grateful for it too – been off kilter for the last week or so and feeling as though I’m finally getting my groove back. I must say that although I miss my old cozy little flat close to the shala – this new place feels much more comfortable in other ways – and Maureen’s company rocks. As I sit here typing she is on the couch reading her book – rare to have a friend who can sit in silence with you while you both read or write – Maureen ROCKS!

After three hours by the pool, which was simply heaven, we came back home and talked for several hours – she had a lot she needed to get off her chest, and I desperately needed some womanly advice from my older, wiser female friend. She helped me put some things into perspective and made me feel better about some of the choices I’ve made – also helped me see how I need to best utilize my last three weeks in Mysore. After some stimulating conversation, we finally motivated ourselves to grab dinner at Casino Park. Quite tasty, but as usual, I ate too much…People can’t get over the sheer amounts of food I consume on a daily basis – which I don’t find odd at all, but I guess maybe I do eat a lot. But shit, I say eat away, especially right now with as much physical activity as I do in a day – oh yeah baby, bring on the grub! Seriously though, it has been nice to have an appetite today and be able to enjoy food after the last two days of yucky tummy bug syndrome.
________________________________________________
The bits of my day that weren’t consumed with reading, writing, talking, or eating, I have spent thinking – stunner right! But today has been more focused on loss – can’t get Nicole out of my mind – feel for her deeply right now.

Her recent loss hurts me for her, and is also bringing up some deep rooted issues for me! I am reminded of my almost innate ‘survival response’ that began when my father passed away. Everyone I love or have ever loved has had to fight to get past a wall I’ve built to protect my heart – from the fear of loss…Even the people closest to me never truly get all the way in…I let everyone in to a point, only to a point – the deepest part of me always stays locked away safe and secure…To this day I notice this tendency I have…It makes me think of Kwang – we’ve been on and off for five years, ‘fucking and fighting’ as he says…We’ve both made mistakes, but I am always the one willing to throw in the towel when things get tough because the ‘wall’ protects my heart, and helps me grow cold when I feel threatened…Whenever we’ve talked about marriage, I freeze up and grow quiet – its because I’ve always been really fearful of such a long term commitment – not the commitment itself but the fear of burying my spouse – ‘til death do us part’ – I saw my mother bury my father when he was 38 years old – I have seen how it has affected her and our whole family over the last seventeen years – and I just can’t fathom ever doing it…May sound a bit odd, and it probably is, but I’ve grown up thinking that if I don’t ever get ‘married’ I won’t ever have to bury my other half. Oh boy, much to ponder…
Yummy – practice that is! I actually slept through the night last night and it was glorious. I woke up feeling a thousand times better than I’ve felt in days and happily began my morning pre-practice rituals. I’ll tell you life sure does seem so much sweeter when you begin to feel better after a yucky tummy bug…Spending several days being ill, feeling tired, worn out, and unable to do much of anything can really bring me down – but when the sickness starts to dissipate, I feel like a million bucks, and have a much greater appreciation for all the little things!

Maureen and I walked to the shala together this morning, which was quite a treat. However, once we got there she realized she couldn’t stay for practice as she’s not feeling well – she spent all day resting and feeling yucky right next to me yesterday – she has some nasty sinus issues – I felt really badly for her as she rolled her mat back up and headed back home – really hope she starts to feel better soon.

While practice was rather challenging physically because my body feels weak, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The energy in the room was soothing, and Saraswati’s voice was so calming. I’d say today was a practice – not a fantastic one, but one for which I am grateful to have had.
__________________________________________

Three passions have governed my life: The longings for love, the search for knowledge, And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. In the union of love I have seen In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of [people]. I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, But always pity brought me back to earth; Cries of pain reverberated in my heart Of children in famine, of victims tortured And of old people left helpless. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.

-
Bertrand Russell

_________________________________________________
Yesterday I received some very sad news – a friend of mine that I grew up with very recently lost her boyfriend. He was quite young with a whole life ahead of him. I cried when I found out, Nicole loved this guy so much and they had such grand life plans. It couldn’t have happened to a less deserving person either – for Nicole’s brother lost his very young wife only two years ago – as she has helped him get through the feelings of loss, anger, frustration, and all else that comes with grieving, now he will be able to help her do the same. I will be going home to visit my family over Christmas and I really look forward to seeing her then – catching up on the years that have passed since we last hung out and giving her the biggest hug ever! I love you lady!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It’s been a couple of very busy, very strange days here in Mysore….

