Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Girl's Guide to Mysore, Part Nine - Coming hOMe

Well, I’m back in New York. The passport is back in the drawer. I work tomorrow at 7:00am. India is over. My two-week visit to Israel (after India...to see my boyfriend) is over. Christmas with family in Florida is over. Reality is settling in. Or maybe I am settling back into it.

To say that my experience in India was life changing is a little over-dramatic. I mean, in all actuality it did little to alter the current course of my daily life. I have the same job, the same apartment, and the same bank account with way too little in it! But in more subtle ways India has changed me forever. This trip, my first pilgrimage to the birthplace of yoga, has answers existing questions and brought up new ones I didn’t know existed.

I return to my life in New York inspired and enthusiastic. I know I’m on a path, and I’ve been faced with opportunities already that make me incredibly grateful to have found this path. But while in Mysore, I must admit that I was incredibly frustrated with the westerners (of course there are some notable exceptions with whom I certainly have formed friendships) I met. These “seekers” seemed arrogant, loud and entitled. Was I really one of them?

These questions were met with challenges in India with which I never imagined I’d be faced. One of the most interesting externally was not actually in yogasana class, but in strange, unexplained hair-loss. All in all, I think I lost almost half of the volume of my hair. It could have been iron, the poor water quality or maybe stress, but whatever the cause, the result was quite unsettling. (My hair looks great now, by the way!)

Internally, I faced myself on levels that taught me a lot about my views and beliefs. I am still in awe that I was able to have the experience in Mysore, studying this amazing lineage. I value freedom. I value creativity. I believe in the evolution of our spiritual practices, and I am confident in the voice I hear inside my own head.

This New Year’s Eve I continued a tradition I started last year. I attended the annual Jivamukti event: a two-hour master yoga class with Sharron Gannon and David Life, vegan dinner, kirtan and then the practice of silence for three hours, until the clock strikes midnight. At the moment of the New Year, we chant 108 rounds of a mantra. It was during the silence that I really had a chance to reflect on the incredible year I had.

What I’ve learned most this year is to control with conviction what you have control over, to resign to the things you cannot control and to have patience. And, I know I’ll return to India again, I already feel the urge….stay tuned

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