Stressed? Try Trip to Indian Yoga Hot Spot

ByABC News
March 9, 2004, 1:52 PM

R I S H I K E S H, India, March 10 -- I stood yawning on a dusty platform inthe dilapidated New Delhi railroad station, squinting as shadowstook form with the slow rising sun.

Barefoot porters, their heads piled high with burlap bundles,tripped over my feet. The odors from street urchins who pick atdebris along the tracks and the sacred cows who roam free forced meto cover my mouth like so many other impatient passengers aroundme.

Then, a sun-weathered man, his head wrapped in a crisp redturban, pulled a wooden rickshaw alongside me. I turned suddenly toface mounds of black cloves the smell a reminder of Christmas andmy faraway family and a toothless smile with a nod of the head.

My eyes filled with tears. It seemed like months since I'dstopped to simply smile at a stranger or acknowledge a wonderfulsmell or beautiful sound.

Quest for Rejuvenation

My morning began with that sweet smell of hot cloves; my nightended in the cool Himalayan hills, with chattering cicadas amid therustling eucalyptus leaves.

My quest for rejuvenation was well under way.

Many working moms dream of having several days away from theoffice, and even their homes, just to gather their thoughts andcatch up with themselves.

After a grueling stretch of juggling work, motherhood andnagging illnesses that come with eight years of Third World living,I was craving a break.

I determined that since I was in India land of yoga gurus andmystical Hindus I should combine my Western inclination towardself-pampering and the Eastern penchant for self-awareness.

"Life should start with us. If you are in peace, then you willexude peace, even if someone else has created fire," a guru toldme several days after I began my Indian retreat.

I've been taking yoga classes on and off for the3 ½ years we've lived in India, but never consistentlyenough to find that so-called third eye, or to tighten and tonelike the yoga aficionado, Madonna.