RYS 200, 300, 500 in Rishikesh
If I could turn back the clock one year, what would I do at this precise moment? I would have lunch at Krishna Cottage with some friends from my TTC, unknowing of what would lie ahead. The wonderful guys working in the kitchen would be carrying out pots and trays with steaming vegetables, dall and rice. Some students would sit in silence, contemplating Roshan’s philosophy lecture, others would be preparing for going down to Ganga for a bath or going shopping in Ram Jhula or Laxman Jhula. Myself, I would probably finish up my meal and withdraw to my room at Surya Palace and write some diary.
The year which has passed since my TTC has been a tough but blessed year, which is what I want life to be like; I don’t want it to be easy – I want it to be memorable and I’m eternally thankful to Rishikesh Yog Peeth, for helping me return to India again. It’s been a delivery in a way… giving birth to a new me and I’m sure I share that feeling with a lot of other students. You arrive to the TTC as one person and exit as another.
Every day, I look at my blue yoga mat with affection and in a few days, we will again fly to India together; me and my magic carpet! ;) For me, it’s an island… an oasis when life is pulling me in different directions; a sacred space for me and if you give me a candle and some incense it transforms into an ashram-to-go. Last summer I read a quote, saying: ”Whenever your heart is aching over something small, you know you need yoga right away.” and that has stuck with me. Maybe I’ve been a slow learner, but it’s taken me almost one year to start practicing yoga. Before, after my yoga teacher training at Rishiikesh Yog Peeth, I wasn’t practicing yoga – I was performing exercises on the mat, taking pride in flexibility. To an outsider, they look the same, but they’re not at all. One is with awareness the other is not. Several days after arriving back in Sweden, when greeting my sister with a tight hug, she wrinkled her nose and said: ”Oh, my god, Jenny! Your skin smells like curry…” and I smiled, feeling that India hadn’t abandoned me yet. No matter how many times I go to India, even if I remain there… I will be an outcast. I could wear bangles, sari, Punjabi suit… it wouldn’t make a difference. Whatever I do I will never really fit in... but it's okay! As long as my energy matches with the energy of India; I'm home!
When I left, a friend said:
”Listen darling, it doesn’t matter if you live here for fifty years… you will never understand the people or this culture. Even I, who am Indian, don’t understand all the bullshit. Trust me, sister… this is not a country for white people”. Maybe he is right… maybe I can never fully understand India as Indians understand it. Maybe I can never live it the way Indians live it. But maybe I don’t need to? Maybe I can live in India my way? Just like I lived in Spain or in Sweden my way? Maybe I don’t have to know India the Indian way, but the European way? Maybe I don’t have to go all in, but pick the raisins from the cake?