Friday, October 9, 2009

Little Yellow Ashram

9 October 2009 - Sivananda Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi, India

Okay, so here's the ashram. It's my "day off" which means that after 6am satsung, 8am yoga and 10 am breakfast, we are free until 6pm dinner. Mathaji sent us off to the little town of Uttarkashi with the warning in a thick Indian accent, 'try not to eat...or in two days the diadea will come." I'm in an internet cafe trying to handle a maddening little tax problem that arose my first night in New Delhi. So...about life in the ashram... [bxA] Obviously it's beautiful up here. It's a tiny little ashram with just forty of us on the course and three teachers.
Everything is yellow. The walls of the ashram, our uniforms, our yoga manual, the sunshine. My favorite color.

These are my roommates...from Spain, UK and Japan. We have another roommate who came late so isn't photographed here. She's from Houston, Texas! Small world.

This is Swami Vishnu, a disciple of Swami Sivananda. There are photos of both of them all over the ashram. From what I've learned and observed, the two swamis were happy, funny guys and the Sivananda school is quite joyful. This is good because I've had a serious case of the giggles since I got here. Almost everything reminds me of the Millennium days since our first big sail took us from Thailand to India. All the struggles of travel remind me of Alyssa and I get the giggles all the time. (Alyssa, it started when I peeled a banana during the silent dinner session and saw the little squiggly part of the peel that ordinarily I wouldn't eat, but... and then there was the time i was in the shower - which of course was a cold bucket of water - and the gong for satsung rang so i had to rush back into my dirty clothes in five minutes while thinking "maldives shower"...and then there are the never ending toilet issues that seem to distress my roommates yet i am completely unfazed ...and the meals are always rice rice rice and more rice... and someone gave me the best gift ever: a block of dates.... I could go on for days. I'm always laughing.)

The environment is bright...the alters are painted yellow and have all the fun Indian gods adorned with flowers and offerings. It's really laid back, not at all like what I'd imagined. I never actually got to the India part of Eat Pray Love, but there's no one like what's-her-name in this Ashram. It's cool and fun and casual....and people aren't weird and trying to escape stuff....and no one is obsessing about the personal drama she obsessed about in the first section of the book.

Here's the satstung room where we meditate/pray and hear the lectures. This is after class so most of the people are gone. We are busy all the time - mostly chanting in Sanskrit then studying the chants later and having lectures on meditation. We meditate a lot too. There are two 2-hour yoga classes, but the morning is mostly lecture since it's a teacher training course. (No, I am not becoming a yoga teacher.) There is no time in between the meditations/chants, yoga, lectures and meals so it's go go go until we drop around 9pm.
Okay, that's all I can think of to tell you. Any questions?


assie said...

giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle !!! i had my monthly ab work out giggling at that !!!! hehehe !!! am so glad you can have internet access so i can still stalk your blog !!!! you know you HAVE TO keep traveling so that you will keep a travel blog for me to stalk !!
i like the happy yellow colour !! good luck w/ the tex stuff ... ughh ! xxx's

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm planning to Sivananda Kutir ashram this August. However, I faced some difficulties on booking and related issue. May I have email contact with you to get your suggestions? I would be glad if you're so generous in helping me on this issue. Thanks for reply.
From Brenda

Ali said...

Brenda, sure. My email is public: Send me a note and I'm happy to help.