7 years ago, I began to travel around the world. My main purpose was to meet spiritual teachers and learn from them.
How I met most of them has always been through magical coincidences or as Carl Jung calls it, through Synchronicity…
The way I met a Yogi in India is one of these surprising stories…
My heart lead me to India as a first destination on this quest, after a few weeks, this is what happened.
I was in the north of India, going from one place to the other, looking for a Yoga class, I was always facing the same disappointment. I was feeling doubt and perceived those classes as commercial. I didn’t know what to expect by going in those places but my heart wasn’t at peace.
I chose not to follow any of these courses and decided to move to a different village to see if something better would come up. The day I took the decision to stop searching and to leave, I went for a walk in the forest. I was relaxed, without purpose in mind, I had surrendered to the idea of finding a Yogi here.
Simply being, walking and observing nature around me, I found myself lost in the forest… When all of a sudden, I was facing an old skinny Indian man looking at me straight in the eyes, with a strong accent, he instantly asked me a very strange question: “Do you want a yoga class?”
This moment still feels mysterious when I think about it… I hesitated a second saying that right now I was lost but yes, I was also searching for a yoga class. He told me to come to his place the next day, he showed me an old house on the hill and left.
I was feeling surprised and at the same time exhilarated by this encounter, I knew he was the right person for me, I knew he was on my way, I knew that a synchronicity just happened once more to guide me on the path…
I have been fortunate to experience numerous synchronicities in my life, but each time they appear, I still feel amazed and grateful.
Once again, life knows better than I, so I changed my plans, I knew I had to stay and learn from this teacher. I went back to see him and after the first class, decided to stay with him as long as necessary.
I ended up living with him in the house, well let’s call it a cabin, 4 walls and a metal roof for the rain. In the bathroom, a hole for the toilet, a bucket and a tap as a shower. 2 rooms with nothing else than wooden structures as beds and a tiny table to put a candle in the evening.
To practice Yoga in my teacher’s room, he was lifting up his bed against the wall and putting a mat near the entrance door. Ready for a class in the middle of the forest with a funny, skinny, Indian teacher. Gopin took care of me for the next 5 weeks, practicing intense yoga sessions the whole morning and 2 hours of Pranayama every afternoon, before meditating…
Gopin was a kind and gentle teacher, smiling at my struggle to bend my body, while standing with a leg behind his neck, making fun of me… In a gentle but intense way, he allowed me to improve my practice, in fact I made more progress in 5 weeks with him than in the past 7 years of weekly classes.
He reminded me of two important ideas, often forgotten in yoga classes. Yoga is a way to prepare the mind and the body for meditation, and the Pranayamas are more important than the asanas.
I found a similar view in the Buddhist monasteries when I asked monks why they don’t do physical exercises. Amongst many interesting answers, one that I could verify was: “when the mind is at peace, tension in the body is released. “
On my spiritual path, he prepared me for my next inner adventure… After leaving Gopin, I went in the Himalayas, spent a month climbing ice peak mountains alone for a month. This was one of the most powerful experiences of my life, but this was before the real climb or maybe the descent, in the depth of my mind…
But this is a whole different story, an inner journey in the unknown of our psyche.
Maybe one day, we will share about it… And if you want to see for yourself? You can come and get a glimpse during our retreats…
May you be free and happy,
Yearning for a trip that takes you closer to an authentic journey, both outward and inward? Book a spiritual retreat with Frederic himself, and maybe he can teach you how to attract and recognise the precious moments of synchronicity. Because fulfilling your life through yoga practice means more than just staying fit.