BY ADITHI MATHEWS
For Yogi Andre Bolourchi, an Indian holy man was someone who lived in solitude, practiced celibacy, had a beard, and wore many malas. This stereotype lifted when he met Krishna, an Indian ascetic and Yogi who taught Yoga on the beaches of Goa. We stumbled upon the video of Andre practicing Yoga and learning Ayurveda with Krishna in Goa through the World Nomad’s YouTube channel. Since we loved what we saw about Andre’s Indian Yoga experience, we got in touch with him to find out more.
Andre started practicing Yoga in his 20’s after a basketball injury. He was given two options – surgery or Yoga and he opted for Yoga out of pure necessity and not a choice. Today, he practices Kundalini Yoga and thinks of Yoga as a combination of art and science bundled in together which has helped him listen to his physical body better.
Like most first time travellers to the Indian subcontinent, Andre did have an idea of the Indian travel experience but didn’t understand how it would all feel. ‘’ As a “westerner” looking from the outside in, India seems like this overwhelming hodgepodge of worlds colliding into one another- its vast history, the richness of so many subcultures, it’s burgeoning population, and, quite literally, the thousands of dialects, demigods, and mouth-watering delicacies- all coexisting in any given moment. I was intrigued to see what a yoga practice would be like in India-arguably the birthplace of yoga itself- but I just couldn’t fathom how it would be.’’, he shares about his first impressions of travelling in India, the birthplace of Yoga.
Krishna, a modern day holy man or baba, we learn has travelled to all the four corners of India. ‘’For about 30,000 kilometres all around India for the last 25 years. It’s kind of a record.’’, says Krishna in the video. He also goes on reveal how he left his Guru after 18 years and travelled to Goa to teach Yoga based on his Guru’s instructions. Krishna’s Yoga classes in Goa consist of small groups of mostly foreign travellers.
Andre spent a few days practicing Yoga with Krishna, which he shares was similar to what he had experienced in The States. He also learnt about Ayurveda cooking, the use of spices and how to use food as your medicine. ‘’ Yoga with Krishna wasn’t your typical, westernized “power yoga” class- with fluorescent lights, in a sterile studio. Class was held outside, under a beautiful ceiling of palm leaves hanging from its trees. There were no membership passes or items to purchase for retail. He had no self-promotion technique or personal branding of “his yoga”. It was true yoga- a simple union of us gathered, open and engaged with our own experience. It was refreshing.’’ The classes were concluded by a fire ceremony known as Agnihotra, which is a healing fire ceremony.
Breaking stereotypes and eccentric modern Holy men apart, what we loved best is Andre philosophical conclusion about his brief encounter with Krishna. And he sums that up perfectly for us in his own words, ‘’ My time in India showed me what happiness looks like through simplicity itself. Society at large tells us that we “need” more, bigger, better, and faster. And we need it now, if not yesterday. And I don’t necessarily see that pursuit as negative or entirely selfish. But what I’ve come to understand is that “less” truly is “more”. Less distraction in your life brings you more of you. More clarity to know who you are, and to pursue your calling in life, whatever it may be. Krishna’s health and vitality was a testament to his inner wealth. And his smile and laughter a reflection of his freedom. A few years have passed since Krishna and I first met. But his presence is always near to my heart, serving a reminder to me that the journey of this life isn’t just about material wealth and quantifiable success. The other side to the coin in life is the Art of Fulfillment. And that is a journey worthy of a lifetime.’’
Video courtesy World Nomads and inputs from Andre Bolourchi. For more information about Yoga in Goa, check out our detailed guide here.