Monkey business

Today has been a day of farewells. Firstly, farewell to ankle-catching.

There’s this thing in ashtanga yoga, where you’re able to do a new posture for the first time, and fireworks go off, you see rainbows and generally all is good with the world – then the next day you head to your mat full of excited anticipation about your newly expanded asana repertoire and… where did it go?! It’s slipped beyond your grasp once more, back into the ether of the unattainable!

So yes, no ankle-catching for me today. In fact, not even a glimpse of the backs of my heels. Still, ‘slowly, slowly, catchy monkey’ as a jungle guide I know used to say. The bad days are as much a part of the process as the good days and, eventually the seemingly random days that you can do the posture will increase in number until, one day, they outnumber the days you can’t do it and finally it becomes one of your ‘comfort’ postures.

(Aside: thinking about it now, perhaps the reason my ankles have disappeared out of reach again is because I’m sleeping better since we moved our bed out onto the rooftop, where it doesn’t feel like we’re being roasted for dinner every night, and so more fuzz is building up between my muscles, making me stiffer – it certainly feels that way in my body, anyway!)

The second farewell was to the legendary Monk-ma and Monklet, who, for complicated and potentially embarassing reasons, have held a special place in our India trip. Suffice to say, I decided Chris needed a simian mascot for his moped trip, and the only one small enough that I could find happened to be attached to its giant momma. So whilst Monklet rode the open road through India with Chris, Monk-ma stayed behind and kept me company. And I think we both became embarrassingly attached to our new furry friends, ahem. What can I say? All this yoga/moped riding does funny things to you… 😉

P1020900 Chris, Monk-ma and Monklet – NOT good for street cred… 😉

Anyway, coming to terms with the fact we had no spare capacity for them in our luggage, we found the perfect home for them. We took them, along with spare clothes, bedding etc, to the Odanadi charity, an excellent Mysore-based NGO that helps women and children who have been caught up in human-trafficking. We’d been to the charity before to look at their permaculture garden, and had been struck by the happy atmosphere and very positive vibe amongst the staff and the girls that we met. And seeing those girls’ faces when we rocked up on a scooter holding a giant stuffed monkey was wonderful – they took turns to give Monk-ma a big hug, grinning and giggling wildly.

P1020905 Happy-huggers.

And as for my third farewell, I’ve said goodbye to Chris this evening – I was supposed to be leaving with him, but changed my flight so I could complete the full month with Sharath. I can’t believe five months have all but passed and it’s time to head home again so soon. Full of mixed emotions – excitement to see friends and family, relief to be leaving city-living behind and even (whisper this) to be leaving the intensities of Mysore style yoga behind, nerves about launching myself back into a busy summer of work, sadness that such an amazing, intense and eventful chapter is coming to a close and gratitude that I was able to have this incredible experience.

But, at least I don’t have to say farewell to India just yet – I still have one more week, and in India a lot can happen in one week, that’s for sure!

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