2010-09-30

India Sojourn


My Indian sojourn has slowly come to a close. I hope you had a chance to catch up with the news by reading the various posts. It has been a wonderful period of study, travel, rekindling friendships and seeking new teachers.

These journeys are an extremely important time for me both professionally and personally. When I took my first trip in 1999 it was for the sole purpose of learning yoga. These last few trips, I have to admit, have also been for my love of India; the people, the culture, the food and the incredible landscape.

This year marked my 12th annual trip. In Hindu mythology, the number twelve represents growth and maturity. Since I am not sure about how much one ever “matures” I will suspend any comments. But these opportunities to continually learn, study and travel are well worth everything that takes place to make it happen. I never take it for granted that I will be heading to India EACH year. I work hard for 10 and a half months out of the year to be able to afford such a trip (the bills never stop while away). From the time I get back to Toronto, I am saving, planning and organizing the ´next´ sojourn. And being self-employed does not allow me to get the company to pay for it, because I am the company.

Over the years I have made and maintained many good relationships with the people in India. So much in fact that when I end up owing them money they trust I will repay it the following year. It’s funny since a debt owing to people in my own country has been asked for within a few weeks. It is so sweet as well when street vendors, shop-keepers, hotel staff and friends are now customized to asking, "Next year Madam?"

And they add, "I will wait for you."

On my way from Bangalore to Mysore this September (today a smooth 3-hour journey by car, in prior years it was a nightmare), I was thinking about how I would never exchange these experiences for the world...(well, okay, if it came with a chai...maybe...or the chance to stay in India forever.)

If you missed my blog (it is never too late to get started). There were posts on Kolkatta, Haridwar, the land of the Gods, the Himalayans, dancing in the street and taking a dip in the Ganges. The more recent ones were on crashing an Indian wedding, the cost of living in Mysore, teaching Indian children and head massages.

Thanks for your read and being a part of this remarkable journey.

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The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


ME

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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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