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India Story No. 10I graduate. For the last month I have endured two asana classes per day, Sanskrit lessons, philosophy and identification of chakras.  I have cried every day. At the beauty of the place, because my heart is broken, because I am 7 of 7- and mostly ostracized, am exhausted, but I do not want it to end. I want to leave this beach and explore. I want to see the rest of this vast, chaotic nation. But instead I will return to Mumbai with only a day and night to explore. A court date awaits me back in the US. I promise myself that I will return here once the hell of my personal life subsides.But for now, I stand proudly covered in marigold garlands and wooden malas. I am embraced by one of my teachers - the toughest one - in the sunset.Today, months later, and many continents and time zones away - I teach my first yoga class. I make exactly $0 and I don't care.
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I graduate. For the last month I have endured two asana classes per day, Sanskrit lessons, philosophy and identification of chakras.  I have cried every day. At the beauty of the place, because my heart is broken, because I am exhausted, but I do not want it to end. I want to leave this beach and explore. I want to see the rest of this vast, chaotic nation.

But instead I will return to Mumbai with only a day and night to explore. A court date awaits me back in the US. I promise myself that I will return here once the hell of my personal life subsides. But for now, I stand proudly covered in marigold garlands and wooden malas. I am embraced by one of my teachers – the toughest one – in the sunset.

Today, months later, and many continents and time zones away – I teach my first yoga class. I make exactly $0 and I don’t care.

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India Story No.8The Cows. They are everywhere. They slowly amble the streets, seemingly unaware of the traffic, the mobs of people. A bull walks into our speeding tuktuk one night, and just keeps walking. Unaware. The tuktuk driver mourns the sizeable dent to his beloved vehicle. The cows stand in burning garbage piles, gnawing through the bags of waste. They say many die from the ingested plastic in their stomachs. They are small, much smaller than our American cows. Is it because they are not raised to be huge to produce the most meat? They are gentle, and friendly. They allow you to stroke their heads. They are curious, often sticking their heads into the yoga shala. One hangs around the yoga retreat with a bloody hoof. It can not move very fast, and the herd has abandoned it perhaps. I give it love, but I have no way of knowing how to heal it's foot. I cry, and stroke it's head and say "I'm sorry ". Later we inquire about a vet, surely someone can care for this animal? The answer is no. A shelter is for cats and dogs, loved by the ex-pats. The cows belong to locals, they say. So nothing is done. This is India.
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The Cows. They are everywhere. They slowly amble the streets, seemingly unaware of the traffic, the mobs of people. A bull walks into our speeding tuktuk one night, and just keeps walking. Unaware. The tuktuk driver mourns the sizeable dent to his beloved vehicle.

The cows stand in burning garbage piles, gnawing through the bags of waste. They say many die from the ingested plastic in their stomachs. They are small, much smaller than our American cows. Is it because they are not raised to be huge to produce the most meat? They are gentle, and friendly. They allow you to stroke their heads.

They are curious, often sticking their heads into the yoga shala. One hangs around the yoga retreat with a bloody hoof. It can not move very fast, and the herd has abandoned it perhaps. I give it love, but I have no way of knowing how to heal it’s foot. I cry, and stroke it’s head and say “I’m sorry “. Later we inquire about a vet, surely someone can care for this animal? The answer is no. A shelter is for cats and dogs, loved by the ex-pats. The cows belong to locals, they say. So nothing is done. This is India.

Goa_Teacher_Training_351

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I never spoke to these boys. They spoke little English, and I speak no Hindi. They live at the Temple of Hanuman in Goa. I do not know what they study. Will they become priests, and live within the crumbling confines of temple grounds? I do not know.

Before meeting them, an elderly priest popped up and offered me a tour of the temple grounds. Most of the tour involved him suggesting I make a donation. (I did) He had lived there for 25 years. He had a wife and children at home. Somewhere. How lonely. For him, and for his wife. Will these boys lead the same life – split between temple and village life?