This week there is plenty of blog coverage of Sharath’s Sunday conference.
It’s probably because it featured the showing of a 22-minute movie about Ashtanga in Mysore: “Mysore Magic: Yoga at the Source.” The film was shot earlier this year and turned around quickly. (I suppose the art of digital filmmaking at work.)
It seems to be on one of the platforms that WordPress isn’t supporting at this point. Here’s a link to the webpage for it. You can get a nearly 2 minute preview. It looks like they are charging $4.99 to stream it or $9.99 to download it.
I have to admit that the preview fails to do two things for me:
1. Make me want to watch the whole film. I feel like I know what students are going to say about being in Mysore and what Sharath is going to say about the practice.
2. Make me want to go to Mysore to practice. The first reason why it fails on this account is purely my own self-limitations and what I suppose borders on fear. The practitioners shows are so far advanced from me — in the purely physical, limber sense — that I can’t imagine getting much out of time spent there.
The second reason is the growing crowds it shows. I know we all read — again, via all the blogs from Mysore — about personal attention, but I find it hard to imagine getting much, especially as a “newbie.”
The third reason goes to the title of the film, or one word in it: “source.” On that point, here’s a quick recap of part of Sunday’s conference from the blog “Bird in the Tree“:
Later today, at the 10am conference, which featured a viewing of the new documentary ‘Mysore Magic,’ created and directed by Certified Ashtanga teacher Alex Medin and a small crew of filmmakers during the first couple of weeks of the New Year, Sharath talked at length about parampara. It’s a major reason why learning Ashtanga at the source is as special as it is: the importance of lineage cannot be overemphasized in an age that has many, many versions of yoga being propagated. Likewise, a guru who calls himself a guru can’t really be a guru! ‘Only the student can call a teacher his guru,’ Sharath emphasized. And it is only by surrendering to the guru that one can truly glean the knowledge he (or she) has to offer. This is a very personal choice. The new documentary, a lovely portrait of the Ashtanga Yoga Community today, features many students talking about what has led them to here to practice as well as interviews with Sharath.
Well, I’ve got my “source” and my “guru,” and he’s about 100 miles away at the Ashtanga Yoga Center. (What the movie does make me want to do is go to India and experience the spiritual source of things.)
I understand why others are drawn to Mysore. It’s why I have been “obsessing via blog” about Mysore and a trip there. But, as I’ve reflected this morning, I realize once and for all: I’m just not.
And I think I may be lucky or even blessed by what I am drawn to, instead.
Posted by Steve