For starters, I have been quite ill for the last few days – stomach bug – yuck! It started Thursday night, and as I sit here at my computer on Saturday evening I am still feeling like shit…Ganesh was kind enough to take me to the doctor today, and I got some medicine for this bug – but feel like it’s just gonna have to run its course in due time…In the meanwhile I’m staying at home running to and from zee bathroom ;(

Secondly, I moved in with Maureen on Wednesday. She has returned from her trip with her boyfriend Dave and moved into Jake’s old two bedroom flat close by Tina’s. She asked me to move in with her because it would save us both some rupees, and because it would be nice to have a roommate. I thought about it for a bit and opted to do it – I too liked the idea of always having company, I too would like to save some money and this will save me quite a bit, and my lease at my old place was almost up – so it made total sense. I felt a bit bad because I didn’t give my old landlords much notice, but I had not agreed on a second month, just mentioned the possibility…

In general, the last few days have been quite full – full of energy, excitement, new experiences, good times, some sickness, sadness, and goodbyes. It has been a very reflective few days – partly b/c I’m ill and have more down time to reflect – partly b/c moving in with Maureen has opened us both up to talking about our coming return to Florida in mid-November (Both of us are ready to go home but there are many things to think about between now and then) – partly b/c I feel like I’ve changed so much in the last two months and need to figure out how to implement these changes into the reality that exists back home – and partly b/c that is what I do – REFLECT on life…

The quote below poignantly expresses the way I see things right now –

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. – Gilda Radner

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Success:
To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
________________________________________

I paid my last month of shala fees this morning after practice...Made me a bit sad to do so as it means I have less than a month left before leaving India and heading back to America. While I am excited to go home, I will miss Mother India dearly. This is my second home, a place I come to for reprieve, personal pursuits, and introspection...

Practice was quite delicious this morning - my second series practice was actually fantastic, and I think it had a lot to do with taking a week off and working only on Primary - seems as though my back enjoyed the break, and excitedly embraced the numerous backbends of second series today...And Backbends were amazing! I spent several minutes working on backbends before Saraswati came to help - I actually grabbed my knees on my own today - three times! I honestly couldn't believe it - I've only ever been able to grab to the top of my calves on my own...Needless to say I was wide open when Saraswati came and whipped my hands to my quads.

Around 9am I met up with Marueen (yeah she has returned!!!) and her boyfriend Dave at the coconut stand to go to Gokul Chats for breakfast! I must shamefully admit that today was my first time eating there - but I must also admit I wasn't the biggest fan. I was craving a tasty idly, and their idlys just weren't that tasty...Oh well, the company was terrific, and that is all that really matters. Dave, Maureen's man, will be here in Mysore til Friday. He is funny as all get out and seems to be a real laid back kinda person.

I plan to take a lovely nap for the next hour or so of my day before doing a bit of reading and writing - then off to dance! Oh yeah baby - jealous much ;)

Monday, October 15, 2007

If you're not confused, you're not paying attention. - Tom Peters

OmG - I nearly wet myself when I came across this quote today! How true it is...Awe, the irony of life.
I love the peace, quiet, and seeming innocence of the early morning hours when the sun still has a good hour left to sleep, people are in their beds dreaming, air is light and crisp, there is no traffic for miles, sounds are at a minimum, and I am wide awake already embracing the coming day! I was the first person to arrive at the shala this morning and I patiently waited for the gate to open. I took in a deep sigh of relief as I walked into the shala and put away my things, as I really needed this practice today. I haven't practice second series in almost a week because of this eye infection - means I don't need help in any postures and Saraswati doesn't have to come close to me. I miss second series very much but the week of primary has really given me some much needed grounding. Today I did all of primary and second up to Kapotasana - ended there so that I didn't have to get help from Saraswati in Supta Vajrasana. Although the eye is far better than it was last week there is still a bit of redness in the left - so I'll wait another day...I finished on stage and gave my respects to Saraswati...As I was doing so she asked about my eye - she smiled as she noticed it is a thousand times better than it was...She told me to come and do second series tomorrow...

I went to the gym for an hour after practice - I have a lot of energy inside of me right now - need to direct it to something physical so I don't harness it emotionally...Although it is funny - I recently learned from a fellow yogi that I have a bit of a reputation here in Mysore as the girl with way too much energy (or something along those lines) - funny to me because I know I am extremely active with tons of energy, but I didn't know I have a reputation for it ;)

On my way home I picked up some eggs and veggies to whip up a lovely omelet when I got home - and lovely it was with all the fixins ;) Hit the spot...

Yesterday evening I started Bill Bryson's book, Notes From A Big Country! FUNNY!!!! I love this writer - truly think he's become my all time favorite (and I must thank Ed for introducing him to me ;) I flew through the first hundred pages last night before making myself put it down and go to bed...I plan to spend a few hours with the book today - maybe I'll head to coffee day in a bit and fill up on some caffeine while soothing the soul indulging in a hilarious book!

