Yoga Alliance, US-RYS 200, 500
What is the value of a different perspective? It is priceless, of course. But yesterday, for only 2500 rupees I got a new perspective on my life, going on a day trip to Mussoorie.
I got in the taxi at 10.30 am, with an inner cat of frustration clawing in my chest. My driver, the ”sugar cane man” who has picked me up from Delhi the past times, was greeting me across the Laxman Jhula bridge with a smile. The familiar scent of spices and petrol in the car hit my nostrils, bringing memories from my first visits to India back. Going by car here is probably something I will never tire of…I love, love, love every second of it!
Two years ago, when going twelve hours by taxi from Vrindavan to Rishikesh with a stoned driver, driving against traffic in the middle of the night, I decided to let go of fear. The traffic in India is not crazy, but a beautiful dance of trust and of intuitive connection between the drivers on the road. I leaned back and as Rishikesh disappeared behind me I felt the cat in my chest relax and when we had passed Dehradun and started driving up the winding mountain road, she even began to purr with satisfaction.
We stopped at a little tea stall with the most magnificent view I have seen in years… valleys and mountains stretching out beneath us like giant waves on a green sea, Dehradun and its smog in the distance and cool, crisp mountain air brushing against my cheeks, reminding me of Sweden. I never drink chai in Rishikesh, but I always drink it on the road… not only because the best chai is found in the places that look the dirtiest, but it has become a personal ritual for me. A road trip without a chai doesn’t count!
I’m a firm believer in the need to change physical location to get a different perspective. As much as you love one place and as clear minded as you think you are, you will always benefit from taking a few steps back and sometimes it’s not enough to do it mentally – you need it physically as well. It is indeed hard to take in the beauty of a painting or the vision of the artist if you’re standing with your nose pressed against it! Equally difficult is it to see your own life; what you have, what you lack and what you want if you are caught in the middle of it.
Sometimes we are manipulated into believing that what we see in our small bubble of everyday-life is what there is. But the world is always out there! The moon and sun keeps sinking and rising in their eternal dance, strange scents are carried to distant places by the wind, different treas growing in the soil. People look, talk and act differently, laugh at different things and grieve over different sorrows…
In Mussoorie I had lunch at a simple restaurant with a magnificent view. While writing in my journal and marveling at the view, I saw things in my life with clarity for the first time in months. What is working and what isn’t and I also saw that I am free... free to change the circumstances and choose new paths if the current ones aren't taking me in the right direction. This is my human privilege.
I returned to Rishikesh, sleepy as a baby and with a profound sense of relaxation, reminded of that freedom is my birthright and not a bonus. If something doesn’t work – change it! I read a quote some time ago, which I think I shared on Facebook: ”If you know your heart is aching over something you know is small stuff – you know you need yoga right now!” but if the ache is still there... then you need to change location, soar like an eagle for an hour, a week or a year...and see your life through heaven’s eyes.
Naturopath & Asana Teacher