Reflections from my teenage Son in India

By Parker Williams, 17

How does one begin to describe the experience I’ve had only 6 days into this amazing journey? My first impressions of this foreign land tell me that “this is not normal”, but the truth is its just life that I’m not accustomed to. Cows and dogs roaming the streets, garbage and a polluted stench in the air. I’m thinking “how could someone survive more than a day here?” However as I’ve settled in to this place I call home for the next few weeks I’ve come to realize that its really not bad at all, its rather amazing. The people are friendly, the food isn’t to shabby and the smell…well it still smells.

As a beginner to the Ashtanga practice my body has aches and pains all over after only 4 days. The thought of waking up at 4:30 am was unappealing to me at first and now though i find its really not bad at all. It just means ending my day early although that’s not a problem at all.  The walk to the Shala in the morning is tedious but after my practice I feel refreshed and rejuvenated.  Every day my practice seems to ease along up to the point where Saraswathi tells me to contort my not so flexible body into postures I’ve never done before. I love it though. I’m really becoming to understand why my Mom has such an obsession with the Ashtanga yoga practice.

Chanting is at 10 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Yoga Sutra on days in between and on Sunday. The 2 other classes really seem to compliment my practice and give me an understanding of what the point of everything I’m doing here is.

At first I thought that my Mother and I were the only “white people” in this city, but as the days went on we met more people from all other the world. Brazilians, Spaniards, English and even people from Wisconsin. It’s great to finally find out were not in this alone. I’ve really come to be more relaxed with this whole situation.

Though I’m not strictly a vegetarian and would much rather enjoy a juicy steak and a fat burger with fries and a milkshake, I’ve come to really like the masala dosas and briani, but its always great to get a “western breakfast” of pancakes and french toast.

I have a long trip ahead of me and can’t wait to discover more of this incredible country.  Only thing I have to worry about now is avoiding the chaotic driving system, that amazingly enough seems to be in a way organized.

Where the yogis go for breakfast
Parker enjoying pancakes at Anokhis.


7 thoughts on “Reflections from my teenage Son in India”

  1. Hi Deb! Thank you for sharing so much color and detail. I look forward to reading your posts, and now Parker’s. Feels like you are very far away yet right next door. xoxo

  2. All I can say is……well…..absolutely amazin! I think it is on the of the best gifts to be able to share this experience together. Happy trails 🙂

    1. It is interesting and great to have this experience. It is certainly more difficult in places like this when you have another set of eyes experiencing something for the first time. He is doing better and better. He found Dominos last night!

  3. It’s fun to journal this way and give glimpses. I am hoping that the little stories are enjoyable and make for an interesting read. Miss you guys and our Shala. Be well!

  4. Every post is completely entertaining. I love what you have been writing, especially the story of Sharath enviting you into the Shaka at an earlier time. I appreciate the flexibility he is giving. As you know family is the most important thing to Indians. Especially this particular group of ashtangi’s. It is really touching to read about the two of you and the experience you are having together. I am so proud of Parker and you too. But it is awesome how he is having such an open mind and allowing the experience guid him. It would be so different if he was trying to controll his experience. I loved his blog, I wanted to cry but didn’t. pez would get concerned. I’m so happy for you. I can only begin to imagine how great this is. For you to be able to have this time with your son and share this experience and have him start to understand what you have been doing this past decade. The unfolding of life and the growth it has bestowed, it’s so touching. Congratulations to you both. Good job Parker you have grown into such a beautiful man. I feel like it was just yesterday we were watching sponge bob together before you left for school. Soon we will be practicing together before home room. I can’t wait for you guys to come home but I wish you could stay for another month. Say hi to Saraswati for me, Sharath too, Deb. I love you two. Keep living, growing. Awesome!!

  5. Hello Deb & Parker,
    I am enjoying reading your blog. How fabulous a journey for you both. As I just returned from cruising the mediteranean with the Italians, my reflection on this…the vast world we live in , gravity and energy takes us on such different paths everyday and what a diverse group of people we all are! We have an encredable family and I am blessed for that. Good health . Good luck. Where ever we are in this world know that you, my sister and “the boys” are always on my mind and in my heart. Pancakes in India! (and folks from Wisconsin) . Love, paymaneh

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