India

I am so excited to share all about my recent trip to India! Before I dive in to everything I experienced, I first want to start with a bit of background on how this trip came to be.

When I first moved to Atlanta 14 months ago, (has it really been that long already?!) I wanted to join a yoga studio. I love yoga, and even though I don’t talk about it much as part of my photography brand, it’s a big part of my life. I took my first yoga class 10 years ago and have been consistently practicing since college. I quickly found and started attending YogaWorks (previously known as Infinity Yoga) in Atlanta, and fell in love with their teachers and classes. Two teachers, Jenny¬†and Nancy, were particularly influential in my practice and I started taking as many of their classes as possible. When I heard they were taking a group of students to India the following year for a yoga retreat, it never even crossed my mind that I would attend.

Fast forward a couple of months and I had also joined a tennis team as another way to find community in Atlanta. One of my teammates, Courtney, also regularly practiced yoga and equally enjoyed Jenny and Nancy’s classes. She mentioned their upcoming trip to me and said she was up for the adventure if I wanted to go. It had always been on my bucket list to attend a yoga retreat, and something inside of me just knew this was the right time to go. Just a few days later our deposits were paid, and it was official– we were going to INDIA!

We arrived in Goa, India early on Friday morning. We had taken a 9 hour flight to Paris, then another 9 hour flight to Mumbai, and finally an hour flight to Goa. We jumped in our taxi all foggy from the jet lag, and sped off through the crowded streets towards the resort 1.5 hours away in Agonda Beach. We weaved through stray dogs, cows, people, and other cars at a frightening pace… I’ve never experienced anything quite like the driving in India– no speed limits, lanes as pure suggestions, and a variety of animal/human obstacles.

We arrived at Corvo Rindo resort, the home base of the retreat, and checked into our hut. The hut was simple and rustic, and the view of the Arabian Sea was breathtaking. We wandered the beach and saw the incredible landscapes, cows wandering freely, and stray dogs splashing in the waves– it was a little slice of paradise. Each night we fell asleep to the sounds of crashing waves, barking dogs, moo-ing cows, and cawing crows.

The rest of our week was full of yoga twice a day, exploring the beach and markets, getting to know the locals (shoutout to the amazing staff at Corvo Rindo!), and going on a variety of excursions. On the days we traveled away from the beach, we explored 3 different temples, had Ayurvedic massages, took a cooking class at a local spice farm, visited a Portuguese fort, and ventured into the jungle to hike a waterfall and ride elephants.

Some of my favorite moments of the trip involved getting to know the other retreat participants. I walked away from this experience knowing I’ve made some wonderful friendships and deep connections. Each person on the trip taught me something unique and for that I am certainly grateful.

I hope you enjoy some pictures from my adventure in India!

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I walked away from India full of gratitude. My eyes were opened to the extreme poverty and pollution the country faces, but there was also so much beauty, resilience, and hope. It was such a lesson in perspective and learning what’s truly important in life.

As Nancy said as she closed our practice each day: “May you walk with grace and strength. Namaste.”

xoxo,

Marybeth

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marybeth marlow  photography

ATLANTA BASED DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER