Why did I decide to make the journey to India?
Travel is one way to begin understanding different cultures, and India is a country that will expand your mind beyond your imagination. When Aaron announced that he was leading a trip there, I knew that I had to go on it. Being able to see India with the man who had set me on my yogic path was perfect opportunity to see this amazing country.
Nothing prepares you for India.
Just before the plane lands, you can begin to smell that something very different is about to happen!!!! As soon as you leave the terminal, your senses are inundated, and people and seemingly insane chaos surround you. I immediately thought, what have I done?!?!
But then something happen!
There was no exact moment per se, but rather a culminating feeling after visiting many cities and historic sites. By the time we reached Varanasi, I was totally immersed in the energy, history, and beauty of the country. To realize that you are visiting historic locations where so much of yoga originated is very powerful.
My yoga practice changed.
Seeing the active and ancient temples along with the beauty that is the Indian people really imprints on your mind. Having the ability to understand where yoga originated, how that ancient practice has evolved, and what is practiced in India today made me embrace parts of my own practice as well as question it. The trip gave me a much better understanding of why I like and want to practice yoga.
You have to let something go.
You have to completely let go of your perception of how things are supposed to be when traveling to India! It is so foreign to anything that most Western culture people have ever experienced. By willing to simply accept what is offered, you will begin to see such beauty in some of the simplest things.
What I wished I had left back home.
The ability to acknowledge from the start that all of your senses are going to be on overload and that you have to realize that there is peace to the seemingly chaotic adventure you are on.
What advice would I give someone wanting to go India?
Go with Aaron and surrender yourself to what comes at you.
About the Author
John Thurman, RYT-200, has been practicing yoga since 2001, and now teaches ashtanga-inspired yoga classes. Teaches in a style that focuses on providing a challenging and fun environment for all levels of students to learn and practice their yoga asana. Training includes exposure to Iyengar, restorative, and vinyasa style asanas, as well as pranayama and meditation. Physical background includes football, triathlons, weight lifting, high-intensity training, and running. Currently works as a cost analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE) at the Pentagon. Completed a 20-year career with the U.S. Army.