So I’ve been in this yoga institute for a week now. The mental battle and conversations I’ve had with myself have only been outweighed by the number of kilojoules I’ve sweated out in this hot Indian weather.

First Mumbai as a city is ridiculous, the first time I went to Thailand I said it was like Bali on steroids. Well India is like Thailand on steroids. I mean everything you’ve ever read about India is only the tip of the iceberg. You really have to see it to understand it. My grammatical skills won’t do the description justice. The fact that SO many people live in such POOR conditions is beyond comprehension. And I’m only talking about what I’ve seen in Mumbai which is only the tip of a needle compared to the multi coloured, multi layer blanket that is Mumbai. But now I’m in the yoga institute I’m a little more sheltered, my life consists of 3 Asana classes a day and the rest filled up with yoga theory lessons.

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This is our weekly schedule which doesn’t change until next month.

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And these are the books we have to read while here. It’s a little intimidating to say the least. But not stressing out is something I’ve become rather good at so I’m not too worried. But with all the Sanskrit words and the Indian accent it does make some of the lessons very hard to get through. Also we don’t always change classrooms and we sit on the floor so sometimes we are there for nearly 3 hours. Its more mentally difficult than physically. We get little fold out floor chairs so it’s not too bad but with no air conditioning and a room filled with 25 people you get pretty sweaty pretty quick. We have ceiling fans but still it’s India.

For anyone that doesn’t know yoga, (or thinks it’s only about postures) it follows a book that was written about 2500 years ago called “The yoga sutras of Patanjali” (the big orange and yellow one on the bottom right there). These are 196 sentences or phrases that tell us how to obtain Samadhi which is enlightenment. The book is written in the ancient language Sanskrit and there are a lot of words that don’t have direct English translation so that makes it all the more fun. The hardest part of it all is most of the teachers don’t answer your questions, of which there are many. They just smile and say, you will learn that in the next few classes. Or they say ‘write your questions down and ask me at the end of class’, and obviously I never write them down and I forget the question by the end of class.

We also seem to be hearing a lot of the same thing in some of the classes. Its repeating itself over and over again, which I guess is the best way to learn but if they are different classes I would have been expecting to learn different things. I suppose they are laying the foundations for the inward journey that will take place. The most common/frequent thing that keeps coming up is detachment. The more detached you are the happier you will be. The more attachment you have to people, feelings, emotions, objects, expectations then when you get let down you get upset, and if you get upset then that’s when the problems arise. I’m battling with this in my head a fair bit. I mean it obviously makes a lot of sense to some regard but where do you draw the line. They go as far as to say love your wife and child with detachment, but isn’t attachment what love is all about, to an extent. I’m not saying you have to control everything they do and say but if you love with detachment I feel as if you’re not giving your all to a relationship. In a weird way it shows you care when you get upset. I realise that you have to know your boundaries, if you start screaming and yelling and throwing things that’s taking it a little too far. Emotions are the best and worst part of each of us, they are what keeps life interesting, as long as you don’t let them control you, but feeling them is human!

I mean what do I know I’m just a bricklayer from Gawler, South Australia… I’ll keep you posted on how my views on this change.

The other thing we hear a lot of is acceptance, when you accept something for the way it is then your emotions won’t get control of you. This I can relate and agree with a lot more. You have to learn what is and is not within your control. For example when I was back home building houses, there was an apprentice who called in sick nearly once a week. When I got the text message first thing in the morning I didn’t dwell on it for the whole drive to work and then get to work and abuse the boys who did show up, I just drove to work and had to change the plans I had for the day. It wasn’t that I wasn’t disappointed but why should I have a bad day because of him. I guess that’s related to detachment isn’t it, I detached from the expectation of him doing his job every day. I don’t know about the love with detachment though I still struggle with that one.

In saying that detachment isn’t my problem when it comes to love or girls, it’s attachment that I’m no good at. It’s always on my terms. Arms distance is close enough, any closer and I might get hurt and no one wants to get hurt….. haha. I sound like and idiot but it’s true. I started seeing a girl when I was back in Australia and for all arguments purposes there was no reason I shouldn’t have maybe tried to see where it went. She was beautiful, strong minded, funny, independent, we had the same interests but as soon as she opened up to me I felt like a cat in the corner with my back arched and my claws out. I didn’t hurt her, I was honest from the very beginning and we spoke about everything as adults, but when we had “that conversation” I went and slept with someone else pretty soon and that ended everything with us. We had spoken about this and she said if I slept with someone else to tell her which I did knowing it would end things. I sabotaged it. Do I regret it? That’s a really good question. Sometimes yes sometimes no. Would I be here if I had given it a chance, yeah I probably would be. She wasn’t controlling in that sense. She might have even come with me (I know she would have actually if I’d asked). Haha, what a different experience that would have been, it’s funny that’s what I thought about a lot last time I traveled, and little bit on this trip too, to meet a girl who would come and share my travel experiences with me.

Good new is we are still good friends and it doesn’t get in the way of our common interests. We still talk and chat and she is seeing someone else now and I am super happy for both of them. It was a little weird seeing them together the first time but I burned my bridge so I have no right to feel upset or jealous, and I can say that I truly mean it now. While a while ago I probably would have been a little mentally irregular from it.

That’s week 1’s thoughts and feelings. Let’s see what week 2 brings.

The time to be happy is now
The place to be happy is here
And the way to be happy, is make others happy
And make a little heaven right here!!!!!

Breathe deeply
Think slowly
And SMILE!!!!!   :):):)