Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wow, what a whirlwind week of socialising it has been! I had a busy Xmas day with Andy's folks in Blanefield, and a very late and hectic party with my family in Glasgow. This was swiftly followed by a night in Kendal for my Grandmothers 80th birthday.
I am still in Glasgow at Andy's, and am now trying to get back to a sense of normality and routine. I have been doing a regular yoga practice at the gym, but it's just not the same as being in my beautiful studio and I am craving a couple of hours of candle-lit peace - away from the noisy air-conditioned environment of the gym and the craziness that is life at the moment! I expect that most of you are feeling the same - don't forget to let me know about the next block... some classes are already full so book asap.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The new 2010 term is now advertised and is filling fast! the Yoga room has never been so busy. I have also had lots of day-time bookings.... check the classes page for details of the many classes that I now have on offer; Belly dancing, Iyengar Yoga, Pilates to name but a few.

I spent last weekend learning how to drive. Andy has very kindly agreed to teach me and is a very patient Instructor. I drove us to Callendar in the fog on Sunday and we made it in one piece. I am slowly gaining confidence and hopefully will be able to drive before we make the big move to the country in the spring.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I was in Stronachlacher this weekend teaching another weekend retreat.
The rainy weather didn't dampen spirits and the yoga combined with massage and beautiful wholesome food ensured that everyone was well relaxed by Sunday.

I would just like to thank all of my lovely clients who attended. What a special weekend it was! I have returned feeling utterly relaxed and inspired to set up my own country retreat as a full time vocation.

My team were inspiring as ever; Layla cooked up a storm once again and surpassed herself with her amazing, nutritious menu. Catherine's massage was much needed after the yoga sessions and Andy did a great job in keeping the fire lit and keeping everyone entertained. I can't wait for the next one in March - only 4 spaces remaining!

So, I am back to earth with a bang and on with the week. A wee reminder for you all that there is a full primary series class this Sunday at 11am - 1pm. Drop-in, or drop me a line to book.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What a busy couple of weeks it has been! The new 8 week block at the Yoga Room is pretty much full. In the midst of my busiest time; whilst taking bookings, teaching and responding to emails, I have put my house on the market. I do like a challenge.
It has been on for 4 days and early signs are looking good. It seems that the tide has turned on the housing slump.
Obviously, moving is never easy and I am already feeling off balance at the thought of leaving my lovely flat. I know that I need to embrace the change and see it as an exciting new start to my life with my lovely husband to be:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The lurgy

Having had a bout of the dreaded lurgy last week, I spent the weekend recovering and catching up on some much needed sleep.

I slept for most of Saturday and crawled out to a very busy Ikea in the afternoon. Sunday was slightly more active with a day in Doune. This village is a serious contender for our future abode and we have been looking at houses here. The commute is pretty straight forward to Edinburgh. So, if we do move I will remain a commited Teacher at the Yoga Room :)

The new 8 week block kicks off next week and classes are filling up fast. The Yoga Room is truly flourishing at the moment. Thank you to everyone; I promise you another spectacular party in the New Year to celebrate!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Scottish retreat

The retreat in November is now full! Apologies to the many people that I have had to turn away. I was utterly overwhelmed with interest, so have decided to book the next one without delay. I have pencilled in the weekend of the 5th/6th March 2010 and am very much looking forward to both visits; it sure is a beautiful part of the world. I would love to run more retreats, it would appear that there is a market for them. I just need a few hundred thousand pounds to purchase a large house and studio!

We were in another lovely part of Scotland at the weekend; a wee village near Stirling called Blairlogie. We went for a long walk up a hill called Dumyat. Sadly, we didn't reach the top as we took a wrong turn and as darkness fell, we decided to turn back. I am going to collate a book of incomplete walks; I have done so many recently. We will return and finish all of them and I will not be satisfied until we do so!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wedding plans

This weekend, Andy and I had dinner at the hotel we are to be wed in next year; Forest Hills. Sadly, we couldn't afford to actually stay in the hotel itself, so we stayed in a b and b close by in Aberfoyle.

The location, food, service, company were all magical. Seems we have chosen well; only 370 days to go!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Scottish retreat is now full! I have waitlisted a number of people for the next one, so please let me know if you would also like to be put on the list for March 2010.

