A New Perspective

This is my 5th day in India…and I could write a book about the experiences of every day. I have limited access to the internet, and the free time I do have is meant to be studying, not sitting in front of my iPad. But some things need to be shared, especially about how I have shifted from being totally out of my comfort zone to acceptance, respect, and appreciation for a culture that I (like many of us “rich” Westerners) have, in many ways, often misunderstood.

My comfort zone was challenged from the moment I stepped off the plane in Delhi to a smog-laden, noisy, smelly city. For the next 24 hours I would see things that both shocked and awed me, as we drove through a city full of many riches, but also with poverty such as I have never seen in my life. Our bus driver was an expert at maneuvering us through crazy streets and traffic I could have never imagined (people are supposed to drive on the left but that doesn’t stop them from passing on the left, right, middle and shoulder of the road…) and through roads that by our standards would be considered off limits due to poor maintenance. But people here seem to manage…and get to where they need to be day after day.

I could finally take a breath of fresh air as we reached the ashram in Tapovan, a village just beyond Rishikesh, with the Himalayan foothills right in our backyard and the Ganges minutes away. The ashram is located in a spot that receives the winds from the Himalayas, laden with that wonderful energy we call “prana”, and during our yoga practice in the hall upstairs, we take this in through our bodies, breath, mind, and hearts…it is a magical place.

Getting used to ashram life requires letting go of the luxuries and getting back to basics. Nourishing sattvic vegetarian food, simple accomodations, quiet evenings (except for the barking of wild dogs and non-stop firecrackers on Diwali!), and early sleeps are so conducive to getting one’s body and mind on track. It’s like doing an extended detox for body and soul…only with the support of the community of like-minded people who have come from places like Brazil, Italy, Japan, the US and Canada. We are all here for a teacher training program, but we are first and foremost here to re-connect with our own true selves, for when we come to live from that place of inner peace/beauty/bliss, we grow into authentic teachers of this profound practice of YOGA.

My perspective has shifted since I arrived, and when I walk the village streets filled with everyone from tourists to locals, from business owners to beggars, from rich to poor (and from monkeys to cows!), I am beginning to see more and more how we are ALL connected. I am happy to walk down those dilapidated narrow roads full of life and lessons to learn, because for the next several weeks, this will be my backyard.

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6 Comments

  1. Edna Kennedy said,

    November 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    And what a wonderful backyard it sounds Anne. What a wonderful journey you are on. Take care and be careful. xxxx

  2. Charmaine said,

    November 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    You paint a beautiful and colourful picture with your words, I can feel the wonder of it all! How awesome to be there during Diwali.
    Charmaine

  3. Glynis said,

    November 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I am so glad that everything is working well and your description brought many memories of Cameroon back to life. I am so proud of what you are experiencing and miss you too. I on the other hand have cut my hair, lost a couple of pounds and am continuing in physio. Not even close to what you are doing but, my own small steps forward. Xoxo G

  4. Pamela said,

    November 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Smiling…..

  5. Nancy Lowry said,

    November 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Daya ( Kindness=Anne=Perfect!)

    I see you are travelling with “eyes wide open”
    and
    without judgement.

    Onward.

    Hugs,
    Nancy

  6. Helene Desjardins said,

    November 9, 2013 at 12:20 am

    To you my dear Anne, So happy for you that you have embarked on this beautiful journey. I am enjoying reading about it. It reminds me of what I should be thankful for and to look within rather then out. Proud of you xx Helene


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