Traveling Yogis

General&Traveling Yogis06 Jul 2014 04:55 pm
Posted by Anne

Some of the most special qualities are ones that can’t be touched, only felt.

Each morning I awaken early, sometimes at three, sometimes at one am. Jetlag lingers, as does the adrenalin that always punctuates the first days of being here.

Usually I catch up on household things before Aurora awakens. Make some tea and break out a philosophy book. The light of the main room makes a perfect swath on the darkness of the bedroom for tea and study.

At 505 am sharp (525 am shala time) Jen walks through the door to watch Aurora and Jonah. We give hugs and kisses and race off to the shala, taking our spaces in the back or in the spare spaces over the folds to be counted through class. In wonder I notice there are actually 6-12 inch spaces between the mats. By Jen’s count there are 89 currently here.

Jen didn’t want to practice early. So one more time over a long history of shala visits, it is first group again, the crazy bizarre gift only an ashtangi could love. ;-)

And we do, though, love it as he walks in the room, the opening chant calling our minds and hearts to order. We pay our respects not only to a man, but to all the teachers, to the energy of this practice itself, and for some, the one impermanent thing no one can actually touch.

Count by count we settle in to primary, finding our steadiness, and our awareness as we wind our way through, breath by breath.

The energy of the room builds and then calms, we lay down to rest, then fly to get the children so Jen can practice. I trail slightly behind and bring some coconuts.

There is down time then, to talk to Einar, to clean up, and there are lots of hugs and Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches these days for Aurora.

Breakfast is early at Kushi Cafe mostly because it is quiet and open every day. The kids play with books and paper airplanes and then eat. Then we are back to the house at nine to meet the Indian babysitters so we can go to class again.

We ask questions, and experience different forms of Darshan. There is always more to learn. Yoga is vast and lovely, especially here.

So far there is no Mysore class and we’ve had seven days of led primary. Due to family obligations Sharath is changing our day off to Sunday. Today is led intermediate for those brave enough, as we begin the second week. Tomorrow we will see what it brings. In theory it could actually be Mysore.

Picking up the kids after, it is lunchtime. We go to the pool, some go every day, as would be Aurora’s preference, but they got a cold a few days in so we’ve had to keep them home and cooped up. Some afternoons they run laps downstairs in the yard, running and playing chase.

Many go to Jayashree or Dr. Rao for sutras but for now I’m staying home. Two babysitters and all of India later the kids need mom, so for now I’m with Aurora.

And that is it. I can imagine no other home for myself, that fills me up so completely.

It is possible to come here and miss what’s here, it isn’t for everyone, and India can drive you mad sometimes. The other day Amanda had to evacuate because of a gas smell in her apartment. Three days later we still don’t know what it was, only it hasn’t come back.

But for those of us who come regularly, there is a sweetness here, to be at the source, to practice with the rising of the sun, amidst the morning sounds of Mysore. There is a heart here in people, a love, a great love to be found. The calling to come back is for those who know and love it, something written in the heart, and in the shining eyes of those who feel it too.

Some of the most special things in life cannot be touched, only felt, only experienced.

With love from Mysore,


Traveling Yogis&Workshops28 Mar 2014 08:58 pm
Posted by Philippe
Hi all,
We’ve had a few developments this past week which has led us (Anne and Philippe) to make the difficult decision not to go ahead with the yoga retreat this June in Greece.
We were close to the critical mass, and we know that some of you really wanted to go, but there wasn’t quite the numbers we needed able to commit due to reasonable concerns (layoffs, recent rehires, etc…) to make it all happen this time. Perhaps if their sufficient desire in the future we can try another summer.
For now, I (Anne) will be going to India for a course with Sharath in July, if anyone is considering going to practice with Saraswati this summer I am happy to advise. Also there are a number of other retreats in Europe for those who want to attend something in Europe and we can help recommend some.
Traveling Yogis27 May 2013 07:45 pm
Posted by Philippe

Hi all,

It’s time for another yoga field trip, this time to see Amma, the “hugging saint” who will be in Castro Valley next week. Please let me know if you want to go as we will be carpooling.


