Festive Confessions of a Mysore Yogi

I’ve not written a single card this year, not placed baubles on any trees,
I found branches on an Indian street and thought thats the one for me.
My mulled wine will be served in plastic mugs, the movies illegally streamed,
All my festive efforts this year have gone into my Marichasana D.

Moon days have ruled my calendar month not the birth of Jesus Christ,
More interest here in the new Star Wars than when the ‘worlds saviour’ was brought to life.
My thighs have ached and screamed at me, I’ve consumed a life supply of chai,
Trying to get my head around sanskrit not the presents I need to buy.

Calls of ‘One more’ have haunted my dreams this year, not presents from St. Nick,
I’ve probably misbehaved anyway, that fat judgemental prick (sorry).
‘No coffee no Prana’ has been my mantra each day, my coconuts religiously bought,
Maybe I’ll only do 3 Navasana today and hope I don’t get caught.

‘What you do?’ the dreaded question poised upon Saraswatis lips,
My only christmas wish this year is that I can open up my hips.
Sharath has got his spies they say, he knows everything you do,
I’ve spent most my days at Corner House and he doesn’t have a clue.

Rest days to me equal pizza; garlic and extra cheese,
Guess I’ll have to stay to work this off but where will I find the fees?
It’s not all about the asana but it looks good on Instagram
I guess I’m just working for enlightenment in any way I can.

I’ve tried not getting too attached to things, but my gosh that mala’s pretty,
Just hoping I still get up for sun salutations once I leave this city.
And so a Happy Christmas, where ever you may be
Next year I’ll try to be better, love from a Bad Yogi.

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That loving feeling

Do you ever get caught up in the notion that love isn’t enough?

The word itself has become mundane and so easily used like your favourite band you secretly resent for going mainstream.

This swelling feeling that gathers fit to burst in your fully expanded ribcage is so elating and dangerously enthusiastic you know right then and there it’s you. Everything you are/doing/have done, have seen, been and the person it’s lead to you being. Its contentment and happiness at the imperfectly perfect ball of you. And this 4 letter word doesn’t seem big enough to contain all of that.
As if the whole world has just reached in and blown your little mind beyond return.

Except each time it arises I know it won’t stay, it’s unmaintainable, you wouldn’t survive it. Even as I write I feel it slipping away leaving that post euphoric buzz and content air of a lingering high.

I think it’s what happens when you’ve moved too fast for too long, thinking too much with no time for reflection. And then you stop and all this beauty just swells and seeps from where it’s been hiding and turns you into a giddy child that’s just realised all their dreams are going to come true.

You realise there never was any need for Santa or the tooth fairy, this world and the people in it provide all the magic you need. Your childish awe is returned to you with such impact you suddenly realise where the energy of every child comes from, it’s from the bottom of Pandora’s box, that little part that hasn’t been exposed to harsh realities and scandalised with heartbreak.

It’s easy for people to think travel is easy, just one long holiday, but to everyday be put in control of life changing decisions, knowing you have no home, no bed to rest your head that night, no job and no friends within reachable distance it can be scarily reclusive. You can crave the smallest bit of intimacy from strangers, reassurance from the most meaningless of touches.

Finding yourself is bloody exhausting and exhilarating, insane and petrifying which in itself leads to more exhaustion. There are no duvet days, you’re constantly having sleepovers in someone else’s house and living to the cruel mistress of check out times.

You can’t just switch off an entire culture and country or close your eyes and call your dad to pick you up when you turn up in the rain, at a pitch black station and some questionable guys that don’t speak your language are staring at you. All these things become part of your story, all these things can dull the childish exhilaration of the ‘holy crap I did it, I’m travelling the frickin world vibe’ and burst your bubble. But don’t you dare let it! When you’re feeling crap, remember this is your fantastic lovely life.

And maybe you’re stood on a balcony in the pouring rain in Sri Lanka dancing unreservedly to ‘Hozier’ when that little bubble of bliss is returned to you, maybe you’re sat drinking a cup of tea with a loved one or finishing a really long essay, but promise me, when you feel it to really feel it. To do whatever it takes to love and embrace every second of childish ecstasy, because so rarely do our heart and minds align in a way that allows us this sweet release and true taste of gratitude for being alive.

Happy Friday!

Travelling solo and Seriously Ill

It’s the thing almost everyone warns you about before you go travelling, getting sick. In fact as soon as you say Asia before any positives that was often what I heard. And sure, same as everyone else I thought “that’ll never happen to me”, or atleast you think you’ll just man up and deal with it when it does.