I have had a hectic couple of weekends away; two exhausing long journeys in the car. One to visit my dad in North Wales and the other at the hippy 'Findhorn Foundation' community, for a wedding. The plan was to get married in Cullerne Gardens - with no contigency for the eventuality of rain, They were extremely lucky when the sun shone. A very brave plan for a Scottish wedding I am sure you will agree.

Although the weather has been beautiful for the past fortnight, there is no doubt that Autumn has come and summer days are long gone. I am finding morning practice to be a wee bit harder, because it is dark still when I get up at 6.30am. However, practice at the Yoga Room is still taking place without exception:) Please join us if you can on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8.30am.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A hectic week back at the Yoga Room. Most classes are now full and I have had a record number of enquiries and bookings this term!
My retreat into the hills was fantastic.... a week of rainy walks, and cosy nights watching dvds; a very traditional Scottish holday indeed.
Now that they nights are drawing in, I am sure that you are all finding it harder to get motivated. This is when we need our yoga the most; to help us stay positive, fit and healthy to fight off all the nasty germs that are floating about. I have restarted the a.m practice which is open to all Yoga Room clients. I will be there on Tuesday and Thursdays 8am - 10.30am. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2nd birthday party for the Yoga Room!

On holiday at last! I am looking forward to a week in the highlands next week.

Thanks to all who came to my party; what a wonderful night it was. Also, a big thank you to the belly dancer Shelly and to Layla who created all the wonderful food. Anyone that was impressed with the culinary delights on Saturday should definately come on the retreat in November, Layla will be cooking up a storm on that as well.
I have had lots of enquries in the past week, so please book soon to ensure a space. The Autumn term is pretty busy already - thank you all for your prompt booking.
I am heading North next week for a well earned break, so see you all in a fortnight!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sarahs wedding

The gorgeous couple! Sorry for the delay.......
Also Grandma and G'pa Rees and G'pa Joe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My sister was wed on the 18th July and the ceremony and reception were beautiful. A number of you have asked to see pictures of the blushing bride. I have been waiting to get some pics of the bride and groom uploaded onto this site, but sadly a picture of Andrew and myself is the best that I can do for now. Please watch this space as the professional pics are due back any day now!

My family are all much relieved that it went so well, but my mother is now at a bit of a loose end. She is currently putting all of her energies into planning my wedding... only one year and 2 months to go!

My friend Joe took some new pics for the website at the weekend so I should have a fresh shiny fresh looking website by September.

The new 8 week block will start on August the 31st. The Yoga Room will be closed for two weeks from the 17th of August. I am going to take this time to gather my strength and relax at my folks caravan in the beauty of the West coast.

Booking forms for next term will be on-line from next week. This summer was very busy and I had to put a number of students on a waitlist for September. I will be contacting all of these people shotly, so please be prompt in booking as I anticipate another busy term.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apologies for being out of touch! This is due to a technical problem with my computer. It would seem that my energy + any technical device = complete technical faliure!

The past couple of weeks have been very busy with the build up to my sisters wedding and with my usual busy teaching schedule. I injured a hamstring at T in the park on Saturday which made my teaching that wee bit more difficult as well.

My sister is to be wed on Saturday and her plaster cast has been removed only to reveal and very white, hairy and withered wee leg! She is spending the next couple of days in physio in hopes that some exercises will ensure that she will be able to walk down the isle and dance the first dance with her hubbie. Fingers crossed! We are all very excited - I will try and post some pics on Monday ( if my computer and I are friends again by then).

I have also managed to get a belly dancer for my party in August. Please let me know if you wish to come...... I need numbers in the next couple of weeks. If your names not on the list, you ain't getting in:)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bad news on my sisters ankle..... with only 3 weeks until her big day, it would appear that it is broken! It is full steam ahead with all the plans regardless and we have all been thinking of ways to dress up the knee-high plaster to match the dress. The honeymoon and hen night have been postponed until she is back on her feet. Sarah is on good form though and is amazingly upbeat and positive. I am sure it will make great material for the speeches on the day if nothing else!

