And we’re done. All “certified” Yoga Teachers, whatever that may mean. One more step in the journey, and recognition for our practice and understanding of practice.
To farewell each other before we spread the yoga seed like Modernists of the Bauhaus after it was forced closed, we head out for dinner. As we leave Rishikesh we will be taking our teachings far and wide across the globe. Australia, Central America, South Africa, Scandinavia, UK, North America. Is this movement actually beneficial, or are we repeating learned mistakes? I believe that anything bringing unification to traditional methods is a step in the right direction. As with architectural typology, I lean to vernacular methods and biomimicry, bringing the connection back to the local and not trying to reinvent the wheel. Living in symbiosis with everything around us, not against it. Honouring and being open to notice what is right before us. We have learned a philosophy that we will adapt to each locality, not a set of commandments to apply universally. By learning Yoga at the Source, we have had the opportunity to live and breathe what it means. To feel the benefits first hand and then use our own interpretation for its application.
Despite my cold turning into a full blown sinus infection with aches and pains throughout my body and fear of the oncoming 5 flights to my next destination, I feel in tune. Every person I meet, I am meeting their spirit. I do not see their identity. They are there to teach me something, should I choose to see it, and I to them. There is an exchange happening.
I take one last walk through the streets, wrapping up a few loose ends. My jewellery order ends up being a bit of a flop. I haven’t parted with any money, but he just hasn’t been able to keep the deadline. I’m not sure how much more clear I can be than I have to leave the country at midday tomorrow I can be? He assures me he will ship it and send me bank details for transfer after I receive the package, but I’m of the mindset I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve envisioned this being a fantastic little side business. I will continue to give it some energy and I am not letting it go, but I will not waste bad energy after good and remind myself to practice non-attachment. The Universe tends to throw us an abundance of opportunities. They are always all around us, and once we free ourselves to notice them, we can throw our energy at any single one of them with astonishing results of manifestation. Microcosms of potential realities of exponential expansion, should we choose to pursue them. Sometimes we have planted something not so pure into these seeds, and unfortunately the impurity will grow at the same rate as the purity. There is a line we need to be aware of that we can detach ourselves when something is no longer serving us, knowing that there are endless alternatives in our field.
I’ve been on the hunt for a Tibetan singing bowl and have been testing the bowls at every store and market I walk past. There have been some beautiful ones, but I’m yet to come across the one that wants to go on tour with me, until today. I stopped at a small Tibetan owned store I have walked past a number of times to buy some prayer flags and then start wandering through the back of the store and decide to pick up a couple of bowls, then I notice one with a beautiful inscription all over. Many of the decorated bowls have Buddha engraved in the base, but I don’t know enough about Buddhist philosophy to want it looking up at me every time I use it. This one just has Tibetan lettering and when I enquire into the meaning it is om mani padme hum. This resonates with me as it takes me back to the closing mantra of a performance in Nicaragua, and a very special moment sitting in meditation on a friends piece of land. It is a mantra of joy. Moving beyond its aesthetic beauty, I found it also produced the most beautiful vibration. This soon became the first singing bowl I made water jump in. I sat there for close to an hour talking to the store owners. One was from Nepal, and the other from Tibet. They married and live their life in RIshikesh while their families are back in their respective countries that they cannot visit. I feel guilty for my self entitled freedom, holding Australian and UK passports, roaming as I please. But does this really equate to freedom? This couple, with their tiny space are full of smiles. They are surrounded by the magic of the Himalayas and the Ganges. They rub shoulders with a constant flow of the enlightened, and those seeking enlightenment every day. Their spirits are free, regardless of their physical limitations. Of course they long for home and freedom of their people and borders, but it does not consume them, they are free from corporate slavery and they have the ultimate gift of presence.
As it comes closer to midday, I decide to head down to the Ganges one last time. As I turn the corner I hear a little voice shout out. Lalta and his friend, Angela are sitting on the steps in the sun drawing in their book with new pencils. Lalta told me he bought the pencils with the money I gave him for the first drawing. Internally, I light up. This is what planting the right seeds feels like. A gift that will keep giving. Today, I decide to buy a banana leaf flower boat and set an intention for my departure from Rishikesh. As I let it go, I watch it weave its way downstream. It keeps getting distracted and stalling, but it is well on its way. I concentrate on my intention of only planting the right seeds, reflecting on Lalta and the one that I already planted and watching it grow in this small time. A group of people notice how intently I am watching my banana leafs journey and they look directly up at me, like guides, and state loud and clearly, “You can just send another one. There’s plenty of them right in front of you!” pointing to Lalta and the abundance of flowers he is holding. His face grinning up at me. That simple. Thank you, guides.
I can’t leave without offering my time for one last selfie with a family of scantily clad Indians bathing in the river.
I smile as I take the steps away from the Ganges and walk down the main street of Rishikesh one last time. When I get back to my hotel, Robyn is there. She has a gift for me to open later. She looks at me with an expression that melts me. This woman just oozes motherly vibes. She embraces me and says she cannot find the words but when she looks at me she feels so proud. She says my family must be so proud. For some reason, this sets me off and I’m crying. I pack away her gift to inspect on my long journey out of India.
Michael arrives at the Hotel. He has offered to ride me to the airport on his Royal Enfield. This ends up being one of the highlights of the experience as we tie down all of my possessions and head for the winding roads out of Rishikesh in the lush Indian forest. It feels amazing to be on two wheels again and feel the wind on my face. I reflect back to the journey into Rishikesh and all that has happened.
Every decision in my life has lead me to this very moment and I’m so happy to be here. The present of presence. This is the goal.
I extend a special thank you to those who supported my training for my “Not so Dirty Thirty”.
Mum, Dad, Kim, Brian, Rani, Ryan, David, Lex, Keiren, Harmonie, Bonnie, Scott, Karl, Zee, anonymous donations. Your gift will stay with me forever, and hopefully come back to you ten fold. Team Momentom for inclusion, faith, trust. For creating a platform for each of us to pave our own path and support each other doing so. Yoga India Family: Diane, Jerryd, Salad, Robyn, Prakash, Geo, Molly, Anna, Paula, Vero, Jen, Soni, Sangria. Sanjay, Vishal, Pandey Ji, Moksha, Satu, Kelly, Ravin, Vishnu, Raj. Eternal love for you all.