With just under 1/2 of my time in India over I am feeling more in-sync with the rhythms and the energy here. It’s taken me a while to adjust to being here and to accept that my perceptions of what this experience would be just were not what it is like. I know my last post was a little raw, but I felt I needed to share what I was going through. I think if you are thinking about coming to India, especially if you are coming for the Ashtanga experience it’s important to realize that in the West we are pretty pampered by our teachers and Shalas. We ask our teachers questions, why a posture, why not a posture, why this way, why not that way, they spend time nurturing us and encouraging us. India is not that.
Today I was honored to be able to spend some time with Tim Feldmann and Kino MacGregor, an amazing Ashtanga yoga couple, and equally amazing teachers. We chatted over a couple coconuts which was lovely. I was saying how my first week was kinda awful, I was unable to find the rhythm of the life here, or my practice, & how my mind was so cluttered with questions & insecurities about what I was doing in India I was unable to see beyond the uncertainty. Both Tim and Kino were encouraging and reminded me that what I’m used to I won’t find here, you find something else, a deeper understanding and connection to the idea of living presently and being open to the good and the challenging.
I’m able now to allow more of the essence of this time seep into my day, I wake up feeling less anxious about the que at the Shala, whether Sharath will even notice my practice or not, what I’ll do with my free time. I instead have a routine, I get up, respond to emails back home from work, check in with Wade and my family, eat a light breakfast of granola and yogurt with fresh fruit I bought locally and cut up in my apartment. I take some time to journal or work on Sanskrit homework.
I take a short shower to rinse away the fuzziness, get dressed and prepare to walk the short 5 minutes to the Shala to take a place on the steps outside the door until we can enter the waiting room. I find the stress of getting in is fading, I wait amongst people I have met now and we smile, we all wait and in the end we all get in and get to practice.
At the end of the day finding the groove of the life here, taping into the beat of what it means to be here co-existing with hundreds of yoga students surrounded by a population that continues to carry on with their daily lives is what has been the subtle shift.
I remember I woke up Monday morning thinking, I can do this, I made the decision to be here, I can handle it. With each passing day I find it’s more true. I was ready to pack up and return home midway through last week, I’m glad I didn’t, I know I would have regretted that decision. And now with just under 3 weeks to go I find myself thinking, I hope I get to come back soon.
More soon…off to Sanskrit class, there’s homework in this class! You can see more of my trip on my Instagram @clarissa_mae_