It was two o’clock in the afternoon, the sun was high and the air still. The bandwagon had turned into an oven on wheels. After reaching the repair garage we all literally crawled out as soon as we could. The AC was broken.
No problem, half an hour, says the guy, you wait, you have some chai.
This month I have been travelling through South India with Vivian’s band, Vidwan, during their February tour. I’m having a blast documenting it all, recording the gigs and in betweens, being there at the band rehearsals and goofing around in the backstage.
While sipping my chai I had an image of Patanjali smirking the sutra:
Santosha anuttamah sukha labhah. From an attitude of contentment (santosha), unexcelled happiness, mental comfort, joy, and satisfaction is obtained.
Keeping up with a regular yoga practice is challenging on the road and the first weeks have taught me the essential yoga-on-the-road-in-India tips.
Find peace in the unexpected. After chai and waiting and more chai, it took roughly two hours to get the band wagon back on the road that day. It was another reminder for me to accept the present without a grumpy face, to have patience, to surrender and stop resisting the flow. More of this would be on it’s way, most of the things would not happen as we had planned.
Practice daily but keep it simple. Travelling in the van in India means long hours in weird positions, sudden climate changes, random times of arrival and departure, spontaneous twists and turns of circumstances. Keeping it simple goes a long way, take the time you get, just breathe, move, mediate. Even ten minutes a day, if thats all you can get, makes a difference. Sometimes doing the sun salutations and the last three postures was perfectly enough.
Even tiny space can be a harmonious one. Yoga doesn’t need much space, Madonna did it on the aisle of an airplane, I can adapt to a bit less than at home too. Hotel rooms are not always most spacious and the van with it’s thirteen passengers is a challenge, but adaptation happens naturally when you keep your mind flexible. Even off the mat I love sitting in a lotus in the van whenever possible, or dropping a handstand in the green room before soundcheck.
Ten minutes of silence and alone a day is a must. The more the better. Finding time to just sit in silence and quiet the mind is calming in the middle of chaotic schedules and loud events. It is necessary to learn to take this me-time and turn inwards to reflect.
Drink hot water only, it keeps the doctor away. Travelling from chilly mountain climate to a southern humidity and heat has given me often either a flu or headaches. I have learned to avoid cold drinks or ice cream, basically anything cold in both climates. Starting the day with hot lemon water and sipping hot water throughout the day does it’s charm!
Fruits, nuts and dates are amazing snacks! On the road in India the food options can be few. I prefer vegetarian and love eating in regular times..this just might not really happen. To balance the randomness of the meals it’s easy to find good fruits and nuts almost everywhere in India from the hotel restaurants to the small side of the road shops.
Harness the good vibes. Worrying and looking at the negative side of things is always a real battery-eater. Travelling is way less overwhelming when you take things as they are without a bigger fuzz and smile at the bumps on the road. Your thoughts shape your reality, choose to have fun and the Universe will stir an adventure out of it all.
The band is still on the road so our fun journey with them continues until the end of this month!