I had a very busy social calendar this weekend, consisting of; a 30th party, a family barbie and a meal with the Friday night yoga class. Sunday was spent walking up Conic hill by Balmaha to get some fresh air in the lungs and to get out of the city. We have been looking at moving to somewhere within commuting distance to Edinburgh and Glasgow. I long for the day when we finally head for the hills and can wake up to the sound of birds singing rather than the sound of tram works!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The oldies hen 'do'

My sister Sarah is getting married in July and we had a 'do' for the oldies; taking them out for lunch at the Waverley in Glasgow. It was to be a low-key event, a warm-up for the real hen night on the 11th July. We met at 3pm and I slunk off at 6pm to meet Andy to see a movie. I have since heard that the oldies were in the bar drinking until closing time! It would seem that the old hens have put me to shame.

At least I had a clear head for Sunday. Andy and I retreated to Aberfoyle once again for a lochside walk. It was so good to get out to the country, to breathe clean air and to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Trossachs.

Sarahs hen do continued on Sunday when she had tickets for the 'Take that' concert. I have just heard that she has fallen and twisted her ankle quite badly and is off to accident and emergency with my mum. Fingers crossed she will be okay and its not serious. Only three weeks to go until the big day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


My summer break was spent in the South of France. Seven days of sun, sightseeing, wonderful company and a glorious yoga practice every morning on the patio. Heaven!

I have returned feeling completely recharged. This is fortunate, as I have been thrown back in to a surprisingly busy summer term at The Yoga Room. I say 'surprising' because summer is usually a wee bit quieter. Not so this year, some classes are now full. Once again, I would like to apologize to those that didn't get into their chosen classes. Please ensure that you book early for the block in September. The beginners class still has space, so if you wish to start the summer on a positive note, sign up now on my booking page.

I am also looking forward to the summer party at the Yoga Room. I have been let down by my Bollywood dancer and am looking for alternative entertainment.... .any ideas? Please drop me a line if you, or indeed anyone you know would like to do a 'turn'.
Email: row_warren@hotmail.com

Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Honor of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: 1915 - 2009

Sadly, I heard that my teacher Pattabhi Jois passed away on the 22nd May. He was the ripe old age of 93 and had a fruitful life. His legacy of Ashtanga yoga will be passed on for years to come.
I feel so fortunate to have worked with him. It was his inspiration that led me to teach and to pass on my knowledge of this amazing practice.

I feel blessed to have worked with him when his teaching practice was in its stage of growth and his classes were relatively quiet. He will be sorely missed. The Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute are holding a special prayer for him on the 31st May. My thoughts will be with his family at this difficult time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I am just back from teaching a retreat in Andalucia, Spain.

After a week of yoga, sunshine and beautiful food, I am feeling very relaxed and refreshed. It was my 5th year at the same location and it was a wonderful group that converged for the week. We very lucky with the weather and I was actually glad when a storm broke the skies mid week, it was so hot.

The week was also blessed with wonderful food. Christine; the owner of the guest house, surpassed herself with her culinary delights. Every morsel is prepared with so much love and care; her hosting skills really are second to none. I will miss her amazing tapas and her wonderful energy!

I have put my new schedule on the website for the summer block. The Yoga Room will be celebrating its 2nd year of business. Please see my letter on the homepage for further details of my new schedule and party.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

After a course of acupuncture, I thought that I had turned a corner with my wrist injury. However, I awoke yesterday with acute pain and felt as if it was back to square one.
Then by last night, the pain had gone. A very changeable injury indeed.

I have been attempting a yoga practice for the past week and have been thwarted every time. I have been unable to do chataranga, so doing Ashtanga has near been close to impossible. It has meant either stopping completely, or modifying everything greatly.
This morning was an exception, I dutifully unrolled my mat and did a pain-free, graceful full primary series practice.

It made me remember why I practice yoga. Getting away from the chaos of the world and moving in to a quiet, calm, and tranquil space is so nurturing and healing. I have so missed it. I sincerely hope that this bizarre injury has gone for good and I will be fit to teach next week in Andalucia.

If you haven't attended class this week, please note that I am away for a week in sunny Spain; teaching a retreat in the mountains.

Have a good week... self practice is the order of the week!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May day weekend

It looks like I have turned a corner with my injury. I felt my thumb 'pop' into place last week. It's not 100% healed, but it is defiantely on the road to recovery. Yipee! This means that at long last I can do a yoga practice.