Really looking forward to dance class at 4:30 today. Not only has it taken a very special place in my heart, but it has also made me find more fulfillment in my yoga practice. I've always known I love to dance, but this year I've learned that it is more than merely dancing (be it fun night's out with friends or traditional Odissi), it is a soulful release for me...

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. - Benjamin Disraeli

I have this problem....I want to help everyone, want to fix what is broken, mend what is bruised, or do whatever I can in whatever capacity possible to make other people smile, feel less pain, enjoy life more, or see their own self worth...

I have this other problem, I trust in people 100% until I'm given a reason not too. I allow people in and without hesitation open my world to them. I am one of those people who believes what people say without question, believe people respect me as a person, for I believe in the good and pure inside of us all.

I have been hurt many times by people who were deceptive or cruel, friends and strangers alike. I typically dust myself off and bounce back with lightening speed as I can't change my inner nature - honestly never wanted to until recently - because I'd rather live my life valuing all that is good in people and putting that positive energy into the universe rather than living always thinking that people have dark sides and no one is to be trusted.

Maybe it's because I am getting older and wiser, maybe because I'm tired of 'dusting myself off and bouncing back' from some cruel form of deception, maybe because the most recent hurt has gone really deep....whatever the reason I now realize its time to accept that the world is full of good and bad, and while there is good in everyone, there is also bad in everyone too...Someone once told me I needed to take off my rose tinted glasses and see the world as it is - and while I may indeed need to I'm hoping to learn how to keep my loving attitude towards humanity while at the same time learn how to protect my heart a wee bit better...

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart... - William Wordsworth

Friday, October 12, 2007

When I got back from practice this morning I had another email from my mama, with another rockin quote that touched my heart....

My mama wrote, "This quote was written long ago for my Krista's eyes today!"

"I say that the strongest principle of growth lies in human choice." -- George Eliot

Eliot's quote most certainly resonates with me in every way! I feel as though I personally thrive on my ability to make choices. Sometimes my biggest problem is choosing between many choices, not knowing which ones to make, fearing that I'll make the wrong one - sometimes I do but that's ok too b/c it is the successes and failures that make up the existence of a persons life. But I've learned that what is most important is that I own my choices, I take responsibility for them, I forge ahead without hesitation, and trust that my intuition will guide me in the right direction.

'strongest principle of growth lies in human choice' - hmmm...growth in life lies in the choices we make, the outcomes of those choices, and the ways in which we respond to those outcomes. It seems easier sometimes to let other people make decisions for you - to deny the outcome of choices we have made - and to blame others for outcomes of choices we've made...But that isn't growth, isn't living life, isn't experiencing all that is possible...While I'm still learning day by day, I have most certainly learned the importance of freedom, choice, and responsibility.

This is yet another example of my mother's uncanny ability to touch me deep down while soooo far away...Yesterday I spent the entirety of my day looking into, researching, evaluating, and weighing the many CHOICES I currently have in front of me. It never fails, whenever I have too much on my plate or too many choices in front of me - I seem to temporarily shut down - NEVER FAILS....It's something built in to my brain - I go through a "OMG what the hell am I gonna do phase," which moves to the "OMG I have so much to do phase," to the "Ok Krista get going - must break down pieces one by one phase," and finally "Ah ha, I get it phase." Of this four pronged process, I am currently on step three in my current list of choices and decisions about my life. Will be quite lovely to reach the fourth phase.

I am owning up to my choices, making sure I take responsibility to look at each one carefully, evaluate my options properly...That way, when I do discard some I won't look back and feel that I made a bad decision, or feel the desire to blame someone else for the path I choose.

Ok, enough Heavy stuff for now...I simply love how some quotes really inspire my soul and help me work though life stuff! Simple little things make the biggest difference...
_____________________________________________
A brief update on zee eye...It is SO much better! It was already doing far better than I'd expected by the time I went to bed last night, but I woke up this morning and I almost (key word almost) look normal. The eye is ExTrEmElY red, but the swelling has gone down considerably - and that was what really freaked me out yesterday. I can deal with redness till the cows come home - but the swelling was horrendous - think it's what scared other people too. There is still a bit left, but more puffiness under the eye and above the eyelid than real swelling of the eye itself. I am so grateful it is healing so quickly - I really felt uncomfortable going outside yesterday b/c of the discomfort, and because of how it looked. Today Krista is back to her good ole self - YEAH!!!

I had a really lovely led primary series practice, and afterwards Saraswati asked how my eye was doing - she seemed relived to see it was looking much better. After practice I grabbed two lovely coconuts from coconut guru before making my way to the gym for the first time in over a week - I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it felt to be experiencing my 'normal routine' today. I have dance at 2:30pm this afternoon b/c there is a dance performance at the Krishna temple at 6pm that I'd really like to attend - it is supposed to be a different form of Indian Classical Dance and I'd really like to see it first hand - very excited about that!

