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The 31 Places to Go in 2010 in the NYT

I’ve considered myself at home in 3 places, Detroit, Black Rock City, and Mysore. These places have many things in common, but one thing in particular causes me to identify them as Home, the actual soil, the dirt. The smell of it, the taste of it, its texture, etc. These places have all caused me to react in such a way that, after postulation, I end up eating dirt in an attempt to figure out why I feel so at home.

This revelation was brought on by the NYT’s 31 Places to Go in 2010.

It is hard to posit a Mysore even more inundated with westerners than the one I visited in 2006. Mysore offered revelations and awakenings that I am so very thankful for. Of course, I think these soulful motions happen any and everywhere, but I also know there’s something in that Mysore dirt.

4. Mysore
You’ve completed 200 hours of teacher training, mastered flying crow pose and even spent a week at yoga surf camp. What’s next? Yogis seeking transcontinental bliss head these days to Mysore, the City of Palaces, in southern India.

The yogi pilgrimage was sparked by Ashtanga yoga, a rigorous sweat-producing, breath-synchronized regimen of poses popularized by the beloved Krishna Pattabhi Jois, who died at 94 in 2009. Mr. Jois’s grandson is now director of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (www.kpjayi.org). First month’s tuition is 27,530 rupees, or $600 at 46 rupees to the dollar. Classes generally require a one-month commitment.

Too much time or money? Mysore’s yoga boom now has shalas catering to every need. Off the mat, the yoga tribe hobnobs at Anu’s Bamboo Hut or the Regaalis Hotel pool, studies Sanskrit, gets an ayurveda treatment or tours the maharaja’s palace. — Mary Billard

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