Mariana, a Yogini in Goa

Every teacher of yoga is first and foremost a student and on the top of every bucket list of many yoga enthusiasts, there is one dream: pilgrimage to India to study yoga. The reason is obvious, India is the birthplace of yoga, the source.

Studying in India, is more than just being tucked away in an ashram or yoga school, with a guru in front you, burning incense and chanting Sanskrit mantras. The biggest reason to study in India is cultural immersion. In India, you’ll learn yoga the moment you step off the plane.

The magic of the shala (house of yoga) has transformed my understanding of yoga from the moment that I traveled there. We go deep. We don’t sit around and only “talk about it”, we’re all about direct experience. Meditation, chanting, ritual, and all acts of service and devotion are the path. Be prepared to sit for long periods in meditation practice anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Your legs may occasionally go into spasms or cramping. In an Indian ashram, you don’t question things, you simply follow. Thankfully.

At 6 AM, sitting in silence I felt the sun spreading its rays across my body with an orange and gold. Inhale… OM. The sunset… OM… pink sky, Exhale.

Make friends. Relationships are what makes the places you visit beautiful, making friends with travelers and locals, who share your passion is another perk. The best ayurvedic massage in the middle of palm trees and vegetarian dreams. Delicious, healthy and ayurvedic food.

Beach? This is where India meets the Arabian Sea and Goa’s coastline is blessed with some of the most striking beaches in the country. As soon as you enter South Goa, the lushness of trees and foliage surrounds you. It was difficult making a choice as to where to stop and spend a few moments.

Away from the beaches, Goa is a exciting state to explore. The tallest waterfalls, the fragrant spice plantations or the historic marvels of Old Goa. I think Goa is magic.

Without that trip to India, I’d be lost without a clear sense of direction and purpose.

When I share Yoga with students in my teaching, my writing, and my videos it is my intention to give them a taste of this magic of Índia.

Next November I return to Goa, detox and refresh my skills, yoga and meditation, visit friends and teachers, smell the flowers and fruits, the best sunsets in the world, party, beach and markets. I miss everything and everyone. Goa has a special place in my life, my heart and soul.

See you soon… 

love & light!

M

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