Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Rishikesh Yoga Teacher Training Centre, February 1, 2023

I woke up to-

It’s lovely so I left my door open. I could see the trees really moving just off my baIcony so I thought there must be a wind but then the movement stopped and I realized they were monkeys out there. I quickly shut my door because they would be in my room in a second and I don’t know how I would get rid of them!

My 200 hour teacher training course includes-

The schedule is from Monday to Saturday.  Sunday is a day off.  I think we get daily supper but it’s not on the list.  Maybe we are too tired to eat!

What they’re going to teach me and hopefully what I’m going to learn-

Seems like a lot!  I checked out from the hostel at the last minute – 11 AM and walked to the school. It wasn’t hard to find but of course I missed the signs and walked further than I needed to - the story of my life. I stopped in Mamma Mia Café, which is part of the school and had a really good breakfast – poached eggs in a mushroom, tomato, pesto sauce with dark, dark brown bread.  It might’ve been the best breakfast I’ve had in India. Meanwhile, the owner of the restaurant, who is also the owner of the school, came in and introduced himself. He took me to the lobby of the school and I got registered as well as welcomed with a garland of marigolds-

and a ritual-

where you get water from the Ganges put into your palm and you rub your hands together to cleanse them. Then you get more water put in your palm and you drink it and then rub your hands over your head to cleanse yourself.  Next you get some tikka mixed with flower petals and rice put on your third eye spot.  Welcome to yoga school in Rishikesh!  

I am trying not to make hasty first judgements but I really have to ask myself if I am as weird as some of these people seem. One young guy was sitting in the lobby with his hair in dreadlocks, with full headphones on petting the dog and going on and on about how this dog could sense they were kindred spirits. Everyone is a lot younger than me except I did see a woman who might be close to my age.  I hope to meet up with her soon.

I paid and was shown to my room –

The room is nothing special but I have a balcony facing south so I can sit in the sun.  The view isn’t that great-

but as I sit here, I keep wondering if it’s possible to gather all the garbage up and if someone would come and take it away. I will ask the owners and if so that might become my project.

I found a liquor store on google maps that was 3.4 km away and as it was a beautiful day I started walking. For a while I walked along the shore of the Ganges -

Rafting is popular-

A home along the road where the owner is sleeping.  You can just see his feet-

Eventually I made it to the liquor store and bought a couple small bottles of vodka and a beer. I sat on a short wall to enjoy the beer while it was cold, right in front of a couple police officers. Because I am white, I can just about get away with murder.  In no time an Indian was visiting – his wife and children are in Israel where he also lived until his marriage broke down. Now he works for a local rafting company and talks to his kids every Saturday. He was drinking some kind of local hootch and we were having a good visit but then the police came along and told us that we couldn’t drink there.  I felt like a homeless hobo sitting there drinking my beer and of course there wasn’t another woman in sight. All these men come on scooters, buy bottles and leave.  It’s a very busy gold mine!

I came home on a tuktuk,  bought a bottle of Coke – there is no Coke Zero, and found a bag because I’m not sure if I’m allowed alcohol in my room.  I’m 61 years old and so if I want to drink alcohol I am going to regardless of the rules. Eating vegetarian for a month will be bad enough!  I sat out on the balcony in the sunshine and watched the new students arrive. This is a huge school which has four different studios that will have close to 20 students in each. I am lucky because I am in the building where we eat and speaking of eating, lunch was OK. It wasn’t too spicy and there were fresh vegetables so I am hopeful.

All information regarding school will come on a WhatsApp link. Tomorrow is our purity ceremony to start the program. I do not have white clothes but they have a white T-shirt I can use. I am looking forward to meeting the other students in my class!  

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