To ensure complete recovery, I fully rested up over the weekend. There is no better place for r and r than my mothers static caravan near Lochgilphead on the West coast. The van is situated on dramatic coastline overlooking the Isle of Jura. After a few sedate walks and some delicious food, I feel completely relaxed and rested.

There will DEFINATELY be a self practice a.m session at the Yoga Room this Thursday from 8.30am. I am very excited to get back to the mat and hope that some of you will join me!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The past week has been overshadowed with the fact that I have had a wrist injury. It has been diagnosed as RSI and i have had to pull back and rest it COMPLETELY. So, NO YOGA for eight days now! It has been incredibly frustrating and I am starting to feel like a lazy blob!

I have worked with injury before, and have always practised through it, with an awareness of what my body is telling me to do. Not so this time. I have had to rest up as I can't actually put any weight on my wrist at all. I did a gentle practice last week and ended up straining it in various poses, so have decided to back off completely.

It has been a difficult lesson for me. I am trying to enjoy the rest, but I miss my daily practice. I had some acupunture with my mum yesterday and I am hopeful it has helped - though I am not sure as I am reluctant to put it to the test for fear of further damage.

It has been hard to teach with this going on and I have had to pull back on adjustments in a few poses.

Thank you all for your patience; hopefully I will be back to full strength before the week is out and can give you all the Supta Kurmasana adjustment that I am sure that you have been missing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

After last weekends strenous walk and activity, we decided to opt for a restful weekend in the city.

It was, however such a beautiful sunny day on Sunday that we couldn't resist a walk up near Aberfoyle. We did one of the forestry walks in a magical woods called 'Fairy Knowe'. The scenery in the area really is magical.

I always find it difficult to return to the city after a taste of fresh country air. I have dreams of setting up a retreat centre in the country and offering weekend yoga retreats. Hopefully, I can one day realise this dream. I just need to win the lottery.

I still have a couple of spaces on the retreat in Andalucia. If anyone would like a week of yoga, sun and beautiful food, let me know asap.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A weekend in the VW camper

Another active weekend up North. We took the camper van to Inverary on Saturday and climbed a Munro. It was Andys' birthday weekend so we had a gorgeous meal at the Loch Fyne hotel, followed by an extremely cold night in the VW.

Not satisfied with the ardous walk up Ben Vane on Saturday, we climbed another mountain on Sunday and spent an hour looking for the summit. Our search was in vain and we are still non the wiser as to how to reach the top of Ben Venu!

By Monday I could barely walk and I was less than enthused at the prospect of doing Andys' birthday surprise present; 'Go Ape' - an adventure playground for adults, complete with Zip slides and Tarzan swings. Great fun, but utterly terrifying! I was glad to get down from the tress, but felt that I had faced a fear or two.

So, in all a whirlwind of a weekend. My practice was painful yesterday; my muscles are aching from top to toe.

Another reminder for the Thursday 6pm led class.... the class on Thursday this week ( the 16th) is at the Yoga Room again. From next week we are at the Drill hall again as per usual. See you all there!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another active weekend

The Friday Yoga Room class was subbed by my very capable cover teacher Polly whilst I took part in a Vegetarian cookery class in Glasgow. It was so refreshing to be the student and to be learning something new and different. I enjoyed the class immensely, but I have to say the quantity of food that was cooked and then consumed was excessive and I felt positively portly afterwards!

Sunday was a day of activity; to try and work off some of Friday’s indulgence!

Andy and I attempted the John Buchan way in Peebleshire. The weather was fantastic; it feels like spring is finally here and the hills are bouncing with new born lambs. We broke the back of the walk and did 10 miles in total. Then straight to an Indian restaurant to consume the calories that I had worked so hard to lose.

I am utterly exhausted this week and my practice this morning was more crawling than jumping. So, feet up for me this afternoon to prepare for a night of teaching and jumping around.....

A wee reminder: to anyone attending the Thursday 6pm class this week; it will be at the Yoga Room - not the Drill Hall. See you all there:)

RO x

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I turned the grand old age of 34 on Sunday and was whisked off to the Highlands for the weekend.

After a wonderful day in Oban and a night in a fantastic hotel, we were awoken at 6.30am on Sunday morning. Bear in mind, also that the clocks were put forward one hour, so it was actually 5.30am! Happy birthday to me!

