Amazing India

Being in bed for whole of Sunday, feeling lousy on Monday and Tuesday because of a stomach bug caused by a combination of change of food, extremely hot weather and very physically intensive yoga course, does not really set one up for positive thinking, I guess you could say, however I can’t deny that I have loved the last 14 days that I have been here at the World Peace Yoga School.

When I got off the plane after a very long flight, the first thing I noticed was the extreme heat that surrounded me like a heavy warm coat. I’m used to the warmth I know and I like it, but this felt different and it was much hotter than in Spain.

The taxi driver was available at the airport to bring me to the school so that was all perfect. I got to meet my roommate, who is wonderful. The following day was the opening ceremony and the dress code was white. We were welcomed by Vishnu, the owner of the school. Chanting followed and then a special ritual where, we had to throw herbs into a sandelwood fire to give back to the earth (since we’re only taking always). Afterwards we danced to Indian music which feels quite funny and awkward at the same time but the locals seem to enjoy these kind of things a lot.

In the afternoon we went to see the ceremony at the River Ganges. This was nice and there were VIPs (Swami’s) present but we did not really understand what was going on. We sat on the ground throughout, which was far too long, especially if you’re a westerner like me. We were very happy when it finished and walked back we had an impression about how busy Rishikesh can be, it seemed like the whole village was at the ceremony ….

The actual program started the next day, full day of yoga and other classes. We had an hour and a half of yoga in the morning, the same in the afternoon and throughout the day hourly classes of Pranayama (breathing excersises), allignment, philosophy, anatomy and meditation classes and I like them all.

The teachers are very nice and we have a really nice bunch of, obviously like-minded people so that’s good, for a change. Here we talk about our things, nobody thinks or looks at us as if we come from another planet …. LOL …. that creates community and that’s a good thing because being about 8,000 km from loved ones and home is not always Easy

I can not say I’ve experienced anything negative up until now, apart from the food being a bit repetitive maybe. It’s tasty though, but maybe a bit too spicy for me.

The premises are very basic but it seems good standard for India so I have been told. Maybe I came here with too high an expectation and it was a little bit of a shock in the first place, but totally used to it now. It reminds you that we are just living in a world where luxury is the most normal thing for us but obviously in other parts of the world it is not and it brings you on the spot again of realizing that we do not need much to be happy .

The part that I was not aware of was the fact that it is sooooo intensive. The physical part is intense, doing three hours of yoga each day and force yourself to the limit is not chicken poo 🙂 and then mentally we are challenged too. Also lots of personal study as well, as we have to learn loads in less then a month and furthermore we have to practice yoga outside of ‘school-hours’. This makes it really tough and I said it was probably the combination that made me sick and my body needed to slow down.

Sunday morning there was an excursion to the Himalaya Mountains which I could not make. I was really gutted about it but I had to learn to accept the yogi way;) My fellow students sent me all the pictures at least that was good, since I could not see it myself.

Being abroad and not having your comfort food and you can not be with the person around you who can comfort you, is not easy. My roommate however was lovely and took good care of me on Sunday and Monday, so that felt really good.

Saturday was her birthday party and we had a big celebration as you can see in the picture, done in a traditional Indian ceremonial way.

On Monday I was only present and not practicing yoga at all. Tuesday I tried Ashtanga’s class and it really felt good again. Although my body is still a bit weak, it felt really good to do something physical again after three days. As I always teach, I listened to my body and did not force it to go beyond limits. Most of the time we just forget how amazing our bodies are. We just have to connect more to it and listen to our inner wisdom. It’s kind of frustrating when you always have loads of energy and you can do whatever you feel like and then your body tells you to slow down. Accepting things the way they are, one gets better soon, giving the body the time to heal by itself.

Full of beans now and ready for the next two weeks!

Peace and love from India

Monique

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