no turning back

My yoga journey has officially begun with last week’s purchase of non-refundable Lufthansa tickets to Chennai, India. Such a deal from, $1400 RT from Chicago to Chennai. Now it’s just purchase travel insurance, get a new digital camera, maybe some new luggage, get my shots, and visa.

I started planning my India trip about one year ago. I am a yoga instructor and I told my husband — much to his dismay — that when it’s time for me to go to India, I’m going, and nothing or no one is going to stop me. That time has come, and I’m going in September.

I researched various yoga schools and ashrams in India, but nothing felt right until Chicago yoga instructor Helen Snow wrote a story for YogaChicago about her trip to Chennai and her studies at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, the yoga school of T.K.V. Desikachar, son of Krishnamacharya, the grandfather of modern yoga. This is it, I thought, I found my school, and I sent my deposit last summer.

Last summer was also when I saw Helen again. We were in a teacher training together in 2003 at Chicago Yoga Center . When I read her story I emailed her and said “you probably don’t remember me, but….”, and I asked if she could tell me all about the school and her trip. She invited me over, and the more she told me, the more I wanted to leave for India the next day. She told me a few weeks ago that she wants me to try on her salwars that she bought on her trip, so that I can wear them when I’m in India — “my Indian clothes miss India”, she said. By the way, this is my first trip overseas, and I’m going alone, at the fabulous age of 51.

Peoples’ reactions to my solo trip to India have run the gamut of fear and dismay to envy to excitement. Some people think I will never come back. Many people are perplexed as to why I would even consider going: “can’t you study more yoga here?”; “why do you want to go to such a dirty country?”; “you’re going to crap your brains out for a month!”; “you want to see Indians, go to Devon Avenue! (or a 7-11); “are they on our side in the war?” Even people who are regular yoga practitioners have their doubts. But I know this is something that I have to do: at this stage of my yoga life, I know it in my heart and I feel it in my bones.

FearTalk, that’s what I call it. I will have none of it. Some of the suburban women I know have told me, “I’m afraid to go into Chicago, I can’t imagine going to India alone!. Aren’t you afraid?” FearTalk….maybe that’s why so many people live their lives in quiet desperation, to quote an American Transcendentalist.

I’ve been told by an akashic record reader that when I go to India, I will “disappear”. Not literally, but that I will melt into that world as if I were going back home. Who knows? Maybe that explains my visions in meditation of an old woman in an orange robe with long, curly grey hair sitting in meditation on the steps of a temple. So ha. All things happen for a reason, there are no accidents.

So come with me on my yoga journey via this blog. But check your FearTalk at the door.


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