28 April 2016

Last Days in Mumbai

I don’t know exactly why, but there’s just something I love about the energy of Mumbai. I can feel it as soon as my taxi emerges into the traffic of the city. I felt this way last time I got there too. Even though it’s hot and kinda grossly humid and there’s horrendous traffic and poverty and chaos, I still somehow love Mumbai as a city.
This time I was staying in Bandra. It’s kind of the hip area outside Mumbai...think Williamsburg, but with Bollywood film stars instead of hipsters.
After I arrived, I took a walk to a yoga studio, found out about the morning classes, and had dinner right there at the Yoga House. I had a paneer burger. The fact that I can eat a veggie burger made out of CHEESE shows you why I love India so much.
After, I had a little wander, popping into shops, and then went back to my room to shower and go to sleep. I first tried to organized my stuff as best as I could, and felt overwhelmed. How could I be going home in the morning? How? It felt...impossible.
I got up at 5am and went to meet Amit (founder of RRUN, India’s only running nutritional company) and his awesome wife, Monica. We went on a run along Bandstand, with nice views of the water, in peaceful streets. We got coconuts at the finish, and sat there, chatting, relaxing. It was a really nice way to start my day.
Then I showered and ate at my hotel, and left all my stuff in their left luggage room. I headed out to YogaCara for an Iyengar class. The teacher that that gruff shouting Indian personality, but she wasn’t mean. She was just being firm and strict. Iyengar is always interesting and I like taking it, as the focus on alignment is so interesting and important for any yogi.
After the Iyengar class, I stayed for a Restorative class. The woman was sweet, but she had so much energy it felt a bit weird for Restorative yoga. I’m used to soothing music and Nicole Hooley’s calm voice for my Restorative yoga.
After, I hopped in a tuktuk and went to Iskon Temple. I arrived in time for some kirtan and the aarti. People were super into it, and I sang along to “Hare Krishna/Hare Rama.” There’s something really powerful about chanting (Read Ram Das’s Journey of Awakening for more on the power of chanting) and I love singing along and participating in the aartis. After, I bought some delicious coconut biscuits to eat on my plane ride (Definitely tastier than those horrid bags of peanuts!) and had a wander around, eating some random street food (spciy samosas, sweets I didn’t really know what they were…) and then wanted to walk to Juhu Beach. It was just so hot that I barely made it there, and then hopped in a tuktuk back to Bandra.
I wandered a bit into a few shops, and then sat down for a leisurely lunch. After a while, I realized I had to actually go to get ready. So I did.
I felt an overwhelming sadness. I wanted to stay, really. Yes, I wanted to go home and see Wayne - but I wanted to stay. There was so much more for me to do in India, so much to see, so many people to meet, so much yoga to practice.
But for now, I’m going home. (After a trafficky tuktuk ride where I sang the entire time to myself, and three hours in lines at the airport before I got to my gate, which was boarding when I arrived! Oh, and then two flights…)
I’m looking forward to implementing what I’ve learned, but I know it’s best to stay in the present where I am, and focus on being here now.

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