After waiting for what seems has been such a long time, I have finally made it to India.

I am here with a purpose and will take every opportunity to make the most of it.

I have arrived at a small ashram in the town of Siolim in North Goa. The temple is calm and exceptionally peaceful with a vibe similar to the studio. However, a cool, hard, marble floor could’t be further away to the soft, cosy, absorbent flooring 

This afternoon had been a mixed delights of trying to transfer funds for tuition and finding a space near the ocean....which is where I am right now. I anticipated a little swim but noticed broken glass by the edge of the shore so will wait until on a maintained beach. And, to make matters worse I have just been bitten on the derrière by a super-sized ant, now squashed. I know not very Buddhist but you should see the size of the bump already!

The breeze is gentle and so warm it is like a playful friend, the water has a seductive lull as it ripples and breaks softly and the heat is just right to be sat in a bikini (hence the exposed cheek!) and feel perfectly comfortable. Being coastal the breeze takes away some of the intensity of the high temperatures but the heady, spicy, interwoven smells are intoxicating - mimosa, coconut, coriander, and the ocean baked to perfection.

So, now to food. As with any ashram the list of “not allowed’s” is plentiful. (see pic) I anticipated being vegetarian for the duration but didn’t quite realise that it would mean no eggs either. I am ok with becoming vegan / plant-based for this visit but I am not sure that any longer is such a good thing for me. Vegetarian, yes…but not quite ready to do the complete switch. However, it is still early days.

And then to the Goan soundtrack that is for the most part incredibly satisfying. I am thrilled that I wake before sunrise for asanas which as they progress become deeper and more beautiful as the birds around awaken and make me smile with their quirky, interesting, and tuneful calls. There is the “honking” of the bread man’s bicycle as he rides up the road, the dogs getting grumpy with each other, cow’s that are usually silent but then seem decidedly Indian when they do call (think of a horse trying to “moo” and you have it!) and then the sound of scooters minus the hooting. Oh, and the crickets, singing to each other always. The mornings are divine. 

So, it is now time to immerse myself in books and learnings. There is so much to take in. I am pleased that I have a strong asana practice but daunted by the immense amounts of everything that is required to be absorbed, memorised, retained and taught / examined. I will be spending every moment with my head firmly stuck in books….or finding wifi strong enough to publish my blog : )