I have been an armchair traveller to India almost as long as I can remember. Now, after many, many years of deferring the gratification, I’ll be traveling to India during the next month, on the Namarupa Yatra. This journey is the culmination of my decades-long, long-distance love affair with India, one entirely conducted through years of studying its literature, philosophies, language and history, both ancient and modern.
I’m not going to India to simply practice yoga (although I will be practicing Ashtanga yoga almost every day with a few of the best teachers in the world - and trekking in the Himalayas, too.) My journey will be a Yatra, or pilgrimage. I’ll be traveling thousands of miles to experience darshan of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, in a variety of temples and sacred places (darshan means source of spiritual renewal, both seeing and being seen by the deity). This intentional, respectful spiritual journey will bring me and my fellow travelers to many of the most highly charged and spiritual places in India - to a land where epic stories unfolded thousands of years ago. It is a place where experiencing the divine is thought to be more possible than anywhere else in the world.
Friends who have been to India before me have all said something along the lines of: “Forget all you think you know of it, don’t try to control what happens to you there, and be prepared to be deeply moved and changed by your trip.” I’m trying my best to follow their advice so that I can fully enjoy and integrate all that India has to teach me. I am as prepared as I will ever be, and very grateful to leave my classes in the hands of my capable and supportive colleagues at AYN - teachers who have generously offered their time to give me this gift of freedom. Our schedule will remain unchanged, so that you can continue your practice uninterruptedly while I'm gone.
I think this will be the longest time I will have taken off from teaching Ashtanga in almost 10 years, and I will miss all of you (not to mention, my family and my pets.) I'm grateful to feel everyone’s support as I realize this dream.
Please stop in to practice with me Sunday or Monday morning - I leave on Tuesday October 6. I’ll be back in the studio on Monday morning, November 2. Meanwhile, keep up with your practice, and continue to share your presence and energy with our teachers and the AYN community while I am away!
I'll see you soon.