This time last year I was preparing for my first trip to India to study ashtanga with my teacher David Garrigues.
Going to India for the first time was so exciting, being in India was so incredible-
The sights, smells, sounds. Feet on the ground, close to the earth, that was the feeling, the idea, the part of India that has stuck with me. The feet of india-bare feet, dog feet, elephant feet, rickshaw feet, my feet crouching down to buy vegetables…..
Here are some tips for getting ready for Kovalam, and also tips for getting your feet on the ground ASAP once you are there.
stuff to pack:
band aids (called plasters) there will be lots of walking
bug repellant that you can where for sleeping
sturdy yoga mat and blanket/rug the ones for sale in Kovalam are the cheap sucky ones
bathing suit or two
summer type clothes
super comfy walking shoes that you will not care about trashing
at least 2 super cute little and yet powerful flashlights.
you will need two because, someone will lose or forget theirs, and you can give them one.
So bring 3 so you will have a back up even after you give one away.
Other than that, you won’t need much.Pack clothes and stuff that you can leave behind because your suit case will be filled with stuff you get in INDIA!!
Things you must do when in Kovalam
get to a festival or two
eat brunch at the Leela Hotel
ride a crowded bus into Trivandrum
ride an even MORE crowded bus home from Trivandrum
ride a train, a super crowded one
buy a tiny coffee on the train
ride a rickshaw in crazy traffic
purchase garland for the shala
|store on the walk to the shala|
eat dosa often
get a dress or shirt made for you
get a pair of sandals made for you
drink coffee at Puppies Cafe(best coffee on the beach)
look up at the moon! the man up there looks different
get your own money guy, trade your dollars for the rupees with your special money guy. you need your own money guy so that when other money guys try and get your to change money with then you say, “I have a money guy.”
the same goes for beach chair guys. Lauren will handle the beach chair situation, she already has a beach chair guy. Follow her lead, she is the senior Kovalamer. (update 2018 JOanna Darlington is the most Kovalamed Kovalamer)
Things you must not do
do not buy fruit from the beach ladies
do not even look at the guys selling the big scarves. no!
do not have the eye contact with the vendors as they sit on their stoops, unless you feel like actually shopping.
do not pay the price the merchant first states, barter… then barter some more…
do not drink the water. If you can, get a bubbler so you don’t have to buy so many frigging bottles of water.
Mostly get over there and get ready to do some yoga!!!
I will not be making the trip this year, but I hope you have such a great time and learn SO MUCH that you go in 2015.
|faulkner and the babies|
kiss a few elephants for me.