This early start was all in a good cause; we were doing a ‘Sea-fari’ trip to look at the whirlpools of Corryvreckan. Sadly, we didn’t see any proper whirlpools, but we had a very exciting high-speed boat experience. We also got very wet and cold in the process. I was pleased to reach dry land and to warm up. Several cups of hot tea later, I was ready for activity two; walking a section of the Kintyre way. Although I was tired from the day’s exertion, we managed half of the planned venture before turning back. It was here that we were met by the two wee fellas in the picture. I stumbled in to my mums caravan that evening and slept for 10 hours on Sunday evening!

I am feeling well refreshed today from the country air and weekend off work and my practice this morning was glorious. Two others joined me and I would like to reiterate what I have said to my clients before…. The studio is now open for Ro-yoga clients from 8am – 10.30 ( ish) on Tuesdays and Thursdays for self practice. Please join me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I spent the weekend teaching in the ‘Granite city’ of Aberdeen. Thanks to a noisy neighbor at the hotel I was staying at, I had a restless night. After approximately four hours sleep I wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders!

I can, however survive on very little sleep. I found a reserve of energy to guide the group through a bandha workhop; looking specifically at: jump-ups, the jump- through and handstands.

They were a lovely and very fun group to work with; full of life and up for anything! I left feeling utterly inspired by the wonderful hospitality shown and also by the fact that this amazing practice is now so universal and fast becoming so accessible to all. When I started twelve years ago it wasn’t nearly as wide spread and it is wonderful that so many places like ‘the Spot’ are opening to share the beauty of this practice with all.

The studio reminds me very much of what I have created at he Yoga Room; a space that is small and friendly and has a sense of intimacy that you rarely find in yoga centres these days. Sadly, so many places have become hugely commercial, teaching huge classes meaning that very often the integrity of the teaching is compromised.

Congratulations to Gill for cultivating this wonderful studio and I do hope to return very soon!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New term

The new spring block starts this evening and it is heartening to see that, in difficult times, all classes are extremely busy. Apologies to those of you that couldn’t get in for your class of choice; you need to be quick of the mark for most of the classes.

It seems that the popularity of yoga in the midst of a recession is just set to grow. I am sure that people are fed up with extortionate gym memberships and the monotony of the treadmill.

I have just read an article in the Wall SJ which outlines the increase of yoga amongst city executives as a means to manage stress. It is enlightening to see that all types of people are turning to yoga in a bid to combat their stressful lives in the 21st century.

The fact that you are reading this means you already know of the benefits of yoga and as such are better equipped to handle stressful situations .Congratulations!

Om Shanti

Ro x

Monday, March 9, 2009

I have just returned from an extremely tranquil weekend at Loch Katrine.

The group was a lovely combination of people who all bonded extremely well.

Layla (my chef) surpassed herself with the cooking, creating hearty and warming curry and to die-for coconut bananas. I also had a Body worker present, who delighted all with the experience of Chavutti Thirumal (an Indian oil based foot walking massage).

Three hours of yoga practice on Saturday ensured that everyone was sleepy yet relaxed and ready to cosy-up by the log-burning fire.

We awoke to a winter wonder-land on Sunday and had just enough time to do a final yoga practice and a walk in the snow covered hills.

Andy and I were lucky enough to have another night at the house and we left early this morning to ensure that Andy get back on time for work in Glasgow. After the peace and calm of beautiful Stronachlachar, my senses feel somewhat disturbed by my return to the bustle of the city.

I am already planning the next trip in November!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I have been back on Scottish soil for 3 weeks now and I have to say that the culture shock on my return to the Scottish winter was acute after the heat and colour of India. I was immediately struck down with a cold and am still suffering with a tiring nasal drip. Thankfully, I purchased a neti pot in India and have been using it religiously to relieve the symptoms of my cold.

For those of you that don’t know what this is, let me enlighten you:
Jalaneti (the full name for the practice) has been practiced by Yogis for many thousands of years. It is an extremely powerful cleansing tool and can help relieve sinus infections, colds, hay fever and allergies, coughs, postnasal drips etc. You can buy your neti from most Yoga store suppliers. It is a small watering can-shaped pot. Fill the pot with warm saline solution, and then pour the spout of the pot into one nostril. The head should be adjusted and the back of the throat softened so that the water can flow out of the other nostril. This will irrigate and cleanse the nasal wall. It is a simple but very effective technique that can be practiced regularly. It does make quite a mess, so is best done in the shower in private!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It was with great excitement that I departed India. I have missed Andy, my family, clients and my friends.

