I’ve been in India for 2 months now and thought it was about time I got my spiritual pants on. That almost sounds like it’s a disconnected part of me, I’m no stranger to looking inwards, I see my self development journey as my spiritual path. However, one of my travel goals was to develop a meditative practice, something I have not consistently done previously.
As India is spiritual central I researched a few ashrams (yes I unashamedly felt like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love). The Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore jumped out at me, founded by Sadhguru, a yogi and spiritual leader and total legend with an awesome sense of humour and sounds like Sean Connery with an Indian accent.
The opening paragraph on his about me section said “This life for me is an endeavor to help people experience and express their divinity”. This felt perfect as before I left for my trip I wrote a blog about remembering my divinity. So I cashed in my birthday and Christmas money to take part in their Inner Engineering programme.
Now, I signed a confidentiality agreement about not discussing the content of the programme so I’ll start by describing what I can talk about, allude to what I can’t and attempt to explain the overall impact.
The Isha Yoga Centre itself is incredibly beautiful, I have never been anywhere like it in my life, it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. With a back drop of some gorgeous mountains there is a Dhyanalinga meditation space. I was moved to tears whilst inside listening to the Indian singing, flute and singing bowls. Before this I was dressed in a long orange robe and went into the ladies Theerthakund, a deep freezing cold immersion pool with a live linga in it. Incredible experience!
The Inner Engineering programme – think back to basics yoga, being in the present moment, meditation, you create your own reality. There was one exercise that had me crying my heart out. I felt like I had the weight of the universe inside of me, feeling connection to everyone and everything. It cemented my decision to stop eating meat that I had made a few weeks previous to attending the course.
I have learnt a routine of movement and meditation with a generous serving of chanting which has so far left me feeling really good despite my dead meditation legs at the end.
My personal manta is anything is possible, you just have to know what you want and this programme really ignites this. It opens up a universe of opportunities for my next steps after travelling. I spoke previously about wanting to break out of the career box I had put myself in and this course has very much helped that. I can do anything, you can do anything, you can create the life you want, it’s that simple.
On the bus home (back to Munnar) I felt really at peace. A man sat next to me and started talking to me and decided to get his genitals out. I calmly and sternly told him to go away and he got off of the bus. In the moment I didn’t feel too phased by it but over the 6 hour journey I realised that it had quite a big impact especially as I had been in a very open hearted place. I could write pages unpicking this talking about culture and gender dynamics. Essentially it made me so aware of the vulnerability of being a woman. I didn’t feel particularly unsafe, it was just shocking as it was so public (there was an Indian woman sat to my right). Just understanding the mindset of why this seemed like an ok thing for him to do goes through my mind. I recently read a book by Naomi Wolf which spoke about the neurological impact that sexual trama has on women and it made me think of what internal impact this experience had on me. I sat and meditated and gave my younger self a warming comforting mother hug. Adult me wasn’t phased but younger me was a bit freaked out I think. I’m sharing this not to worry anyone but to share the very real experience of being here in India on my own as a woman.
A serious high low day. I’m back in the deliciousness of Munnar now so all is well.