After a one and a half hour car journey through the palm forests and rubber plantations of Kerala, in southern India, I arrived at the Sivananda Ashram.
The Ashram is very clean and well run, and I was lucky to get a room on my own with a shower, luxury! I did have a room-mate for one night, as she was an exceptionally large spider, I put her out!
The wake up bell rings for morning Satsang at 5.10. We meditate and chant from 6 until 7.30. The roar of lions in the wildlife reserve accompany our morning chants. After, we have tea under the “tea tree”,followed by the 2 hour morning yoga class.
After brunch (a spicy vegetarian meal not a fry up!) We all have a job to do around the ashram (Karma Yoga). I was sure I would be cleaning the loos, but instead landed the enviable job of manning the internet room. After Karma Yoga there is a daily talk on interesting topics like Spirituality Yoga, diet and Ayurveda. Then, after this, a second 2 hour yoga class. Unfortunately, I sprained my foot a few days into my stay, on an early morning mountain hike. It was fabulous to see the sunrise high in the mountains but my yoga classes were off the menu for the rest of my time at the ashram. Luckily I had the wonderful company of Emily, who is staying in the ashram for several months. She had a very nasty infected bite.. so she was off yoga too. I can thank her for a night out in the local town, when I accompanied her to hospital to get treatment. (Not a place you would want to stay in!)
Getting back to the Ashram schedule. Our second and last meal of the day is at 7pm. It is a similar meal to brunch-eaten while sitting cross-legged on the floor of the large dinning hall- Most people eating Indian style, with their fingers.The food is excellent, but after a few days, I started to miss my morning porridge!
Evening Satsang is at 7- more chanting and meditating, and followed by a talk or film.
I love it at the ashram. I have met some great people. Its a simple life, in a warm climate, with interesting like-minded company.. who needs porridge!