Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Brand New Mysore Clubs

In Mysore, I have a Cool Friend From Belgium (CFFB) who I met while I was in Miami. The other morning we sat together in chanting, as we almost always do. My CFFB loves chanting, but as she looked around the room, she scrunched up her nose and rolled her eyes.

“Everyone here is so boring,” she said. “All they ever talk about is yoga.”

“I know,” I exclaimed. “Only 89 percent of what we talk about is yoga.”

“Well, at least you talk about other things. Like masturbation.” I knew she was going to say this.

The thing is, even if you talk about masturbation, you are probably still very boring. Most people are very boring. The key to life is finding boring people who you like. Then when they go on and on about their pelvis and their lunch and their mother, you still have a nice time.

The Boatman and I are extremely boring. The Boatman likes to draw and drink tea and laze around and read and watch Netflix. Sometimes he goes to the gym. He likes buying food at the market. What else? Every once in a while, he has a beer. These days we are taking up the outdoors. So far we have been camping two and a half times.

Besides taking up the outdoors with the Boatman, I like to do yoga, write, and occasionally meditate. I go for walks in Point Pleasant Park in my five fingers shoes.  Sometimes I watch Netflix with the Boatman, or go to the market. And I like yattering away like a verbal machine gun. Lucky for me, the Boatman doesn’t mind.

Obviously, we take breaks from the Netflix and the verbal machine gun and the outdoors to hump each other. It is quite ideal.

Boring Happy Dorks, in the sky
But in Mysore, me and many other people have no one to hump. And even if you have found yourself a few boring friends you love, it’s quite likely that you have more time than you ever imagined possible. Most people get bored at least once. If this happens, probably the most spiritual thing to do is learn Sanskrit. But for those of you who are too lethargic, and/or you don’t want homework, my CFFB and I have invented these three brand new Mysore clubs. Unlike learning Sanksrit, they require little to no skill, commitment or prep time.

Club Number One: The Glutes Group
My CFFB is very concerned that everyone who does Ashtanga has a flat butt. The other day we spent at least twenty minutes observing our own butts, as well as all the other Ashtanga butts that we could find on youtube. I am pretty sure my butt isn’t that flat, but I’ve been known to be delusional. You won't be able to judge whether or not my butt is flat, because I would never ever post my butt on the Internet.

Got glutes? (not sure what is happening with these red patches...)
Even if your butt isn’t flat, it could still be dysfunctional. A couple of months ago, I read about a big yoga butt scandal on the internet. A yoga teacher from Toronto was trying to protect her injured knee, so she went crazy with hip openers. Over time, her glutes weakened and overstretched until one day, pop, pop, pop, all three glute muscles tore off the bone. Ick. For years, this teacher remembers being told, “Soften your glutes! Soften your buttocks!” Perhaps this is why so many of the yogis have flat butts. Flat butts may or may not go along with other pelvis and lower body problems. This is why my CFFB and I have invented The Glutes Group. At the Glutes Group, we thought we could do some extracurricular butt exercises to cure our Ashtanga butts.  My favourite butt exercise is the Fire Hydrant.

Fire Hydrant Butt Exercise
My CFFB doesn’t have a favourite butt exercise yet. In April, Eddie Stern posted a bunch of butt exercises for people with Femoral AcetabularImpingement Syndrome. I have tried Eddie Stern’s exercises many times. Me and my femur bones have zero complaints. Plus Eddie Stern is so funny and cute. We will definitely do some of his exercises at the Butt Club.

Eddie Stern Heals the Ashtanga Butt

Club Number Two: Knitting
Knitting is relaxing and soothing, but not as boring as meditating. I am jealous of my CFFB because she brought her own knitting needles and wool. My CFFB has extra knitting needles for me, but no wool. It seems like she only has enough wool to knit one shawl. So far it only has one or two holes in it.

My CFFB's Shawl
As she knits, I alternate between turning on my verbal machine gun, and looking at Facebook. When my CFFB runs out of wool, we will have to go on a search for more wool which could be a challenging adventure. I thought that India would be too hot to wear woolen things, but on a Day Trip last Thursday, I passed by a stand selling woolen caps. Somewhere in India, there is wool. We just have to find it. If we can’t, maybe my CFFB could be like Ullyses’ wife Penelope. Over and over again, she can unravel her shawl, and then reknit it. That sounds very spiritual, doesn’t it? My grandmother always says, “A good knitter is a cheerful ripper.” My grandmother is an excellent knitter, and very spiritual.

Woolen Hats
Apparently there is a yoga student here in Mysore who crochets. If he or she would like to join our knitting club, he or she is most welcome, along with anyone else.

Club Number Three: Lying Down Club (LDC)
This is a solo club, and all you need is a floor or a hard bed. Lie down and close your eyes. You can put a pillow under your neck and your knees, or not.  If you received a mask on the airplane that doesn’t have formaldehyde in it, then wear that. (Mine has something in it that burns my face so I stopped wearing it.) Lying down with your eyes closed is easier than both meditating and sleeping. Both meditating and sleeping can be difficult in Mysore. I try to do each of these things once or twice a day, but sometimes it is too hard. The scooters and the birds and the dogs are really loud. And my brain is not the same as it usually is from getting up for practice at 3 a.m. and also from talking too much. Maybe I will get used to all this and start sleeping and meditating like a pro.  For now, I am grateful to be a member of the Lying Down Club.

Please feel free to join any of these clubs, in body or in spirit or with your very own boring friends. We thought that the first Glutes Group Meeting could meet this Monday at 4 p.m at my CFFB’s house. Let’s say shala time, just for fun. Knitting Club meeting time is yet to be determined and we invite your suggestions for time and location. As for the Lying Down Club, this is ongoing and we sincerely value your consistent and devoted participation. 
The End.

In other news, I no longer walk with a stick because I am no longer afraid of the dogs.  Mysore is like the Land of Oz. Things come and go very quickly.
Some people have been reading my recent Ashtanga Yogalogue, You Cling to Things Until They Die. Or at least they have been clicking on it. It is a little long, as these days I have been rather long winded. But maybe you are between Mysore clubs and you have a little time... Serene Flavor wrote this kind response clarifying that I am not a poster child for Ashtanga Dysfunction, but that I do fall upon the Ashtanga Spectrum. Success.


  1. I know where the wool is in Mysore. I took up crochet when I was there...Get a rickshaw to the city and ask to go to Rashinkars shop. Near Ghandi Square. If you are facing the shop, then go to the left of it and past the cinema and duck down the first alley on the left, then go right and then left down a dark narrow alley which has about 3 or 4 wool and haberdashery shops in it. It's one of my favourite places. Knitting needles galore and tons of other wonderful things. Have fun. I am so jealous. X

  2. A visual reference if you need it

  3. I just discovered you and love this! I'm going to read everything and it's the internet so I know it's not weird. One of the best times I had in India was in the Mysore market.

  4. Haha! This is great! Where do I sign up? I arrived yesterday.