What was India like is hands down the first question I always get asked when people find out I’ve travelled there and I’m never quite sure how to answer without just gushing words at them.
India is overwhelming
India is magical
India is crazy
India is beautiful
India is difficult but so so worth it
India is inspiring
And its that final one that I always come back to.
Creatively I found India to be one of the most inspirational places I’ve ever had the luck to visit. Everywhere you look there are print and colourway ideas, palaces, saris, trucks on the roads.This is why the beginnings of Yogipod had to be tied to India, it was the place where I began to formulate the idea and what I felt the products needed to be. There was a point when I was worried I would never find a way to be creative again but India reignited that for me and continues to inspire through photos I took and memories I have and I wanted to share some of these with you below. It’s taken me a year to do one post on what my travelling in India meant to me, but I think I needed the space to process it all.
These images aren’t necessarily going to immediately translate into new products, prints or colourways for Yogipod but they definitely might in the future. This is how I work and a little insight into how my brain works. Pairing colours together, locating recurring shapes and ultimately stimulating the memories which is no bad thing.
The most obvious inspiration from India is creatively, the colours and patterns that adorn every single part of life are the most inspiring thing for someone with even half a creative brain. But even more so than that, I found the country and the people are inspiring in themselves. The poverty and divide between the classes is hard to see as someone who has had a very happy upbringing but I found it such a friendly upbeat country and that positivity can’t help but rub off on you. Even when driving through areas of towns that were really run down there was so much vibrancy and life and smiles. The colours of the saris were never dull and drab, the children were always smiling and there seemed to be a true love of life. I am obviously in no way believing that life isn’t hard, particularly in the lower parts of Indian society but there seems to be a constant joy of life that is unusual in the western world, where we have very little to complain about. It was this that I really took away personally from my time in India, to see the positives in the negatives.
There is an innate spirituality whether Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian or any other denomination which you can’t help to be affected by, even if this just translates into more of meditation or journalling practice. Personally this spirituality that I was surrounded by really helped me connect back in with myself. I had spent so many years previously working every hour under the sun and not listening to myself at all. By being surrounded by people where spirituality was not even questioned, like it is here, and a completely normal part of life made me much more aware of my inner thoughts and feelings. I didn’t have an excuse to hide them. This wasn’t necessarily easy and I will be always grateful for the space I was able to take up at the Anand Prakash ashram in Rishikesh because having the space to read and write was exactly what my soul needed.
And that’s what I think is so beautiful about India. Amongst the chaos there are little jewels of creative and personal inspiration. You just have to filter out the noise, the hooting of motorbikes, the chaos of cows everywhere, the assault of colours and smells and you’ll find inspiration.
If that can be found in India amongst all of those distractions then surely we can also find the inspiration within ourselves at home as well. It’s just making the space for that inspiration whether it be creative or spiritual, not hiding from it or ignoring those creative urges.
So what are you waiting for? I’m off to pick up a pencil and just draw and write. Do the same and maybe see what you come up with
Have you been to India? How did you find it? I would love to know your thoughts so please pop a comment below