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From Corporate Life to the Himalayas: Anki’s Journey

This is a guest post by one of my readers, who felt inspired to share her own story on my blog. I hope you enjoy Anki’s story!

My name is Anki, and I’m originally from Germany. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to live in various places around the world, including New Zealand, India and the UK.

My story, which I haven’t shared much online, is filled with unexpected turns that have led me to a life that I now cherish deeply. It all began after my university time in Brighton, UK. I began working in the corporate world and during my days off, I would hitchhike through Europe to meet new people and explore more unconventional ways of living.

The Leap of Faith

I eventually realized that the 9-to-5 corporate life wasn’t for me. I was longing for something more fulfilling, something that would bring me peace and allow me to live on my own terms. This realization led me to make a bold decision: I decided to leave the comfort of a steady job and embark on a journey of self-discovery. And which place is better for that than India?

The Start of My Adventure in India

In 2015, I took my first step on this new path and traveled to India. Just one day before my departure, I lost my backpack with my purse and phone inside. First, I thought to cancel my trip, then I decided, “I’m going to do this anyways”. I only brought a few clothes and a map of India as I didn’t really have any plan about where to go. I arrived without a phone and very little money, which may seem quite reckless.

However, this decision pushed me out of my comfort zone and opened up opportunities that I could never have imagined. My arrival in Delhi was a whirlwind. Despite the initial chaos, I found myself landing an unexpected opportunity: a Deuter-Backpack ad campaign at a five-star hotel.

How? A German photographer saw me standing in the big crowd and bluntly asked me if I was interested to join his team for his upcoming shoot in Delhi the next day. This was the first of many serendipitous events that would shape my journey.

Once the ad campaign was over, I closed my eyes and pointed onto a random spot on my map. It said “Rishikesh”. So, off I went there by local bus which is another story for itself.

Traditional yoga ashram in Rishikesh

In Rishikesh, I met the most inspiring people, yogis and teachers. I stayed there for eight months. I became more and more interested in living a peaceful and simple life, loving and accepting myself as I am. I joined a traditional yoga ashram (Gyan Yog Breath), learnt yoga and how to meditate.

Doing my yoga teacher training in Rishikesh was one of the best decisions I’ve made. This experience provided me with an immeasurable amount of self-awareness, discipline and tangible knowledge about yoga. It felt like creating a little suitcase filled with wisdom and practical techniques which I can open at any time and make a balance within myself. Until today!

yoga india experience

Silence in Manali

One of the most transformational experiences during my time in India was my three-month silence near Manali. I wanted to meditate for 3 months and not talk at all. It was not just about being silent; it was a journey inward. I prepared well for it and because I found meditation to be very powerful, I knew inside that I could do it.

I rented a small apartment for 100 USD per month in Haripur, bought a few sacks of rice, potatoes, kidney beans (15 kg each), fresh veggies and fruits (only lasted about 10 days), organized a water purifier and daily milk delivery from the neighbor’s cow to my door. Nobody knew me, I was alone and I felt ready. I didn’t have any book, pen or distraction. Only a small Nokia phone to keep track of the dates and times. My goal: 8 hours of silent sitting per day.

The first two weeks were hard and filled with doubts, crazy emotions and madness. After that, it became really joyful. I l began to enjoy my own company so much, felt high levels of energy I never experienced before, meditated for the majority of the day and reduced my sleeping hours to around 4 hours per night.

In the silence, I confronted my thoughts, fears, pain and desires. It was like a self-therapy in which I was the psychologist and patient at the same time. The solitude and stillness allowed me to peel back layers of my personality and connect with my true self.

I understood so much about my mind and made peace with my past. It was during this time that I experienced the biggest personal growth and clarity. My face changed, my eyes changed and my life changed tremendously.

Life in India

I ended up living in India for eight years. Those years were transformative, filled with rich experiences and profound lessons. India, with its vibrant culture and deep spiritual roots, provided the perfect space for my daily yoga and meditation practice. I felt carried, nurtured and supported in this special country.

Yoga became a way of life and it helped me to enjoy the world within and around me. I studied yogic science at a university, learnt Hindi and Sanskrit and found the love of my love.

guest post ankis story about her yoga journey to india

Raising Trilingual Kids

Today, I am back in Germany due to family responsibility, but India remains a significant part of my life. I am raising my trilingual children—who speak Hindi, German, and English—with a multicultural understanding. The values and lessons I learned during my time in India have deeply influenced my parenting style. I strive to instill in my children an appreciation for diverse cultures, an open mind, and the importance of inner peace and happiness.

The Importance of Yoga

Yoga continues to be an anchor in my daily routine. It is not just a practice but a way of life that keeps me grounded and centered – wherever I am. Through yoga, I have found a sense of community and support, both locally and globally. Yoga has taught me to embrace life’s unpredictability with grace and to find stillness amidst the chaos.

Embracing a Multicultural Lifestyle

Living in different countries has given me a unique perspective on life. I have learned to appreciate and celebrate cultural differences. Our home is a blend of Indian and German traditions, from the food we eat to the festivals we celebrate. This multicultural lifestyle enriches our lives and teaches my children to be global citizens. We practice “ahimsa”, non-violence and treat every being with respect and dignity.

The Joy of Indian Cuisine

One of the joys of living in India was discovering its diverse and flavorful Indian-Ayurvedic cuisine. We often cook traditional dishes like dal, chapati, kitchari and biryani. The process of cooking these meals together with my family is not just about feeding the body but also nourishing the soul. It creates a bond that is steeped in love and gratitude.

Final Reflections

Looking back, I am grateful for every twist and turn that my journey has taken. Leaving the corporate world to travel to India was a decision that changed my life in the most beautiful ways. It was not always easy, but it was always worth it. Life is full of surprises, and sometimes, the most unexpected paths can lead to the most profound transformations.

Author Bio

Anki is a passionate yoga practitioner and teacher, originally from Germany. After living in New Zealand and the UK, she left her corporate job to explore yoga and spirituality in India. Anki now lives in Germany with her family, blending the best of Indian and German cultures in their daily lives. She continues to share her journey and insights through yoga, hoping to inspire others to find their own path to peace and happiness.