Yoga yoga yoga!

Trip Start Sep 01, 2009
Trip End Oct 05, 2009

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Where I stayed
Yoga Vidya Dham ashram

Flag of India  , Mahārāshtra,
Friday, September 25, 2009

Hari om!!

i'm feeling extremely jittery rite now. ive been eating super healthy ayurvedic food since ive been here in the ashram. but on our days off when we are let loose into the city, i cannot resist the ridiculously rich chocolate cake, icecream and coffee. after such a healthy diet, i feel like i'm cheating, like a kid sneaking candy bars at fat camp. but hey, it's only once a week. tho my body is no longer used to this caffeine and sugar high..

where to begin? the program is flying by, as i knew it would. there's a great group of people here, 35 students from 17 different countries. very diverse, and everyone has their own background and story of how they came to arrive at this little town in India. one of my roomates is a fashion designer from the UK, who took a trip to travel a couple years ago, fell in love in Mauritius and has since moved to Africa where she lives with her boyfriend; she plans on starting a yoga studio in the near future. another student from the US sold his house and business 6 years ago and has been travelling around southeast asia, studying buddhism, living in ashrams, and basically going wherever seems to be calling him. my other roomate is from venezuela, living in barcelona, and is contemplating quitting her job so she can spend time in Norther India, studying yoga and meditation. people are super open-minded and very inspirational to me. i'm really enjoying the conversations, study sessions, and relaxing walks around the ashram..

the program itself is wonderful and intense. we wake at 5am, have soy coffee followed by meditation and 2 hours of yoga. then we have an hour of karma yoga (basically a nice way of saying 'chores,' anything from weeding to painting to sweeping and mopping). finally, we have breakfast, and everyone is starving at that point. i've never seen so many people go crazy over fruit before. after breakfast, its lecture time, then lunch, free time and 2 more hours of yoga. we also do micro lessons, so we can learn how to teach and give each other feedback which i find really helpful. discussion time and meditation follow, and dinner is at 7:15pm. then we have more free time, and people take walks, sit and swap travel stories or enjoy little jam sessions (someone grabs a guitar, drum or harmonica, and whoever feels like it stops to chill and sing the night away). lights out at 10pm and the next day we do it again! fridays we have off, so we run errands in town, shop, eat and use the internet. the main part of Nashik is about a 20 min drive from the ashram. it kinda reminds me of manila...tons of rickshaws (and no traffic rules, so you dodge in and out of racing vehicles when you cross the street), road side vendors selling fruit, drinks and candy, pollution in the air (unfortunately) and lots of locals walking about. it's not a tourist town, so people like to stare and practice their english with you (usually short conversations consisting of "what's your name" and "what country?") the people are very nice and i feel quite safe here..

the "old" part of nasik is amazing. super colorful and crowded with markets, small streets, temples and vendors selling all kinds of trinkets, saris, jewelry and even herbs and things that look like they're for "magic," heehee (plant roots, stones, potions and someone even tried to sell us a tiger claw! a real tiger claw with hair and everything. we politely declined). there's a river that winds through the city where people bathe and wash clothes. holy cows roam freely around the city (and all over India actually), oftentimes setting up camp to chill in groups in the middle of the street while cars and people maneuver around them. there is poverty and people begging, but since it's not a touristy area, the amount of hassling you encounter isn't as much as other parts of India. mostly the locals are curious, and the kids seem to really enjoy posing for pictures (as long as you show them the picture afterwards).

ok, time for a break! typing is tiring..
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triss68 on

Hi Nips!
Hi Nippers! Everything sounds simply amazing!!! I checked out the website, wow, I wish I was there with you!!! Miss ya tons!

chillymama on

Hi juju
WOW, everything sounds amazing from the people, the ashram and the locals! Happy journey sistren! keep loving your journey!! miss and love you!

yoga at home on

Great post. New to your blog, but you got great writing style. You had some very interesting points that I liked. Looking forward to more of your thoughts.

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