A week today I will be sat in the waiting lounge at Heathrow airport ready to set off to India for 12 whole weeks. I am both immensely excited and completely terrified. It’s been in the planning for a couple of months now, but it wasn’t until my leaving do with work on Tuesday that I really registered it is actually happening. As if a decision to change my life wouldn’t actually change my life!
OK, so it’s only 12 weeks, and yes I will come back. But as soon as that Virgin plane rides the runway, I will fly away with it and I don’t imagine things will ever be the same again. I have questioned my sanity a couple of times, to have left a place I have called home for the past four years and to have taken a step off the career ladder. At the same time though, I have absolutely no doubt that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
It’s almost as if my story has already been written, and all I have to do is go along with it while someone else turns the pages to see how it unfolds. It was inevitable that yoga would enter my life at some point. Now, the intensity of its fire is chasing me back to its roots in India. Why? Because there is nothing I want to learn more of. How to live in the moment, let go of the past, and forget the future. How to be content with what I have, without settling for less than what I’m made for. How to soften the impressions of my mind and listen to my heart. I think it’s important to live that way.
Kerala will be my first calling point, where I will stay at the Sivananda Dhewantari Ashram on the edge of the Neyyar Dam. It will be a 5.30am wake up call with daily meditation, yoga asana and lectures. A much needed cleanse to follow the past month of pre-departure celebrations and goodbyes! After that, I will work my way up the west coast, with the intention to teach at various youth hostels before arriving in the ashtanga yoga capital of Mysore. The final landmark will be Rishikesh right up in the northern mountains, before returning to the UK from Delhi. I might also pay a visit to some more touristy destinations like Goa and the Taj Mahal, but all that will depend more on who I meet and what happens along the way. The main focus though, will be on exploring the culture of yoga from its source, to understand its application for the betterment of mankind, and to let the journey take me where I need to be.
So here we go. Diving deep into the yoga ocean, with space to learn, practice, read and write. As for my return, I’m trying not to think about it. The thoughts of the mind can be loud and confused, but if I turn down that noise, I might just hear the messages in the wind and follow their direction.