Heal, Travel
Comments 6

The thing about Expectation…

Today I find myself in Mumbai International airport yet again, 5 months and 1 week too early. I arrived here exactly 3 weeks ago with the intention of completing a 6 month Advanced Ayurveda & Yoga course at a reputable institution in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and ofcourse lose myself in yoga and meditation bliss.

Things didn’t turn out quite as planned. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE India… this is my third visit, and every time I come I fall more in love with this intriguing  country. It’s like nowehere I’ve ever been before and yet feels like home. This time would prove to be a completely different experience.

So, three weeks ago I arrived in Coimbatore, super excited and ready for my next adventure. I wasn’t expecting much from Coimbatore, it’s an industrial hub afterall and not the kind of place that attracts tourists. But I could handle that, I wanted traditional teachings passed down through direct lineage taught in an authentic environment – I had even prepared myself for the cold showers.

The grounds where the Centre and Clinic were located were just as described on the website… green, peaceful, perfect. Student housing however, was located 10 minutes away on the main, very busy and noisy street (It was so noisy that I think I meditated 3 times maximum in the whole 3 weeks. I had to sleep with my fan on full blast to try block out the noise.) I was shown to my room and the first thing I saw was pigeons. Anyone who knows me knows I have a major pigeon phobia. I don’t know what it is about them but they totally freak me out… perhaps a traumatic past life experience? So there’s my room with no window and  just a mosquito net separating me from all the pigeons and their poop. Hmmm… that was the first sign I think.

Luckily I only had to stay there one night as I could move to a marginally better room because there were no students. Just me and a French guy who had been there for 5 months already. So much for communal living, having deep and personal experiences with like-minded people in a serene, inspiring environment. No… we were the only foreigners in the whole wide world of Coimbatore.

What I later found out  is that students come when they want and lessons are flexible (one-on-one or group). Typical Indian style I guess, but not as advertised. A Japanese girl named Saya joined us and we ended up becoming great friends. Our mornings started at 7am with yoga, followed by 3 hours of theory practice (Ayurveda & sanskrit) and then 3 hours practical in the afternoon (think: getting naked in front of 5 indian girls & your classmates). I enjoyed some of the theory but I found the practical a bit monotonous.

What is interesting to me is what started happening to me physically. Over the 3 weeks my health declined rapidly.. it’s been hell. Firstly digestive issues.. from chronic constipation to rampant diahorrea (for 3 weeks solid).. I got to the point where I was so weak and emanciated that I nearly fainted on several occasions in the street. I think my body just wasn’t absorbing any nutrients. Ofcourse classes were tough because I was trying to do veggie juice fasts to ease my digestion and had absolutely no energy. On top of that I aggravated an old injury and suffered terrible sacroiliac pain, so morning yoga was out.

I decided it was time to leave, I was just getting worse and worse and more worried about my health and whether I’d make it home ok (being sick in India is not fun). Now I’m not one to give up easily and I can live through cold showers and difficult circumstances if need be, but I also know when it’s time to let go. Ofcourse I lost alot of money and it was a hard decion to make but I felt good once I’d commited. I guess that’s part of life, sometimes we make wrong decisions or things don’t turn out as planned and we are allowed to change our minds. I felt as though I’d be wasting six months of my life there, when there are bigger things that I could be doing.

So now I wonder, if this had been my first experience of India, if I would’ve felt different. Perhaps it’s another grand lesson about expectations… if only I didn’t have to go halfway across the world to learn it!

Or perhaps I wasn’t ready to accept the challenge. I could feel my body and mind resist from the start, which literally manifested as non-acceptance and  ‘not letting go’.

Or maybe I just realized that as much as I love Ayurveda, its not something I’d like to make my career.

I like to think it’s the universe calling me home, telling me there’s bigger and better things on the horizon…

… lets’s see :)

I did love the mangoes!


  1. sharon catry says

    I do admire u for trying Sam – even here in maurice i get irritated with the dirt but 8ndia takes the cake! Georgie an simon went to a really ni e place in Kerala where she did a massage course and she really vives a good one! I feel really alone and missing my spiritual friends – but i think ots a lesson in patience… Where are you heading back to now?

    • sam jones says

      Yes I chatted to Georgie before I left and her trip sounded amazing… great place and great teacher. Shame Sharon it must be hard for you… completely new environment. Its really hard I know when you are missing your friends. Could you start a spiritual group or yoga/meditation class?

      Just arrived back in SA and it feels good. Need some grounding after these last few years of travel. Will probably be here for about a year, will be doing some work with Steve which I am very excited about. Take care special lady x

  2. My darling, you write beautifully! I certainly don’t think it was a wrong decision, I think it was the right decision! You were courageous in following what you felt you needed to do, and had the wisdom to know when it was time to come back home. You now know, that Ayurveda is not something you want to make a career of. If
    you had never done this trip, how would you have realised? If you had left it a day
    or two later to fly back home, you would have ended up in hospital in Coimbatore!
    Well done, my brave wonderful daughter xxx

  3. I, too, am terrified of pigeons. TERRIFIED! Perhaps we were both traumatized in the same pigeon event in that past life.

    I always say the physical manifestations of our emotions will get our attention if we choose to ignore the emotions/gut feelings. Obviously that was very much the case here and I’m SO glad you listened and decided to come home.

    Onward, upward and on to better things…who knows what the Universe has planned for you. I guess it’s just a matter of waiting and finding out! What do you think it might be?

    Btw this is Lindsay from The Daily Awe – I just comment under my other mom blog. ;)

  4. sam jones says

    That is so strange.. you never know maybe it is the same past life event!
    Thanks for your positive advice. It was a hard decision to make, because in a way you can’t help but feel like you are giving up and society will judge you. But I am glad with my decision now.

    Im not sure yet what the bigger plan is, although I know it feels good to be home. Right now Im exploring my purpose , and at the same time involved in some upliftment projects.. so life is good. Being by the beach helps :)

    Thanks again, and love your blog by the way!! :)

  5. You do write beautifully Sam! I can’t help feeling that the pigeons were a message to get outta there from the start! But you did meet the Japanese girl, and perhaps that was part of your blessing. Get out of your mind and into your heart. And listen…. your intuition speaks to you ♥

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