Earlier last year I travelled to India for three months to experience and to learn from the founding country of yoga.
While I was no newbie to India and indian culture, some experiences have left a lasting effect on me.
The purpose of my trip was for expanding my yoga knowledge as well as learning more meditation techniques. I first participated in a meditation retreat in Gujarat where I learned to appreciate the power of silence. The retreat was led by Maa Prem Sangeeta, a respected and loving meditation guru, as well as a very close and special friend of mine.
When I practised meditation for the first time, my mind wandered here and there. I had a lot of beautiful and exciting visualisations which I found out later were coming from my subconscious. Sangeeta Maa told me about headless meditation, where you simply feel that you have no head. As silly as this sounds, it is very effective. After using this concept a few times I eventually was able to silence my mind. I started to notice that I was calmer and more patient. I was sleeping better and waking up fresher, with more energy.
I became curious about these changes and knew that there was some connection with meditation. There have been studies which show that meditation increases the melatonin levels (Nagendra, Maruthai, & Kutty, 1988), which improves the quality of sleep and is also easier to fall asleep too.
The next part of my Indian trip I studied yoga in Rishikesh at Vinyasa Yogashala. All my teachers were fantastic and very knowledgeable. I learnt the whole idea of practising the yoga poses or “asanas” was to stretch out the body so one could sit in a relaxed state for meditation.
The course was comprehensive and my teachers, also known as “gurus”, were happy to answer questions from me and my fellow students. As well as strong and detailed yoga classes, my school included adjustment, mantra, pranayama, relaxation, philosophy, anatomy, ayurvedic, meditation classes and more.
I was very fortunate to gain such valuable knowledge and meet so many wonderful gurus who were warm and open to sharing their experiences and wisdom with me. I will forever be appreciative and remember my Indian trip with gratitude and love.