So having spent 2 months interned in an ashram I’m assuming some of you might be just a little bit curious as to what ashram life is like?…..
but before that, whilst admittedly I’ve been a little tardy in updating my blog, I’ve never asked anything of you but the occasional reading. So now, I’m going to ask you to do something for me and subscribe to my blog in google groups so I can use it to send the email out and limit the number of applications i have open for the indian computers in small towns to struggle with.
If you’d like to receive my next posting visit here and submit your email address if you don’t I’ll know you’re far too busy in the big bad world to read the ramblings of a hippy of the ginge variety in india! http://groups.google.co.in/group/wildstrawberryramblings
and welcome to new readers from the TTC, I’m afraid to say I’ve spammed you and sent this without your asking, but only cos I thought you might be interested in what I’m up to and I’m too lazy to type out the same thing to everybody 😉
So, back to explaining ashram life…
It’s a bit like Dirty Dancing…. but without the dancing and where the only thing dirty is your feet (mmmm indian cracked heels anyone?); where Penny doesn’t get knocked up, she gets blissed out; Robbie isn’t working to save up for college, he’s working off some karma; where nobody would dream of putting Baby in a corner; where every now and again if you’re really lucky you get to carry a watermelon… but the the only thing you’ve got hungry eyes for is Su Kumar’s fabulous fabulous cooking (no Ladies and Gentlemen, do not adjust your monitors, it’s not a glitsch with the screen size, India has blessed me with an extra 6kg since I first graced her lands, but remember MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT and I’ve got guns Sarah Connor could fight a terminator with).
If you’ve a complaint about the lack of contact I’m afraid you’ll have to take it up with my supervisor. Ashram life at TTC time leaves very little time, if any, for yourself. From waking up at 4.30 for a cold shower until lights out at 9.30, there’s 4 hours of yoga, 1 hour of meditation, 1 hour of chanting, 1 hour of listening to readings, 3 hours of lectures, at least 1 hour of eating, 1 hour of drinking chai, half an hour of headstand workshop to fit in, as well as washing yourself, cleaning your clothes and dealing with the daily dramas the intensity of the TTC course brings.
Staffing doesn’t bring much relief, one day I spent 13 hours in reception apart from meal times and the hour I did my practice in reception whilst the guests were in class. So if you got a text from me you should think yourself lucky and if you got an email from the 10 bps per second connection then you’re one of the luckiest souls alive.
Being a yoga teacher is not all plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination. Certificate in hand and the fear set in… I survived immense self-doubts about my right to be teaching yoga to the vacationers, having just graduated. I had a least one daily battle with confidence and all sorts of insecurities, but started teaching yoga to a mixed bag of mostly Canadian and Irish souls; from pure beginners and intermediates, to Japanese TTC (teacher’s training course) graduates, who said i delivered a really nice class 🙂 🙂 🙂
And then, after 2 months in the ashram, and being the last person to leave I caught the bus to Madurai, hoped on the train to Chennai, spent the day and night with lovely Kala from TTC and her family, caught a cheap flight to Delhi to meet Melanie. And after a bungled pickpocketing attempt, Melanie and I caught the night train to Bundi, where she caught a fever and I slept pretty well actually, despite the frigidity of the AC.
I’m currently in Bundi feeling like I have the flexibility of a 91 year old, hoping the 3 days travel will ease out of my joints and bones soon, with the help of my good friend Yoga and maybe my new friend Reiki.
Bundi is a cute little town where it’s difficult to distinguish between where the buildings and the sky begin. They’re painted such a lovely shade of sunny sky blue and then adorned with paintings of beautiful, proud, Rajasthani women and Maharaja’s on eleplhants, inspired by the aquamarine, azure and peacock blue 200 year old+ paintings from the hill side Palace.
It’s a seemingly a friendly place but it’s difficult to distinguish between genuine friendliness and the kind of friendliness fostered by the likes of Pamela Anderson and other large breasted, semi-clad white women leaping into bed with anybody within 30 seconds of meeting them in the movies. I also have a sneaking suspicion that some previous ambassadors of our world have not been so sensitive to the culture of India, a quick count of the number of tight tshirts being worn and the number of times the expletive f#*k comes out of some of the tourists’ mouths only serves to enhance that feeling.
So I’ll leave you thinking of Maharajas on Elephants and coy women in peacock blue, as I head back to be Nurse Nirmala and feed Melanie some Cerelac (quite delicious baby food that mixed with water works wonderfully as a milk substitute for cornflakes for breakfast) and try and stretch the travel out of my bones, before returning this evening to try and catch up on some correspondance after a nice potatoe paratha with spinach.
And just to let you know, I’ve been thinking ahead to my 30th…. and in the interest of attempting to keep my pack weight around the 20kg mark, I’m going to be accepting all denominations of rupees, pounds and dollars to buy myself a snazzy camera the next time I pass through the glittering gates of delhi. Even if I’ll be spending it with Sri Lankan Matt and some monks in Ladakh you’ll be able to catch it soon on Emma B’s Indian Channel on facebook 🙂
And to all those people who have been IM’d by somebody with limited English skills from my account, sorry for the bother, I’ve changed my password. Please let me know if it happens again.
Big love to you all
PS I’m too scared to plug my camera in for fear of viruses, so you’ll have to wait for Bundi pics.
hmmm wouldn’t they look nicer with a better camera?…. 😉
if you’re intrigued to see more photos from the ashram, somebody with a bit of a background in the internet might have set up a photoset