The path to Gurukul Shala & Leopard Valley

Path to Gurukul
Path to Gurukul

I seem to have made a kind of gypsy of myself,  on long roads and pathways, all with a distinct lack of  signposts, just distant horizons that melt into the sky, now those have been exchanged for jungle paths that melt into a sea of green. In six months I have travelled 25,000 kilometres, this is a little more than half way round the World, I feel like I am half way, I think I will go many more miles before I am ready to settle. All through I have the feeling of having no idea of where I am going or what I will find there, but something deep down tells me to keep going. Even here in Goa where I have stayed for almost a month I still feel like a traveller, I cannot remain static, At dawn I walk the beach and swim, then I go to a Yoga class, most often to the Shala at Gurukul, I head out most mornings, I ride to the village, turn left at the Chai shop drive down a tarmac road which fizzles out into a dirt track, this too comes to an end & i park my scooter and walk the last few hundred metres through a Jungle copse, the pathway is dirt red, the trees grow high overhead and give  shade and coolness in the early morning heat. I pass little temples and a small lake where each morning the Water Buffalo bathe, I walk in spears of sunlight that pierce the jungle canopy overhead.

I arrive at the Shala at 7.55 am precisely, I roll out my mat on the dusty floor and face Ajay the teacher, ahead of me on the wall is a drawing of a man sitting crossed legged, his Chakras are named and labelled and explained, I focus on the image of him, he is me. I move and stretch my body, try to quieten my mind and spend the next hour and a half on the mat. I am finally listening to my own body and working on my heart and my mind, this is a big job. It could take me a bloody long time, but I am going to do it.

In the evenings too often I struggle with myself, I don’t like to spend them alone, I try to make some connections in this little Eden, this takes me to a cocktail evening and a drink or two leads to Leopard Valley, an open air club in the Jungle, there are lots of people, lots of pretty women, loud music. it is a perfect remedy to solitude. I dance a little, I drink a fair amount, for a few hours loneliness slips away. I watch Jen the Yoga teacher do her friday night job, sending sparks flying on stage from an angle grinder whilst she moves her Yogis body to the music dressed in a cat-suit that looks like it has been sprayed on. Yoga teacher/exotic dancer, I think that this is a rather good combo.

I leave Leopard Valley at 4am, a little drunk and rather knackered, clearly I am not going to make the 8am Yoga class in the Jungle. And I decide that as even the big Fella upstairs took one day a week as a rest day that I can do the same.
Tomorrow I will be back on the mat, I will run in the afternoon sun and I will swim in the sea & watch the sunrise and the sunset and I will do what I can to make myself a better man, and maybe a  wiser one who has found his courage, in India where all things are possible.IMG_3314


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