First days in India
I’m in India. This is incredible. I had never been to India before so I asked people around before going. They all told me it would be both extraordinary and harsh. I’ve only spent a week in Goa and I already understand why. I’m staying at Agonda, a small town alongside the west coast of India. The yoga center I’m staying at - Sampoorna yoga - is pretty big and you only have to cross a road to be on Agonda beach, a magnificent long white sand beach.
Since I started my yoga teacher training, I’ve been practicing everyday in an open shala facing the ocean, surrounded by the jungle. Mosquitoes aside, this is wonderful. Every evening we close our practice watching the sunset on Agonda bay. The temperature is quite extreme. Everyday is hot yoga day, and we need to drink twice as much water as usual to compensate for all the sweat we’re dripping on our mats. It’s not really the temperature to be fair, but the constant humidity; it really forces you to get comfortable drowning in your own sweat and eventually your classmate’s.
We’re lucky though, as the beach is literally a minute away from our rooms - we can have a refreshing swim and sunbath during our lunch break (only if we’re done with our homework…). I’m from south of France so I can fairly say that I’ve been lucky enough to witness some stunning sunsets since I was a child, however I’ve never seen a sunset as beautiful as Agonda beach’s. In a few minutes, the sky goes from blue, to orange, to pink, and you could think you were on a paradise island if it wasn’t for the cows, who seem to enjoy long strolls on the beach during sunset too. No doubt, you’re in India!
The food is amazing. Like, really. Since I moved to the UK I have discovered proper Indian food and there hasn’t been a week without me having a baingan bharta (eggplants <3). For this trip I was really stressed about hygiene and food poisoning but so far, so good. I’m being very careful, but none of my classmates - who are overall less careful than I am - have been sick since the beginning of the course.
Indian people are so nice. When I walked in the town, I met a few women who were wearing saris (or sarees) - the typical Indian women outfit. Saris are very colourful and they bring a touch of life in this otherwise very dusty and muddy landscape. I guess what stroke me the most was how beautifulness and poverty are living together. How the colours and smiles of Indian people manage to somehow fit with the open garbages and dead cows lying on the side of the roads.
This afternoon and tomorrow we finally have some free time which I’m gonna spend doing my homework and exploring the rest of the bay. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel to be here and to be learning all those things about yoga but also discovering a new country, a new culture and making meaningful connexions with kind people. I was told India would be both extraordinary and harsh. But it's also so uplifting. It's the best and the worst. It's extreme, and I'll embrace all the feelings.