The course officially starts today with a ceremony at 10am. I decide to hit ‘Nirvana’, an organic cafe in our hotel / yoga academy and grab myself a coffee and get some work done before things get crazy here. Feeling bad about coffee being the first thing I fuel my body with, I also order a Detox Juice.

A detox and a retox. Nice.

From this point on I have decided to kick the coffee habit. It doesn’t serve me and I really don’t need it, so farewell coffee. It was nice knowing you. May we meet again on non-addiction circumstances. For now, my body needs a cleanse so tea, juice and large amounts of water are on the horizon.

I soon find out that the internet is abysmal. So word of warning, my communication which is usually abysmal, is going to slip beyond the abyss in the next month. But not all is lost, my second intention aside from kicking coffee is to write a blog post for every day of this training, so I plan to make up for the non-communication with a regular account of what is going on with T on the hippy trail in little old colourful Rishikesh.

I decide I need to channel some more feminine energy after getting called a boy from the security guard in Delhi airport, so I run down to the closest market stall to grab some earrings. My diamonds were long lost to some lucky Nicaraguan and I’ve been living a fairly jewellery and make-up free existence. With the big 30 coming soon, I should probably make an attempt to look a little more womanish. So I find some gorgeous hand made brass ring earrings that remind me of an aerial lyra. The circle represents so many things to me, so I agree to the price of a whopping $2 but realise I left my money back in my room. No worries, no-one in Rishikesh is chasing money and they all pay Karma forward. He tells me pay him tomorrow, the day after, whenever. No worry. I love these people!

We are asked to wear white to the ceremony and I managed to grab something appropriately covering the shoulders and tunic like while I was in Thailand so I dress for purity, pop in my new feminine energy mascots and get myself to the opening ceremony which involves a lot of chanting, flowers throwing herbs into flames and dancing. We experienced our first “breakdown” of the group. Anyone I studied design with will know what I mean when I say this. Yep, day one and there are already breakdowns. Takes me right back to the good old Design Centre Enmore days.

After the ceremony we have a lunch of rice, paneer, roti and ginger tea. We eat slowly, sit at communal tables and talk about our experiences from all over the world. We have amongst us Canadian, Romanian, British, Spanish, Indian, Danish, USA, German and Singaporean nationalities ranging from 18-49 years. We have Physicists, Medical Students, Google staff, cafe owners, and nomads amongst us. Its incredible to see such an eclectic group of people here for one thing and I wonder what on earth the Indians think about this phenomenon (aside from the fact its making them quite wealthy!) but they all seem to genuinely welcome us and want us to not just learn but understand the way of life. They want us to have health and good fortune, and they really aren’t chasing us for money. A change of pace from Patong to say the least!

The second half of the day included classes in philosophy, Ashtanga yoga and Meditation, which was rudely interrupted by monkeys running up and down the roof! After this was dinner, walks and a new routine favourite – tongue brushing! I’ve never practiced this before, but we received a welcome kit with an industrial looking copper device that I discovered was for cleaning your tongue. I gave it a go and WOW! I had some sh*t living on my tongue!