The lessons I have learned practicing yoga in Mysore, India

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” ― Aldous Huxley

I have been here in Mysore, India almost 3 months and with my final week looming ahead I have been reflecting on my experience here and feel like it is beneficial to share it.

I came here hoping to find myself, feeling lost, and experiencing a creative block and possibly a “mid life crisis”, I was hoping Mysore would give me the jolt my life was needing.

I had a lot of fear about coming and even wanted to back out at one stage, even though coming here was something I had wanted to do for years. I was in a comfort zone at home and leaving that for the unknown and the unknown in India seemed scary and daunting.
Thank God (Ganesha, Krishna, and everyone else) that I made it here.

The first month was hard.
I was having exercising withdrawals, and realized that at home I had been living on endorphins and adrenalin. I was also having space issues. Here in India there are people everywhere at all times even at the crack of dawn and it was especially a challenge in the Shala. Practicing yoga packed in with 60 other people with sometimes only a centimeter or two between yoga mats, for a person who likes my space and wide open nature this was a true test.


I was coming face to face with my very judgemental mind and was judging everyone and everything.

I was chasing my tail about my creative block and life purpose hoping for inspiration and not getting it, and feeling restless, irritable and discontent.

I began doing psychic development classes and heart meditations with Angelika and David from Spirit of the Dove www.spiritofthedove.org and beginning to tap into my inner beliefs and was what holding me back. These classes were truly transformational and helped me to see that the biggest thing holding me back was myself. I also did several healing sessions with Angelika that helped create a major shift almost instantly afterwards, and which truly have changed me.

Things began happening in yoga as well.

I realized one day that I was holding myself back in yoga practice.

Even though to all outside appearances I probably looked like the committed yoga practitioner (coming to India, getting up at 3 am everyday to practice yoga by 4:15 am, not missing a day) I knew inside I wasn’t all in. I still didn’t “love” yoga. I had this realization that it was something I had done with everything my whole life. Not give 100%. I always was one foot in and one foot out. I had a good cry and got some amazing words of advice from a good friend who understood exactly what I was feeling and his words were “Polly you can change” “starting tomorrow give it your best”. “Everyday that is all you can do. Show up and give it your all, and at the end of the practice you will know and you will have that satisfaction of knowing you did all you could today, and… it doesn’t have to be a drama.”
That advice has transformed me and it sticks in my mind everyday.
It doesn’t matter what the person next to me is doing or not doing I can stay in me and focus on what I can do and that is amazing.

When I got here I was ruled by my mind, I felt withdrawn and not very happy.

Three months later I feel like a changed person. I am feeling fully in myself, patient, and just happy to be. I am not worried anymore about my “life purpose” having realized here that things take time and that as long as I do the next thing that inspires me I am on track.

I have gotten words of wisdom from the most unlikely people and it has taught me to take the time to truly listen.

I have confronted my idea of “success” and when I asked my heart what my success looked like it was a big flower that truly touched a lot of people. It was calm, peaceful, fulfilled and happy. The feeling I got was that I could die content knowing I did what I came here to do.
My minds idea of success, on the other hand, was so insane I am embarrassed to even write it down.

I was told to come here with no expectations, which was great advice because the ones I did have have been exceeded ten fold. I feel like coming here to Mysore was the single most important thing I could have done in my life. I feel like anything is possible now and that nothing is in the way. I can be me and that is the biggest gift I could have ever gotten.

I can tell you now that I am already planning my return to India. I know I have to go North to the Ganges and the mountains and see what the North of India has in store and I am sure I will come back to Mysore.

India has been imprinted in my soul and has given me my life back.
I am feeling truly blessed and grateful for everyone who has helped me along in my journey here. You have all been gifts from Ganesha (the remover of obstacles)
From the bottom of my open heart THANK YOU!

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7 replies
  1. Piyush
    Piyush says:

    hi,
    I m piyush. Am planning on taking the month long course at the KPJYI . Just need an honest comment on the classes. I am an indian so I am pretty much going to visit Mysore and do a bit of cycling around …Please drop in a few words ..:)

  2. elsy
    elsy says:

    you have touched my life polly…I love “it doesn’t have to be a drama” I need more of that mentality in my life as well. Can’t wait to hear about it in person in the falls!

  3. Davina Menduno
    Davina Menduno says:

    It was so great to talk to you the other day. I feel like your journey to india has helped me as well, “it doesnt have to be hard,” sticks with me. And other wisdom. You are definitly a soul sister and I look forward to seeing you back here in New Zealand!

  4. Silvia
    Silvia says:

    Welcome to life sweet! Many hugs from Madrid… That comment who helped you so much… Sounds a lot like a very beloved friend of mine… Tons of hugs

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