Return to Pune

We’ve arrived. It was an epic journey for me – Los Angeles to London on the night flight to rendezvous with my sister Hannah, then a 7 hour wait (which passed in no time, airports are anything but boring places to people watch!) before boarding the next flight to Mumbai, then pick up from our lovely driver, Taj, from Roots and Wings Travel and a journey of around 3 hours, expertly driven through the streets of Mumbai and on to Pune, right to our apartment in Model Colony.

Taj was one of the best drivers I’ve ever encountered in India, very calm and steady and barefoot, he managed to patiently find the best ways to weave in and out of the traffic which consisted of vehicles, motorised or not, of every conceivable type. I was so excited to be back in India again I thought I would be wide awake the whole way, it’s a visual feast, but after just 30 minutes I was fast asleep in the back of the car, and when I woke we were already in the outskirts of Pune. I glanced out the front window and saw that Taj was driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic but by this time, I was so relaxed that this minor detail didn’t faze me and he calmly meandered back onto the left, just in time, having over taken the slow rickshaw that was hindering his otherwise smooth transit.

And so, we are here! It feels so familiar and yet worlds away from Los Angeles or Portugal. We have rented a lovely apartment only 5 minutes walk from the yoga Institute, RIMYI, which is closed until tomorrow so we will register then and take our first class for the month long intensive. For now, it’s time to get some sleep, if that is possible with all the fireworks for Diwali going on around us. There is a happy and celebratory atmosphere with many houses and balconies decorated in lights and streamers. So wishing everyone a Happy Diwali! Or as they say around here (forgive any misquote): Diwalichya hardik shubhechha


Preparations for India

As I prepare for my trip to India, to study at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, I am inundated with advice from all quarters as to what medicines to take, prevention against illness and disease and advice about safety, eating, drinking etc. I am very grateful for all the help and advice! The important thing is to take precautions and use common sense without become paranoid and letting the fear of getting ill over-ride the experience of being in this wonderfully vibrant country not to mention the opportunity to study at the “mother ship” Institute of Iyengar yoga with the Iyengar family.

So I have been taking extra vitamins to boost my immune system, probiotics to boost my digestion and ecinacea to prevent me getting sick from the plane travel – it’s a bit of a monster trip as I am first flying to the States to train with Manouso Manos, then back to London to connect with my sister Hannah before we both fly to Mumbai and finally meet our driver that we booked through Roots and Wings for the 2 hour drive to Pune and our accommodation.

While in Pune, I have my homeopathic anti-malaria tablets, my grapefruit seed extract, again for stomach bug prevention, a good mosquito repellent for the skin as well as a plug-in for night time, hand sterliser, some Immodium (thanks mum), aspirin and good old Lemsip. Last time, in 2014, I lived on Lemsip and almonds for a week when I had a bad chest infection and totally lost my appetite. The Lemsip helped me to sleep through the night and was a comforting reminder of home.

As before, we will stay for a month studying and learning as much as we can, absorbing as much as possible and connecting with friends old and new from all around the world. These blogs will be updated weekly so you can keep up with news and stories from our time there. Hope you enjoy reading!

Rachel at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India
Rachel at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India