First impressions of India

The 24 hours in Singapore came and went like a dream: A luscious spa and roof-top bath in the dim moonlight flickering through the misty air; a lazy morning after a great night’s sleep in the coziest white, fluffy hotel bed; a stroll through the miniature streets around Arab Street as the sweet little shops open up one by one – framed by architectural skyscraper-wonderland; delicious Myanmarian lunch with local friends; a scoot through town; a wonder at the voluptuous Gardens by the Bay… and then it was time to board again. Destination Thirandrum.

The warmest midnight welcome at Palm Beach Yoga Centre send me off into another dreamful slumber where dream and reality merge still long after waking. Waking up early I take in the ocean breeze from my balcony, huge palm trees framing the bay where in the distance local fishing boats are bobbing in the India Ocean. Hard to believe that only two days ago a cyclone whizzed through this area. Given that the (pictured) life-savers’ shed made it through, it can’t have been too bad. Locals agree.

 

My mind is as hazy as the weather. Everything seems surreal. Following my gut-feeling (‘cause there’s no kids to take into considerations – they are safely tucked under their blankeys in hubby’s home-town in Patagonia), I stroll passed the beaches towards Kovalam. After a few overly friendly conversations I decide keeping my gaze to myself will prove safer for now. More so as I realize that despite lots of activity on the streets and around the fishing boats, not a single woman is in sight. For now, I’ve seen enough and stroll back to what is starting to feel like my safe haven. My tummy is rumbling but it is still early, so I climb up onto the roof top yoga deck and lose myself in a delicious, gut-led, arbitrary asana flow, followed by pranayam and meditation.

I feel my head, my heart, my senses, my everything is curiously searching for signs of the roots of yoga in it’s sacred country of origin. It shines through in the warm hearts of all the locals looking after us hear. It’s obvious in the décor, shrines and Ganesha statues. But more than anything, I can feel the special energy lines of this land when my feet touch the ground, when I take a deep, tantric, full-body breath, and when I close my eyes to drop into spontaneous meditation. There’s definitely something special here and I’m so excited to dive into this deeper with this beautiful group of yogis who’ve joined me from around the world on this year’s ten day yoga retreat.

One by one we gather over the late morning in the cafeteria which has just gone through the necessary ritual and blessings to reopen for the season. As everyone shares their travel stories and other bits and bobs, the yummiest pineapple juice is served with fresh fruit and hot tea – all with the biggest smile. I feel I’ve landed in heaven and all I can see around me is the bliss in everything and everyone. Eternal gratitude, consciousness, bliss. Naani Kerala – so glad to be here.

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