3 weeks Workcamp, South India in an international group! (Kerala, India)
Fascination India – for years I felt a strong longing to visit, because I have been doing yoga since I am 19. I wanted to travel alone there in 2012, but decided to take part in a three-week workcamp in a group and then to travel alone for 3 weeks .
Workcamps are organized by organizations (for example FSL India) in their own country and the participants are taught and prepared in their home countries. My organization in Germany was “Pro International” in Marburg and I can recommend it very much, I have been able to take a lot from the preparation and follow-up seminar and the whole organization was very personal.
In the 3 weeks of the workcamp, I was more than positively surprised: our camp leader had organized and prepared for us a tremendous amount of activities, I had not expected such a varied program. Every day we practiced yoga, learned about ayurveda, helped at a school, and we always undertook exciting excursions. With the others from the group, with the organisators, or with the people around us, there was always plenty to discuss and exchange, sometimes with hands and feet (even without speaking English, many were incredibly interested in us). The friendliness of the people there is beautiful. Especially in the camp I liked the excellent food and the group activities in the evening, where we got to know each other better and gave daily feedback. The participants in the group came from Italy, France, Germany, USA, Canada, South Korea, Greece and we had a lot of opportunity to get in contact with the local people.
All in all, I had planned to adapt as much as possible to the conditions in India and thereby also take back my own needs. For example, I have hardly brought clothes, but I bought a lot there. This is not necessarily my way, but was explicitly desired in the FSL India preparatory papers, so I assumed that it would make my time in India easier (after all, I was always aware that this was a trip in a kind of “other World “). The decision has turned out to be quite right: I have tasted so much new, delicious food, bought a sari, traveled a lot with public transport and this often gave me the feeling of being authentic in India and traveling in a way I could meet local people there.
The 3 weeks workcamp I am not able to summarize here. We were 20 participants in a quite simple house with multiple rooms directly at a river near a beautiful temple and all food was organized for us. The area was not very touristy and also in the next big city, Kannur, there was not a single tourist in the off-season. We had daily a full program: 2 hours of yoga with a great Yoga teacher, who also told us about yoga philosophy and 2 hours of instruction about Ayurveda at a local college. Yoga took place on the roof of a primary school and we were regularly in college, so we got insights into both institutions. In the afternoon, we helped at a school for children with special needs and a kindergarten, there we played and renovated. We went on excursions to the area, visited a cloth factory, the local martial arts martial arts club, cultural museum and, of course, the temple. Daily group activities included feedback rounds, games, and we presented our home countries. On the weekend we days off and undertook weekend trips privately or stayed in the area.
Intensive, strenuous and beautiful, 3 weeks Kerala, India, pure! FSL India offers many workcamps in all of India, I would immediately take part in one again. The trip after that was also exciting, but I would never have immersed in the culture as in this workcamp.
Have you ever joined a workcamp or would like to?