Always remember that life is made up of choices - growth comes when we are honest with our hearts, our minds, and our souls - when we surrender and let our inner workings steer us toward the right path! Wishing everyone a gorgeous day - wherever you are in the world.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"A spirited mind never stops within itself; it is always aspiring and going beyond its strength." – Montaigne

Another quote from my mama...Shes the best! I hope Montaigne's quote touches everyone who reads this blog today - for we are all spirited minds...Sometimes we just need external inspiration to remind ourselves of our abilities and dreams, and the limitless possibilities present in life.

__________________________________________________
I woke this morning with a horribly swollen left eye. I quickly realized that I must have contracted whatever poor Sasha got the day before she left - we had stopped by a pharmacy to get her some drops, and they seemed to help her but I felt so badly for her having to leave with a itchy, red eye. Little did I know it was contagious - and as much interaction as we had, I should have known it was coming.

I took a nice long hot shower and slowly prepared myself for practice. While I didn't know what was going on with zee eye, I didn't want to miss practice...So I made my way there, opted to do primary only today so Saraswati didn't have to touch me, and when she arrived I told her why I was doing primary. She said that was fine and seemed to appreciate my respect for her. I struggled through practice as I couldn't do anything much aside from think about my left eye....But I was glad I got on my mat and did what I could do.

I came home after practice and laid down - planned to go to the Vikram hospital this morning when it opened at 10am, but that was hours away and I didn't want to do anything but sleep...I woke to my phone ringing - it was Erin! She is so sweet - she wanted to see how I was doing - told her about my eye - she said she noticed my eye this morning and thought I had cried all night long or something...She offered to come to the hospital with me to keep me company - and I most happily accepted her offer ;) I really appreciate Erin, she is a breath of fresh air, a really pure soul, and I am grateful to call her my friend. We met at the coconut stand and 9:45 and made way to the Vikram hospital to find out that they don't have any eye specialists there. The receptionist was most helpful though - he wrote down the name, address and phone number of a local eye specialist in the city. And let me just tell you - OMG - I've never been in such a clean building in India - nor have I ever gotten such thorough, polite, and speedy service anywhere in the world...The visit itself was 100 rupees, a 10 rupee registration fee, and all medicines totalled 65 rupees...We were in and out of there in a little over thirty minutes. They had state of the art equipment, were very thorough in my examination, asked me lots of questions, and diagnosed the problem with a most expository explanation of what medications I was to take, for how long, and when. The pharmacy was inside the building so it was one stop shopping...I obviously have an eye infection, and it is pretty bad - will likely spread to my right eye before all is said and done. The doctor told me to stay on top of the drops, the pills, and eye compress and I will feel relief in a few days. She said it will heal nicely but will 'take its sweet time'.....I must say it is almost 8pm now and I already feel and LOOK a million times better than I did this morning - praying to the gods to help me heal quickly.

I spent the next four hours in my flat all by myself doing so much needed reading, emails, research, research, research...I did a great deal of research of Manufacturers in India and elsewhere for textile materials, ready made wear, shipping, packaging....I researched 2008 trade shows and conventions all over the world - ones that were of particular interest to me - really want to make it to at least three of them and so see that as a possibility now that I know when and where they are (and lucky for me a handful of them are in the US - New York and Las Vegas).

I also conducted more research on graduate schools - am going to apply to Rollins as it is in my backyard, but I'm extremely impressed with FIU's Masters program in International Business. Want to stay in Florida if possible, and would ideally like to go to a state school so I get in-state tuition (aside from Rollins that is). After looking at all possible schools in Florida I am pretty much set on FIU...Now, the real question is how, when, how, when....Not totally sure but I am a firm believer in asking the Universe for what I want and allowing things to unfold as they should. After a few difficult days of questions, confusion, and no organization - I've realized I just need to make headway in all areas where I'm uncertain - for the more I know the more I grow.....

Girish picked me up at 4:30pm to take me to the shala so I could tell Saraswati what the doctor said and make sure she's comfortable with me practicing at the shala in the am - she was concerned for me and told me that it was no problem for me to practice tomorrow...I was really grateful to hear that as I really need my practice right now, but in no way do I want to make any students or Saraswati feel uncomfortable with 'monster girl' nearby....From there we headed to Krishna tailors so he can fix the hats I'd had him make - they just need a little alteration to make them perfect in my eyes (no pun intended)...Then it was off to the gem store to pick up my blue sapphire ring - was so excited when I got the phone call it was ready - bring on the luck baby! Happy with the ring, but the darn thing is a bit too big - may see if it can be fixed another day...And last stop was Barti's shop - need her to make the sample bags from the material I picked up in Bangalore, and also needed to deal with some other issues (they are making hand bags from left over scrap materials - but they aren't doing them correctly - and they are wasting time and money - so I had to address those issues...Hopeful all will be good from here on out)

