Meditate, do yoga, swim, eat, work, eat, sleep, repeat – two weeks of Goa

The waves are breaking on the sand in the morning dark,  and the sun is still hiding behind the horizon. It’s easy to think the darkness will never fade. Although in less than an hour there will be daylight enough to wake up the stray dogs on the beach and local businesses to start watering the dusty streets outside their facades, right now it’s dark and chilly, on Goan standards even cold.

We’re leaving Arambol in just a few days, and Goa in a bit less than a week. Unlike our last visit here, we’ve mostly avoided extra activities, concentrating on relaxing, clearing our heads and enjoying the slow rhythm of life. And had some beers. And some minor.. incidents.

Right after being stung by a stranded piece of a jellyfish, I got on a very fast acting diet due to food poisoning (unfortunately, the lovely Russian salad and some Indian foods are now off of my list of edible foods 😦 ). While the engineer was heroically emptying the bucket in the bathroom, I was not so heroically emptying my stomach via both ends. I’m grateful for the good plumbing here at Luciano Guest House.

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Rooftops. This view is not visible from the streets, or meant for the tourist’s eye. But this is where our laundry dries 🙂

Other source of pain has been self induced, as we booked a six-day yoga class with Alpesh, an Indian man with his own yoga studio, teaching Iyengar yoga. He provides short term courses, like ours, and also the 200 hour yoga teacher courses for getting a teaching certificate. You can also just come and join his morning meditation class at 7:30, and pay for one class of yoga after that. One class lasts 1h 40min, and costs 400rs. If you decide to take six days, that’s 2000rs, with meditation class 3000rs.

You’d imagine yoga to be relaxing and mostly stretching, right? Nope. After only two days I was in so much pain that I had to actually take painkillers, and my hips and back have been twisted into angles I didn’t know existed. And apparently that’s not very good still, for I have mostly been in front of the class as a good bad example 😀 However, the progress is fast, and one can notice the benefits even after a few sessions; increased flexibility and better knowledge on your own body and its weaknesses. I have also finally managed to overcome my fear of standing on my hands, although I still find it super difficult to jump and kick my legs up. We’ve been hanging from ropes and twisted our bodies into unimaginable poses. And drank a lot of Chai, which basically tastes like liquid Christmas porridge (this isn’t in any way a bad thing!)

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Photo courtesy of Alpesh Patwari.

The meditation class has turned out to be an awfully good way to start a day. As you listen to the waves breaking, and chant the endless om‘s, hear the town waking up around you, and smell the salt, sand, dust and fresh plants in the air, it’s easy to think you’re far and excluded from the hectic lifestyle so common to most of us. Trying to concentrate on your breathing and some surprisingly hectic and fast acting breathing techniques have played a huge part in helping us both recover from a very demanding and long autumn we had before getting this far. It also helps that Alpesh’s yoga studio is a rooftop room, with open walls, no windows and free flow of air; breathing and relaxing is so easy without extra distractions. Although, if you love privacy, remember that his toilet is in the corner of the studio, with almost no soundproof, so you’ll pretty much know exactly what everyone is doing in there.

As the future starts unfolding and revealing itself in front of us, it seems that we have made a good decision. It might be because of all the time we’ve spent upside down in Alpesh’s studio (on our head, hands and from ropes…),  but right now we feel optimistic about what we’re doing. I’m writing, studying and trying to learn more about Taiwan, and the engineer is working on his things. We have figured out which gym we’ll go to in Taipei, the nearest subway station and agreed on some partying with friends. We are trying to put together a new life.

PS: The next stop is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Soon after that, we’ll head to ♥Taiwan♥

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