Greetings from Kovalam

I am sitting in a little café with free wifi overlooking the beach on this sunny tropical afternoon. I have yet to get my own internet stick set up, but by tomorrow evening I should be ready to roll. I wish I could share some photos with you, but the speed of this wifi is not conducive to that. Yesterday was Republic day, today is Sunday so the offices are closed and tomorrow all my papers have to go through verification before my internet access can be activated. Nothing is simple in India.

It was a rough transition this time. You would think by now, on my 4th trip over here I would be used to it, but no. The heat, the humidity, the trash everywhere, the smell of burning plastic, the noise, the constant hawking and haggling, the headache and exhaustion of 30 hours of traveling and fasting – all this does not a cheerful Frances make.

But today, despite an interrupted night sleep due to power outages, I’m feeling a little more bright and lively.

We had our first practice with DG this morning. After a few days off, my rested SI joint was feeling fine. Primary Series felt easeful and clarifying. In savasana I felt this sensation of light and space inside all of my joints – as if prana was filling the emptiness between my bones.

This morning I woke up early (still adjusting to the time difference) but it was nice because I spent almost an hour before practice getting myself the yoga mood. I took my mat out onto our apartment’s porch, did some gentle stretching and deep breathing. We are up on a hill, back in the jungle a bit. The birds were raucous and rowdy but the air was still cool and it felt nice to enjoy being outside (not a feeling I normally experience during most of the day – I’m not a huge fan of the heat, to say the least). After some Kundalini movements to wake up my spine and clear my head, I practiced 10 minutes of alternate nostril breathing and then 10 minutes of silent meditation.

All this facilitated me arriving at practice feeling alert and clear. Because our Mysore doesn’t start ‘til 7am (how luxurious!) and we are only a 3-minute walk away from the shala, I plan on incorporating this extra personal practice of pranayama and quiet meditation into my routine. I brought with me Graham Schweig’s new-ish translation of the Bhagavad-Gita so perhaps I will add in a little morning reading and japa as well.

Yesterday we met some Russian devotees when we were on our way to breakfast. They led us to their house and in typical Hare Krishna fashion fed us an elaborate spread of prasadam despite our protestations.

All in all – despite the inherent challenges of traveling all the way to the other side of the world, we are happy to be here and grateful for the opportunity to practice in such a focused environment with our teacher.

Thad is enjoying watching cricket matches on our apartment’s little television (though he doesn’t actually ever know which team is winning) and I’m looking forward to some Ayurvedic treatments tomorrow – Shirodhara and Abhyanga.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back often as I will be posting daily about our Indian Ashtanga adventures.

Love and Blessings,



5 thoughts on “Greetings from Kovalam

  1. Pingback: The India Chronicles | Lila

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