Light Crossroad

The light crossroad where intentions and the magic of practice meet. Above our heads: fairy lights and prayer flags taking wind.

To think! A million or so possibilities. Probably more. All things, meetings, happenstance, accidents, hard work, chances and blessings that assemble us under such bright stars.

PHOTO: Above: lights and prayer flags. Below: a potluck celebrating the 4 years anniv of Mysore SF; the certification of Magnolia Zuniga, making this strong lady the only certified Ashtanga teacher in San Francisco; and the new teacher…me. Thrilled to be joining both the teacher and the community.

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Another World: Mysore SF

There are no signs here. No glitzy window dressings or clear glass where one might peek through and see yoga bodies. There is no merchandising. There is a door with a push-button code. Ok, the building, a dance annex, isn’t exactly non-descript, but the eye-catching yet abstract design that swirls and flows on the edifice mysteriously pulls one in—just like the practice that is going on upstairs in the early hours of the morning. This is Mysore SF.

Many Mysore spaces that I’ve visited has that in common. It’s low key. Usually not affiliated with a mainstream yoga corporation. It doesn’t dress up the practice. oys got its own energy, attitude. There is usually a great deal of condensation on the windows. The feeling of shanti or peace is not accomplished by burning incense or the sweet tones of new aged devotional chanting; it happens through consistent daily practice, a lot of patience, hard work, and on occasion a healthy dose of struggle just to remind you that you are alive and still well up for fighting the good fight. It is a room where people breathe and move. And if you stick with it, it’s a place where a kind of alchemy starts to happen.

I am always impressed and in awe of how practice evolves and translates in different countries, in different cities and spaces, and in the hands of different teachers–who, especially when they are teaching authentically, are all pretty unique. How distinct it feels and yet how it remains constant and true to the essence of Ashtanga yoga. So it is here, the same as everywhere, and yet also different. 

Like the fog here in San Francisco, students surely but quietly roll in, unfurling their mats like wings, breathing and moving, fogging up the windows, then rolling up their mats, returning the next morning to repeat the process. There is a steadiness to it, it’s substantial but also light. Like the morning fog rolling into the city, you can count on it. For me, coming into work these days is like watching the day break, seeing the world waking.


For more information, visit: http://www.mysoresf.com.

Turning Wheels

Things go round and round. It is a constant, this wheel of life, constantly, surprisingly changing. And yet, there is a cycle to it all. Some motif that repeats, a reminder or a landmark, which often gives us a certain context: this is where we were, this is where we are, this is where we are going.

In many ways, practice is like a wheel in movement. It is the constant in a changing self-scape. It is also the vehicle physically moving us from one shape to another, but also moving us from one state to another.

There seems to be innumerable “wheels” and such out there, tools for transport, for self-exploration, for greater understanding. San Francisco, where I have landed–or, rather, where I am still landing at–feels like that kind of place for me. I arrived here at the age of 10 as a young immigrant with my family. I returned as a university student at Berkeley. Some years ago, I arrived quite lost, an accidental tourist with the sole intention of securing a ten-year visa to India to study yoga, which at that time was all I could think of. And now, here I am again. This time, to do what I love, which is sharing from the rich yoga tradition that has both changed me in so many countless ways and has made me more tuned into who I really am.

It is a sight. When we see these wheels turning. That is a great part of the joy of teaching for me: to see glimpses of other people’s wheels in action through their practice. But to see it one’s life, to observe it, to feel driven by it, and to eventually also take the wheel…

A great part of this new turning is me coming to teach with Magnolia Zuniga at Mysore SF. For more information: http://www.mysoresf.com