Sweet Memories

I woke up thinking about my India peeps this morning, and look what showed up in my Facebook memories today! I took these five pics in March of 2020 at the market in Coonoor. Nagaratjan (bottom left selfie w/me) has been my “chai” buddy since 2015, always offering me masala tea at his little stall packed full of toiletries and surrounded in decorative bindis. I always buy a pack or two, and stick a tiny jewel to my third eye, as I think about the energy of a particular goddess I want to connect with that day. Nagarat wears a horizontal tilak on his forehead, and I’m not sure if it is made of sandalwood or vermillion, or if it is to show devotion to a particular deity or simply cultural, but whenever I go into the market to snoop around and take pictures, he is there with his sweet face, and he always calls me in with a smile and says: “Tea? Sit.”

After three years of not traveling to India, I wasn’t sure if any of my market acquaintances would remember me right off the bat when I peeked my head into town this past February… but it was as though I’d just been there. Some smile, some bobble their heads (a typical Indian gesture of affirmation or recognition), one older gentleman I’ve purchased jasmine from year after year, sees me and puts his hand over his heart and hands me a red rose, and then seven more–one for each of the women with me.

And then out of seemingly nowhere, Miss Shanti runs up to me under the blue tarps in the middle of the market and throws her arms around me asking how I’ve been all these years I’d been away (I literally cried tears of joy as my friends took pictures of us hugging each other).

Blue ladies πŸ™‚

All of the beautiful people in these photos from 2020 still hold their shops in the market, and it is such a joy to take their hands in mine, share a few words, and say “namaskar,” or “see you again soon.”

I miss the simplicity of the days there… the rhythm of sunrise, teaching yoga on the mountaintop, the feel of warm oil over my skin on a chilly morning, cows and dogs walking in the same little lanes as the people, eating food so fresh and being so close to the land, bowing to each other, smiling with our eyes and hearts… sunsets and stars over the mountains, smelling herbs in my hair when I hit the pillow each night…

And then I realize, this IS my life, both here in NH, there in India, and everywhere I am. No matter where I wander, I’m always surrounded in Nature, always seeking beautiful food, always sharing yoga with people, always singing a song, always in practice, always learning, a seeker of beauty in people, places, creatures. There is no other way but to go out each day and let my heart lead me.

I feel an integration after this past trip like I’ve never felt before. I’ve been home for six weeks, but I’m still settling. Steeping. Turning it over like I’m turning soil in my spring gardens. I’m still “me,” but shifting. Dr. Sundara said to hold steady and just do the work. To surround myself in the energy of the goddess Durga. To practice my kriyas. To sit on the roots of trees and chant. To keep up with my meditation. It feels good. It’s sometimes uncomfortable. It’s an excavation. It’s kinda messy, but I like it. I hear that voice that reminds me to “do no harm, but take no shit.” I’m standing up for myself more (thank you, Durga). I’m giving myself permission to take time outs and just get off grid and off grind. I’m growing a spiritual being inside this human body, and that requires dedication and practice–sometimes with my pals and sometimes on my own.

So if you see me sometime and I’m wearing a bindi on my forehead to connect with the energy of a goddess I love, or if you smell cardamom and cinnamon in my hair after I’ve been cooking all day, or if I’m a bit slick with sesame oil after taking care of my skin, and if I choose to bow and say “Namaste” or “Om Nama Shivaya” and it’s not during a yoga class, it’s just that I’ve decided not to separate my personal daily practices from my day to day “social” life anymore. Yoga and Ayurveda are living practices, meant to be integrated into our days, not hidden in the yoga studio or left in the back seat waiting for a moment when self care is convenient. The faces in these pictures reminded me of that today, and I am grateful.

March 2023 with Nagaratjan

with love and many blessings,



#ayurvedayoga #dragonflyogagirl #ayurvedaindia #onandoffthemat #omearthwaterfireairspace #omnamashivaya #panchamahabhutas #sweetmemories

2 thoughts on “Sweet Memories”

  1. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it.πŸ™

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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