• Gabriela Torcatoru

Welcome to LaLaLand

People have been telling me to start writing a blog for months now and after postponing the inevitable for long enough, here it goes.

Honesty should be the way to do this, give you something real so personally I think I suck at writing (besides yoga I also devour books on a regular basis) and I hope that I won't bore you to death, but if you are still reading maybe I got some of your attention. We'll see how we go along...My life was quite ordinary before I took a leap of faith in myself and decided that I have to step out of my comfort zone at the age of 31, because enough is enough. I had been practicing yoga ON and OFF for 5 years, the last 3 years becoming more yoga focused. See how I said ON and OFF?! My yoga teacher told us that Yoga can not be practiced on and off, it's not aerobics. It's not something you start doing if you put on a few kilos after Christmas holidays; it's something that changes your mind set and your habits and if the change is relevant than you will practice it all the time because it opens your eyes to new possibilities. I will tell you all about it in another post, I'll just introduce myself in this one.

The person to whom I need to thank for following my guts and believing I can be a good yoga teacher was my first real yoga teacher, my beloved Marci. She showed me that yoga is more than a jumping exercise in the gym's studio and I am most grateful for introducing me to Hatha and Iyengar yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar is the founder of this style of yoga born from Hatha Yoga which is deeply focused on postural alignment and "Perfection in action is Yoga", The use of props in this style opened the door to a whole new array of people that were able to practice yoga, such as elderly people or people suffering from injuries. Bricks, belts, wall ropes, bolsters or benches are there to teach the student how, what and where should he feel his body while practicing yoga.

Seeing how yoga started to change my life and my mind set I decided to go to India for a teacher training program. My best friend went to Rishikesh for her teacher training so I decided I will follow in her footsteps, but at a different school. I have to add to this that for 4 months I was seriously thinking that I might not be able to go to India because I had a bit of an issue with the food...Funny story, I hated Indian food and I am not very picky when it comes to food. My nemesis was the cumin which I associated with smelly feet (childhood trauma, dad had a friend with really bad feet ughhh ), so I always avoided currys. Living in England is quite inevitable but still, I managed to get away somehow. For months I was worried I will probably end up in a hospital bed if I eat the food so I decided I need to get over it. Apparently smelling cumin for a longer period of time takes you from wanting to throw up to recognising a nutty, spicy aroma in it and actually loving it. Now, I don't know really what happened there, either I finally let go of the feet trauma from when I was a kid or my nose buds realised that cumin is wonderful in food, but either way I decided that there is nothing stopping me now to go to India. So like a power horse, in my typical maniac OCD style I started looking for schools in Rishikesh and did my homework very well. I have to add that about 6 months ago I was a planning maniac with slight OCD's which really made life quite tiring. My homework was so good that I actually planned every bit of the way. The school I found seemed to offer Hatha in Iyengar style, the place looked spotless and they only took 12 students per batch which meant you get more attention from the teacher. I decided to go in March 2019 and in January I started planning my big travelling adventures as well. The school would last from March to mid May and 1 month of travelling after would definitely suffice for a trip to India.

I was always fascinated by India tough I thought I would never get there. The colours, the culture, the vastness, the space, the gods, the temples...My homework included reading lots and lots of historical novels about India (the Tea Planters books by Janet McLeod were my favourite) which gave me a good insight into the culture and I just couldn't wait to bite into it.

After spending 2 months and 1 week in Rishikesh for the teacher training program I would travel to Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Delhi, then finish with 2 weeks in Nepal. Apart from the Nepal trip I had bought train tickets for all my journeys in India - which by the way, if you are thinking of doing as such I recommend buying 1,2 months in advance as they sell out quickly - booked hostels everywhere and started researching what is there to see in all these fascinating places. The possibilities were endless so I decided for the major attractions and see what else comes up. Now I know that in India if you actually dive in and accept what you receive, so much more comes up...And so it did. I would say now that I am a completely changed person, but that's not true. I was always like this, the true you is always the same. If the mind is distorted than the image of how you see yourself will be distorted also. If the reflection is distorted than the Self appears distorted. And it just makes perfect sense, it's actually quite logical from where I stand. Life is a reflection of yourself, if you are quiet up there, if you control your mind there is nothing in this world that can chain you.

With this adventurous experience I have found my mantra, and to be sure I will not forget even after coming back home I sent myself a postcard from THE world's highest post office.

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