So my month of 200 hour yoga teacher training has come to a close (how the fuck has the past four weeks gone by already?!). I actually cannot comprehend the quickness; like, I feel like I just left Auckland Airport let alone ticked off all my training and both met and farewelled my new friends. 
So the last of the pointings for India Take Two. 
1. We graduated last night. All wearing white, we did the whole prayer ceremony thing (the teachers mistook my jiggling-foot-to-eradicate-pins-and-needles as a soulful dance to the aarti and I got many nods of approval; thus, I had to continue to do so for the remainder – complete with hand clap – and pretend I had been overcome with a saintly air), got our certs, had a delightful dinner then all danced around to Indian tunes (not going to lie; have downloaded a fair few to jam along to myself) with the boys. It was very, very fun. (One of the Indian lads then put on “Barbie Girl”, the anthem of any Western female born in the early 90s. They laughed joyously as we all knew the chorus. Then things got a bit awkward when I proceeded to know every single world to the entire song. Yes, even Ken’s part. My justification that I did a lot of dancing to it as a youngster did not excuse my mastery). 
Danish Marie and Christina from California (ok, Florida via Hawaii) departed for Dehradun Airport at 5am so Beavs and I arose to wave them off. (Detached Pop made an appearance so as to not to get all sentimental). 
Do I feel sad? A little bit, yes. But the thought of bustling to Brussels to see The Pedaller has me fizzing like a tube of Berocca. I’m so happy to have (re)done my 200 hours and leave a capable, competent and confident (actually for real) yoga teacher. 

2. Heavy as the second: I’ve been thinking a lot about depression. 
Not because I feel I am in such a situation, oh no; through I have been prone to a handful of depressive episodes in my lifetime, my maladies of the mind and spirit are not set in and deliberating – I’m the same as many other mid-20-something-year-old I feel; down days, but not all encompassing. 
No. I’ve been thinking a lot about people I know or are connected to in some way that have or are currently enduring dolour. 
A few years ago a family friend’s son committed suicide. (It took me awhile to phrase that; at first I had “took his own life”, but at his funeral his mother said, “He didn’t take his own life; depression did”. That really touched me and has been with me ever since). J was one of those beautiful smiley souls in life that whenever you saw, you’d just break out into a grin too. I have a What’s App message from 25 April, 2014 from him that I’ve archived; only six seconds long, whenever I replay it I just get this overwhelming sense of sadness mingled with a relief that he is free. 
Another one of our family friend’s has a son who struggles with it day-to-day. I don’t know much about the situation, but I am just incredibly shocked that it is such the case; he is supremely talented, very good looking and has always had this cheeky, quick witted jocularity. 
It shows that many that do go through a bit – or a lot – of the D (depression, nothing untowards) are those you wouldn’t pick as so. Many are good at masking, downplaying or only sharing teeny little snippets, while it whirlpools underneath like a Great White, progressively gaining strength until sometimes it overpowers. 
I get so sad when I think of people brave-facing through it. Many a time I want to reach out. But what do you say? I feel for you? The standardly overused and not-always-welcome “Im here if you need dude”? Depression still holds that dreaded stigma, is a pretty grey area and the attention it needs is not always sure of how to be given or received. 
More to ponder. 
3. Lightness: when I was on the Solo Sojourn last time (same sort of trip but in a lesser lot of time) my tendency to hold onto ridiculous things intensified; I found myself at Everest Base Camp with an empty Powerade bottle that Mummy Deb had gotten for me at the airport (”twas full when she gave it to me, I shall clarify) and an empty Berocca tube courtesy of Papa Henio (ditto). I was in such a state of angst and anxiety that I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away, keeping them on me at all times. (I’m going to admit that they came into the yoga studio as I did my exam). (And that they are both currently on my “special shelf” in my Cambridge bedroom). 
Since then, I have tried to detach from such a tendency (I don’t want to become a hoarder). When at home I’m fine; I have that whole, “it wasn’t meant to be” mantra on whenever I lose/break/misplace an item (mainly to shroud my uselessness at often losing/breaking/misplacing items). But when away, it sometimes gets the better of me. 
A couple of trips ago Mummy Deb gave me a blue leather shoulder bag to put my money and such in. With its many zips and pockets and close proximity to the bod, it has been an ideal travel compatriot the last few years. 
But it had become a bit battered. The leather was flaking off, the material had a few rips and the zip didn’t quite zip anymore. I told myself when I got home in November it would be binned, but as I packed today I decided it had reached its end. 
It was quite the monumental moment relocating it to the receptacle – especially as I paired it with the empty plastic bottle that Uncle Jamie had bought me at Delhi Airport that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away when I got here. I was quite proud of myself really; quite the achievement, I thought. (But then I thought of it going to landfill and felt a little gutted at my contribution to the Indian litter scene). 
Then I stood back and saw myself, pretty much having a fist pump because I chucked out a savagely fucked up bag and a sip-size empty bottle of h20. 
Stepping stones, ok? 

