Miriam Kalk in Pincha Mayurasana
Photo link: "Miriam Swords Kalk"
"I began doing pincha mayurasana when my teacher, Mary Flinn, and I decided that I felt comfortable enough in the tittibhasana series to move on. Unfortunately, I don't have any exciting stories about the secret rebellious side of me attempting it on my own beforehand. Although I feel very comfortable in this pose, karandavasana still gives me a lot of trouble. I predict that I'll spend a couple of years working on it, but that doesn't really bother me. My time in India impressed upon me so strongly that I have the rest of my life to practice. There's no rush.
My brother took this picture of me in the front hall of our house in Austin, Texas, so the staircase behind me leads to our second floor. It's not where I normally practice, but it's convenient for taking pictures.
My father, Franklin Kalk, introduced me to Ashtanga. He started doing it in 1997, so I have spent more than half my life watching him practice. When he took me to my first class at age eleven, I was very young and flexible but not quite mature enough to grasp the entire scope and significance of yoga. Almost three years ago, I made the leap and took a Beginners Series at Yoga Yoga, which hooked me immediately. I kept practicing about four times a week until Mary came to teach in Austin for two months, at which point I switched to Mysore style six days a week. She has helped my practice grow in so many ways, and it was at her suggestion that I first considered going to India. After two months in Mysore, I know that I will do this for the rest of my life. I absolutely love it.
This summer, I will spend four weeks in China with the Stanford Chamber Chorale, my university's select honor choir. As part of the International Olympic Arts Festival, we will travel all over the country singing and exploring. I can't wait!"
Michael Peter Carter is the co-founder of Livingmysore.com and practices with Paul and Rachelle Gold in Toronto, Canada.