How long have you been attending mysore classes for?
I’ve been attending Mysore classes on and off since 2012. The hours I work make it pretty difficult to get to class in the morning. This means I have a home practice the majority of the time.
How often do you practice?
I’d like to say I have a 6 day a week practice, on a good week I do. But when things get busy at work it becomes more like 4 or 5 days a week.
What made you start mysore practice?
I started off with a beginners class once a week. I soon found myself going to beginners and led classes 3 times a week. Cathy suggested I try Mysore classes so the next time I had a week free from work I gave it a go and was hooked.
What effect has the practice had on your life?
The practice itself has had a big effect on my life. In the most tangible form I’d say it’s made me, fitter, stronger and more flexible. However, there’s so much more to it than this. It has enabled me to find a calmer mental space and more concentrated focus. It also seems to give me a good perspective on life.
What have you found most challenging (in terms of physical postures, or otherwise) about the practice?
There are many challenges within the practice. On a physical level trying to find the strength within my body is hard. I find that the practice pushes me in terms of self-discipline. Not only finding the time to fit it into my schedule but during practice pushing myself to my full potential rather than finding a cheat or a shortcut into a posture. Mentally picking up my focus to really concentrate on what I’m doing and not be distracted is a challenge. It’s always worth that extra push in the end but sometimes it’s hard to dig deep and find the motivation to keep going when a posture seems impossible.But that’s also what I love about the practice – it helps you find the right balance of applied effort and patience and it gives you an insight into your true nature.
What do you find the most rewarding?
The most rewarding thing about the practice, in my opinion, is that it challenges you and makes you face your fears. At some point in the practice you find a posture that is not only difficult for you physically but it’s difficult for you mentally; it’s hard to even begin to understand the posture let alone twist and stretch your body into it and it can even be a bit frightening (learning drop backs would be a good example of the fear factor!). With persistent practice, guidance and patience you’ll start to figure it out and conquer that fear. Eventually gaining an inner strength, a quiet confidence in yourself and a trust in your own being that maybe you didn’t have before.
What is your favourite posture?
My favourite posture will change from day to day and even minute to minute during a practice. However, I’ve chosen supta kurmasana because it was one of those asana that really challenged me and taught me a lot of lessons. I struggled with this posture for a long time and still do when I’ve not had a good steady practice for a couple of weeks but when supta kurmasana is happening for me it not only feels like a great stretch but it reminds me of why I practice and it gives me more motivation to keep going with whatever I might be struggling with.