This is my third time travelling overseas alone. It’s also the trip I’m the most excited about. This marks my first single solo travel experience.
I spent 3 weeks in India at the beginning of the year, which were great, but I can’t help but feel that they would have been so much better had I not had somebody dead set on making the experience harder for me by commentating the trip from thousands of miles away. The true face of my most recent relationship became clear during this time, and it was an ugly face at that.
So why am I returning to a country that had me crying in an airport toilet, panicking that I’d made a mistake and couldn’t do it, and fully revealing the beginning of the end of my relationship? This time there is nobody to say these things but myself, and I’m sure as shit not going to go there.
Why Rishikesh and why yoga?
Like a magpie to shiny things, I feel drawn to the yoga capital of the world. Yoga has been a large part of my life for 3 years now, and will be for the rest of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no pro and not the type to spend an afternoon at the beach with my legs behind my head, but the way it came into my life seems fitting for the way it’s about to become an even more significant part of it.
My first experience was a Bikram yoga class in Wellington NZ. It felt like the worst experience of my life. “I can’t do it” was the narrative throughout and I genuinely thought I was going to pass out from the heat. Fast forward 1 year and it reappeared as a weekly part of my recovery from Anorexia. I had no idea that stretching was a thing, let alone a yoga thing. Incredible!! 15 minutes once a week was the beginning of my souls’ freedom.
After leaving care for an Eating Disorder, another story for another time, I spent 3 months living with my parents and filling my time with Yin Yoga. Life wasn’t just good again, it was better than it had ever been before.
Fast forward again through a year of falling away from a regular practice and filling that time with parties, drugs and filling life holes in unhealthy ways, I found yoga again. Home practice had never been so easy, almost like breathing. I needed it, craved it and couldn’t stop thinking about it if I left my mat in the corner for too long.
Yoga got me through an abusive relationship with a Narcissist, more so than anything else did. That time on my mat in the lounge, bedroom or at the beach was my time, my freedom and one of 2 things I had any control over during that period. It was the only time at home that I wasn’t being told everything is wrong with me, that I’m not good enough, that I should have a better job, being compared to other women and made to feel disposable.
Along with the belief I now have in myself, my ethics, compassion for all life, family and the handful of friends I’m honored to have in my life, yoga is a constant factor keeping my soul smiling, every day.
I can’t think of anything more fitting for the beginning of the next phase of life than to train to be a teacher in the yoga capital of the world, where the Himalayan waters of the Ganga are as close as can be, cleansing the path to a career I born for.