Before I went to Kerala, I had heard of many things about India. Mainly negative things, such as it was very dirty, got serious stomach problems by foods and water, full of people stuck in the bus or train, and the safety problem especially for women.
A girl got raped by couple guys in India 2013. It just happened couple days before I started my journey. I was shocked, nearly cancelled my plan. My friend encouraged me, I kept telling myself to make a brave choice too.
It was midnight when I arrived at Trivandrum International Airport. Actually it was quite small airport. I bought the taxi ticket inside of the airport. According to me, it was probably the safest way. But actually, the taxi really didn’t look like a formal taxi. Any…..
My final destination was on Neyyardam. It was another two hours journey by taxi from airport. I really wished to take two hours nap but I had to keep myself awake for safety. First time in my life to keep myself so nervous in a trip. Until I saw the sign of Neyyardam, I just felt total release.
The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres were founded in 1959 by Swami Vishnudevananda, disciple of H.H. Swami Sivananda with the aim of promoting the ancient science of Yoga for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being and to thereby create a more peaceful world.
The Ashram is set in twelve acres of tropical splendor in the quiet foothills of Kerala’s Western Ghats offering the natural beauty of the Neyyar Dam lake, coconut palms and dense tropical forest.
It has been designed as places to retreat from daily life to study and practice yoga and meditation in its many aspects. Guests can follow the Yoga Vacation program or join one of the yoga causes.
5:40 AM—- Get up
6:00 AM —- Satsang (Meditation & Chanting)
7:00 AM – Morning Tea & Fruit
8:00 AM – 2 Hours Yoga Practice or Training Courses
10:00 AM – Brunch (vegetarian foods)
11:30 AM – Karma Yoga (non-profit service, an essential part of yoga practice)
01:00 PM – Free Time ( some courses are provided sometimes)
04:00 PM – 2 Hours Yoga Practice or Training Courses
06:00 PM – Dinner Time
08:00 PM – Satsang (yoga culture & Indian culture)
10:00 PM – Light Off
Important Dress Code
Men and women should cover shoulders, midriff and legs.
Tight fitting, transparent and revealing clothing is not permitted.
There’re dormitories for 2 people up to 32 people. Female and male should be separated. The first night I arrived I was sleeping in a tent because it’s tight during the high season on Jan. I was lucky that the second day I got my place in a 24 beds dormitory after someone moved out.
My roommates were from Australia, UK, Italy, Finland, Germany, Iran etc. It was really cool to meet people from everywhere in the world and live together. We shared the travel stories. Even with some closer new friends, we shared life stories too.
This is the main purpose that we should travel, to see new things, meet new people, hear new stories.
Phones and computers are forbidden in the ashram.
During two weeks I stayed there, I felt I forgot the time, forgot there was another world outside. I have never felt so relaxed, like all the heavy stuff were out of my mind and my body. I didn’t want to go back to the real world.
I had only stayed outside of Ashram 3 days and visited couple places during this trip. There’re a lot of temples in Kerala. They look amazing from outside to inside. People should always dress well to cover the shoulders and knees to get in. And it’s not allowed to take photos.
Maybe it was less people on the south than New Delhi and Bombay. The streets were not that dirty like people describe and the buses were not that crowdy.
The beaches were beautiful and clean.
People looked nice.
The well-cooked foods in the restaurants were fine. I like vegetarian Indian foods a lot. Just tried to drink only the bottle water. My trip was fine in India. I was worried to try the street foods even they looked delicious.
Everybody describe different world they see. But, we should always see the world by our own eyes.