My Ego Comes In The Way Of Yoga

Sunset in Tamarindo

Chilling out after a long day on the beach to watch the sun go down, Tamarindo.

I feel that I was much more humble in Yoga before I did my teacher training. I knew then that I was an amateur, that I knew nothing, and that I was learning. I came into every class from that standpoint. My ego was non-existent. Even when I did a pose in the manner that it was supposed to be done, I would put it down to fluke, rather than skill. At that point, I knew more so that yoga isn’t about competition, or about looking a certain way, but about how you feel. I focused more on myself and how I felt in the pose, rather than how I looked.

Teacher training caused my ego to inflate, so that now I go into the class thinking I know everything. There is nothing left to teach me. My Ego, with a capital E, comes into play every single time I go into a yoga studio. I have to do everything perfectly in class, and I have to be the best one (whatever that means in Yoga). I am always engaged in making sure I look good – that is, my poses look exactly like the instructor’s or even better if possible. Because I know more due to my training, I feel like that comes out as me showing off for the rest of the class. I’m sure, no one in class cares or is paying attention to me. But in my head, I am a peacock prancing about for the attention of all the other students. My ego prevents from thinking otherwise. Continue reading

We Do Not Party Like Rockstars

We Do Not Party Like Rockstars

Scarlet macaws hanging out in a tree spotted on our way back from lunch in Puerto Jimenez.

We were in San Juan Del Sur, and every night, the outside of our hotel would be inundated with loud, raucous, drunken crowds. On Sundays things would get even crazier. Every Sunday, the event called ‘Sunday Funday‘ would bring all of the young tourists into San Juan Del Sur to go from pool party to pool party drinking unlimited quantities of drinks. The next morning, on my way to Yoga, I would notice inebriated people sprawled about on the sidewalks sleeping off their hungover, unable to figure out where they are staying. Thenix and I were happy not to indulge in the drunken madness that was taking place around us. But then it made me wonder, are we not taking advantage of travelling? Are we missing out on one of the essences of travelling? Continue reading

Why Is Travel Not Considered Real Life?

Why Is Travel Not Considered Real Life?

Feeding hungry stray dogs and cats every meal of the day is real life, Isla Ometepe.

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life. – Jack Kerouac

I was chatting with a friend about how Thenix and I are coming back home in June, earlier than we thought as Thenix has a job offer. She commented that we are coming back to real life. I thought about that statement for a while. I found it funny that she thought that just because we are moving from place to place, we are not living real life, but because people back home are staying put in one place, they are living a real life. I asked Thenix about it, and he said, ‘The reason people don’t consider travel to be real life is because more then likely you cannot make a living at it. Even though in this trip we made money, we didn’t make enough money to cover our costs.’ Continue reading

The Pura Vida Phrase And Misconceptions

The Pura Vida Phrase And Misconceptions

This little boy is Pura Vida personified. He had a broken down old camera that didn’t work, but he was enthralled by it. He used it to take fake photos of us while we passed by, Isla Ometepe.

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth. – William W. Purkey

I was sitting in the hotel restaurant in Nicaragua eating the free breakfast that came with the nightly rate. It was the typical breakfast in Central America, Gallo Pinto (rice with beans) and scrambled eggs. A bunch of surfer-style dudes and gals came tumbling into the restaurant, inebriated, on a Saturday morning at 10am. I wondered to myself if they had been to sleep yet. Probably not. As I ruminated on the fact that I had ten hours of sleep last night, while these individuals probably slept not a wink, one of them started a bitter diatribe on a subject that seemed close to his heart. It seemed the others had heard his arguments before, and they just wanted to drink their hydrating water in peace. But he went on and on about it. Continue reading

Getting Attached To Inanimate Objects

Getting Attached To Inanimate Objects

Our beautiful, little Honda, waiting by the Yogi’s Hostel in Isla Ometepe.

Practice giving things away, not just things you don’t care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don’t bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked. – Robert A F Thurman, Tibetan Book of the Dead

We were in San Isidro El General, Costa Rica and we were looking for a place to get #7 washed. After driving through dirt roads for the past two months, she was extremely dusty and dirty. We decided to stop by the side of the highway, at a Lavacar (carwash). Thenix parked the car on a side street and walked into the “Lavacar” to see how much it would be. They told him that the electricity was out and they could not wash the car. On the way back to the car, three locals stopped him to ask where the car was from. They had noticed the plates on the car were not from Costa Rica. After a little chat, one of the three locals asked him if he was willing to sell the car. Thenix said that he would sell the car for 2000 USD (~1 million CRC). The man started poking around in the car, and in the engine compartment. He was chatting away with Thenix about taxes, dates, and other details. Continue reading

Do I Deserve To Exist?

