Have you become so passionate and dedicated about yoga that you now wish to turn your passion into a career by taking a yoga teacher training? I can’t blame you, been there, done that. I did my yoga instructor training in Goa, India, back in 2015, and although I took a different path after and did not end up teaching, it was truly a transformative experience. I highly recommend anyone to take a yoga teacher training (and a silent retreat!) once in their life!
I’m such a fan of yoga for boosting the mind-body balance and helping me achieve way more in life, that I hardly know where to start describing my experience and continuing journey. One place I do know where to begin is with my YTT in India, where a whole new world of knowledge, understanding and compassion opened up to me. I learned to spread my wings in a way that has altered my outlook on the world and has changed me forever.
The reason why I picked Patnem Beach out of the gazillion available beaches of Goa was mostly that I had been there before and was too lazy to research something else. Maybe not the wisest decision as there are so many other beaches in Goa I could have visited, but what can I say, I was flustered and wanted convenience. Goa is relatively small, so if you have a long enough holiday, you maybe be able to explore both the South Goa beaches as well as the beaches in North Goa, so a little research is definitely worth it.
There’s very little to do in Patnem Beach aside from eating, sipping on fruity drinks, swimming in the sea, reading a book, watching the sunset, or doing yoga if that’s what you’re into. And rinse. And repeat. And that’s exactly what brought me there for the second time in a few years. Maybe I could have done a little extra research on the best beaches of Goa, but oh well. Goa is famous to some for the party scene, but you’ll find none of that in Patnem Beach. What you’ll find however is a short stretch of clean and soft sand lined with beach huts and shack restaurants that are dismantled at the end of every season. So don’t be surprised if things aren’t aligning quite right with Google Maps – a lot isn’t aligning quite right in India anyway 😉
Is Indian food vegan aside from vegan curry? I think a lot of people believe India is super vegan-friendly. The short answer is: not always. Have you heard of ghee? The ubiquitous clarified butter that makes an appearance in so much vegan Indian food? Yeah, not vegan. Indians are also quite fond of dairy (and don’t understand that it’s not vegan!), something I find mind-boggling given how much they love their cows. I haven’t been back to India since I was in Goa in 2015, and I’m excited to be going back for a quick break from the Winter in a few weeks. I’ll be looking for the best beaches of Goa, but meanwhile, I thought now would be a good time for asking my fellow travel bloggers what surprises hide for me in vegan India outside of vegan curry.
First there was the idea that I was perhaps going to hate India. Then there was the planning to cram as much of the best places to visit in India into ten days to decide whether or not I liked it. Following that was the realization that, if I was going to decide if I liked India, a manic 10 day tour of Varanasi, Delhi, the whole of Rajasthan and Mumbai was possibly not going to be the thing to convince me. And finally there was the cancellation of all flights or plans to do any form of adventure activities in Goa and the sitting down on the beautiful beaches of Goa with the smug look of an expert procrastinator.
I randomly met a friend in Chiang Mai who told me about this yoga teacher training she’d signed up for in India in February. “I’d love to go to India to do yoga”, I sighed absentmindedly. I’d been practising yoga most days since leaving Canada in January 2014, but it never occurred to me that my practice was strong enough to consider a teacher training, and this was not part of my plan anyway (in hindsight I realise that I did not actually have a plan – and I still don’t), so my words didn’t really mean much.
A few weeks ago, in the town of Mapusa, Northern Goa, India, a man called Ramakrishna stared right through my soul before making me a small bottle of perfume.