YOGART STUDIO :: India Itinerary
Before I left for India I paid my parents a visit. I wanted to spend some time with them and discuss my trip because they were trying to understand why I wanted to travel to India and how this related to YOGART STUDIO. My mum asked me about my travel plans and what I was planning on doing once I completed my yoga teacher training certification. I told her that my trip to India would include travelling in overcrowded trains, bracing the monsoon, staying in simple guesthouses and meeting hoards of people!
Still unclear as to why I had to travel all the way to India to do this, I continued to explain that I planned on exploring small communities but there were several large cities I was also going to visit. I told her about Agra, and that under the Mughals rule it was once the capital of India and now is infamously known as the home of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal has been described as “a teardrop on the face of eternity” by poet Rabindranath Tagore. The immense mausoleum was built as a testament to the profound love Shah Jahan had for his favourite wife, Arjumand Bann Begum. After her death he was so overcome with grief he set out to build a monument in her memory whose beauty was beyond solace.
I described Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world. Founded by Shiva, Varanasi permits instant enlightenment for those who die here because it’s believed to be the holiest “crossing place” between the divine deities and earth. Thousands of pilgrims gather daily along the ghats (long flights of stairs) by the waterfront to bathe in in the River Ganges for ablution and many elderly choose to live out their final days here.
My mum and I discussed the scorching heat that I would have to cut through, and I told her it wouldn’t stop me from going on a camel trek in Jaisalmer. Found in the westernmost corner of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is an infamous desert town and has been described as a scene from Arabian Nights. Also, known as “The Golden City”, Jaisalmer is very close to Pakistan’s boarder and the Thar Desert where overnight trips can be arranged to sleep under the stars.
And then my mum asked me why. Why were these things important to me? Why did I have to go looking for something different? She explained that she thought that I was leaving for India to find something better and that she thought that I didn’t understand that home was enough. I was surprised. I long ago learned that travelling actually brought me closer to a sense of home. That for me, the value of home heightened each time I visited a new destination. I explained to my mum, that whether or not she realized it, that even if it wasn’t her intent, she raised me to be an explorer of the world. The highlight of my India itinerary is the freedom to once again learn through my experiences and let those experiences shape my understanding of myself and the value of home. For this, I will forever be indebted to my mother. I am grateful for her guidance and endless love and I look forward to seeing her again once I return from India -embracing her, my home.
Happy Mother’s Day & Best Wishes to all the Mama’s out there!
I’d like to dedicate this post in the loving memory of Audrey Perpall
~ The lasting memory she left on so many people is a testament to a mother’s love of no boundaries or limitations ~