A wile back, a year or so after a wonderful Indian yoga retreat experience, I mentioned to Jim Harrington, a Cape Town teacher, that I miss the fabulous swims in the Ganges – a lot. He told me with a laugh that his yoga teacher in India reminded him that every time, he, Jim, like me, also an ocean lover, miss the river, he should remember that going into the ocean here, is also dipping in the Holy Ganges, as both are made of the same water.
When I received the above image on WhatsApp, taken on location of this years retreat by Wol B, a great guy I befriended in 2014 at the same place, I went for a swim in the sea here where I live at the southern tip of Africa. Because although India is far away, to be in the ocean here means to be part of the river Ganges, via its mouth in the Indian ocean, all the way up to Rishikesh and beyond, via the Indian Ocean.
We are not separate, only on different continents, on opposite sides of the same globe, part of the same ocean. Its waters surrounds us, and are in us.
Visiting one of the main yoga locations on the planet and training with our teacher Mansoor, and the organiser of the retreats, friend and yoga teacher, Suzie Roy, and the other lovely souls there sure was spectacular and fun. In gratitude of a cool ocean swim on a summer’s morning, in front of my own yoga studio, with a terrific Indian experience only a thought away. In actual fact I didn’t even have to go for that swim to connect – I felt part of it all just looking at the photograph 🙂
In retrospect this confirms a big lesson of what yoga means. “Union of all that is”. It happens inside oneself.