Part 5. Yoga & Chanting

Entry 55: Auroville

Once we arrived in Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital city, I tried to call our hotel for them to send us a shuttle to pick us up. But they claimed they could not understand what I said.

The next day, we were on the road again. It was a three-hour drive to Auroville. The car was uncomfortable, but the scenery was beautiful. This part of India reminded me very much of Southern Brazil along the coast.

Today, as part of the yoga retreat, we all went on a fun bike ride to the center of town, which is two or so miles away from where we are staying. While we were there, we booked our visit to the Mantrimandir, the meditation hall at the heart of Auroville.

For generic information about Auroville, vision and visitor information, please see:


Entry 56: The Joy of Being

Mandalas always touch my heart and this time it was no different. Not just because the mandala itself is shaped like a heart, but because it represents much more.


Entry 57: Falling Down in Pondicherry

In Pondicherry, we first visited Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram, and it is tiny compared to Amma’s. To my knowledge, it consists mostly of the large two-story house that was home to him and his closest devotees, including his spiritual companion, the Mother. The grounds are immaculate, and the pathways are full of beautiful potted flowers of different colors and varieties. 



Entry 60: An Amusement Park for Yogis

That week, we also went on a pilgrimage of sorts to Mamallapuram to see Hindu carved caves and boulders from the 7th century. We visited a site called “The Five Rathas” with five temples and animals carved from a single piece of stone.

Rafa provided great entertainment for a few street kids. They were glowing with happiness and enchantment.


Entry 59: Here and Now

The yoga retreat has been a unique experience. We met people from all over the globe here, but the most interesting thing is that no one is alike.


To learn more about Brenda McMorrow, our incredible Kirtan singer from Canada, please visit her website. Also, make sure to watch one of her videos on youTube – featuring mom and I (surprise!).

And here is a youTube video of Rafa Martinez in action, our inspiring percussionist.

For Julia and Fabio, our outstanding yoga teachers, you are more than welcome to take a class with them in their studio in Germany or visit their website to find out about their amazing retreats.