As of today, I’ve been in Upper Bhagsu for three weeks. It is not uncommon to see goats and cows in the road and people transporting goods up the steep main road on horseback. Upon reflecting on my time here, I am again filled with a sense of gratitude. The yoga classes I have attended have not been accompanied by positive self-affirmations or a cool playlist. What has accompanied the practice is an emphasis on the purpose for the asanas – preparing ourselves for pranayama (breath control) and meditation. Oh, and some smiling and languishing in the pure joy of the practice. My teachers have been so open and eager to share their knowledge and passion for the many facets of yoga and meditation.
Over these weeks, I have learned to play harmonium, been awakened by an earthquake, seen the snowy Himalayas, led kirtan (I was so nervous), been stuck in cafes during torrential rainstorms, eaten my fair share of Bhagsu Cake, and met some amazing women who, I know in my heart, will remain friends regardless of time and distance.
I am most surprised by what hasn’t happened. I expected to have an emotional epiphany – the day when I crack, let go, and sob. It didn’t happen during my chakra healing, or any of the powerfully quiet meditations. Well, I didn’t so much as crack but crack up. And my tears rolled because I was laughing so hard and not out of hurt. With the opportunity to engage in silliness as well as some self-reflection, I’ve rediscovered my desire for growth and adventure. If the purpose of practicing yoga (and I mean the whole package, not just asana) is to free us from pain and suffering, I just might be heading in the right direction. No, I still can’t meditate for hours on end, and I’m not any closer to samadhi (bliss), but I feel a lightness in my heart and am enjoying each and every day.
My journey in India is about halfway complete. Just a few more days and I will be moving on to Varanasi. Even though remaining in the present is still a struggle for me, I know it’s all a process and I am excited about what’s to come.