The Yoga of Packing (for India)

February 24, 2013
Katherine Austin Wooley


I must say I'm getting this packing thing down to some degree...... so grateful for regular travel, as I've learned a thing or two.  Albeit it's still hard for me to not give in to the desire to bring lots of options!  I am a yogi, but still a woman.

India is fun to pack for.  Such a different world with climates changing from location to location.  This trip, I will begin in Rishikesh along Ma Ganga, where it's chilly in the mornings for early sadhana. I'll also be meditating in a cave at the lap of the Himalayas.  Layers are key.

Later, I'll journey to Amritsar, which is close to Pakistan.  One of my destinations will be a visit to Goindwal Sahib, climbing the 84 steps while chanting sacred prayers.  I've been told to dress warm for that, since it  can take up to 24 hours to complete.  (Wish me luck!)

Of course, India is dirty so you really have to plan on wearing pants that won't drag on the ground, much less the toilet facilities...This is a big deal.  Trust me, you don't want your pants on the ground or the floors.

And then there's the self-care items, so necessary.  You're not in Kansas anymore!

For India, I bring snacks for the many times the right food may not be available. In India, sometimes you need Western medicine with you.  It's all good.  A little travel sickness has never stopped me from returning.  The blessings and experiences of India far out way any tummy discomfort.

I enjoy the sacredness of what has become a conscious packing ritual. It's more than merely packing a suitcase for a trip; there is the mental and spiritual preparation of leaving one place and journeying to another, both literally and metaphorically.

I begin packing in my mind and then eventually bring it to life by sorting round one into piles to stare at and meditate with before deciding what to take and what to leave behind.

Visualization to Manifestation.

This process helps me truly SEE that I don't need as much as I always think I do. I learn to appreciate the universal truth that less is more.

This time around, my theme is lightening my load.

Last time I visited India, I overpacked.  Whereas this time I'll be gone for three weeks, last time I was away for 4 1/2 - but still I took too much.

Lugging "dead weight" around was a lesson in more ways than one.  So funny, often we go on spiritual journeys to let go and let God.  Even the domestic Indian airlines let you know how overpacked you are.  The eye-rolling was embarrassing.  Lesson learned.

So off I go in a few days.  I am excited to return.  I am excited to bring back home to Karma Yoga more light and love packed inside of me. (When I stop focusing on the physical accessories, I can transport more spiritual necessities.)

Thank you Karma Yogis for allowing me this beautiful opportunity to pack up my soul and journey with it once again into the Light.

Sat Nam




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