Since returning home a few hours ago, I've eaten, put drops in my eyes for the fourth time today, finished my book SHOPGIRL (that had taken a wee hiatus since Sasha arrived), looked into my old GRE scores and taking the GMAT exam in the near future, and I started my graduate school application at FIU. All in all I'd consider today to be an extremely successful day...I look forward to many more like this in the coming weeks til I go home. I have so much to do and not a moment to waste...
"Throughout your life, there will be many little endings, every day. It is these endings that somehow give shape to the fragments of your life that are called experience. And it is this 'experience' that makes up one's life." -- James V. Cunningham

Sasha left at 1am this morning to make way for Bangalore and then London. We spent last night enjoying each others company in India one more time and reflecting on how awesome this experience has been for us both...When 1am rolled around I walked her out to the car, gave her a big hug, and teared up as she drove away. I had no idea how wonderful her visit would be for both of us, no idea she'd acclimate to India so easily, no idea we'd have so much fun, and no idea I'd miss her so much when she left...I've been really sad all day. For the last ten days I've had constant company 24 hours of the day - and not just any company, but my dear friend who resonates with me in everyway...

________________________________________________
My mama has this amazing gift - she intuitively knows how to reach out to me, half a world away, when I need her the most! She emailed the above quote to me today and it most certainly made my dreary day brighter.

The quote really touched me - life truly is all about the experiences we create, and each experience that makes up life has a beginning and an end. My experience in India will soon end, Sasha's experience in India has ended, but I am truly grateful that Sasha became part of my experience in India this year!
________________________________________________
On a slightly comical note...
I went to bed soon after Sasha left - only got a couple hours of sleep...I woke up at 4am and snoozed til about 4:15am til I got up, showered, and made my way to the shala for practice...When I arrived at the gate no one else was around, no lights were on, and it dawned on my dumbass that today was moon day! How in the world did I forget....For some reason I had in my mind that Thursday was moonday, not today....I could easily blame it on the fact that this new moon is one of the biggest of the year and actually takes up both Wednesday and Thursday - but that would be wrong - I just forgot....

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sasha and I were up til 1:00am this morning talking...When I did rest my head on the pillow I fell fast asleep...And before I knew it, 3:40am arrived - I wasn't ready for the day to begin so I snoozed til 4am.

After coming to the top of my mat, before saying my opening mantra and before beginning practice, I took ten minutes to pray...Prayed for my mother, prayed for my friends, and myself... I asked the universe to help me find more clarity in my life - clarity to face the plethora of changes I'm facing - clarity to understand how to best approach, decipher, and tackle them. I think my plate is filled to the brim with choices - choices I have and choices I have to make - and since all of these choices/issues are dynamic separate entities I feel lost - I don't know which ones to work through first; which ones require my full attention; and which ones need to be completely discarded and forgotten...Heavy stuff....

I then took an extra moment to ask for a deep inner focus in practice - one worth dedicating to the world, one which would truly resonate with the positive energy of the sun...And that is just what I received! I had the most serene practice of my life this morning...Although thoughts crept in and out for the first 15 minutes, it actually helped me re-focus, and also reminded me of my intention.

Every part of me needed this practice today - my mind needed the moving meditation, my heart needed the healing, my brain needed the break, my lungs needed the breath, my internal organs needed the release of toxic waste, my prana needed the many backbends of second series, and my soul needed the connection to the sun and moon and earth and life force around me....I've never been so in touch and so out of touch in a practice before - today proved to me that you must feed yourself and you must know what to feed yourself - you must trust in the practice - in the Universe - and you must ask for what you need and want - when you do you will receive it - but you must ask....

When Saraswati came to help me with Supta Vajrasana I was overcome with gratitude for her presence - she has an amazingly gentle, soothing, pure energy that resonates deeply with me. After she adjusted me and worked to stand up I noticed she had a wrap all the way around her right leg up to her knee. I felt sadness as I looked into her eyes and asked if she was ok - she just said, "pain!" I gently smiled and said, "please take care of yourself Saraswati!" - she smiled back and walked away.... "PAIN" - A powerful word - one of limitless meaning - universal experience - and so deeply rooted from birth to death.... I felt her pain...I fell her pain...Does she feel mine? I think she does...

