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My Keralan Adventure - Part 2: Yoga, Theyyam, Puja and then...all aboard the houseboat!

A wonderful way to experience authentic and original Kerala, the backwaters are still an important part of Keralan life.
The glorious backwaters of Malabar

Being in paradise is all very well but adjusting to the fact that the sunlight isn't coming in to give you a gentle nudge and help the iphone wake you up in the morning can be something of an obstacle! Luckily Ganesha, the God who removes obstacles reminded me that I had good reason to peel myself from my super comfortable, enormous bed - the first yoga class was calling and he was the star.

It's difficult to write about Heidi Pascual's yoga classes without becoming verbose and massively over-using superlatives, so when I say I'll do my best not to, please note that I don't mean it!

A beautiful schedule of classes lay before me and the rest of the group - 20 beautiful yogis. Heidi had promised a deity a day and that is exactly what she gifted to us. Our group practice took place in the Patanjali shalla overlooking the beach and opened with a grounding Ganesha Sadhana. Every Adho Muka Svanasana (downward dog) became Ganesha pose and with it a sense of strong connection and rooting into the earth or the sand! Heidi weaved her alchemical gift of marrying mythical storytelling with creative sequencing through a series of standing and then seated poses, returning regularly to ganesha pose to enable everyone to re-ground, re-connect and really embrace the theme.

Lakshmi offered up a heart and hip opening practice choc full of love while the focus of the evening class was Tara - goddess of compassion and serenity. One of my absolute favourites and another masterpiece of sequencing - the opening story of how Tara arose from the tears of the Buddha when he first regarded the suffering of the world will stay with me forever.

Siobhan Doyle shared her beautiful melliflous voice by leading us in mantra to close some of the practices.
Evening Meditation

Throughout the week we met and celebrated the devas and devis. In Hanuman Sadhana, the fearless monkey god and hero of the Ramayana came alive as we each found our own shradda along with the inner courage we needed for this full throttle 3 hour class but OMG did it feel good afterwards - soul and body cleansed- tick.