* Monday June 3rd 8:00 – meet at YiY

* Drive to 10200 Crow Canyon Road, CA 94552 (about 45 min)

Vimala will be there to give us a tour.

* Get a hug, get served lunch, get back (ends latest 3pm).

Here’s a link:

Also Amma was on the front page of the Sunday NYTimes yesterday:


General&Traveling Yogis10 Apr 2013 03:35 pm
Posted by Philippe



It’s on April 25, we would be leaving EARLY from Mountain View.

Thanks Byong for getting the information.

Who is in?

Traveling Yogis14 Feb 2013 10:30 pm
Posted by Philippe

First blog:

Does anyone have a link to Alex’s blog?


Interesting Reading&Photos&Traveling Yogis03 Oct 2012 09:42 am
Posted by Philippe

Check it out, photos and all:

General&Traveling Yogis&Workshops18 Apr 2012 10:46 pm
Posted by mojdeh

Dear YIY Community at Large:

As most of you have already seen on the YIY home page, Mr. Chuck Miller, a certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, will be at our studio for 9 days to conduct morning practice sessions, workshops, and a 5-day teacher intensive from June 22 through June 29th.  The registration is now open. I hope you all can take advantage of this rare opportunity and participate in this all inclusive workshop.

Over the years YIY has been hosting many amazing Ashtanga Yoga Teachers.  While, once they are here, we participate and enjoy their presence, and become inspired by the wisdom they offer, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes that we do not quite see.   I have known Mr. Chuck Miller since 2003 and have studied with him any chance I have gotten and started asking him if we can host him at YIY. Finally, in the fall of 2011 he came here and we pencilled in a date. I still cannot believe that he is going to be here. I would like to invite all of you, not only those who practice Ashtanga Vinyasa, but the practitioners of other styles as well to participate.  Here is a YouTube video about his recent workshop at Ashtanga Yoga Paris. I hope you enjoy:

I would like to say what an amazing, strong, and loyal community of practitioners (both teachers and students) we have here. I love the fact that I learn and share with you all in so many ways on an almost daily basis. If you have any questions about the workshop please let me know.

Blessings To You All

Traveling Yogis18 Mar 2012 08:14 am
Posted by Philippe

A few words on asana practice in Mysore. As some of you know, your start time for Mysore-style practice at the Shala with Sharath depends on how long you’ve been in Mysore. When I first arrived my start time was 8:30, and now it’s moved to 6:30.

I have been hearing stories about the crowds in January and February – someone told me there were 380 students at the peak of the season. What this means is that newcomers would begin practice at 10:30 and finish after noon, when the Shala was being cleaned up. That also means that Sharath and Saraswati were teaching from 4:15 to 12:00 every day. Thankfully many students have left and today in conference we must have been “just” 150.

There are now assistants in the practice room, about 5 or 6, all authorized teachers. They help out with postures when Sharath is busy adjusting advanced series or backends. The assistants adjust most postures but don’t talk much to the students. They also do backbends. I was told it was a way for Sharath to evaluate their teaching skills.

Another change has been the (compulsory) chanting classes, taught by Lakshmish. He chants the shanti mantras, the prayer to Ganesh and the like.

The conference, when Sharath takes questions for an hour on Sundays, is always interesting. He talks about the meaning of yoga, Krishnamacharya and Pattabhi Jois. He often says “Yoga is not just asana!”. Today he even did a short but impressive asana demo – padmasana to handstand padmasana to mayurasana padmasana if you see what I mean…

I am impressed by the level of the students here. In the lead primary class,  I only noticed at most 10 who stopped after supta kurmasana. The led second series class almost fills the room with more than 60 students taking part. It’s rare to see a student not binding in marichyasana D. It feels as if it’s become more serious from 3 years ago.

