5:15am – wake up, shower (it is essential we bathe before class to cleanse our bodies) put on our all white clothes (symbolizing peace) and head to the yoga hall.
6am – Prayers and Pranayama
Everyday or rather every time we meet and before class is over we chant Om (meaning protection) 3x. Then our teacher sings a mantra and we’ll repeat. Prana (the life force) yama is our breathing practice to prepare our bodies for asanas.
7-8:30am – Ha(sun)tha(moon) Yoga Asana Class. We start with warmup moving asanas (positions) then say the Surya Namaskara Mantrah as we begin to do an endless number of sun salutations. Once we’re dripping in sweat we pause to slow down our breath and prepare for holding asanas.
8:30-9:30 – Breakfast in silence. It’s usually some mushy starch rice combo that I try to get down quickly. Thankfully they serve Chai tea during bfast which I have now come to enjoy.
10:30-11:15 – Chanting. We practice the Prayers and Mantras in Sanskrit. India has finally allowed me to sing! Which I know all you people at home cannot stand. I know I’m tone deaf, but here I must mesmerize mantras(sound that takes you away from pain & sorrow) and will have to perform as a part of my Teacher training. I can proudly say I can chant vaidika santi mantrah or prayer for everyone without any book or notes.
11:15-12pm – Yoga philosophy where we circle around Mataji, a monk at the ashram who has the most beautiful voice and speaks amazing truths. Her wisdom resonates with us all and we are so lucky to have her as our teacher (possibly guru if she is the one to appear and lead us down our life path).
12-1pm is Karma yoga or better known as cleaning monkey poop. We sweep and mop the yoga halls including the outside entrances, hallways, and stairs that the monkeys love running around. The first cleaning they watched us closely and when we returned later more poop appeared. Adorable to stare at, but little shits.
1-2pm lunch, which is almost the same meal every time. White rice and naan have become my staples.
3:30-4:30pm Teaching methodology to cover what we’ve learned and answer questions we have.
4:30-6pm is Hatha Yoga class again. So each day we practice 3 hours of asanas.
7-750pm is Ganga Aarati that is an everyday ceremony here at Parmarth. It’s a musical offering to the Holy Mother Ganga river and is quite magical to watch.
8-830pm – dinner, which I’ve skipped a few times because I can’t bear to eat the same food again. I’ve bought crackers, granola bars, bread, and peanut butter to make up for it. But the ants quickly found the high-hanging bag of bread so now I’ll have just scoops of PB.
8:30-9:30pm Meditation – the first class was hell. I have never had an actual meditation class and there was little direction. But I have started to improve and I hope one of these nights it will click for me and I won’t be moving around like an ADHD kid who just drank a liter of pop.
After this we are all beat and hit the bed. A good 15hr day in this heat will do it to you. It’s starting to get easier though every time I connect back home the sickness comes back and the fear of missing out returns. Thankfully I have many friends to remind me how lucky I am to be traveling on the other side of the world and then I am at peace.
As my path to self-realization continues I will try to keep up with my posts, but as much as I write nothing compares to the experience of being here.
Love you forever and ever,
Viktoria (tori is too hard for my teacher to pronounce)