As always on travel days, we arose long before the sun was up, pulled out of deep sleep by the sound of the alarm. The dogs were no more amused than we were. Rupee knows the meaning of the alarm and groaned when it rang.
Fortunately, the Bahamas are not terribly far, so after two flights we landed in paradise just before noon. The place where the ashram/school is located is actually called Paradise Island. Spot on.
It seems that the tourist parts of the island are hectic and tacky, full of kitsch shops, bars with Caribbean drink specials, a baffling number of sunglass stores, and luxury shops. What a strange mix of commerce that makes the place surreal.
The Sivananda Ashram is just across the bay, a short boat ride from the chaos. We debarked amidst palm trees, shaded paths and gently smiling yogis.
My goal through this intensive training — 30 days of nonstop study and practice — is to balance my critical, analytical mind with some sense of openness. Undoubtedly, there is much I can learn. Why else would we be here? On the schedule are Sanskrit classes and Vedanta lectures, not to mention the intensive pranayama sessions that start daily at 5am. I am excited for the opportunity to learn, grow and expand.
But, I must admit, I am a bit skeptical of the Bhakti/devotion-heavy lifestyle. I don’t know how much worship we will be asked to participate in, but for now I cringe at the thought. This is why I need to make an effort to be open. Perhaps I’ll be able to reconcile the analytical with the devotional, or perhaps one will have to surrender to the other.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga