The above image was taken in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, India.
Never did I think I would be teaching people how to stretch and strengthen their muscles and joints and how to deal with stressful situations. I did not see it in my future at all.
Coming from an administrative background I decided to take a year off from work to support my sister who was ill. After a short period she passed away in 2006. It was a bumpy road ahead and shortly after I booked my ticket to travel to India. I needed time to myself to replenish and to reflect. I journeyed to northern India and volunteered my time each week to teach English to a Tibetan monk.
It was a fascinating and life changing experience for me. At that time I knew very little about India and yoga except taking a yoga class here and there and my mom being of Indian decent.
Walking the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, I had lots of time to reflect. The village I stayed at McLeod Ganj was high up in the mountains, very small with three main streets. Animals shared the roadway with three wheeled auto rickshaws better known as “tuk tuk” . I stayed at a local monastery in the valley and each day I climbed about 200 stairs to get to the main street of the village.
Besides teaching English my daily routine was to visit his holiness the Dalai Lama temple, share experiences with the locals, sample different cuisines and explore. It was such a freeing experience for me, I had no responsibilities or agendas to follow, I felt liberated.
One day I was inspired to drop in for a few yoga classes at a local studio. It was perfect timing as the studio was starting their teachers training and invited me to join the group. It was one of the most challenging yet most rewarding things I have ever done for myself.
Little did I know that one decision I made to go to India would change the course of my life. Now after 14 years since then I
continue on that path and utilize the tools and wisdom I gained. These gold nuggets remain the cornerstones of my foundation and serves me well.
Five things I learnt during my time in India and I apply to this day:
- Slow and steady forms lasting habits to support you.
- Be open to different concepts, things, people and change.
- Wherever you are is the perfect place to be, it is your starting point to go wherever you want to go.
- Enjoy your journey by choosing your path of least resistance moment by moment.
- Trust yourself, you are much more than you think.