Thursday, November 6, 2008
Mysore: Summer Camp for Adults
After the election, life got that much more relaxed around here. This week in Mysore has felt a bit like summer camp for spiritually inclined adults. Unlike many parts of India, Gokulam, the district of Mysore where the yoga shala is located, is somewhat upscale. The higher quality of life is partly due to the influx of Western yoga students whose dollars, pounds and reals translate into a healthy number of rupees. When we aren't getting up hours before dawn to attend morning yoga practice, most of us are found either 1) taking another kind of class (Sanskrit, meditation, chanting, anatomy, tabla, singing among the more popular options); 2) getting a massage; 3) eating 4) lounging by the hotel pool, 5) or hanging out at the coconut stand. Life is pretty darn good and there's no shortage of fascinating company.
Still, it is India, and on a walk from one part of town to another, I passed through the gamut of living conditions, some of it pictured here —cow milking, decrepid house, new apartment and movie shoot—all taking place on the same two-block stretch, then met up with friends from class for yet another chai.