Mumbai to Goa

Mumbai to Goa

We took the “easy” route! We chose to fly from Mumbai to Goa. One of our hopes in traveling to India with Ethan is to ease him in slowly to the joy and intensity of India. So rather than taking the 12 hour train from Mumbai to Goa which would undoubtedly put us in the heart and pulse of the country right away we flew above the clouds and back down through them into the rain of Goa.

We have chosen to travel to Goa to practice yoga with our teacher Rolf Naujokat and his wife Marci. Some 8 years ago Tam and I were traveling round the world from California toward India via Thailand. First studying Thai massage in Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand and after talking with new friends we mentioned that we were on our way to India to practice Ashtanga Yoga with Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore. Being new to the  Ashtanga yoga method our friend had recommended us to go and practice Ashtanga with an accomplished yogi named Rolf in Kho Phangan a small island in South Thailand. We thought we could extend our trip slightly to visit Rolf and we were accepted warmly to practice with him. We planned on staying 1 week and stayed 3…

Our eyes were blown wide open! We will never forget walking up the hillside on a beaten path through the rainforest to the small bungalow on stilts perched perfectly on the Thai hillside. As we got closer we could hear the resonate sound of the deep breathing inherent to the Ashtanga practice. We could also hear the bass like thumps on the floor resulting from practitioners landing from their jumps and vinyasas. We were a bit nervous. We felt a long way from home and wondered if we were ready for practice on this level. We climbed up the stairs and saw all these advanced students whom have travelled from around the globe practicing postures we never imagined possible. We both looked at each other and without saying anything agreed we had made the right move. At that point Rolf greeted us and allowed us to practice side by side since we were still memorizing the routine of Primary Series. The three weeks that we had with Rolf were life changing. His kindness and patience just really stuck us for which we were always grateful . This was our first experience practicing Mysore method of Ashtanga and we became totally hooked. There is such a beautiful blend of discipline and personal attentiveness inherent in this method that we felt completely drawn to. Leaving Rolf in that idyllic setting was difficult yet it paved the way beautifully for our experience to come in Mysore.

The yoga practice itself engages the physical and yet enables us an opportunity to come into contact with our authentic nature. Sometimes people are curious as to why one would travel so far to practice yoga. There is so much more to the yoga practice and sometimes it requires being in the presence of an accomplished teacher to allow these shifts of awareness to take place.

India is that place…


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