Yes, I’ll admit it. It’s been difficult to adjust to “normal life” after months of yoga bliss in the Himalayas. I’ve been back home now for over two months and apart from the happiness at seeing my husband, family and friends again, the re-entry into Western life has been challenging.
During the last few days of our yoga program, Yogi Sivadas had smiled and said, “People come to India and get a culture shock. Then they stay for a while. And then, when they go back to the West, they get a different culture shock!” How true. Of course there was an adjustment to life in McLeod Ganj, India, starting with the taxi ride from the airport, but it was really only a matter of days before different became normal, and unusual became part of regular life, including the mischievous monkeys as surprise visitors in our cottages.
Acclimation on coming home – some observations:
- Where are the cows in the street, and the goats eating the adverts off the walls?
- Gosh, it’s odd to sit on a chair, instead of cross-legged on the floor
- Everyone is in a rush
- Everyone seems to be complaining about something, and it’s almost always about something trivial
- The local charity shop is the happy recipient of the pile of Clutter I Don’t Need Anymore. What made me think I NEEDED so much? (and don’t even get me started on Black Friday greed and hysteria)
- Oh. I’m noticing it’s actually quite a challenge to be a constant “flame of consciousness”, when not everyone around me is even aware there is a candle in the room
- How did a Starbucks chai tea latte creep into my diet again, on a regular basis?
- Wow, it’s not as easy as I thought it would be, to stick to the healthy routine that kept me so happy in body, mind and spirit
- The word F@*k seems to be making a more regular appearance in my vocabulary lately
- I’m so happy to have a busy yoga teaching schedule and share some of the things I’ve learnt … now, how can I squeeze in more yoga and meditation time for me?
It soon became apparent that the shifts in lifestyle were actually less about the obvious things, like goats in the street and Tibetan monks in the shops. It’s been more about how to hold on to the simpler lifestyle I had in India, where I made do with less and yet didn’t feel I lacked anything. How I felt alive and energized every morning, even with the pressure and pace of our nine-hours-a-day-six-days-a-week schedule. How I saw life through a veil of calm and perspective, focusing only on things that mattered. Every day brought simplicity and ease into the way I thought, spoke and behaved.
And that’s the magic that I’m determined to hold on to. The goats were adorable and I miss them. But it’s the other, less tangible, pieces of the peace puzzle that I promise myself I will not lose. I’ve been preparing for the “Yoga in India” playshop I’m holding this month, and I’ve been reading through my notes of many hours spent with Yogi Sivadas, highlighting the crucial ingredients for a more balanced life.
The good news is, it’s not actually that complicated. I’ll share a summary in my next post.
[A wee note here … if you’re seeing strange adverts (nose and ear hair trimmers) in the space below, it’s because WordPress randomly displays these ads in return for my free blog space. I don’t make money from the ads and neither do I have a choice on what appears. Perhaps over time, the hair trimmers will be replaced by yoga mats and yoga books :-). ]