I had a very relaxing week on the beach in beautiful Goa. I was up North in a place called Ashwem. The Northern beaches are absolutely gorgeous. Goa is such a contrast to Mysore. The people are so friendly and laid back. I didn’t encounter any of the irritation from Hawkers or Rickshaw Drivers that were plaguing me in Mysore. The only slight irritation was the hassle that I received from Waiters in the beach shacks. Some of them are definitely on the look-out for a holiday romance. Shirley valentine I am not! I have even taken to wearing a ring on my wedding finger to scare them off. Unfortunately this kind of hassle comes with the territory when traveling as a woman alone. I spent the week catching up with old friends and soaking up some rays. I am returning to Scotland, relaxed and sun-kissed. I found a wonderful practice space directly overlooking the beach. It was heaven….

As well as yoga and sunbathing, I have been getting lots of Ayervedic massage… I found a wonderful Practitioner on the beach and squeezed in as many as possible in my time there. It was so cheap; two hours of bliss for a mere ten pounds! I had a final massage on my final night and unbeknownst to me I had chosen the very night that the Shack next door were having a crazy drug-fuelled techno party. The walls in the hut did nothing to sound proof the pounding bass, leaving me with nothing a pounding head. Apparently these parties are very frequent, much to the annoyance of the local shack owners. In the past year there has been a huge influx of Russians that like to party to loud Techno music and irritate the hell out of the locals in doing so.

So, now I am back to the grey, cold of Scotland. I had a real culture-shock moment on arrival... India is so colourful and noisy, Scotland so drab and peaceful. Ah, it is good to be back.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It is my last full day in Mysore. Although I didn’t get to move forward with my Yoga practice, it has been an interesting visit.

This was the first trip where I have had to practice in the main Shala with 75 other students. In previous years, I have always had the privilege of practicing with Sharath in his house. Prior to that, I practiced in the old shala in Laxmipurham. Both of these studios accommodate a maximum of 15 students.

Sharath no longer teaches in his house, so this year I have had to join the crowds.

It is sad that Sharath can no longer give as many adjustments as he did in previous years and it must be tough for him to compromise his teaching like this. The only adjustment that I have had throughout my time here is back bending.

The energy in the Shala is amazing though and the few adjustments that I did have were precise. It was definitely good to come for the experience of it.

I have been invited back in June 2010 to participate in a teacher training. This will be level two of the current Authorisation that I hold at the AYRI. I am excited at the prospect of doing a full – time schedule with Sharath and gaining some hands-on training with him.

I am now very much looking forward to a week on the beach in Goa and to doing self practice for a week.

I hope that I will be able to continue my blog, but I am not sure what the net access situation will be. If access is difficult, I will see you most of you very soon anyway!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have decided to try and be a bit more Zen with the locals. If the Rickshaw drivers want an extra 10 rp (approx 7 pence!), then I have decided that I am going to give it to them with good grace. The stress is doing my blood pressure no good at all and at the end of the day, I am arguing over pennies!

I was thinking about their attitude to money here and I concluded that I need to feel pity for their desperation instead of anger. Anand was telling me that when someone dies here, they hope to be reincarnated into a life in another country far away from India. He also said that when he dies he would like to come back as someone from the West. I thought that this was very poignant. So many Indians long for all things Western.

I have to say, being here makes me realize just how lucky I am back home. Of course we have our own worries and stresses, but at least I have food in my belly and a roof over my head.

I can’t believe how inpatient and aggressive I have become in the past week. I have had another day of arguing with rickshaw drivers and getting hot and bothered. India seems to bring out the worst in me and I hate the person that I have become here.
The heat is so intense, so dry and arid. I really don’t know how incomers can bear to stay here for months on end.

I went to the zoo this afternoon. I felt much like one of the animals; I was stared at intensely for an hour and had my photo taken at least a dozen times.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I am starting to get very frustrated with this place. Little things are starting to irk.

