Expect the UnexpectedTravel
When you let Life flow it surprises you and takes you to barely traveled roads that mysteriously fit in a perfect way with you. Getting to that flow requires previous work, mental openness and a lot of decision. Sometimes you can sense the change and sometimes, as for me, it catches you completely unprepared. It would seem that a chain of fortuitous factors inevitably take you to that point. Actually they are not fortuitous at all, they come from the unknown source that governs our lives.
The first days in Rishikesh were a hard adaptation to a heat difficult to carry during the day and impossible to sleep at night. The traffic noise on the nearby road was immense. My romantic idea of a peaceful retreat in the mountains was far from real. The vegetarian diet was what bothered me the least, the food was delicious and at no time I missed the animal protein. In addition to that my body was finally recovering after the ups and downs of the last weeks.
What marked the before and the after were the first classes of Pranayama (what in the West we call control over breathing and that actually encompasses a much more complex art). Pandeyji, the Master, told us about what well-used Pranayama means in a person’s life, techniques, uses and so on. I listened enthusiastically, just like when he told us about philosophy and ancient traditions but this was not what changed my mind. It was only when I began my first practical experiences in pranayama that I discovered a unique feeling, far beyond what any meditation has brought me. In my mind I began to consider the possibility of going deeper into that discipline, perhaps coming back later and do a longer course. Maybe next year, maybe in summer, maybe if everything goes well and I have the time … Maybe maybe maybe. You’re lying to yourself, I thought, maybe you never come back. You are here and now and you have the time, perhaps financially it is an unexpected investment in your savings. And maybe if you follow your intuition the investment is worth it. And so I decided to stay a month longer, live it fully, isolate myself and explore it. To give myself in body, mind and soul to the study of Pranayama, Meditation and Yoga in general was one of the most intense and rewarding experiences. Nine hours per day, four of them physical, have strengthened my body and expanded my soul keeping my mind under control. When I was not in class I lived with books in my hand, night and day, day and night. Several lives are necessary to understand everything that Yoga contains. In this short time I had a first vision from its original place in the Himalayas, from one of the cultures as old as the civilized world itself. My training has been a sensory experience rather than academic in the Western way, just what I needed. They say the Master appears when the student is ready, it seems that I was. I never thought of Yoga as something that identified me, although perhaps I never understood what it really was until now. I needed the effect of a trip like the one I lived to open this door.
I have a Friend with capital “F” who consciously started this path, the study of Yoga, a year ago. She understood that this was her way and gave herself completely, gave the best of herself and overcome many obstacles that have made her even bigger than she already was. Her path and my journey around the world have been parallel, one has learned from the experience of the other. She has been my first foot to understand Yoga. I loved listening to her dissertations and I felt it as a fascinating knowledge. My path instead has been unexpected and sudden. Both are two branches that flow differently into the same river, one long and serpentine and the other short and of quick current. Both go into the mother river, enormous and immeasurable and both support each other to keep going.
Here I am on my last day in this chaotic place where I found something so precious. I think of the many secrets that this country hides. Thirteen years coming here in businesswoman mode did not give me the opportunity to know its essence. Now I have discovered it and I have understood its charm. The reason why so many people come here and find parts of themselves that are unknown until now. Nobody prepares you for the parts of yourself that you find on the road. You think you know yourself when in reality there is so much inside that the rigid ideas about your own personality are dismantled by Life. That’s how we are, unknown to ourselves. Only when you transcend your mental limitations and accept without prejudice what comes to your mind you discover it. I invite you to listen to your own messages stuck in your internal answering machine. So, when you follow your intuitions, the deep will come to the surface.
How I got here, I do not know. How I’ve embarked on all my adventures, one by one. I do not know. What awaits me tomorrow? I do not know. I just let it happen, and I follow my intuitions, like never before.
This country is flooded with a thick, ancient, millenary, powerful, inspiring, contagious energy. To remain on the surface of its chaos is not to understand it at all. It takes a third active eye and a clear mind to glimpse its light. The offerings and chants that at first sight may seem meaningless and sectarian contain mysteries that nobody tells you. Only with genuine interest do you discover the rituals that originate them.
I feel fortunate to have opened this Pandora’s box to the thousand-year-old knowledge of Yoga. My learning has begun, my practice has become strong and stable. My mind is open.
“Yuj samadhao” (Yoga is the connection with yourself)
Fire ceremony,opening the course
On my way to class everyday
Books Books Books
Pranayama in Ganga
Meditation in Himalayas
Indian style stretching
My room, home is where you take your light
Sundays in good company
The Master and the Student
A baby Yogi is born