Do I Deserve To Exist?

Nothing in nature ever asks if it should exist. It just does. Matopalo trail – Frangipani flower in my hair.

In my younger years, I had a severe existential crisis. I didn’t know if I should be allowed to exist or not. I spent hours thinking about my existence and whether it was useful to this planet or not. I looked at the hundreds of thousands of people around me, and I wondered if it was useful for the planet to carry such a load of useless people. I counted myself to be one of those useless, non-productive human beings. I decided that as things stood I was not a person who should be allowed to exist.

But then I realized that if I did something useful in the world, like saving lives as a doctor, I would then change that status to an extremely useful human being. I decided to devote my energies to becoming a doctor. I wanted to be a doctor who worked for Doctors Without Borders, and save lives – I was essentially buying my way on the important people list, by saving other human lives. It is odd, because these were the exact human lives that I had deemed useless in a previous conversation with myself. Continue reading

Too Much Adventure

Too Much Adventure

The little gastronomic adventures – eating spaghetti with rice and beans, Granada, Nicaragua.

Thenix and I were dealing with a dead battery in #7. During this time, at some point, I said in a joking manner: “At least we have adventure in our life.” He replied: “Yes, we have too much adventure – I would like to have a monotonous day once in a while.” The funny thing is that both of us decided to do this trip in anticipation of adventures and craziness. We just didn’t realize that after a while, the adventures would just get bigger and bigger, and we would actually ask for a respite from them. It is like that saying says, Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

It isn’t that both of us do not find the daily, sometimes hourly adventures stimulating. We love it. It makes us appreciate our life back home even more. It is also fun and exciting. But the human nature is such that after so much excitement, basically after nine months worth of it, we are kind of tired. It is the kind of tired where both of us get to our beds in a hotel room at night and are dead on our feet. We barely have the energy to lift our arms up to bring our bags into the room. We usually need about an hour or two of rest, before we are able to muster up enough energy to bring our stuff in from the car and do the things we need to do. Continue reading

I Want To Be Forgiven For My Past

I Want To Be Forgiven For My Past

Roaming around the Matapalo trail near Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.

I have been reading a book called Kiss That Frog!: 12 Great Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work by Brian Tracy. In this book, there was something about being forgiven about the past, as you were a different person then from who you are right now. He expounded on that a bit, but somehow, the thought came flitting into my head that I wished to be forgiven for my past by my parents.

We have this constant battle between us when we come together. They always bring up my past to make me feel guilty and I bring up theirs to make them feel guilty. For some of these incidents, it has been years since the actual event happened. But for some reason, both parties are unable to forgive and forget. We use it as ammunition against each other every single chance we get. This results in a feeling in me of wanting to avoid any conversation that could possibly lead to the mention of my behaviour in the past. Continue reading

Surprised At How The Heat Is Affecting Me

Surprised At How The Heat Is Affecting Me

After five hours of hiking through the jungle, I’m soaked. Matopalo trail, Costa Rica.

Having done hot yoga for the past 5 years, I felt like I am pretty acclimatized to heat in general. I mean, I would see everyone else sweating buckets and absolutely dying in class, and I would be absolutely comfortable. I assumed it was general body structure, that needs more heat than normal. I also attributed it to my tropical genes, having been born in India, and then lived in the Middle East, until the age of 16. Whatever it was, I love the heat and I always wanted more of it. I would have a heater in my room when I slept at night in Toronto, and it would create sauna-like conditions in my room. No one from my family liked to come into my room at night, as it was boiling hot in there, and I would be burrowed deep under my comforter happy to soak in the heat. Continue reading

Forgetting The Basics In Yoga

Forgetting The Basics In Yoga

Doing yoga on a wooden platform while hiking near Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.

I was settling down to do my regular morning yoga practice in Isla Ometepe when I decided to grab my iPad to set a timer to the Yin poses that I love. Yin poses are yoga poses that you hold for minutes at a time, in order for the ligaments and tendons to start releasing their tension. I love Yin and I have written extensively about it here. I decided to focus on the hips in my practice, and I decided to Pigeon pose by holding each side for 5 minutes.

It had been weeks since my last Pigeon pose, as I decided to do more intense hip stretches and forgot about doing Pigeon pose in the kerfuffle. I did the right side first as I always do. I put a timer for 5 minutes. I eased into the pose and started holding. Pigeon is easy to hold for a while as your body and forehead is on my mat. There is no tension in any part of your body, so you can release into it and stay for a while. Unless, you are like me and you have been ignoring the pose for a few weeks. My right side was tight to say the least. I was in so much discomfort that I had to get out of the pose after only three minutes, and even that was after a lot of breathing and mental crying. I did the pose on the other side, and was able to hold it for five minutes, as my left is always looser than the right. Continue reading