I have been in India many times. Five of those trips with some of my children. My most recent trip, with all of 3 of them. Even a Mother who knows kinda what to do in India with one kid. The whole game changed when I added two more. A pre-teen with all his emotions, a 15 month baby and my 6 years old that is pretty much a pro traveling to India. He’s made the journey 4 times. If Im honest with you, I was pretty scared.
Traveling alone with all of them prompted a lot of questions. What if they get sick? What about if something happens to me ? Who would take care of them? I know in my heart there is never the right time to travel with many kids. Financially, logistically its never ideal. On the other hand as a Yoga student I know the importance of having your special teacher. The one you trust, the one who can show you your limitations and give you the right tools to overcome them. I can easily tell myself to wait until the kids are older to pursuit the teachings of my Guru. But that’s not a choice for me. I started my yoga journey pregnant almost 14 years ago and I am committed to make my family part of my Yoga journey.
My practice makes me a better mother and in general a better me. In that light I created my own logistics to make this trip as smooth for the kids and myself.
The first thing I did was to boost their immune system and digestive system before the trip. They all took probiotics daily for their digestive system and elderberry supplements to bust their immune system. I started this two months before departure. I allowed their diets to be more starchy to prepare them for a not salad friendly environment . I avoided at all cost to eat uncooked vegetables. It’s helped me to not get sick in my prior trips, so I follow that rule and it worked again! The kids didn’t got sick on the trip.
My feeling is that I don't have to travel light when I am with my kids, to the contrary. I want every single item that will make a already difficult trip more easy for me and them. In that mindset, for the baby I take her portable feeding chair, stroller and car seat. The car seat can make the 4 hour taxi drive to Mysore more pleasant for me and the rest of the kids. The baby was able to sleep all the way to Mysore.
Overall I packed all the items that brings them a homie feeling. Their favorite toys and personal items they love. For my pre-teen I carried all his technology gadgets. I’m grateful I did. Although it’s possible to get many organic items in India now days including medicines. The products are overpriced in my opinion and not the best quality. I packed my medicines for the common Indian deseases like diarrhea, colds, skin rashes, etc. I took with me as well all the food that I know will make my kids happy the first week of adjusting there. I’d cook a lot, this helps them feel nurtured and it replenishes their body after a hard, long trip . Food nourishes the body. And home cooked meals are the best to keep your health while traveling. We did occasionally eat out but not often. We all brushed our teeth with purified water. It was a whole challenge to make sure the baby didn’t sip water while she was been showered. But we managed!
I kept’s The baby naps schedule and had the boys follow their normal homeschool schedule. Kids behave better when they have routines. It makes them feel safe as well. Planing daily activities to the parks and interesting sites was a huge part of my trip. That kept them entertained. We went to the movies, bowling, museums, palace, visits to a Ashrams and much more. We built friendships with other kids and had them over our apartment for play dates. Making friends is an important part of travel for me.
On the plane trips I used some homeopathic remedies to help them relax their nerves system like rescue remedy. And gave them plenty of water and little quantities of food. It's not a great idea to eat a lot while you are on high altitudes. The baby was on my lap the entire trip and if I am honest with you that’s close to 20 hours. I practiced plenty of mindfulness and accepting on this trip. If you control your emotions in a healthy way, most likely your kids will pick up the vibe and be calm themselves. You may not be able to sleep much or any for 20 hours but they will, and that’s already a gift.
Now what happens to us? As mothers wanting to practice deep in India, to transforms our selves, to overcome our fears, to make our Guru happy with the effort that we pour into our practice. In my case this was my scenario. I had the same sensations all my yogi friends talk about. The deep opening, the wanting to cry because your releasing all those stored emotions that are coming out after a intense practice. But I couldn’t cry because I didn’t want to worry my kids, I couldn’t take a nap after the practice even though I was exhausted, not to mention it was terribly hot in the practice room. Immediately after practice I needed to go home to nurse my baby, make breakfast for all the kids and homeschool. Sometimes I didn’t even have time to take a shower after practice. I know.... gross. But true. I was up many nights nursing my baby so I was pretty tired when it came time to practice. But, I showed up and I savored every practice like it was the last minute of my life.
Because all of these struggles, my practice is so valuable. Being there takes a sacrifice, but that sacrifice makes it so much more beautiful and meaningful to practice in India. I was sore from holding my baby, it was painful and difficult after practice. I was so tired that I thought, how do I make it thru one more day. But I did it! I grew inside my heart like never before. My kids and I where more together than ever. We hugged and we helped each other like never before. We are grateful to have each other and we will do it again and again. Because that’s what family is all about. To support each other’s dreams. They know that mommy’s dream is to be a student forever 🙏 and I will always teach them to follow their dreams, no matter how difficult and inconvenient they may appear at the time.