After landing in in Delhi (our first stop), we were immediately swallowed up by the madness of the city. The colours, the smells. Traffic rules didn’t seem to exist, other than to try and avoid the cows whom share the road with the other vehicles and are a sacred animal in India.
Delhi was to be just a stopover so we could take a day trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra.After hearing mixed reviews about the Taj, we were unsure what to expect. Was it going to be an anti-climax? Would it be a tourist trap?
The latter was correct, however nothing prepared us for the beauty of what we saw when the sun rose. Such a peaceful, breathtaking and calming experience. The positive, happy vibe of the Indian people radiated. It truly was amazing.
Yoga Teacher Training
After spending 3 days in Delhi, we then made our way to Goa retreat centre for yoga. My friend wasn’t taking a course, but was just going to practice some yoga and enjoy a holiday in Goa.
Day one, My alarm went off at 6.30 and I was up and in the shala for my first practice- 2 hour Ashtanga primary series, followed by an hour of pranayama and meditation before breakfast.
Having not practiced a lot of Ashtanga prior to this, I was shocked to learn that the teacher had removed all of the vinyasas, but would reintroduce them within a few days. In 34 degree heat, I didn’t know how I was going to make a 2 hour practice but afterwards, the prana that pumped around your body outweighed the doubt in your mind prior to taking the class.
After our vegan breakfast, we then had a Puja fire ceremony, where we were welcomed into the community by Hare Krishna’s. What an experience. We danced, sang and laughed. Everyone equal. Everyone at the same stage.
Going forward, we would have teachers training workshops, philosophy lessons, anatomy classes and technical workshops for the rest of the day after breakfast. This would be my routine for the next 3 weeks.
The first week flew by in a blur. It’s crazy how you go through so many emotions. Some days you feel strong and proud of your achievements, some days you feel weak and useless, as if you’re going backwards in your practice, then the anger and frustration comes in, as the ego takes over. All of these feelings are apparently natural and part of the learning process.
I then unfortunately contracted the dreaded ‘Delhi belly’, which completely wiped me out. I was gutted and angry that it had happened to me. This experience was something I’d been waiting for for so long and here I was holed up in the room.
Lessons Of Yoga
In the end I had to accept being unwell was out of my control and I had to trust the universe that perhaps the timing wasn’t right for me at this moment in time.
I may not have quite made the full 200 hours, but being unwell taught me one of the most important aspects of practice- being kind to your body and listening to it. It helped me practice compassion and understand something that we all seem to struggle with in the western world- yoga is not a competition. It is called a practice as we are always learning.
My physical practice took a back seat but it allowed me to read lots, think lots and really delve into the spiritual side of yoga which to me personally is the most important aspect.
Sunil had said to me ‘you’ll start learning after you have completed the course’ and he was so right. My journey is only just beginning…
We look forward to hearing more of Grace’s experiences in India 🙂