When I got to Pincha Mayurasana I became fully aware of the power of this practice and its profound insight - by that I mean that the body influences the mind and the mind influences the body...When you are dealing with things in life you can see them reflected in your practice - and that is just what happened to me today - nowadays I can do Pincha Mayurasana no problem - but today it was so hard to execute the asana - there is fear in Pincha Mayruasana, many levels of fear for me - I've worked through the physical fears but I realized today that I actually haven't worked through some of the mental fears that are a reflection of the posture...For me Pincha Mayurasana represents unwavering surety, complete presence in the moment, total trust in your ability to maintain control in the midst of chaos, and an innately strong sense of connection...I feel that my current 'life-stuff' came out in practice today...It was really quite profound for me to see and feel this 'life-stuff' ooze from my body onto my mat....

I achieved Pincha Mayurasana a few times but the fear I felt in the pose today made it extremely difficult to work fully in Karandavasana...Saraswati saw that I was struggling today - so she came over sooner than she usually does to help me get in and out of Karandavasana. She seemed to know there is something going on in me today on an energetic level - she didn't push hard at all but instead she was very gentle...And the same for backbends...When she came to assist me her touch was soft, her grip was light - she only had me grab at my knees today instead of pulling my hands up to my quadriceps like she usually does....Her intuition - her innate connection to her students is astounding...

I did my closing sequence on stage this morning as the shala is becoming busier...It is actually quite nice to see and feel - for there is more energy in the room.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Slept In: til 8am Saturday….Was exhausted….Pooped…Totally unwilling to lift myself from bed, despite Sasha’s intense energy….I finally got up at 8am and we hung out for hours – talked, made breakfast, talked….Finally opted to motivate ourselves to shower around 12pm to head out into town for a day of fun!

Gem Shop: I wanted to find a blue sapphire ring and Sasha was looking for a Pearl ring – will bring us much luck ;) Our first stop proved to be fruitless as the store owner was obviously trying to cheat us and I had a feeling the gems he was showing us were fake…Our second stop was spot on – the owner was great, showed us all the different quality gems, different selections, and even the imitation gems for each stone we were seeking. I picked out a very small gem, and he is going to have a silver ring made for me the way I want! SCORE!!! That is one of the amazing things about this place – you get to make what you want with the materials you want at very inexpensive prices….

Palm Reading:
We headed into the city to get our palms read – it was a really fun experience – and so much more enjoyable to do it with Sasha. The guy was lovely, and much of what he said seemed plausible – if you believe in that kind of thing – I can’t say I am a firm believer but enjoyed the experience for sure….And I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for astrology – its just so much fun ;)

Market: Since we were already in the city we opted to track down a Himalaya store b/c Sasha and I both wanted to get some muscle and joint cream – I call the stuff ‘crack cream’ – it is the most amazing thing I’ve ever found in my life for muscle aches and pains!!! Afterwards we walked around the market for a bit – I ended up buying a few more bangles b/c, well, they are fun – and at a rupee a pop – rock it!

Metropole: After a long day of errands and a bit of ‘in your face’ vendors from the market – Sasha and I opted to unwind a bit at the Metropole…We were starving – however, I forgot that even the Metropole doesn’t start serving food til 7pm and we got there at 6pm – so we decided to have a glass of wine instead and just sit and chat for a while…We then moved on to King’s Kourt for one more glass of wine – I wanted to show her my favorite spots in town where I like to eat and hang out.

Green Leaf: Sasha has fallen in love with the Green Leaf restaurant – so after two glasses of wine we made way there to grab some much needed grub. We ordered some rice, naan, and Gobi – YUMMY!

High Octane: Keeping the pace of the last few days since Sasha’s arrival – we decided to end this wonderful day with a bit of dancing – help with zee digestion and rock out to some good tunes. We got to the club around 9:15pm and stayed til about 11pm when we both realized that our full tanks had completely run dry…We had such a great time though – didn’t know if we’d stay when we first arrived b/c they were playing house music and I’m not usually a fan – but the DJ was rockin out – thus we did too!

BED: When we got home, we somehow managed to change, wash our faces and brush our teeth before literally FALLING into bed and PASSING OUT! We most certainly got good nights sleep!





But waking up this morning proved to be most difficult…Since Sasha actually had led primary class with me today (as she’s doing Saraswati’s class her practice time is usually different than mine – but today we got to practice together which was really nice) we both got up a little before 4am to shower and get ourselves to the shala for 5am class. It was so painful – don’t know if it was because of all the running around we did yesterday – more likely all the dancing we did last night – but we both felt every single muscle in our bodies….

After practice we stopped at the coconut stand for some rehydration…I had my usual two coconuts and Sasha opted to have one today too ;) She was so cute – she really enjoyed the flavor of the coconut juice and when she finished drinking it she started digging into the coconut with her finger to retrieve the gungy – when I looked over and saw her sticking her little finger in the coconut I couldn’t help but laugh – I asked her if she wanted ‘coconut guru’ to open the coconut for her with his machete and make the gungy retrieval process a little easier. She smiled really big, and handed over her coconut…

When we got back to the flat we make some breakfast, showered, and headed to Ganesh’s to meet our driver – we were off to Bylakuppe today! It’s about 1 ½ hours from Mysore – a well known Tibetan settlement that is famed for it’s gorgeous Golden temple.

