Day 91: Varkala
You don’t have to be in India for long, or go very far until you see someone practising Yoga or meditating on the beach at sunrise or sunset, or come across someone who wants to tell you about this and that practice they do, had done to them somewhere, or their particular philosophy on life. That kind of thing just happens all over the place here.
The allure of the taste, texture and colour of life mixed with my curious enthusiasm to learn new things means I like to try everything at least once in life.
So far, in the past 91 days I’ve had my playing cards read, learnt about Chinese astrology and Indian Sanskrit, been given some pretty hard core acupressure on my hands and feet, been taught Pranayam (breath control), witnessed EFT (emotional freedom technique) transform a dear friends life, for the better, forever.
I’ve been taught about the Shamans of the Amazon and Ayahuasca, about Mayan Astrology – how it syncs with the moon phases and the planet we live on, and explain why our man-made calendar makes us all feel like we’re always short on time. I’ve been gifted a Bowen Therapy massage that left me feeling like a blast of energy was bursting up through my body like a tree trunk on fire! I just can’t deny that that happened! Shan’t. Don’t care what you say or if you tut tut contemptuously. It did. I now know that was my chakras bursting wide open (stick with me), but before I went I had no idea what it would do or what it was all about. I had absolutely no preconceptions or expectations. I just went on a whim after seeing a friend come back from her own massage literally glowing. G.L.O.W.I.N.G. and had my own glowing explosive experience. Just wow.
Through an energy exchange (you scratch my back, I’ll massage your foot, kind of thing), Sonia (the resident Reike master here at Shiva Gardens) asked me to teach her the little I knew about Mayan astrology. In doing so, we realised we had a much bigger connection than we’d ever anticipated. I learnt more about it in the process, and in exchange she taught me more about my own Chinese Astrology, Karmic astrology, Numerology and how it all ties into the moon. No money exchanged hands, just knowledge, self realisation and so much to contemplate. Oh, it’s all going on!
In other news, since I’ve been in Varkala (and this is the cheesiest phrase I’m going to say today), yoga and meditation has found me, and bloody hell. I went to a sunset yoga session with me mate jack and Rijas, again on a whim (and the promise of a sunset swim/beer after), and was enriched by the feeling and was encouraged to keep practicing by Rijas.
Shiva Gardens offers morning yoga sessions with Maya, so I tried basic Hatha Yoga with a dash of Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) at the end – it uses a moon gong (yes, I know….) to basically help put you into a deep trance, and if you’re lucky open up your third eye, or just put you to sleep. It’s a sublime way to start your day, and that gong just set me on some kind of new path. It’s ridiculous.
I’d practiced mindfulness at home a bit, on and off before I came away, but inevitably the pace of life, fatigue or the occasional hangover etc meant I didn’t keep it up, and I got lost in a sea of distraction – don’t we all?!
Meditation, and Yoga, so far is helping me to focus my mind, to see things more clearly, and helping me to feel balanced. Making some time for myself to just relax, go inside, breath deeply (even if you don’t do all the body bending) is so rewarding. I’m starting to realise what I really need to work on personally, and have a way/space to contemplate it. I now see what all the fuss was about, and how all those Yoga types are so bloomin zen! Mixed in with all the astrology I’ve been learning about I feel so much more connected to to who I am, and with the planet I live on. At times it feels overwhelming.
I tell you this because even though I’m open minded, I was ignorant, and I had a healthy amount of scepticism about all these kind of things before I came here (which I suspect you’re experiencing right now). However, people have come to me with this stuff. I didn’t go searching any of it out, and it’s been so eye opening just being open to it all, the people I’ve met as a result and the journey it’s taking me on.
I’m also telling you this because the fact you’re reading this means you’re one of my friends and family, which hopefully means you know I’m a “normal” (for the most part anyway). The fact this change is happening in me means it could happen to you too, if you want/need it. It doesn’t have to feel all weird or scary. You never know he good it might do for you too.
I hesitated to write this blog because of the sheer volume of what I needed/wanted to say, whilst also hoping you wouldn’t judge or scoff too quickly about what’s happening to me – I was the one sitting on the beach in Goa all those months ago saying I thought the people on the beach practicing yoga or meditating at sunset looked a little odd, because I was self-conscious on their behalf and ignorant of the power of good it was doing for them. Now, I’m the one thinking that’d be fucking beautiful way to watch a sunset! Ommmmmmm 🕉
I’m trying to do more yoga. I’m learning the value of meditation. I bought a fucking Tibetan singing bowl yesterday for fucks sake, and I spent hours traipsing around Varkala for just the right oil burner and incense stick holder to make my own Puja – something is happening to me. I’m making more time for myself, I’m focusing, I’m opening up and looking inside. I’m switching my phone off more and more. And do you know what? It feels great. It all seems to make sense.
They said it would happen, and they might just have been right – I might be turning into a yogi/hippy OR I might just becoming more conscious (it’s not a dirty word, pipe down you at the back). Whatever you want to call it, whatever the reason, life feels pretty great and balanced for me right now.
I’m not exactly planning on heading to an Ashram any time soon, but I am feeling so excited about what’s around the corner – like, as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve.