“I can think, I can wait, I can fast”- Hermanne Hesse, Siddhartha

These lines were my takeaway from a book called Siddhartha (a biography of Gautam Buddha) which I happened to read right before going to the Hith Yoga retreat. Little realizing that I will end up practicing it all the three days of this enlightening adventure. Thinking, waiting and fasting were the three main lessons I learned from this yoga journey that was also a journey within.

Only an aware mind is capable of observing and controlling the thoughts and ‘think’ about them objectively. For this we practiced ‘maun’ on day two. We were not allowed to talk to one another or to use social media. It was seemingly the calmest day of my life. The same day we trekked up to a waterfall point, a waterfall famous for double rainbow. It was an experience of its own kind, to keep our thoughts to ourselves at the sight of the beautiful rainbows…. to observing ourselves admiring the beauty and slowly absorbing the whole beauty within…and being completely alive in the moment. Our yoga and meditation sessions too, taught us how to love ourselves; our mind, our body and our thoughts that could eventually be looked at as being separate from our mind.

Second lesson we learned that day was patience, to be patient with one another. While we subtly signal someone, asking for things; sometimes the other person deciphered things quickly while at times we accepted things or situations as they were. If only we were patient with ourselves, we could never be hard on ourselves for the little mistakes we make but rather always be happy. If only we were calm with ourselves and could just ‘wait’, we could achieve more or be content with whatever we achieve.

Lesson three, of day two was ‘fasting’. Not fasting in the literal sense of the word, but in way of practicing restrain in what we eat. Eating food that is ‘sattvic’ in nature- food rich in prana, the universal life-force that gives life to all beings on the earth. Avoiding all forms of junk food, chai, onions and garlic and eating food rich in natural taste and containing no preservatives. It tends to bring us closer to nature and appreciate the natural taste of the fruits and vegetables that our surroundings offer us.

We learned such basic lessons in life which could only be understood through practice. Any person who can see his thoughts as they are and not be attached to them, who has patience with himself and with others and who can practice restrain, without overindulging in material luxuries can do anything if he so resolves.

I hope and pray that each person on the retreat was able to understand these learnings and make these practices a part of their daily lives for a happier, more satisfying and peaceful living.

Day three was a trek, a meditative practice that was therapeutic and some more adventures, we share those tales in the next part of this blog.

Till then, think, wait and practice restrain for a better you!

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