Friday, 28 February 2014

Festival of Maha Shivratri

Blog number one - by Sherren!

I am not sure that I can write with as much finesse as Glen, he has set the bar high, but I'm going to subject you to my ramblings and see if the viewing figures drop, according to the stats Glen has captured the interest of one person in the UAE and five in Nigeria.

Festival of Maha Shivaratri

I'm going to wow you all with a video of the small procession coming past the apartment this morning, reading of puranas and offerings of Bhiksha or Alms in celebration of Maha Shivaratri. (produced by Glen Scott).

Yoga Practice

We are here for the yoga so that's where I will start.  Although I've been going to yoga classes for some years, I have only really been practicing Ashtanga for the last 10 months or so, dipping my feet into the waters of lots of different classes before then.  
I have always been the sort to throw myself head first into things, some times successfully and sometimes not ... Thinking of the UrHu in mums loft.  If you are going to throw yourself into Ashtanga Yoga Mysore has to be the place to visit!  So I find myself here thanks to the like minded man I share my life with :-)
Breaking ourselves into the practice at the main shala we have begun at Mystic Yoga with a quiet teacher called Jai Prakash and a very civilised practice start time of 7.30am.  I was massively anxious the night before class so much so that I didn't sleep finding Glen in the same boat, we slept in, going instead the following morning. We started at the front of class fearful of forgetting the order of the asanas.  Some 6 practices on we find ourselves at the back of class, myself being squished to bind in Supta Kurmasana and being told to ease off with my struggle in Marachyasana D and just twist and breath. We aren't stopped but allowed to continue the primary series to the end, I know that will be different when we get to the main shala. The group is small so far between 3 and 8 so we receive lots of attention.
I like the formality and the strict nature of the practice, I like that it is making me physically and mentally stronger, that I can see progress and feel graceful (mostly) I've learnt that it doesn't matter if I look graceful or not.

Pop Up Shops

I was hoping to have a photograph or two to help convey the colourful addition these make to the streets of Mysore however the festival and fasting has kept these away for the last two days, i will do my best to describe them.
The mornings are started with familiar cries of “eeyyhiii” as the rag and bone man comes up the road with his two wheel variety, overtaken by the chap on the Enfield motorbike chucking newspapers over people gates.
They then start appearing at the roadside, they have either 4 wheels (taken from an old large bicycle) or two wheels (taken from a penny farthing), size doesn't matter so much other than they all need to be matching.  The two wheeled are more mobile and are pushed along the roads.  
Although in Surrey we would call them ‘pop up shops’ here they are best described as carts.
There are coconut ones, fruit and veg ones, ones mounted with popcorn makers, others mounted with giant cogs and wringers for making sugar cane juice, mini doughnut making thingies and roadside takeaways cooking curries and doss’s.  
Then yesterday we spied every busy mothers dream, a two wheeled one mounted with a fire heated hearth and heavy flat bottomed round cast iron clothes press, complete with Auntie doing peoples ironing, i am sure this would take off in Surrey! 

The wildlife has surprised me .... MONKEY!

We have seen fat cows, emaciated cows, a healthy horse and two emaciated horses.
Fat shiny feathered chickens, chicks and cockerels, big goats, little goats and nanny goats. 
Manky dogs, skinny dogs, flourishing dogs. 
Playful chipmunks and a variety of birds. 
Massive bats and a Rhesus monkey hanging right outside our window. 
Ironically looking in through the bars with amusement at our surprised faces. 
For all those creatures we have seen a person who find themselves in the same situation. 
I would consider that we are perhaps the chipmunks.

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