How a dream became a reality
I had dreamed of traveling to India for several years. Two years ago, I would have never imagined that one fine day, I would pack my bags and take off to India for a whole month only by myself.
With the wisdom of hindsight, it was the best way to make it happened. The truth is I was in a state of constant stress the past few months before I left- I was goings through unfriendly times with my unpleasant roommates and all I did was work from dawn to dusk without time for myself or for my loved ones. I did not know what to do with it. Yoga helped me, but it was not enough. So one day I realised that I needed a pause to figure out what to do with my life. I browsed the internet and I found a yoga teacher training in Goa. I instantly felt the need to move on and thank goodness, I did not hesitate for a second. I felt determined that Goa was calling and I was going to study yoga in India.
Quite naturally, reactions of my friends and family were pretty xenophobic. “To India? You will end up getting robbed or raped.” Or “To India? You will be glad when you return with diarrhoea and not a serious incurable disease. Well, if you ever come back!“ And I’d rather not even describe you the long lectures after I told these people that I planned to go there all alone – to a place where I had never been, and where I did not know anyone. I do not like these negative attitudes – if I went into this with fear and prejudice, something would definitely happen to me because of course I would have attracted it. Actually, I had the opposite problem (not a problem, but rather an approach). It is said that one must not have great expectations, because then he will be disappointed. But I could not curtail my enthusiasm – I was so excited that I spoke about it every day for half a year until I left. And disappointment never found me.
When finally the D day arrived, I found myself a little bit nervous. I had never travelled outside Europe before. Actually, I have never been alone outside the Czech Republic. All sorts of thoughts were going through my mind. Well, when I sat in the plane, all my worries disappeared. Oddly, I felt a pleasant feeling of serenity. I knew I was doing the right thing.
My stay in India
Originally, I planned to go to the traditional Mysore where Ashtanga Yoga comes from, but finally I decided to go to Patnem, a small village in the south of Goa. There were two reasons for doing this – first, it is safer there and more open to the Western people, the ideal place for a young girl who is in India for the first time and alone (at least so I told people who were overly afraid of me) and I also wanted to enjoy the beach and sea to get rid of all the stress (which in the end did not happen because I was either practicing or spending whole afternoons and evenings learning :-D).
I did a teachers training at Tarun Kranti Agrawal, who established a small yoga village here. I really liked how many great people from all around the world met up there. So many life stories, so much enthusiasm and positive energy, which I had not experienced yet. The accommodation in modest cottages right by the beach was magical and a lot of healthy vegan delicacies with Ayurvedic spices healed my body well. No tourists, just us and our yoga practice.
After a few days, my body started to feel good and quickly began a detoxification process – my skin was cleared off acne, my nails stopped breaking, as well as my hair, which instead doubled its growth, I lost weight, I laughed more and my problems with the digestion, which I had for several years, were suddenly gone. The only thing that bothered me a little about the yoga community was the fact that teachers were from the West (though highly educated and experienced). But it is better than have Indian yoga teachers without good knowledge.
Once I got my certificate, I decided to spend the last stretch of my trip travelling around as much as I could. I spend a few days in the gorgeous town of Gokarna, I visited the giant statue of Shiva in Murudeshwar and several other Hindu temples. I also made it a point to visit several wild sanctuaries and spice farms.
What about the robbery, rape or death of rabies?
None of this happened. On the contrary – people from India are as good as gold. Sometimes they do not have money for food but they still laugh. How many times I was lost and they were always willing to help me. It was the absolute opposite of life in the Czech Republic, respectively in Prague. Here you go to the store and the salesperson looks at you bitterly, and does not even say you “hello”. In India, they are willing to talk to you about anything. A friend from the training had forgotten an expensive smartphone at one store. He realized it in about two hours later. He had said goodbye to it in his mind, but for sure he went to see if it happened to be still there. Well, guess what – the smartphone was there, and the vendor returned it to him with a smile. During the last week I travelled with two female friends by train – in the lowest class wagon, which was mostly full of men. We did not get any disgusting looks or obscene notes; on the contrary, we did some nice conversations. And rabies? I was originally scared a little about that, because I love animals and I knew I would not admire them from a distance. At the beach I cuddled with wild dogs, fed cows with leaves of trees and you see – I am still well and alive.
Of course, this must be taken seriously, you need to take care of everything with the necessary precautions. Yet South India is something else compared to “cruel north”, because it is richer and people are more educated. I just want to prove through my positive experience that life in India should not to be simplified and that it should not be approached in a negative way. Fear gives fuel to hatred. I personally felt much safer in India than in Europe, and I’m definitely not the only one who shares this sentiment.
Return to “normal” life
After returning to Prague, I felt like I was in another world. Everything went horribly fast. Buses and trams were on time and filled with people just frowning or looking at their smartphones. When I returned to the office, I was amazed that it was terribly white and pure in there, I thought that during my absence there the walls had been painted, but then I was told that not, that the office was in the same condition as it was when I left.
Returning to work for me was hard. How could it be easy when only few days ago I was by the seaside and under the sunlight?
The whole experience left a lasting impression on my mind. Unfortunately, some health problems started to surface again, I was missing India more and more every day. Instead of depression, I decided to choose the second option – to fight. Start working hard to make my dreams come true. It is true what it is said – happiness can´t be gained by doing nothing and constantly complaining over and over. Sometimes you have to go against the flow. And so here I am, ready for my second adventure. This time I will take myself to Mysore.
And what about you? Are you going to change your fortunes too?
P.S .: Please don´t hesitate for a second to contact me if you plan to go to India. If you need any help or advice, I will be glad to help you.
P.P.S .: Don´t forget to check out my instagram for more photos from my trip to India.