To Mysore via Bangalore

I’m back in Bangalore. The last time I was here, some eighteen years ago, it was to see an astrologer. He had been highly recommended by a yoga teacher acquaintance, and I was eager to find out what he could tell me. I went with a similarly eager friend, and the meeting began well. Our astrologer at once told me I had been destined to receive information from him at the age of 23 years, x months and y weeks. I looked at him, somewhat gobsmacked – he now had my entire attention. But my friend nudged me discreetly and explained he had given both our birth dates when he’d made the appointment. I looked again at the astrologer, still a tad gobsmacked, but not quite for the same reason…

In the end, however, the session did not turn out to be a masterclass in charlatanism. In a detached, almost off-hand way, Mr Murthy told me a good deal about myself and my background, including a few things nobody could know because I had never openly spoken about them. Not much of what he foretold for the future came to pass though, and what little did may have been partly influenced by the ideas he had placed in my young mind.

But back to Bangalore – or rather away from it, since this time I am Mysore-bound. No need for astrological predictions to manifest here, as a foreigner wishing to practice yoga in India, Mysore is one of a handful of obvious choices. No doubt some of the great Mysore teachers we come to learn from are also versed in Indian astrology – and why not? It is, after all, a part of their ancient culture. However, if we follow the instructions of Pathabi Jois – the most well-known introducer of Ashtanga yoga to the West – the future may well take care of itself, regardless of planets and stars. I gather he used to say, “Do your practice, all is coming.” Perhaps the first way to understand these words, is that if we practice, the results will indubitably follow. But I think I prefer the interpretation offered by the great David Swensen – all is indeed coming, the good and the bad, the highs and the rock-bottom lows, that’s why we’ll need to persevere with our practice!

But I digress – again, and twice is enough in a single blog post, so I’ll sign off for today.

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