Well, I made it. 45 hours in an Indian train. I survived. It’s certainly not an ideal way to travel, in India especially, but the learnings, not to mention memories, of this experience shall be with me for a lifetime.
I’m in Agra at the moment, staying in the lovely Taj Inn Hotel. To be honest, I’m feeling a little off at the moment. I’ve realized I feel like I’ve lost something big in my life by no longer having my routine of yoga twice daily with my teacher. Looking back on how I felt during the first week of class to how I feel now, I would never have thought I could possibly miss the rigid routine and long hours. But I do. My energy levels are also not as they were. Granted, traveling in India is tough. Even with a driver – nothing is simple and the constant noise can easily unsettle someone. (But generally, the noise is fine). I think it’s just the reality hit of life outside of the Gokulam bubble.
In saying that, however, this is the time where I can determine the type of person I want/choose to be. I can be the one who commits to remaining still and calm in the face of a crazy, loud and overwhelming (at times) world; or I can choose to give into all of that and allow my mind to control me rather than the other way around. At the end of the day, my perception is what I choose it to be and I can either choose to keep being present and appreciating all of the experiences (train and all!) or live in an unconscious state where I miss the little beauties in the world and fall victim to an unskilled way of thinking. (Unless you haven’t already noticed, by talking this out I’m actively working to better understand my thought processes at the moment so I can control them better).
Yoga has taught me so many lessons, the most important being ‘presence’. I’ve found this a real challenge since being on the road and trying to practice in different hotel rooms (some of which are not the most inviting spaces to practice in). And again, although this comes down to my perception, I’m certainly looking forward to creating a nice space for myself when I return home. This really is important for any practitioner. I also need to be gentle on myself and recognize that this leg of the journey was always going to be a challenge – it’s been like swimming in a lovely heated pool to throwing myself into a cold ocean with waves crashing around me. So acknowledging this is important. (I’m rambling. I hope this makes some sort of sense?)
In saying all of that, I’ve had a wonderful afternoon visiting the Baby Taj and watching the Taj Mahal from across the river as the sun set upon it. Truly magical moments. Of course I wish Owen could be with me, but he is here in spirit. And it just means I will need to bring him with me next time!
Oh, and the 45 hour train ride has certainly been worth it thus far. There really is a magic about the Taj. I was overwhelmed when I saw it from afar for the first time earlier today. Tomorrow I shall visit the Taj Mahal with a tour guide. If ever there was a time to spend the extra money on a guide, it’s now. One of the Seven Wonders of the World needs to be understood, so this is a treat to self.
With a 3.00am wake up tomorrow, it’s now time for bed. I have a Taj Mahal to see!