The weekend before Diwali I had the pleasure of hosting a very good friend who came to visit me here in Mysore. It’s the first time I’ve had a friend visit me at my “second home” and see what goes on in my Mysore world.
I met Sanjani when I was living in Singapore in 2007. On reflection it was particularly apt for Sanj to visit me here, as she played major role in my life veering in the direction it has. She was my first yoga student.
We were both working at the same PR company and twice a week I would come to her house before work and teach her some yoga before we went to work together. She was adamant she didn’t want to learn Astanga yoga so I agreed to teach her something different. But I realised I could only teach her what I knew myself to be effective, so as the weeks rolled on, unknown to her, I taught her the beginning of the Ashtanga sequence. One day after an intense session she came out of rest and said how good she felt. I couldn’t help but admit the truth and bursted out with ..…well that’s because you are doing Ashtanga yoga!
It was a wonderful first teaching experience for me. It revealed to me not only how much I enjoyed teaching but also clearly showed the power of the practice. Sanj’s feedback and encouragement helped build my confidence and from then on I continued making steps down the teaching path.
Sanjani is extremely well-travelled and our friendship has definitely been forged through a mutual love of intrepid adventures. Originally from Kenya of Gujarati Indian heritage, she has visited India many times before so I knew our program could include many “local” Indian experiences. In the end, it seemed to largely revolve around food!
There was the maha-idly place (her favourite), traditional south Indian lunches of thali and Aunties home-style cooking, chai at a speciality chai house, Mysore’s famous Mylari dosas and some visits to some of the swish hotels, for buffet breakfast, the pool, lunch and a Friday night dinner.
(Me and Denise – another friend from Singapore with a similar passion for Indian food experiences!)
(Breakfast on the way to the jungle – Mylari dosa – Sanj was suitably impressed)
Aside from all that eating, in five days we also managed to visit Ashadayaka Childrens Home for some English tutoring and a game of pass-the-parcel (special treat for Diwali!), go shopping down town at Devaraj Markets and take an overnight trip away to the jungle – and sneak in quite a few naps along the way.
The girls from Ashadayaka after eating Dwali sweets – but which one is Sanj?!
Sanj was the official photographer for the five days of fun. Although I did take some when we were in the jungle – it was my first time to use an SLR camera. I’m particularly chuffed with the shot below of the jumping deer. I was hoping to take photos of some birds – but wildlife photography is definitely not easy!
(Our cabin at Gorukana – a sustainable eco-resort located in B.R.Hills, two hours from Mysore near Tamil Nadu. We absolutely loved this place. The resort’s profits go towards maintaining bio-diversity of the surrounding jungle and supporting the local semi-nomadic Soliga tribe) http://www.gorukana.org
(The view from our cottage – very peaceful! I had the best sleep there I had had in weeks!)
(My foray into wildlife photography!)
(A local woman enjoying the morning sunshine)