After 2 weeks in the Sivananda Ashram, it was time to move on, so I packed my bags and headed for Varkala. I had been recommended a number of yoga teachers’ classes to try, so having become slightly bored of the daily routine at the Sivananda Centre, I was excited to explore a new place and shake things up a bit. Varkala is the kind of place travellers visit and end up staying for way longer than they expect. With an array of cafes, bars and restaurants enjoying beautiful views across the Arabian Sea and not short on choice for lovely places to stay, here you can retreat from the loud and vibrant India that lies beyond.
The first class I had here was exceptionally led by a man called Joseph who has been teaching for more than 30 years. It was a strong hatha class that challenged my body into positions I didn’t know it was capable of. I would have gone back had I not been directed towards Kamaraj’s vinyasa class the following afternoon. It’s happened a few times before, that feeling of complete inspiration and awakening when you arise from savasana, but this was on another level.
Kamaraj is one of those magic people who really knows what it means to heal; how to work through the body to release the mind and set a person free from whatever is holding them back. And you really feel that behind his teaching is an inspiration to give with total love and kindness. So after that class, I really didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. Because when you find a teacher who understands you and is willing and competent to guide you to a higher place, you have to surrender and trust them completely.
The teacher is running a 200hr month intensive teacher training course in Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga that starts on Monday 5th March and has been gently persuading me to join. I tried to resist, but of course he had to ask ‘Why?’ I answered I was afraid it would be too much. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone, and I thought two classes a day would be enough to work through some stuff. The full programme will be 5.30am-late, and I was scared of becoming too tired and emotional. But at the same time it kind of feels like something I want, or maybe even need, to go through, to discover a higher potential that lies within. It scares me but I know it’s the right thing for me to do now. Surrender and let go.
So, tomorrow I will move in to my teacher’s home with 8 other students and learn the traditional way – through the master, learning what I need to address my own wounds before attempting to carry my fellow warriors off the battlefield to be returned safely home.