I have had a number of bad experiences in the past few days with rickshaw drivers where they have tried to take more money than the journey is actually worth. Another stunt that they like to pull is to say that the meter isn't working when it quite clearly is. My Landlord has also ripped me off, so I am feeling very disheartened in general. So many people are on the take here and it requires so much energy to fight them off. It was also incredibly hot today which didn't help, todays temperature was 35 degrees! The Yoga Shala walls were dripping with sweat this morning and I was soaked through by the end of practice.

On a happier note, my painting is almost finished! I had to put in a double shift and will have to do the same tomorrow. Hope to have it finished by tomorrow and will send it away to be framed. Very excited; it looks beautiful.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I was kept awake last night by dogs howling in the street, and then the eerie sound of the local mosque doing prayers in the wee small hours. Luckily it is a moon day so no yoga and a good long-lie in :)

I commenced the final leg of my painting class this morning. At last, the main event; the final piece of artwork. After 10 days of sketching it is time to culminate all of the skills that I have acquired

I have chosen Laxmi – the Goddess of good fortune for my final piece. After outlining the picture, the traditional technique is to attach pure gold paper to the canvas with glue to create a gold leaf effect; a laborious technique that could take me some time. After two hours of fiddling I have almost completed a square inch of the entire picture. I only have 5 days before departure so I am hoping that it will be done by then…….

I am feeling ready for my departure on Saturday. I have enjoyed my time here, but as always India has been hard work and I am sick of eating curry. I am bound for Goa for a week and am looking forward to some beach time and some Western food!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It would seem that wherever I go, my life is super busy.Today was no exception and although I had a day off painting class, I managed to cram in as many activities as possible.

The day started with a led second series class. I was a little apprehensive about this as I am still getting my energy back after my illness. Thankfully, Sharath stopped me just before a very energetic pose (titibasana) and I gratefully moved in to back bends.

The remainder of the day was spent by the pool, catching up on business duties and doing my homework. It is now 10pm and time to turn in, having been on the go since 6am I am well and truly spent.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It is amazing how quickly one becomes accustomed to ones surroundings. The apartment that I am staying in is ‘functional’ and no more. The shower is warm with a low pressure; the bed is hard, the walls dirty and cracked. But, for my time here it is home and it has become a little haven for me – an escape from the rigours of Mysore.

Unfortunately I was forced away from comfort and familiarity, to do battle with town to purchase an adaptor today. The centre of Mysore is dirty, hot and polluted with smoke billowing from exhausts and a constant noise of horns tooting and hawkers harassing you.

Mission accomplished, I was thankful to retreat to the relative peace and quiet of Gokulum. The pollution definitely hasn’t helped my cold any and I am still blocked and nasally.

My painting class with Anand was productive. Seems I am ready to graduate from sketching hands to drawing feet! He seems pleased with my progress and I was rewarded with a promise that we will move on to the main event on Monday – at last, I will be creating the classical Mysore piece of artwork - hooray!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I feel like I am over the worst of my illness…. It seems that first aid kit did its job.

I felt well enough to do practice again this morning – a led primary class that helped me to sweat out the last of this evil virus.

I went to get my brows shaped this afternoon; the cheapest threading I have ever experienced at approx 20p! She was deft and very well practice with the cotton and gave me the best finish I have ever had. Treatments here can be a bit hit or miss here. I had an oil massage the other day that made me so repulsively greasy, I felt as though I had been steeped in the deep fat fryer for hours.

My art teacher has moved me on to painting with a brush. I was excited at the prospect of progressing from endlessly sketching hands. Much to my disappointment, I realized that the next step is to outline the hands that I have drawn with paint. I sincerely hope that we move to the main piece of artwork soon… I see now what he meant by ‘meditation’. This painting practice definitely requires focus, a capability to be in the moment and an ability to not get too attached to the end result!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It looks like this head cold is going to get worse before it gets better. Typical, I managed to escape winter in Scotland feeling relatively healthy and without getting any flu/colds etc. Now, on my ‘holidays’ and I have a really nasty virus. I was up the night before last feeling dehydrated and with streaming nostrils. Last night, I slept for 12 hours solid and have awoken with a severe headache.

So, I have felt very low today… extremely tired and my head is still splitting. Managed to get myself the ultimate first aid box though; lemon and ginger tea, Mama Mia DVD and a chocolate brownie! See you in 24 hours!

