2012-07-03

My Life Mysore Style


I'm in Mysore.

Here's a photo tour of my life here. 

Transportation:

Practice:

Breakfast:

Chai:

Study:

Every day revolves around the practice. On a personal note, that's why it's a good thing my husband is not here. When I told my teacher I would not be sleeping in on the days off (sort of meant as joke) he replied, "your husband might get frustrated if you continue this at home".  

I don't really think my husband wants me to make a choice between him or Yoga! No man should stand between a woman and her passion especially if there is an opportunity for them to grow closer as a result of it. Both people can give the other 'space' and still not feel neglected or left out. It is fundamental to a loving and lasting relationship.

However, the reality is people split and tensions rise especially when one partner is seemingly "in love" with something other than themselves. It is often hard to balance your life especially when practice is paramount. Several years ago at a Yoga Conference in LA,  I had the opportunity to hear a personal story from Rama Jyoti Vernon (one of America's first spiritual female teachers). It was about her 'then' husband and yoga. She had organized several Swamis, Gurus and teachers to come together from different traditions for a workshop. In the traditional manner they stayed in her home. For her, it was an exciting time and the highlight to all that she had ever done on the path. During the week one Swami was in the bathtub reciting the yoga sutras, another in the kitchen doing pranayama, a monk in the living room meditating, a teacher in the den practicing yogasanas and so on. Her husband, however, didn't quite get it and became very frustrated that the entire house was overrun by Swamis.

When she was on her way out to teach a yoga class he pulled her aside and told her, "Look.....You will have to decide. It is me or them."

When she told the story she paused for a while and then asked, "So who do you think 'I" choose?" The audience broke out laughing since the answer was obvious. Then she added, 'Now, husband number two...".

For the sake of the conference I would assume the 'full' story was somewhat edited. I also had the feeling her story was simply a way of portraying all the difficulties that take place when walking on the path of yoga. People do not understand you; they are critical of your eating habits, choose of work and wish you'd get a real job. We heard the simplified version. That said, the point was and is for each of us to strive to be open, caring and understanding of one another even it crunches our personal space or takes us by surprise.

The idea of 'space' after all is an interesting concept since in India there seems to be less of it than in the West. In India there is less 'ownership' over both public and private space. Having your house overrun by others would probably be more welcomed in India. I've been over to friend's houses for dinner and it is not uncommon for the neighbors to drop by. No one asks if they can enter they just do! At the service apartment where I am staying in Mysore a similar scenario takes place.  Speaking generally it is often a question of your 'space' being invaded only as it is a lack of respect.

It might be hard to understand but these are not necessarily intertwined.

When my husband decided to marry me he was very clear about Yoga's role in my life. We met in Mysore 5 years ago. Every breakfast conversation was dominated by yoga. During our marriage ceremony he spoke beautifully about the importance of Yoga to me. His vows included him wanting to share it with me. It was sweet, honest and right from his heart.

Love:



The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


ME

My Photo
Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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