Thursday, January 17, 2013

Major shifts in my internal mental state

I managed to accomplish what I set out to do over the holidays: actively work on letting my mind settle and relax. I did this by buying a way over-priced last-minute plane ticket to India... back to where I was last time. Did nothing but sat around, enjoyed the comfortable warm weather, the gorgeous beach, the healthy and delicious food; the cheap but great massages, the warmth of the local people. No multi-terabytes of data needed to be analyzed; no computer screens sucking my life energy out of me; no foreign Swedish or Japanese culture that I had to learn to conform to (the locals conform to the tourist cultures); no getting lost in traffic and foreign roads this time around. Many of the vendors and restaurant servers remembered me from the last time I was there. No ashtanga yoga this time, though I did sign up for some simple hatha yoga classes with the local teachers. Turned out I don't love the Sivananda yoga sequence, but it still had a effect on me in letting me notice my energy shifts in the body.

As I allowed myself to do next to nothing and just be, I could feel the turbulence within me - both the non-stop thoughts in my mind and the anxious energy in my body - slowly began to settle over the weeks. It didn't happen all at once. The first week was actually really chaotic as I was again in a foreign setting for the third month in a row, but by the third week I began to experience some equanimity within me, despite all the craziness happening around me that was very typical of India.

When I first arrived, it felt like I had traveled back in time to February 2012. I mean there were new hotels, ayurvedic centers and restaurants popping up in every corner of the beach, but the whole atmosphere was so familiar. After a few months of chaos, with all my moves and new jobs and new culture to adapt to, being back in Kerala made me feel like the past few months were only a dream. It was insane when people waved at me and said, "Hi! I remember you from last year! Did you just arrive today?" Even if I go back to Canada now, only my friends would say that, never restaurant servers.

Actually, a million things happened on this trip.. tons of drama, even some heart breaks and tears. But the peacefulness I felt briefly at times among all the craziness and the heart-felt openness / friendliness of the people... these were exactly the reasons why I recklessly threw away my hard earned money to travel back to where I was 10 months ago. I really think the yogis who travel all the way to India should take time to have a break from the yoga classes and try to just experience India for what it is.


  1. I envy you. ;) Have a wonderful time in India.

    1. Hi Zee, no need to envy. Save up some money, apply for a visa, and go to India on your next vacation!