Traveler : Simone Mayers
Occupation : Student at SHSU
Travel Destination : India
Words from Simone :
When I first decided to travel to India I was in a very dark place in my life. So many people had hurt me and I internalized the anger; literally ripping my spirit to shreds. That was before I started a consistent practice of yoga.
Yoga means Union.
Without union, there is nothing. The trees can’t grow without the union of the sun and the rain. A life is created from the union of a man and woman. A lotus flower cannot bloom without its struggle in murky water and the intent to be beautiful no matter where it grows. Union is in everything, therefore yoga is in everything, so yoga is everywhere.
India is a third world country complete with corrupt government systems, inequalities for women, and a disregard for cleanliness of the water, air and earth surrounding them. That is what the world sees from the outside looking in… But me? I saw the union. Like lotus flowers, the Indian people live in a murky swamp land and still manage to find inner peace within themselves (the lotus flower is more beautiful the murkier the water is). It was an incredible breath of fresh air.
We, as Americans share a common thread with these people with all of the crime and injustice that has been happening, but the difference is the people you meet are still joyful with genuine souls. They did not allow the shortcomings of their nation to shape their character. Similarly, as the lotus flower emerges out of the swamp water it remains unstained, and not tainted by its surroundings. The most valuable thing I learned in India is how to find inner peace amidst adversity.
By practicing yoga you are balancing your mind, body, and spirit. No matter how murky the water is, when you get on your yoga mat nothing else matters but your practice and that you are present in the moment, not thinking about all the horrible things going on right outside your door. So I encourage others to practice yoga, not only for its physical benefits, but more importantly to find an inner love for yourself, an inner peace.
If everyone is internally happy they wouldn’t need to carelessly kill others. So let’s make it a movement. Trade in a gun for a yoga mat. A negative thought for a positive thought. Let’s see how much of a difference it can make.