Well the 39 hour journey went faster then i expected and i am glad because when i logged in to the ipad i noticed that the movies i wanted didnt download but the books did. I was not feeling the reading and the movies on the plane were uninteresting. I did noticed that while flying UNITED you did not get complimentary drinks while flying overseas like i have on other airlines… thats okay cause i paid the extra and relaxed in the united airline lounge and had free booze and snacks… oh and the best was a shower. nothing better then feeling refreshed.
I arrived in Mumbai after a gruelling 15.5 hour flight… went through security a bunch of times and then was required to wait several hours before a really short flight to GOA. An hour taxi ride and I arrived at SWAN YOGA RETREAT. First impression, it is a paradise, and I am happy to have arrived and be in this place for the first part of my journey.
Goa: pop 1.5million
It is green, glistening and gorgeous!!!
My room is a cute little thatched hut, with two beds covered in a mosquito net. I have a little gecko that appears to live behind the mirror, I am not to concerned as he will be eating any pesky bugs that come in 🙂
The retreat is quiet this time of year as it is the off season so at the moment there is only three of us here along with some staff member’s. The weather is getting HOTTTTT! average temp. is 34 Celsius with 66% humidity, making it feel more like 44 or so… I understand now why in hot countries nothing much gets accomplished between the hours of 1200noon and 1500 hours… I am defiantly not complaining about it though as I am getting acclimatized to it and am learning the art of doing nothing… very easy when it is hot…
The retreat centre is exactly what I was looking for in doing a yoga retreat.
Schedule: (Fire ceremony every sat/sun)
0715-0830 asana practice (poses)
1200-1300 A specific yoga technique (see below)
Antar-Mauna (Inner Silence)
Yoga-Nidra (Psychic Sleep)
SMS (Self-Management of Stress)
PET (Pranic Energization Technique)
Chidakasha Dharna (Concentration on the Inner Space)
Trataka (Concentrated Gazing)
The food is delicious and caters to a Ayurveda lifestyle. A holistic ancient Indian science which deals with the body, mind, and soul. It teats man as a whole. Most of the vegetables and fruit are grown right on the grounds, outside my room I have vines of passion fruits growing and a palm tree with a bundle of bananas growing. All I can say is the room is so amazing and the bananas are like nothing I have ever had before.
This place is a sanctuary, and I recommend it to anyone that does not want to spend a fortune on a yoga retreat in India and may not be totally ready for an ashram experience. SWAN YOGA RETREAT
So Ive checked out a few markets while being here, GOA is a very touristy place. And let me tell you Indian storekeepers are RELENTLESS!!! in there selling techniques. I think I am becoming pretty good at bargaining and I really think being in my profession has helped me in my approach in dealing with them. I managed to haggle with this women over a blanket. Its absolutely stunning and will look amazing on my bed however she wanted 2000INR (*$33CDN) I managed to talk her down to 700INR (*$12). She was not letting me walk away from her without me taking that blanket. At some markets I have had sellers follow me around the market continually dropping there price. Basically I just always offer to pay 200INR for stuff and go from there.
Its amazing how hard these people need to work to make a living. And it has made me think and appreciate what we have in Canada. The job I have, even when it sucks sometimes, it is not as bad as selling goods in +44 day after day to make a living. The rights that I am granted as a citizen of Canada and the access to clean drinking water, I am grateful and I am sure my journey across India further enforce that.
My journey will continue on Saturday April 12 where I will be headed to Kolkata. Ill be spending a few days there volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity which was established by Mother Teresa in 1950 to care for people who are in need ranging from refugees, lepers, sick/dying, abandoned and forgotten. I am going here mainly to pay tribute to Mother Teresa and to pay homage to my Grandparents who contributed to her cause.
Enjoy the few pictures. Some are of the retreat centre, markets, the sea side in Goa, and the delicious food I have been enjoying.
Peace and Love my friends and family, I think of you often and send intentions for you during practice.
Next Stop…. Kolkata, India