My day began at 5.30am with a beautiful Hatha yoga practice beside my bed. I really enjoy this practice as it concentrates on strengthening the body and bringing full awareness to it. By taking the time to move through each asana, its a great opportunity to really ‘notice’ how my body is feeling. With Vinyasa, its a much faster pace and the subtle feelings within can be missed. So it’s nice to have the balance of the two throughout the week.
After enjoying vegemite toast (yes, I brought a tube with me) looking out the window to the green mountains which surrounded, my driver and I traveled to a tea museum. This was the real highlight of my day. Learning all about tea and how it is made (white, green, black, chai) was really something. There is so much love which goes into tea making. I also found it amazing that all different types of tea were made from the one leaf! Me being me, and lacking in general knowledge, I felt a little silly when I learned this. I literally though black tea was made from a different, yes black, leaf. Again - feeling a little silly on this end! Turns out it’s just the older leaf! And the oxidization process determines how strong the tea is. Just as an apple turns brown when its bitten into, so do the leaves when being processed.
I also found it amazing to learn that tea is a tree! Not a little shrub like they appear. They can grow to 25 feet tall and can live for hundreds of years - the one plant. Here, they have trees over 140 years old whilst in China they have 400 year old trees! The trees are pruned to be small to make it easier to pluck and ensure all trees get equal water and equal sun. Amazing.
Unfortunately no one is allowed into an actual plantation. Although we are surrounded by tea plantations, you can’t visit them like a winery back home (which was what I pictured). I want to try and get a picture of a tea plucker but I may not see one. Or if I do, they will be a million miles away, hanging off the side of a cliff. Im not kidding! I don’t know how they do it?? The hills are verging on vertical and they carry huge bags of tea on their head.
I also went to a look out point in a national park with mountain goats- after waiting 2 hours in line for a ticket to get up! But it’s all an experience right!
This evening I have been doing a lot of thinking about home. I’m nearing the end of my trip and I must say it will be very sad to leave. This place is so amazing, in a crazy kind of way. I’m also nervous about going back to ‘reality’ - however I will be living in a new state when I get back which is exciting, and random! For the final 11 days in India I’m focusing on being still and preparing myself to leave. This is important and something Bharath told me to do when my course was coming to an end. I’m committed to absorbing every precious moment here and being grateful for the life changing experiences I’ve had/am having. But in saying that, I am also ready for home where I shall practice the same way of being. Presence doesn’t just apply when travelling.
Had I been single with no one back home who I miss, then I could definitely keep going. However, 3 months away from the man I love, my pooch (who probably doesn’t miss me one bit being the snob he is), and my family is a long time. Coming home will also mean I can get into the full swing of teaching. I’m certainly nervous about this, but just as I’ve put myself out there to come to India, I must do the same to find my first student. One step at a time. I love that I have come to accept this way of living, rather than trying to ‘rush to the finish’ line.
What will be, will be. Just as everything has been falling into place over here (and back home also), I have no doubt the same will happen back in Australia. It’s all about perception right?!
Well, I must get out of this little booth I’m still in at my current hotel. It’s not the most inviting of places to be! But very glad it’s here. That’s for sure.
Tomorrow I’m off to Cochin. Thank you Munnar for having me. Until next time!
P.S. Pictures not forgotten :)