When we arrived at the monastery both Sasha and I had to pee something fierce!! As we headed to the pay to use toilet to relieve our bladders I told Sasha that I’d brought tissues for her to use b/c she gets really grossed out by the concept of ‘drip drying’ – she is really quite hysterical – she will refuse to use the restroom when she really needs to b/c there is no toilet paper ;) A few days ago she told me she didn’t realize toilet paper was a luxury! I smiled inside and explained to her I must really be acclimated here – not only am I not bothered if there is no TP, but I am actually so used to peeing the bottom of my pant leg that I simply pass it off as a ‘aim error’ realizing it will soon dry and all is good ;) - Sasha was so elated I’d remembered to bring tissues she acted as though it were her birthday!!

I must admit that Sasha and I were both lacking the necessary energy and enthusiasm to fully enjoy the trip to Bylakuppe – think the last four days have really caught up with us today…

Despite our total lack of energy, we both enjoyed the Golden temple very much – it is an extremely beautiful and immensely peaceful place…It did seem rather quiet there today – not sure if it’s b/c its Sunday, or because it was lunchtime. Very few tourists and few monks in the temples – did see many in passing as they headed from their compound to eat lunch - and my all time favorite were the three monks in a rickshaw on a cell phone ;)

Enjoy the pictures of the paintings inside the golden temple - while the pictures themselves do not do these paintings justice, I hope you can get a feel for their beauty!
































Friday, October 05, 2007

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will....

You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You'll fight with your best friend...

You'll blame a new love for things an old one did...

You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love...

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

-Anonymous















Thursday, October 04, 2007

It is official - the new Heir to the Jois family has been given a name! Shamboo Jois - Saraswati informed a few of us after practice. She was grinning ear to ear - a pround grandma!
__________________________________________________

3:45am rolled around a little too quickly for me this morning...Oh my body was achy and didn't want to get out of bed...I very gingerly lifted myself from bed and slowly made way to the bathroom for a nice long hot shower - which made all the difference - felt like I could conquer the world after that 20 minutes of heaven. I quickly made my way to the shala and placed myself and my mat down - where I stayed and stretched and relaxed for a good ten or more minutes before Saraswati came out of the office to begin class. I must say that I had the bst practice I've had in weeks - quite the shocker to me as my body was stiff and tired from all the physical activity of yesterday. But I was so focused, so deep in my breath and bandhas, not one thought seemed to sweep over my mind from the time we lifted our arms for the first sun salutation to the time I lifted my body from Shavasana - so gorgeous when you have a practice like that.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I woke up on time this morning - YEAH! The alarm sounded at 3:30am and I was up and at em with lightening speed wish ample time to perform zee usual morning rituals...And man does it make a huge difference in my practice, the morning rituals that is ;) I walked to the shala with neighbor John and we were the first two people to arrive - he thinks I'm a bit odd for getting there so early when the shala is so empty, but I (usually) love mornings and my body always wakes up around 2:30am anyway - so the earlier the better I say!

I had a really wonderful practice this morning - I spent a good five minutes giving thanks for all I have, dedicating my practice to all the people that hold special places in my heart, and gave thanks for my teachers - their guidance, dedication, and inspiration in my life! My physical practice quite literally seemed to fly by - I was in the midst of a gorgeous moving meditation - I remember finishing my opening mantra, and I remember getting up from Shavasana - everything in between is most certainly a bit hazy - and those are the best days!

After practice I made way to the coconut stand for a tasty coconut and a wee little chai. I spent about ten minutes there waiting for the chai to be made - Today I felt really blessed because I had the pleasure of observing 'the coconut gurus' little chai making ritual (Maureen had told me about it but I'd yet to observe first hand) - he performs a beautiful ritual each morning when making his very first batch of chai - seems to be a sort of dedication and thanks....Takes a cup of hot water - lifts it in the air as the chai is brewing, turns around twice, again lifts the cup of water in the air, walks to the street, says a few silent words, and then throws the hot water onto the ground as an offering of sorts...Then he returns to the Chai - he adds in the milk and sugar to the brewing pot, fills the empty cup with milk and sugar and again lifts the cup of milk in the air, silently chants something, turns around twice, lifts the cup in the air again, walks to the street and dumps the contents of the cup onto the ground as an offering to the Gods. I was in a bit of a trance myself as I watched coconut guru - he is such a sweet old man - and today I gained a whole new respect for him. After I finished my chai and coconut, I happily paid him his ten rupees - which he seemed to give thanks for as well - for his first profits of the day. We exchanged friendly goodbyes and I peacefully scooted to the gym to kill another hour while waiting for Sasha to finish her practice....
By the time I reached the shala to meet Sasha she had just finished - loving the 'in sync' timing the two of us seem to have - we really are like two pees in a pod ;) We walked back to my flat to clean up a bit before walking to Tina's for breakfast. When we arrived Tina smiled and laughed at me - she said being mean worked - she pulled the guilt trip on me....I do feel badly I'd only been back for breakfast once in the last three weeks since I moved out - and promised again I'd be sure to come in for breakfast twice per week for sure....It was another lovely breakfast with great company and awesome grub ;) Brad is leaving today so we exchanged contact information and well wishes...