To fill my days, I have signed up to do a painting class. The session is two hours per day and the result will be a beautiful gold-leafed traditional India painting.

The first class was spent laboriously copying pictures drawn in pencil by my teacher Anand. He described at as ‘meditation’, requiring focus and an ability to sit on the floor cross legged for two hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the session, though it was harder than I had anticipated. I was even given homework!

I was utterly exhausted after the session. I have cold and swollen glands – surely not flu? Can that be possible in this climate?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

After a nice slow and gentle primary series practice and breakfast at the Om House, I went for chi at the local chi stand. There were three young lads causing mischief – nothing major, just playing up like normal ten year olds do. In response to their behavior, the owner of the teashop took a broom and starting beating them with it. His brutal reaction was unexpected and left me feeling shaken. I am sure that a public beating like that would result in uproar back home; no-one seemed to bat an eye here.

Ah, India… a country of extremes. Just when you start to feel that you are beginning to settle in and understand the culture, you witness something like that.

The remainder of the day was a bit perturbed as well… I had lots of business issues to deal with. Seems there is no escape from work after all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Led second series this a.m. The Shala is so much quieter for the more advanced class which means more room to move, no queuing and no jostle for mat space.

I had a good practice; though the second series led class is intense and extremely slow. I also realized just how lazy I am in my own practice back home; taking five quick breaths in one pose, five long in another; adapting the practice to how I am feeling that day. Mind you, I have so much going on in Edinburgh and so little time to recover after practice, i can't really push myself physically without feeling exhausted for the rest of the day.

Time is one thing that you are never short of here. My friend Krista and I flaked out by the pool at lalitha Mahal Palace this afternoon...… ah, the joys of no work. Another day has slipped by and I am really starting to feel rested and well… I feel so blessed that I don’t have to endure the peak of the harsh Scottish winter. I hear that things are pretty bleak back home……

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday… a day off! I slept for India last night, waking at 8am after a record 10 hours! After my previous restless night I was so glad of the rest.

As predicted, yesterday was exhausting mainly because I now have to branch out on my own and chat to people. It is so easy when you are part of a couple and you can be lazy and chat to one another. I felt as though it was my first day at school and I was trying to ‘make friends’.

There is certainly an abundance of people here to talk to; the difficulty is discerning who you are likely to have anything in common with.

I met my friend Chris from Edinburgh this afternoon and we went for some pampering and massage at the Windflower Spa. My hot stone massage was scalding, I was covered in burn marks directly after ( is this supposed to happen?!), but feel very relaxed now.

And so another day draws to a close.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andy left me yesterday and there is now a huge void in my routine. My apartment is extremely quiet and I feel quite lost without him.

Yoga was difficult because I hadn’t slept well….. a mosquito has invaded my sleeping quarters and spent the night trying to tunnel its’ way into my ear. This coupled with an aching shoulder made for a restless night

So, in all I am not in the best place today. A long sleep this afternoon will do me the world of good and perhaps a massage.

I am also feeling slightly perturbed at the thought of having to make such a fierce effort to do everything on my own now. Andy has been such a support here. I have traveled to India many times on my own and hadn’t realized until this trip how much easier it is to travel with a man. Men receive so much respect here from the locals and it was wonderful to give him full responsibility of our money and any discussions re accommodation, travel etc.

Oh well, just a period of transition I guess. I will get used to it soon enough.......

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Well, here I am again….. it is my 8th trip to Mysore and I am still blown away by how many Western people there are here practicing yoga with Sharath and Pattabhi Jois. The numbers have increased since my last trip and I have been informed that they are expecting at least 300 students by the end of January!

So far, I have done a week of led primary series, one led second series and one Mysore class. The led classes have been pretty challenging; I had forgotten how long Sharath holds each pose for. Five breaths feels like five minutes - especially when in Nirvasana!

The afternoons have been spent getting some down – time, reading, swimming, sleeping and trying to acclimatize to the extreme temperature change.

Andy has been confidently driving a scooter around Mysore for the duration of our trip. This will all change next week when he leaves and I will be negotiating my way around by rickshaw. Definitely a safer way to travel, but less fun and more exhausting because of the negotiation required when getting from a to b.