Went to India, Learned the Real Yoga

1 AM, speeding through the intersections of India, I found myself asking, “how’d I think this would be a good idea?”. 

My chauffeur and I were driving on the left side of the road to the school where I was going to study yoga for the next month. 

As we blew threw stop signs and sped around sharp curves, I wanted to tell him, “stop! slow down!”. 

Instead, I decided to just trust him —  “I’ll just close my mouth, he knows how to drive here (this seemingly 15 year old boy).”

My reason for traveling to India was to learn THE REAL YOGA, so I could teach it to people back home. 

During my training I discovered Thai Yoga Massage

I was in awe at the amazing benefits from this style of massage and how accessible it is for everyday people. 

Now I share Thai Yoga Massage with people in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas.

But there was a whole adventure that happened in between me being a homeless college graduate to a self-employed masseur.

One More Semester Until Takeoff

The reason I went to India to learn yoga was because I knew that I was about to make a huge mistake.

I did not want to end up regretting my life decisions.

Until this point, I had always done what was expected of me.

I had just graduated from college and I knew that if I got a job in corporate finance, I would be miserable. 

So I threw a wrench into the story of my life.

I decided to go to India.

In order to make the money, I needed a good bar tending job.

I got the perfect gig on the Kansas City Plaza at The Classic Cup Cafe.

And I no proof of income to get an apartment.

So for a few weeks I stayed at hotels, and slept in my car. 

Eventually I found sanctuary at a distant relatives home and started saving up some money.

During the week, I would travel to Overland Park and Lawrence so that I could finish my second degree in creative writing.

I tell everyone I have an “English degree”, but lets face it, I was writing poems, plays, and short stories. 

But my early mornings were filled with reading (skimming) literature and critical essays to fulfill the “English” side of things.

On my commutes home from class, I fought Kansas City traffic to get a few dinner shifts in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The weekends were preserved so that I could work the bar and write essays. 

Once January came around, I was ready to take flight (gtfoh).

An Incredibly Long Flight Later . . .

When people ask me, “Tell me about your trip!”, they expect me to say something very wise and esoteric.

I like to tell them this story. 

I took a creatively planned flight that saved me money, but caused me to have an 18 hour layover in New Delhi.

Naturally, I had to use the restroom.

I was taken a little off guard when I opened the bathroom stall.

There was this platform, and two porcelain grooves for my feet.

In the middle was a hole in the floor, staring right at me.

I thought, “hole in the floor, no big deal, you knew what you were getting into.”
Wrong . . . After I squatted down and did my business, I reached for the toilet paper . . .

There was no toilet paper to be found.

That’s when the phrase, “ahhhh shhhhh*t” became literal for me.

In India, toilet paper is rarely ever used. 

You wipe with your left hand and eat with your right hand.

I knew this, I learned it by watching the history channel with my dad as a child.

That’s how my father and I bonded, but I completely forgot about this trivia fact until my unfortunate realization.

And that was how my journey of self-discovery began . . .

Followed by a crazy taxi drive to the Yoga school of enlightenment.

What I Learned 

We practiced yoga almost everyday for a month.

At 5 AM I would practically sleep walk into the Shala for Matras (chanting).

Then we did Pranyama (breathing).

Followed by Asana (yoga poses). 

We ate yogic meals and were not allowed to speak until afternoon. 

A Vedic Brahman would teach philosophy to our "subconscious” while most of the class fell asleep.

We were literally eating, sleeping, and breathing yoga.

The first week was all about Hatha Yoga.

Week two we trained in Ashtanga.

And Week three we did Vinyasa.

Afterward, we began teaching classes to the group as teams and individuals. 

So by the end of the course, I was a Certified Multi-Style Yoga Teacher

I can teach someone how to do a headstand while doing a headstand.

I also held a headstand for 5 minutes, just saying. . .

One day a week we had the day off to rest.

I would hitch hike my way to Agonda Beach outside the school.

On the beach there were people practicing Acro Yoga. 

After practicing with them they would give me a really pleasant massage.

I took a couple of workshops to learn this "Thai Yoga Massage" and decided that this is really what I came here to discover.

My Life’s Mission

I tell people now that my mission is to heal people with loving-kindness. 

The way that I do this is through Thai Yoga Massage. 

When I taught yoga, I felt extremely fulfilled, but I wanted to help my students even more.

I would go around to each of them and give them adjustments so they got the most benefit out of the pose.

Sometimes I would slip in some Thai Massage while they were in the final resting pose, Sivasana.

A few of my students encouraged me to travel to Thailand so that I could learn more.

With the help of my teacher in India, I found a school in Thailand to visit.

There I immersed myself in the study of Thai Massage.

And the rest is history (in the making).

Massagemala.com

 


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