India: Yoga daze = no panic attack?

10th February

Yin yoga, Vinyasa flow, Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Iyengar yoga, Restorative yoga, meditation… we’ve tried and tested quite a few variations out here in heart-warming India.

We’ve also sampled plenty of the local food. Man, I love Indian food. Gimme something lentil based, a serving of freshly made naan, a questionable pickle array and I’m all yours. Only £1 you say? I’m definitely yours….

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AND THEN A 10p CHAI TEA THAT’S IN THE TOP 10 MOST DELICIOUS THINGS I’VE EVER HAD? WHY THE HELL NOT. (Below is our favourite roadside chai stall served by our favourite chai lady. She didn’t say much but she had such a kind smile and her chai making skills were award winning (according to my tastebuds anyway).

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Everything is so very cheap here. Although I didn’t expect to buy quite so much. The bedding and fabrics are so gorgeous out here… I may have gone a little overboard (think handmade kingsized bedspread, pillows, the lot!) So much so, I may have to buy another suitcase home. That will cost an arm and a leg. MY BAD. (But yay ‘memories’….right?)

***

Now I didn’t come out here to furnish my future home. I came here for yoga. Here’s an extract from my handwritten diary: “If I’m completely honest I’ve neglected the diary for a few days. That doesn’t really need to be a confession, does it? As it is pretty obvious from the dates. I’ve been in a blissful yoga daze, unaware of time. Unaware of time going so quickly. Unaware of my fears.”

From practising yoga so intensely out here, I have learned so much. Not in terms of perfecting the headstand or being able to open my legs wider or wrap my feet around the back of my head. NONE OF THAT. (seriously, can’t do any of that anyway). That’s what I have learned…..None of that really matters. You see, how yoga poses look aesthetically, really is secondary. Yoga is about you and how you feel inside. We are always feeling different, therefore each yoga practice will be a unique learning experience. You could be the strongest, most flexible person in the world – but that doesn’t suggest at all that you would be ‘good’ at yoga. You can’t really be ‘good’ at yoga. It is something that you practise. If you’ve never tried it before I cannot recommend it enough. Since practising yoga regularly my mental health has seen significant improvements. Decreased anxiety. Increased positivity. Through practising, I’m learning to slow down, appreciate things and learn what is worth putting energy into getting worried about, and what isn’t. (99% of things fall into the ‘isn’t’ category).

For me, words and advice are great and inspiring. But ALWAYS easier said than done as the mind is so complex. YOGA however, working with the body and the mind, starts to put it all into practise – much more so than a motivating meme on Instagram, even more than a therapy session can ever do.

Oh dear, I’m writing too much. I’m getting carried away. Let us finish on a light-hearted note. (I say light-hearted but it actually had the potential to be a near death experience).

Ehem. So, it’s the last day. The yoga in India has come to an end. I’m walking along the beach (alone) watching the sunrise. As I walk over the sand, I happen to be carrying my favourite black jumper in my hand. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a wild dog snaps his teeth onto my jumper. For a few seconds we pull on the beloved material back and forth, back and forth. He’s dribbling. His eyes are wide. His teeth are big.

*Enter about 7 other angry, hungry dogs.

I immediately let go. Catch my breath.

Maybe it’s the yoga daze, but I’m genuinely not scared. I just watch the pack of wild dogs fighting, snarling over my jumper (did I mention it was my favourite?) and ripping it to shreds.

Goodbye India. Goodbye jumper.

I really don’t want to leave but I think this will be my last blog post for India. I could write and write and just keep writing but I think more of a poetic summary is best.

the sides of our lips
move
upwards
towards the Indian sun

sparks alight our hips
spine
triceps
during the vinyasa flow

synchronised passions bloom & dip
up
then down

“we are beautifully imperfect”

the sides of our lips
move
upwards
towards the Indian sun

 

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It could have been a great love story

Happy valentines day! Running on very little sleep at the moment. Last night the Danish were being SO loud and SO drunk. Then whoever was on the bunk above me was snoring like a pig.

It was an emotional goodbye saying farewell to the girls as I made my way to Lake Tekapo. I’ll see Annie and Hannah again in a couple of days, but it was a sad farewell to Rachel, Jade and Sophia. Travelling is like an emotional rollercoaster. You become so close to people in such a short space of time and then before you know it, one of you hops on a bus / flight / ferry and that’s it – they’re just a memory. We’ll all keep in contact via Facebook though, and we hope to meet again as a group at some point back in England.

I’m staying in Lake Tekapo for 2 nights but have no accommodation for tomorrow night. Apparently there is NOTHING available. Oops. But hey, panicky Liv isn’t that panicky. “It’ll work out.” I tell myself.

Hurrah! It did. Someone cancelled their reservation in a nearby motel 10 minutes ago so BAM, that bed has my name all over it.

The late afternoon was spent lazing by the blue beyond blue lake.

I’ve just written a really, really long paragraph and then deleted it all because it made me sound so lame. Long story short: got talking to a beautiful man on the beach. He was hitchhiking around New Zealand. I was really enjoying his company…So much so that this panicked me and so I said goodbye. Why Liv, why.

The next day, on my little backpack trek to the motel, who am I following but beautiful man from the beach yesterday!!! I don’t believe in fate – but if I did, this would be it. I could have said hi and then we could have hitchhiked together (sod my own travel plans). We could have gone around the world together and then eventually buy a house in England, get a cute dog and live happily ever after.

Instead, I turned into a cafe to buy a coffee and a muffin before heading onto the motel. I am the worst kind of person.

***

Survived my lonely motel experience. Actually really enjoyed it! Finally had a great night’s sleep. Did a mighty solo hike up Mount John (accidentally went the extra long route) but that made it feel even better when I finally reached the summit.

Hannah, Mike & Annie have now arrived! After a chilled night in Tekapo cooking dinner together, tomorrow we will venture to Christchurch. Fingers crossed there isn’t another earthquake. 2 days ago they had a 5.7 and aftershocks are quite likely…