Since opening Land Yoga in June of 2011 I have offered my students a chance to join me on my annual India pilgrimage. So far two have accepted: Allison who came last year and again this year, and Porter who made his first trip this year.
Porter is an artist and his approach to India was to feel its colors and experience its rhythm. He used a polaroid camera early on in the trip which was a big hit amongst the Indians we met. Later he relied more on his digital devices. During his time here Porter was a source of inspiration to me, helping me re-image our spaces at Land adding an Indian flare.
Upon leaving Porter expressed that though he didn't have the experience he imagined, he had the experience he needed, and he was very grateful.
Here's what Porter had to say about his first trip to Mysore, India for study at the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute:
I found the people of Mysore to be very soulful, caring and kind. They naturally and humbly embodied the Yamas and Niyamas that are the first two limbs of Ashtanga.
I loved my teacher Saraswathi’s 6:30 a.m. daily mysore class. She has a no nonsense style and simply told me “you do”. Yet in her actions she was maternal, loving and caring and every day she got her 73 year old body on the floor with this sweaty westerner and help adjust me in the postures that are difficult for me. I made a lot of progress with my physical practice and this trip allowed me the time and space to go inward and return to New York more balanced and content, having let go of many unnecessary obstacles that have been in my way.
A special thank you to my teacher Lara and my fellow student Allison for sharing this incredible adventure. I would recommend it to anyone thinking about staying in one place and going deep.
All the photos below were taken by Porter during his two weeks in Mysore.