4. Sleep has been evading me like a teenage girl snaking to get out of compulsory PE. Three nights in a row I reached an average of 2.25 hours of slumber apiece, and I was not a fun soul to be around (underslept Pop tends to get a touch emotional/grumpy/short-fused). 
Arvind (school owner) could see I was struggling in one asana class (I can be somewhat stubborn, especially when it comes to exercising; I think it was me having a snivel and cursing as I still tried to do 10 upward to downward dogs when my body really didn’t want to gave it away). When he asked what ”twas wrong and I told him of my insomnia situation, he told me to listen to some light music when I next went to bed and let myself float away. 
I think he meant meditative, yoga nidra type sounds but T Pain circa 2005 worked wonders. 
Our last morning with Manoj I was determined to crank the class, even though I was running about three nights under ideal kip. When we did the extended-hand-to-big-toe pose (yes, as it sounds) and I toppled over, Manoj could see I was somewhat upset (I think my, “For FUCKS sake” may have clued him up). He asked if I was unwell (twasn’t looking my freshest, it must be said) and I told him how I was tired and felt – I quote – “like a sack of useless, weak shit”. 
Gorgeous Manoj. Gorgeous, gorgeous Manoj. He touched my shoulder and said, “Poppy, you are so good at yoga. I know that. Go to bed and sleep.” 
So I did, no T Pain needed. (I literally landed on my bed and was out for three hours). 
5. I didn’t realise that the others had twigged how much extra I was doing in the exercise side of things. Not really really over the top, but an hour of cardio and some HIT throughout the day. But Vanessa from Vienna (sorry, Germany) mentioned it to me in passing, Dylan from Dublin (actually is) told me yesterday that I had been heartily overdoing it and that a common conversational topic at the dinner table when I was still upstairs doing sit ups was, “Poppy’s going crazy up there”. Plus one evening Beavs gave me a bit of a blasting. But instead of feeling proud of myself like I once would, I just felt sad. 
I don’t want to be the girl who others discuss because she is clearly a bit obsessed. 
6. There’s a part of me that doesn’t feel that elation I did upon completing my course like last time. I told myself I couldn’t figure it out; maybe it’s the whole, done it once, not so stimulating the second? But it’s not. 
I know the truth. 
It’s because my weight drop hasn’t been to the extent I secretly wanted.  
I’ve dropped a couple of kgs, as you would doing so much exercise. But last time I left I was seriously skinny, almost scrawnily so, and I almost feel cheated I’m not that size again. 
Where this sense of is stemming from? 
I’ll admit it. I wanted to be that 48kg girl, leaving with pants swaddling her thighs and getting off the plane in Brussels to The Pedaller exclaiming how streamlined I’d gotten. 
I wanted to return to India after and trim out even more so in the 300 hour vinyasa course, heading to Base Camp to strip off that last little layer of coating, and get back to NZ to constant commenting on my angular physique. 
And then what? 
I mean, what would come after that? Day after day of getting up at dawn to do yoga, followed by 1000 ab crunches and seven hours of hiking hills to maintain my size? Just to continue getting the “compliments” that I need to gain weight? And where would I fit that in? I have plans to start perhaps working on my Poppy career side; when would I schedule in to do weddings and write and what not? As I summit Mangakawa for the fifth time of the day? 
And, what about The Pedaller? When would I see him, spend time with him, when I need to do 77 lunges, 400 more sit ups, leg lifts, squats and Kapal bhati before bed? When would I have time to just be, have him make me laugh, us do the Stuff Daily Quiz (myself always annihilating him, of course), having countless games of Rummikub and tallying the wins on the Reg Pop board? (Once again, the champion lines all on my side). 
It struck me the enormity of it the other day – I’d rather be with The Pedaller than be a spindly starveling.
Massive stuff mate. 
7. So tomorrow I leave, flying Dehradun to Delhi to Zurich to Brussels. I have to say, even though I have grown quite accustomed to all the mayhem and chaos and disarray, I’ll be happy to get away for four weeks to order and western comforts. Oh yes, and The Pedaller. Him too. 

India Take Two has come to a close; bring on Belg and France and Spain and Holland. 

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