In Sunday’s conference, Sharath spoke about the Indian forest. When you go to the forest, you experience a state of yoga immediately, no asana required. He told us we should go, and said he unfortunately hasn’t been able to go for many months– because he has to take care of the Ashtanga yoga babies.
He also mentioned a student who came to Mysore for the first time, immediately went to him and said that he had been practicing for some number of years. “So you should consider me as an old student.” Sharath’s response was to laugh. How cute.
We try so hard to impress our teachers. Especially Sharath. The Boss. So much scrambling to make ourselves known. Last year in conference one time he called on a friend of mine by name, on her first trip, and the ripples of jealousy and snarking that went through the mysoreverse for the next week were palpable. How did he know her name? She must’ve been flirting with him (Or maybe he read it on her card, while she was doing yoga, you know, that thing we’re here to do. Come on.)
I bring this up because it’s sort of hilarious that we, collectively, think that a) The Boss is going to be impressed by anything we do on the mat (“Look at how deeply her legs are behind her head! Certify that woman, stat!“) or b) it’s going to be the end of the world if we do something wrong (“She missed that attempt to stand up from a backbend! Escort her out, assistants!”). Part of the reason the energy in the room is so interesting is that we’re all trying to bring our A game, all the time. (Note what happens when he leaves the room, after all.) And for sure, the fact that his presence alone is enough to get us to bandhify a little more, breathe a little more, is a gift. But it’s nice to remember that he considers us yoga babies. I don’t pretend to know what he thinks of us other than what he says, but it sure is amusing when his son misbehaves and he shoots him a deathly father-glare, only to look at us and chuckle when the little boy turns away. How cute.