I wanted to train in the practice of yoga. I wanted to go to the Homeland, get a true feel for the practice.
Not knowing anyone there, I took two flights and landed in a foreign land, somewhat uneasy I might add.
Getting into a vehicle which had seen better days, I took in the surroundings, the smog, the madness in the traffic, though it was strangely exciting, entering the unknown.
Upon arrival at the Ashram, as the light faded, I was introduced to the Guru.
I am unsure how this Guru came to be a Guru but he held respect in the village. He was revered.
He also was not particularly keen upon debate, specifically with a Western woman. Possessing little English could also have been a factor in that.
Now I don’t wish to pass scorn upon this man, I did like him. I could see the good in him. I had respect for the culture.
We had a set programme. Early chanting at 6am, no lie ins here. Yoga at 7.30, then breakfast. Yoga Nidra at 11, then a break until 3 for a meditation session. Yoga again at 5.30, then dinner. Chanting again at about 7/7,30 before lights out at 8pm.
It was working with the natural cycle of natural light. Chanting involved some truly beautiful and touching songs/chants. Yoga Nidra was one of my favorite parts. Yoga Nidra is known as psychic sleep, very deep relaxation, on the cusp of sleep. It is extremely healing and powerful.
I will also say in the initial phases I was extremely keen upon leaving. Whether it was the conditions, the lack of home comforts or uncomfortable feelings surfacing, I wanted to go home. I muddled through and came out the other end.
It was a powerful and memorable month in my life. An indelible mark, a story to be regaled time and time again.
I will forever hold the image of the Guru as he stood one night, struck against a full moon as the incessant barking of dogs reigned.