So it's becoming more and more challenging to practice at KPJAYI.
Now, full disclosure, I haven't tried to enroll there for this season because I'm still debating whether or not this is something I want/need to do for my self, my practice, my whatever...
BUT, I do know people who want/need to go there because they want/need to become ashtanga instructors and they respect/follow the rules that KPJAYI has created which state that in order to become authorized to teach Ashtanga yoga one must travel to Mysore and study with Sharath for at least one month every 18 months or less. Oh yeah, and you don't become authorized to teach until you've made a few trips.
Now, I understand and actually agree, at least theoretically, with the desire to consolidate the instruction to a specific place and/or person. I like to think that this is being done to make sure that all teachers of Ashtanga are approaching the practice similarly. I also think that it is an effective way of weeding out those who are not necessarily as dedicated to the lineage and or tradition.
BUT and this is a big but, if the place that one has to go to get authorized to teach can no longer accommodate the number of students seeking authorization then what is a person who wants to become authorized to do? Because I do think there are a fair number of students who go to Mysore and who have absolutely no intention of ever teaching, but are interested in experiencing the practice at 'the source' so to speak. So I think that it is important that KPJAYI remain open and available to ALL students regardless of their motives for attending the shala and learning with Sharath.
Ok...back to those who want to become authorized...legitimately (sorry) but can't go because the KPJAYI is full. What are they to do? Just wait? Try again next year? Have faith? Fine, yes, and some can do this but is it right? Just this year people got confirmed to go in November only to have their confirmations rescinded because there were too many people enrolled for November. What happened to those people? Now many of them were able to enroll for other later months, the shala offered them this alternative, but what if they don't have that sort of flexibility? What if they could ONLY get November off? What if they had booked airfare, hotels, pet sitting, sublets, etc.? What are they to do?
KPJAYI must remain accessible to all but what about those whose primary purpose is to acquire authorization and/or maintain it? Should they automatically get priority when applying? My answer to that is a resounding: NO. That would essentially make KPJAYI a place for only those interested in teaching or who already are teachers and that isn't good for the practice, the Shala, Sharath, anyone.
I have a suggestion: Why not have teachers who are certified to teach Ashtanga Yoga, be able and authorized to award Authorization Level 1 to students who come and study with them for at least a month every year. How long it takes to be awarded Authorization 1 will be determined by the certified teacher with Sharath consulting. There are amazing certified teachers all over the world who have spent most of their adult lives committed to the practice and teaching of this tradition. The majority of them return to Mysore yearly for 1-3 months. The majority of them practiced with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. Now those who are already Authorized Level 1 teachers and who are working toward Level 2 will need to practice in Mysore with Sharath.
Just a thought....