It was a spontaneous decision to make a trip to Mysore though I had been hoping to visit this place. Meeting up with Keiko from my last 300 hours YTT in Rishikesh helped me (or I should say ‘us’) to make the decision easier, especially Keiko has been an easy going person, I remember she said ‘ikou ka?’ (Let us go together?), I answered ‘sou ne, ikou!’ (Literally means ‘why not, let’s go’). Yes, why think so much when we both so wanted to visit mysore, a mysterious place for Ashtangis.
I knew we would not be allowed to practice at KYJAYI with Sharath Jois for our last minute visit (there are rules for registration to practice at KYJAYI), so I did not expect much but I knew there are many other good Ashtanga yoga teachers in Mysore who are very experienced (I read it from www.path2yoga.net), which I did some research from internet before I visited India. I was very keen to practice with Ajar Kumar and Vijay Kumar. But from website of Vijay Kumar, there is a requirement with minimum practice of 1 month, at that time I only had 10 days before leaving India to Japan. So Vijay Kumar was not an option for me, I contacted Ajay Kumar right away and I got his reply that we were welcome to visit his shala to understand further before registration, he accepted even for practice of 1 week, which is the minimum period of practice. We signed up right away.
Ajay’s weekly classes includes daily (6 days a week and no practice on Saturday and moon day) morning mysore and 4pm classes with different themes (such as meditation, vinyasa, backbend etc).
The space in shala is rather small (new shala with bigger space is getting ready), so it only could fit maximum around 18 practitioners. I like the scale of the class, everyone could get enough attention from Ajay ji, and he knows the weakness of each soon after we attended the first class. I remember he told me I had weak thigh which causes some limitations for my practice on the second or third day of my practice and I instantly realised that was the reason I could not perform drop back backbend. The mysore class with Ajay ji, everyone get adjustments in every 3 to 4 poses. Ajay ji and Prakash ji go around through out the whole class to adjust poses and to push us to deeper in each pose. I really appreciated that, especially for me who only got to practice at his shala for 1 week, I improved a lot with his help to deepen my practice. I also learned some about the adjustment from the practice.
The thing I like the most from practicing at Ajay ji’s shala is his Vinyasa and Backbend classes, Ajay ji really taught me things that I did not learn from other yoga teachers. The preps for jumping back and forth for vinyasa, and the details explanation for backbending with his special training. Also, the conference on Saturday evening, students are allowed to ask any questions to him, he is such humble teacher and opened to students which surprised me. I had personally few doubts cleared from that one conference.
I was really happy that I made the decision to visit Mysore and got to practice under guidance of Ajay ji. I let go my ego and stubborn attitude that I only wanted to practice with KYJAYI or teachers under their list for Ashtanga yoga, or else I would not have had the chance to learn what I have learned from Ajay ji, which I found still useful to my daily practice today.
I wish I would make time and chance to visit Mysore again and to attend Ajay ji’s class again in future so that I could improve further on my practice of yoga.