Travel by Meditation

| Author: Amber |

We awoke bright and early Saturday morning, even before the sun rose, to try our luck in a yoga class. Winding through the streets of Bangalore, we arrived at a tall office-like building at a dead end of a dirt road. Up the ramp we walked, entering the empty ground level to a continuous climb of 4 or 5 flights of stairs. Winded and dizzy, we reached our destination: colorfully tiled floor designs, with a plant-covered patio overlooking the neighborhood. From the patio, we walked through opened glass doors into a large matted studio covered in bright yellow marigolds. As we settled into our practice space, our teacher, Ananya, explained to us that in India, mediation is the primary focus of yoga as compared to the more westernized goal of physical exercise.

Back in the states, I have gone to my fair share of yoga classes, but it is true that physical exercise and impatience consume the yogi culture: I recall resting in savasana, having just settled into my final pose and immediately hearing the sound of pattering feet and mats being rolled up as the participants left the practice room, checking off their exercise for the day and punctually moving on to the next part of their day. In those moments, I have always questioned why people are in such a rush. It was not until our class this past Saturday that I had ever settled into a state of meditation such as the following:

My mind wanders into a fluffy sunset of orange cream, baby blue and lavender. As I look below me, green treetops slowly rise above the misty fog that engulfs the cloud forests of Baños, Ecuador. I am sitting in a hammock that overlooks the infinite biodiversity of a place I have once visited and locked in my memory. My conscience has naturally come to this place of peace and beauty for my meditation practice to take full form. Who would have thought that my trip to India would actually bring me back to Ecuador….

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