Welcome to Agonda Beach
With a fond farewell to North Goa we grabbed a taxi with two friends from the hostel to start the first major stop on our trip, getting our yoga certifications at Agonda Beach. Pulling into Agonda, there was a sensation that overcame me, part excitement and part tranquiity.
Agonda is a secluded beach free from the salesman trying to force you into buying their trinkets because they are not allowed on the beach. The beach is classified as a turtle sanctuary so there are restrictions on how close homes and buildings can be constructed to the beach, lending to 3 km of nice beach to enjoy. Trees and rocks on both sides enclose the beach. This provides an almost prehistoric look; I could easily imagine some type of dinosaur rampaging amongst the trees.
We checked into our rooms at the Fatima Guest House. The guest house has two stories of rooms and the top floor is the shala where we practice our yoga. As you walk up the steps, a sign greets you requesting you to “Please remove your shoes and your mind.” The shala itself is very similar to what I envision an ideal place to practice yoga. From the vantage point overlooking the balconies the ocean is visible as well as large palm trees. The floor is orange tile and the railings are lined with various plants. U shaped straps hang down to support deeper stretching and safe practice of inversions.
After checking out the shala, we headed down to the adjacent restaurant to meet our fellow classmates who would be taking the course with us. In yoga classes, the number of women typically outnumber the men. Our course is no exception to this rule as our class of 20 consists of myself, Gabe, and 18 girls. (There was another guy Mike from California who started the course but left a couple of days into it to pursue a business opportunity that arose). Our class is comprised of people from the US, Canada, England, Sweden, Bavaria (Germany), Austria, and Japan. Meeting everyone for the first time we quickly realized that they would all be fun to hang out with and that we would make some great friends in the near future.