Guru teaching diving

The place I am staying at is great! My landlord Guruprasad has the rare (in India) job of coaching diving. His place is known as the pink house and has a special pyramid meditation room.

The pyramid meditation room

I also went to visit the swami on Chamundhi Hill and Tamchos the Tibetan monk at the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe. But I will save these stories for another time…

The Swami at Chamundhi Hill

Tibetan Monks chanting at the Sera Monastery

Tibetan Monk Students studying

Traveling Yogis11 Mar 2012 08:00 am
Posted by Philippe

I have now been in Mysore 10 days and it feels like a month. There are some many new experiences every day that time goes by differently.

Mysore has been a center of learning for centuries, and there are numerous universities and learning centers scattered around the town. There are also wonderful teachers with decades of experience. Apart from asana practice in the morning at the shala, I go to chanting, philosophy and meditation classes – so spending many hours a day learning about the different aspects of yoga, each from a master teacher.

Philosophy teacher Narasimha with his napping niece

Yesterday we gathered outside Mysore Palace to do 27 Sun Salutations for Yoga Stops Traffic, a worldwide yoga event to raise awareness about human trafficking:

In front of Mysore Palace at Yoga Stops Traffic

Culinary adventures continue, with the added bonus that my landlord is a chef and has given me a list of restaurant to explore outside Gokulam, the suburb where all the yoga students hangout. He is also involved with the Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, a huge compound with coconut groves, student accommodations, and a “Harmony of Religions” museum. The place is so big it feels as if you’re in the countryside instead of the middle of town.

The Christian display at the museum

There are people from all over the world. The other day I met two guys at the coconut stand and asked where they were from – they said would give me a guess: “Pirates!”. It was Somalia but they lived in Qatar and were studying in Mysore. This morning I met a couple from a place I did not know existed – the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands, 1000km south of Tokyo and part of Tokyo prefecture…

School bus-rickshaw

Traveling Yogis04 Mar 2012 07:18 pm
Posted by Philippe

Getting here was quite an adventure. I had a layover in Hong Kong, where I managed to go to the Mandarin Hotel Mysore class straight after landing at 6:30. At around $33 it was my most expensive class so far but with towel, slippers and hot shower included it was worth it.

Martin and Philippe at the Hong Kong's Sailors Society Dinner

Martin and Philippe at the Hong Kong's Sailors Society Dinner

Then I had the opportunity to spend some time with a High School friend from Greece, Martin, who happened to be moving apartments on the Peak on this very day, so I joined in carrying suits and clothes from one place to the other. His company was sponsoring the black tie Sailor’s Society Shipping Dinner, and he found me a tuxedo so off we went to socialize with Hong Kong’s ship broking community. It’s a charitable organization which helps sailors around the world. I was not able to eat dessert because I had to catch a plane to Bangalore.

Arriving in Mysore I stayed at Marie’s friendly B&B Anhoki Garden, and was reminded immediately about how good the food is here:


Spinach tomato omelette, papaya coconut basil fruit salad, and fresh pineapple ginger mint juice.

First practice was led class in a packed room with at least 80 sweaty yogis. Sharath is in good form – at one point during the standing postures the electricity went out and it was pitch black for a few minutes; so he said “Changing bulb.” He is having a new house built next to the shala for him and his family. He goes and inspects the construction regularly – once he shouted out from the roof: “This wil be my practice room!”.

Some of the many denizens of Mysore

Some of the many denizens of Mysore

There are maybe 300 students here right now. I met up with Michelle who used to practice at YiY a couple of years ago. Now she lives in Bangalore but is studying in Mysore for the month. Michelle is also in good form:


The banana leaf special meal

It’s wonderful to be here – on top of practice I am attending the chanting and yoga sutra philosophy classes.

Chai with Clayton at the coconut stand

Chai with Clayton at the coconut stand

Cricket match

Cricket match

Elementary school field trip

Elementary school field trip

Will post more news later!

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