There’s something so nice about meeting others and realising they probably feel just the same as you do. Will everyone be nice? Will I fit in? Talking to everyone today meet me realise this. Pleasant introductions and polite chatter set everyone at ease as always but I feel here it’s a little different from normal. All the conversations tend to drift back to India and why we are here. Everyone has been on a completely different journey to get here and I’m so looking forward to hearing the stories of my new classmates, after all, we are all in this together for the next solid month. At orientation, (more to come on this) the teachers assured us everyone in the yogshala becomes a family and I believe him. I also can’t help but realise, that when you strip away all the ‘stuff’ and only have the basic requirements, such as somewhere to sleep, shower, food and water, everything else becomes about the people around you and your own self.
The opening ceremony today was called the ‘Sacred Light Ceremony’. A sacrificial ceremony recognising the divine and devotion. We were asking to be blessed for the forthcoming studies and for no physical or mental distractions whilst we learn. It was gorgeous, I had a real moment to myself of ‘Look where I am in the world.’ In the middle, a small fire, flowers, water, herbs and spices. Circling the offerings-the teachers, surrounding them, the students. For me this beautifully represented the spirit of yoga-everything begins with the divine, soul and spirit. Others are closer to this through practise and vocations. They in turn share with others and hopefully one day, the students there today including myself, can begin to guide others on their path. We were blessed with bindis, threw herbs in the fire, chanted while offering flowers (Yes dad, I did chant Hari Krishna, Hari Om, I’ll teach you it when I’m home) and I loved every second. We were given a garland, more blessings and to top it all off, a sugary sweet to celebrate – happy days! I don’t yet know the exact names of each ritual and I couldn’t tell you what the priest was singing but I didn’t to know, I felt it. (Side note- do to my lack of factual writing skills, I’ll never be a grown up writer, but at least I write from the heart 😊) Walking back to my room I heard some kids playing, chanting the Sanskrit Mantras yogis will be familiar with - back in Scotland we played ‘Chap and Run’, go figure 😊
The orientation was slightly more serious, but only due to respect and love these people have for yoga. In a nutshell, my day starts at 5:30am and finishes at 9:30pm. Lots of practice and learning. The philosophy, anatomy, mantras – all of it is included and I literally can’t wait to immerse myself in all of it.
What a gift from India, with Love.