Sasha, Brad and Maureen!


Maureen, Brad, and Me...


Joyce and Me...

Maureen, Sasha and I had prayed to the sun gods to bring out the gorgeous sunshine and keep the rains at bay - and today they most certainly did. After breakfast we quickly came back to my flat to grab our suits, and then made our way to the Southern Star for some good times by the pool. It is really funny that all three of us are such Sun Worshipers (many yogi's think we are a bit off our rockers) - but com'on we are all from Florida - the Sunshine State! These are my girls man - and only they appreciate a good sun tan like I do ;)


Oh la la...

Watch Out!


Those of you who know me know I always multi-task....Look I can read and walk at the same time!!!

The Gorgeous Ms. Maureen



We spent 3 1/2 glorious hours by the pool - back and forth between sleeping, talking, reading, sleeping, talking, reading...The sun was so bright and beautiful today - I was the one who finally threw in the towel and got the troops to round up and head out - I just couldn't take anymore of the suns rays this afternoon - got some great color, much need vitamin D ;), good quality time with Maureen and Sasha, headway on my book, and a lovely nap - on the way back to Gokulam Maureen concurred with me that we had a very successful day at the pool - all in a good days work ;)

Once Sasha and I got back Gokulam we went to the nearby spa to get our 150 rupee pedicures - Sasha really wanted to get one and at less than $4.00 a pop, I was totally down....That ate up over an hour of our day and by the time 'our toes was did up' we didn't have much time before I had to be at Sindhu's house for my dance lesson.....We rushed to Loyal world to grab some foodstuffs to make a hearty breakfast tomorrow and then rushed home to put them away before rushing out the door to Sindhu's....We both enjoy the 20 minute walk to her house so we scurried at the grocery store to get back in time to walk....

I have tons and tons of pictures in this blog entry - all thanks to Mrs. Klein - she wanted to take as many pictures as possible of her trip while she's here - and has made a point to do so today....I think though that I've created another monster b/c she has fallen in love with my camera...Like Jake she doesn't want to release it from her hands, she seems a bit obsessed, and even professed that she will purchase one when she gets home (says it makes taking pictures really enjoyable!) I swear I should get a kick back from Canon for all this free marketing I'm doing for their company....In any event, she wanted to take pictures of me dancing today - so you all can see what it is I do each day with Sindhu (Nicole - these are for you girl - you've been bugging me about pictures forever now - so enjoy!)



Sindhu and I (my dance Guru!)










































The combination of an intense yoga practice, a lot of walking, 3 1/2 hours in the sun, and not enough food in zee belly - dance WORE me OUT....I was utterly exhausted when I left Sindhu's house - but happy as can be ;) so love her....

Sasha and I walked back into town to meet Maureen at the coconut stand and spend a few minutes with her before she headed out on her week long trip with her man...She has a hellacious bus ride ahead of her - I was happy to spend a few minutes with her before she left b/c I won't see her for a week - I'll have some Maureen withdrawals for sure....
The coconuts (yes two) that I consumed were so hydrating and energzing - I felt like a million bucks after drinking them....Sasha and I ran a couple small small errands right on the main road before heading back to my flat to eat, shower, and get ready for a night of dancing at High Octane! Thats right people - it's Thursday night Hip Hop night at High Octane.....
Sasha and I arrived right about 9pm - the rest of the gang soon followed...We had a really great time dancing, singing, dancing - and oh yeah dancing....but then again we always do. It was nice to be able to take Sasha out for a night of letting loose - taught her how to "listen to the beat and let the music move you!"


Erin and I Tearing it up!








Little Mrs. Klein



Hey Now!





When 11pm rolled around I was pretty much - no I was TOTALLY outta gas - my body said, "Krista - it is past your bedtime - I am tired - you have worn me out - please take me home - NOW!" I actually stood around the last few minutes we were there and watched everyone else dance - something way out of character for me....But I was exhausted and felt responsbile for making sure all the troops were rounded up and headed out....I was tired, soaked through and through with sweat, thirsty for some fresh water, and in dyer need of my bed....