As I sit here on this balcony sipping a coconut milk decaf cappuccino and eating an eggless chocolate mousse cup, I can’t believe this is the last day. It’s been a long month. Trials, tribulations, tears, laughing, uncontrollably laughing, meltdowns, dislocated rib, a cold that I wouldn’t wish on anyone and I survived it all. 28 days of mind, body and soul exercise. I learned more than I thought I would, much more. A lot about anatomy pertaining to yoga and the philosophy behind it all. I learned about the culture, I learned about the people on a personal level, I learned about India, mostly about Rishikesh.

I sit on this balcony at the “fanciest” resort in Rishikesh. Of course I manage to find this. It overlooks the Ganges River and has a beautiful view of downtown Rishikesh with the surrounding mountains. It’s name is The Devine Resort. The cake I was presented on my birthday came from here. Incredibly delicious.

It’s a rainy day and that’s OK with me. It’s the first day I’ve seen rain on this entire trip. I love the rain, I love thunderstorms, I love the flashes of lightning, it’s my favorite. Today I had both my written and verbal teaching exam. During my teaching exam it was raining cows and monkeys with thunder and lightning striking every 5 minutes. I always believed that thunder was angels bowling in heaven, at least that’s what my Nana told me when I was young. Lightening occurred when an angel bowled a strike. There were multiple strikes this morning. I was able to watch nature take over while I guided fellow students through my first hour and a half yoga teaching session. At the end of class I even lullabied my teachers to sleep with some playing of brass singing bowls and using crystals on their foreheads with a little Reiki session. As I stood over all of the shavasana bodies, I felt my soul warm. I’ve never felt this feeling before. If you’re a yoga teacher I know you understand what this experience feels like. Amazing.

As I sit on this balcony drinking the last of my cappuccino and licking the last bit of chocolate mousse off my spoon, I realize this experience can never be communicated. I will never be able to completely communicate what has happened here. I can’t explain how I have grown and all the things I have witnessed. One can only experienced this type of adventure on their own, taking a leap, jumping in with both feet and surrendering yourself to a certain situation or place.

I am so humbled by the people here, their passion, their enthusiasm, their love for the universe, the love for their gods and of course the love of yoga. I’m able to leave my stamp on Rishikesh because of the 85 people that donated $4000 to a scholarship fund that was dreamt up out of a meditation session. Do your meditation people! Ha! I had the honor and privilege to pass that certificate over to four incredible young men and change their lives today. I thank YOU for that and you should be so proud of taking two minutes out of your time to do this. I thank you with all my heart.

Now, with slight tears filling my eyes, I’m realizing that I am leaving Rishikesh behind me. Moving onto a new adventure, a new part of my Joy Quest. In the beginning I thought of this as a sacrifice, a sacrifice to India with five long weeks of my life. In realization, India was sacrificing for me. For me to come learn, grow, thrive and add another piece to the quest of life, my Joy Quest. Rishikesh, you are now part of me and can never be forgotten.