I just went through a 3 day stint in a Nepalese hospital, believe me I could do anything but ‘man up and deal with it’.

1 of 4 cannulas

1 of 4 cannulas

So, just a short post, what to do if you find yourself alone and ill;

Tell somebody!

Probably my biggest mistake, tell the reception at your hotel/hostel/guesthouse and get them to check in on you, I got so poorly I passed out in the bathroom and could barely make it back to my bed let alone down the stairs! When I did get help it had been over 16hours with no water and about 20with no food. Company is your best bet when you feel unwell.

Don’t be ‘brave’, if you need hospital just go

At home it’s just a stomach bug, right? Here… Who knows, it’s better to over react than do something too late!

Get insurance. 

Enough said, just do it. It won’t happen to me… Guess what, it just did!

Phone home!

It’s scary and bloody lonely, you crave your bed and that comfort cure everyone has, but you’re going to be fine and (hopefully) be back on the road in no time. But phone your mum, that helps!

Stay safe!

P.S. It’s not always the chicken!

A musing from my bedroom floor

I am sometimes paralysed with fear of the power of my thoughts, of this world, of it’s ability to change everything around is in the blink of an eye.

So paralysed am I by it all I can go days with good intention that never materialise. To embark on this adventure I am told is ‘brave’, it is exciting and envy worthy, and yet sat here on my floor having just neared panic attack status and sobbing into my carpet I wouldn’t say I epitomized bravery.

When I started this blog I wanted to be happy and shiny and inspire with every word I wrote, but I am simply not that person. Travel has already taught me to expect the unexpected and that it is not all butterflies and rainbows and I haven’t even stepped out the front door.

I am happy and shiny about the fact I am going travelling, but I would be lying if I were to say to you that with just over 36 hours to go I was excited. I am in fact ‘shitting it’, if you’ll excuse the term.

But then I think, what are our dreams if not lined with fears of failure? Fear of this is what leads us away from our dreams time and time again. I do not follow my dreams to live the easy life, although a year around the world may seem entirely ‘dreamy’.

Dreams lead us to become the people we want to be, if we were already there we perhaps would not dream but live in the moment we have without asking for something more. I am asking myself to be braver, to be stronger, more loving and confident, to embrace this world for what it is. Beautiful. 

I received a present today that states:

I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul

Sometimes I forget that the choices we make for ourselves are not always the easiest, but our soul yearns for it and only us in turn can steer ourselves towards that.

I may still be a wreck writing a blog post from the floor of my bedroom, but I have hope that someday I may embody this quote.

Thanks Mum and Jessica… helping me out already

Pay it forward

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but the seeds you plant”
Robert Louis Stephenson

Doesn’t the world seem a little grey sometimes?

All the stories in the paper seem to promote negativity not provide a welcome escape or uplifting story. You kind of forget about taking happiness from the little things.

This is the way I’ve kind of been feeling lately, it’s getting closer to my trip and honestly? I’m tired. I’ve been working so hard I just find my body is yelling at me to slow down, take a load off, no, take it all off and just. do. Nothing.

This week I needed a reminder, I needed a little bit of kindness.
It’s like the universe kind of sensed it. I have been reminded that kindness can be found in all manner of places and if we just capture that little bit we too can pay it forward.

I head to Lush, cos who doesn’t want to smell pretty things when they’re feeling down? I get talking to a girl about shampoo bars, you know cos I’m trying to be travel conscious and try and offset some of my carbon guilt with some Eco packaging. After smelling every bar in the shop and discussing my hesitation of the conditioner bar, I buy my gorgeous smelling honey bar (travel bit: can use for hair, body and clothing = winning!) and go to leave the shop, where ‘Tallie’ stops me and gives me a conditioner bar ‘on Lush’ to try. How freekin’ nice is that.

Thanks universe, you just made my day.

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And again I’m in London with my friend gorging on food from the Eid celebrations, heading to Southbank to enjoy some Love festival food (beautiful by the way), and there’s these happy cheery guys, handing out roses and they have these little tags on them, I just can’t help but smile. They’re their spreading the love, paying it forward.

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I’ve got to admit I felt a little moved by this and in my act of paying it forward I passed on the rose to a guy on the street, giving me a smile, it could of just been the herbal ‘pick me up’ he was smoking but I like to think it made his day a little bit too.

And I asked myself, how have I (without being prompted)paid it forward recently? Have my actions led to someones smile?
What is it we are doing in our daily lives to pay forward this happy vibe we all crave?

I could be doing more.

Dreaming of ‘What if…?’

What is it that keeps us awake at night? Way past when we should be in the land of nod, when the moon is hig in the sky, or even when the birds have started singing their morning song.

