5 Reasons I Decided to Travel to Mysore NOW

Written by Alana Kessler

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”

—Marcel Proust

It had been a long time coming. Ever since my casual flirtation with Ashtanga yoga became a full on love affair, the intention of packing my bags for a chunk full of time in Mysore, India had been quietly simmering in the background. Some days the heat would be higher than others, but it was always burning nonetheless.

A few times, I almost picked up and left. Usually it was during times of stress, when life seemed to be giving me a hard kick in the ass. It was always a challenge though, knowing when the right time would meet the right reason. I learned awhile back that if it’s one or the other, it may not be either, and it’s in these times when the practice of discernment is the most poignant.

During these “potential reactive choices” as I like to call them, I pull from my practice and pause. Svadhyaya, or self-study, combined with Isvara Pranidhana, surrender, provide me with tools to find clarity in combination with awareness within myself. When setting an important intention, it’s key to completely respect time and the process of it manifesting into reality, and as emotionally charged as intentions go, it’s so easy to allow the sensations to govern our discretion and ability to act with clarity.

I remember how my heart was beating wildly and my mind was racing the first few times I considered going to India. There was an intuitive part of me that knew this was not the steadiness I had hoped to embody when committing to actualize my intention. There was a graspiness and expectation surrounding the choice, and as loud as my mind was shouting at me to “submit payment” on the online airfare page, I knew in my gut that this was not the right time. I don’t want India to be an escape or a savior. I want my trip to be a nourishing immersion, a savasana, and an opportunity to assimilate all I have learned so far, while taking this opportunity to return to the mind of the beginner, and practice, practice, practice.

I am thrilled that I will finally be embarking on my long awaited trip to Mysore this summer.

5 reasons I decided to travel to Mysore NOW:

1. After years of practice, there is no expectation that the experience will give me something I don’t already have inside.

2. This immersion will serve as collaboration with a solid personal foundation built around years of practicing Ashtanga yoga, and offers a change in perspective from my everyday life.

3. An undistracted personal practice is vital to continue authentically teaching, while growing the passion for Ashtanga in the community.

4. A desire to connect to the roots of the lineage I am committed to teaching and studying.

5. The commitment to always remain a student of the practice and of life.

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