THE BLOG
15/10/2013 08:20 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

What It's Really Like the First Day of Your Yoga Retreat

Chamundi Hill Palace Vew.jpg

Hey!

So it's my first official day in India. I arrived yesterday morning and got to the retreat in time for lunch.

Before I go in to how great it all is, I wanted to share something with you first.

Last night, I cried for an embarrassingly long time and wondered if I could get an earlier flight home. I hadn't even spent the night here yet.

Why am I telling you that I spent a tonne of money and time getting myself to India only to want to bail as soon as I got there? Because it's real life. And sometimes I want people to be honest with me, rather than sugar coat this shit.

Just to put things in perspective, I woke up at 4am Saturday morning. I didn't have to leave until 9am but nerves got the better of me (whilst I moved to Italy on my own, it was two hours away, I've never done anything like this by myself before). So I was up. I left, trekked to Heathrow on various tubes and arrived in plenty of time. I flew a total of 11hrs, not including 3hrs in the middle of the night in Dubai and arrived 9am Sunday morning in India (3:30am my time). I hadn't slept for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

I then spent 3hrs in a Toyota (thankfully with AC) to get to the retreat. So, what I'm saying, is that I was really really really tired.

Now, the place is beautiful - and the people even more so. I had lunch with the two only other guests, who were German so I couldn't speak to them (they were friends so were polite but didn't seem to bothered about including me - only one spoke English) and then had my first Ayurvedic massage (more on that later).

I'd had all of an hour's nap when I headed for dinner, quickly followed by bed at 8:30pm. When I finally climbed in to bed, after being told all the toiletries I'd brought with me were useless as I shouldn't use any chemicals whilst I was here (not even deodorant!), I cleaned my teeth (with toothpaste - wasn't giving up that one) and collapsed on to the bed, hoping to God there weren't any bugs that were going to ruin sleep for me my entire trip.

Lying there, with nothing but crickets, the prayers being chanted somewhere in the valley, and frogs croaking for company, I suddenly felt completely alone.

I came to India as part of a five year dream to see the home of Yoga and Ayurveda, but, as I said in my last post, it couldn't have come at a better time for me. I have a lot of thinking to do whilst I'm here and, well, one main decision to make. Once I make it, my life will change drastically. Now, I'm not talking cut off a limb drastically, but definitely steer my life in a completely different direction, and move away from someone who I could not have imagined to care for more deeply. Think, 'Eat, Pray, Love' in real life, minus the Italian lover cos, well, that's never going to happen. I lived there for eight months, never even had a whiff of a hunky Italian guy wanting to buy me a spritz (I did have a bf at the time so wouldn't have accepted but an offer would have been nice!).

Back to India.

What I realised, in my somewhat sticky state, listening to what can only be described as a really annoying electrical whine, which turned out to be a bird or animal of some sort, is that, it doesn't matter if I'm in India or London, the decision is still the same. Yes, it might be easier to listen to your heart when everything around you is quiet and peaceful, but the answer is still the same - and I think I already knew the answer when I came here.

So what makes someone doubt themselves or avoid making a decision they know to be right?

Generally, in my experience, fear.

That's all. Let's not wrap this baby up and put an impossibly complex metaphor 'bow' on it. People are just shit scared of getting it wrong.

*tummy rumbles* - lunch isn't for another hour FYI.

I've probably known what I needed to do (ish) for a good while, but, instead of actually doing it, I've used coming to India as an excuse to 'make sure'. There are, in fact, a good number of reasons why waiting until I came to India was a good idea, not least of which because my decision will probably involve doing more yoga and, considering this morning in my 7:30am 121 yoga class I could barely touch my toes, THIS IS SOMETHING I NEED TO CONSIDER (and/or work on).

Now that I've explained in an albeit convoluted fashion, how I'm going to use my trip as a catalyst for change, there really is not much else for it but to embrace the early morning yoga, 'oh this is quite sweet..no....no...it's really spicy' tea, being washed by tiny Indian ladies and eating (delicious) curry twice a day and be aware of my intuition in case it's thinking about changing it's mind!

I know a few of you lovely ladies have been to India before - care to share your experiences below? Perhaps you blogged about it? Let me know in the comments!