What is it that keeps are brains whirring on endless thoughts and fantasies? What we sacrafice the next day for, knowing with every passing minute is a minute we will have to make up for with coffee tomorrow.

What is this, but the dreams we dream with our eyes wide open, with our hearts beating from our chests and smiles shining though we lay in the dark.

Oh the possibilities we open ourselves up to in our minds, that may never find their ways off the pages, but still scream an internal monologue to just do it!! How free they would wander if not encased in this cage of ‘what ifs?’.

I have a serious case of travel induced insomnia.

I also have a secret.

I hate change, I mean it, I really hate it. It means moving on from things that aren’t necessarily bad or letting go of things you have no idea how to, it means fear and vulnerability, what if the change you make is the wrong change? What if where you are now will lead you to  where you were meant to be?

The reality is, that’s all bullshit. What’s scary about change is the unknown. It’s the very thing that makes life all so bloody exciting, change is what these dreams are made of, because tomorrow in itself is already calling to you to change what you did today.

Change and eyes wide open dreams are exactly what make up this blog.

What if? What if? What if?

I am one big Wandering If! Soon to be one big travelling if!

I am scared of the change quitting everything I have in England will surely make to my life, but I am petrified of not going and never learning the answer to my biggest ‘What if…?

Don’t we all owe it to the sleepless nights to stop dreaming and just do? To stop existing and just live?

We all need people…

People that know me know that I have ‘issues’ with my moods, some people call it depression, I like to think of it as ‘temporary personality glitches’.

Sometimes I feel angry at close friends and my families presence, irritated by comforting words and patronised by affirmations of my achievements and positive things to come. I feel guilty for that.

Despite my minds best efforts of sabotage I can trick myself into thinking I want to go to yoga long enough to get into my yoga pants (admittedly not much persuasion needed for this) and into the car, I could probably slip gently out of the back door if my eyes persisted on the leaking business.

Today yoga reminded me of something. It seems even in my darkest hour I can inevitably find myself again in Chaturanga (could these studies be right?), never before have I had to be so conscious of myself as I have to be in yoga.

Working with a partner I was taught we need people even when we hate people, even when a breath at the wrong time makes you draw pause in annoyance. People pull us out of ourselves emotionally and into ourselves literally… in a yogic sense.

As my tension eased, I fell into the cushiony comfort of ujjayi breathing in unison with a dozen other people and felt the supportive grasp of another human stabilising my ankle I felt just that, stable, supported.

We need people.
People to teach us, form cultures, societies, give us ideas we would have never formed alone, you can learn so much from a stranger if you’re actually willing to look and understand a little.

It got me thinking… is this why we travel? Because other people keep us alert, interested, sane!?

Travel the world to see through someone else’s eyes. Take a yoga class and just soak in the passion of the people that go each week shaking in their Navasana but never giving up.

Go home and tell your spouse, that friend, your cat, dog, fish, you can’t live without them.  ‘What a lonely life I’m trying to create’ I thought this evening.

Letting people help despite yourself is sometimes difficult, hey we can all be stubborn sometimes, but sometimes it’s exactly what we need.

Appreciating those who take the time to withstand your ‘personality glitches’ are the people you kind of want to keep around!

So say it.

Thank you for just being there.

Thank you for saying things will get better when I don’t believe they will.

 

 

Upside down without the fear!

There are many things we as humans strive to achieve to believe we have succeeded in life. Nice Car. Big House. All these materialistic dreams, and so it is true, we achieve our material dreams with, if we’re lucky, with a little hard work (or not as may be for some), relative ease.

But what about those dreams and goals that scare us, the ones that give us butterflies at the prospect of, that we sit on the edge of completing or even attempting?
Like giving up your job to travel the world, spending all your savings on that business idea, or just achieving something that requires a little concentration and a push.

 

Today I did a headstand, albeit enhanced by the trusty bedroom wall, in my elation (and after I recovered from being smacked on the head with the frame I kicked off the wall), I had my roommate (Em) take photographic evidence which I promptly uploaded to Instagram to share with some unknown entity my worth and progress as a human being.

This was quickly followed by a text to Mum saying, and this is the bit that got me thinking, “I did it, it was just getting over the fear of falling”, and that’s just it isn’t it, it’s just living without ‘the fear of falling’.

Literal or metaphorical no one wants to fall, and once you’re over that well, amazing, neigh scary, but none the less wonderful things can happen, like flinging your toes above your boobs and standing on your head.

 

 
 

Life kind of does look better from upside down if only you forget about the fear.