By: Lisa Greenbaum
There is something so very magical about India. Perhaps the history dating back thousands of years, the people, the food, the magnificence of the Himalayas and Ma Ganga. There is something so provocative and beautiful it will draw you back again and again. Even sitting here just now invoking the sensation of being there, the smells permeate my senses of rich cumin and cinnamon, cardamom filling my nostrils and settling into my skin. Surrounding me like a giant hug, calling me home.
Rishikesh is the birthplace of Yoga. Yoga being approximately 6000 years old the history of the human race connected to its eternal soul. Preserved traditions that have become fundamental texts of Yoga philosophy outlining how to live a pure and enlightened life during our brief time on earth. How to recognize the divine within us and to treat all others in reflection of this divinity. Vedantism – the oneness of life. Looking into the eyes of the people you meet, beside you on the mat, in cafes or vendors on the street we see this purity. All of us living, seeking love, seeking connection, wanting to be seen as a reflection of our hearts. Yogi’s united and spreading the ripple effects of this understanding, of this great work and practice that is Yoga.
I’ve also written about the Fire of India, which is always a deep and non-negotiable part of our visit. Running as an undercurrent to the burning and cleansing of fire is the unmistakable pure beauty of life. Ma India shows you both, and you can only have both together – it’s part of the package. But the beauty is so profound, more profound than our eyes can see it, than my words can describe it. The beauty is everything. Holding you like a newborn, cherishing you for simply being present and alive. No questions, no judgements, just love. So, as we walk through the fire, our fears held in front of us, our worries and stories and samskaras ready to be broken, underneath it all is this beauty and purity. Unconditional love. Love for the sake of love.
We hold it in our hearts. We surround ourselves with it like a giant blanket protecting us. And then we come home. Back to our life and our jobs, our bills and dirty dishes. We question how we can stay in the arms of Mother India and still live our “regular” life. The worry sets in, the fear creeps back. But we can, we only need to practice. For it was the immersion into daily rituals and practice that brought India alive into our hearts in the first place. We get on our mats each day. We breathe, we close our eyes and we move inwards. We move with our spine and hearts leading the way. We cultivate gratitude and love in our hearts. In fact “we stay in meditation until we experience the grateful heart” the wise words of Anand, Yoga Master and Founder of the Sattva Centre. This is the beauty of India. This is how we continue to cultivate our experience. To continue our evolution. To raise our vibrations. Holding the beauty in our hearts always.
hope you will join us in India for 2020