The bell rang at 530, stirring us all from our sleep. Outside the window, the trees were merely shadows in the morning darkness, and we silently got ready as the sun began to creep its way up. Out the dormitory building and down the path passed the tea station, we walked on a little trail outlined by beautiful magenta flowers, to reach what was a vast, smooth floor, covered by an orange dome. This is where we would begin our day at the yoga ashram, the ten of us mingled with eighty or so others for meditation and chanting. An hour and a half later, still humming ‘Jaya
Ganeisha’ under our breaths, we walked to another yoga space and began our two hour long asana practice. Each day this sequence would change only slightly in variation of certain poses, but we would always begin with a series of surya namaskar (sun salutations), and then move through seated postures, shoulderstands, headstands, balancing postures, finally ending with savasana. The schedule then moved through philosophy classes, karma yoga, and then ending the day with another round of asana, meditation and chanting.
The yoga ashram became a place for each of us, where closure could happen. It was a space for silence and appreciation, and also wonderful conversation with so many people from around the world. It was a time when small beautiful connections were made, and also a time when saying goodbye to India was approaching. The ashram challenged us in different ways, and by the end brought us closer together to send us off to Sri Lanka. We touched down on the lush island to find ourselves surrounded by the element of water, which was a huge shift for us and would continue to be so. On the second night, standing in the rain on the edge of the ocean, feet buried in the sand, we watched as darkness fell. We then each said our intentions for the last part of this trip, and one obstacle we’d overcome in India. Taking a handful of sand, we then bid farewell by tossing it into the sea in the direction of the land we had spent two months in. And as the tides flowed in and out, so did our intentions, caught in the net of the sea, and heard by the soul of Sri Lanka