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“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Photo Credit: Christine Love Hewitt

Reflections on My Second Trip to India

Soon I’ll be departing India and heading back to NYC to return to
normal American urban life.  This trip went by remarkably fast and I’m
honestly very sad to leave.  I realize only now that my first trip to
India allowed me to adjust to the culture and lifestyle of a yoga
student; I had never experienced jet lag and been away from loved ones
for so long before.  The first three-week trip was a sufficient amount
of time and I was ready to go by the end.  This time around the time
flew by, I was eager to start practice and get into the slowed down
pace of life and soak-up the warm Indian sun; no more home-sick
feelings or adjusting to a foreign place.  This time of year the shala
is packed and with that comes a stronger sense of community with
practitioners from all over the world.  Everyone is here for the same
purpose, to practice, learn and connect with the lineage.

I am truly blessed to have the time, resources and guidance of a
extraordinary teacher to make this trip possible, but I have realized
that the next trip needs to be at least a month to fully delve into my
practice (not just the physical aspects).  I have come to the full
awareness that my practice and self have grown to a point where I am
ready to dedicate myself to more intensive study, making me re-align
my priorities for the year 2014.

If I could describe this second trip in one word I would pick
strength.  I realize this trip was about building strength within the
primary series and becoming a stronger person to face fears on & off
of the mat.  While many asnas are still (and may always be) difficult
and I am certainly not the strongest person – in India feel strong & I
am very inspired by the community of practitioners and feel connected
to the practice.  Many people, including friends, family, and
acquaintances ask about what I gain from the trip and it’s not always
a simple explanation.  I can tell you, however, that there is one way
to dig deeper into the devotional, meditative, and empowering nature
of the practice and that is to study with the current holders of the
lineage in Mysore, India.

I hope to continue to build strength, be inspired, and develop a
devotional practice upon returning to NYC.  It will be hard to say
goodbye to India after such a short trip but I will leave moved by the
practice, places, and people I have met and wish to keep them in my