November 30th, 2011
My 20th birthday, the first day I truly got to sleep-in in a month and the first day I woke up as a certified yoga instructor. I don’t believe I became a yoga teacher over night as the process is ongoing and never ending however, reaching the milestone of completing my 200 hours for my 20th birthday felt pretty fantastic.
The first celebrations started with a gathering at Blue Planet. An organic restaurant embedded deep in the rain forest behind our shala. Brad, Katie and I hoped on a scooter to meet the others who had walked there. The drive was beautiful and I remember wishing my commute to SFU was as nature filled and green. I was sung happy birthday in various languages and showered in thoughtful gifts from the local vendors. After hanging out and soaking up each others energy and the surroundings, we headed back to the beach, our home. This time I walked back through the jungle that was filled with life and filled me with life.
In the late afternoon me and a few others settled onto the beach. I found myself flowing into a meditation with ease, only awaking to find the beginning of the sunset and a few others accompanying us. From the sand I rose and made my way down to the water’s edge. I plopped my head into the sand and lifted my legs into a head stand. The waves rolled and crashed towards me. The water diffused into the sand just before it reached my eyes. I watch the sun on the horizon of the water upside down while my body took over, making the micro adjustments needed to stay upright. Feeling more alive than I had ever been before, I lowered down from headstand, paused for a brief moment in child’s pose before leaping into the depth of the ocean and diving beneath the first big wave. The sky was blooming with deep red and pinks which shone over cloudscapes. I played in the power of the ocean until it was dark. I came out of the water dodging the cows that had also been appreciating the brilliance of the sunset.
Shortly after we re-grouped for dinner at a place called Saxon’s that had a movie projector. The whole group turned up and we snuggled in together to watch a movie while we ate dinner. The waiter had convinced me they had no chocolate items while I was trying to order dessert which I didn’t think much of. A few moments after, the lights went out and 20 little flames danced towards me. A luscious chocolate cake was placed in front of me with “Happy Birthday Kitten” (Tessa’s nickname for me). I blew out the candles in two tries. The cake was REAL chocolate cake. It’s hard to believe or explain but most chocolate in India doesn’t taste like the chocolate we are accustom to at home. This cake was amazing. It turns out Tessa and Brad had rode the bike to Choudy in search of real chocolate cake just for my birthday. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me and I will never forget those moments.
I felt more love that day than I knew could exist.