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Filtering by Tag: travel

Finding my flow in Jaipur, India

Jennifer Oechsner


From my first day of exploring India in 2008 I was hooked. From a very young age I was enchanted by the far east and had a yearning to see the world. My wander lust took me many places, including time spent living in Ireland and Japan. But India was different from any other place I had yet experienced. On that first wander around Delhi I was enthralled.

I found India to be a constant stimulation of the senses. The noise of the traffic and muslims being called to prayer, the women gracefully navigating busy streets adorned in beautiful saris, the smell of the coagulation of 17 million people, countless dogs and cows wandering the lanes, the beautiful architecture alongside the makeshift homes of people living on the street, the heat of the day and the palpable emotion of the people....the chaos drew me in. 

On that trip to India I explored the Himalayas, the grand state of Rajastan, experienced the grandeur of the Taj Mahal and the relaxing beaches of Goa. After 5 weeks there, I knew I would be back. I traveled to India again for my yoga teacher training in 2010 and again in 2014 for my first international yoga retreat. Each time I visited India I longed for the opportunity to stay, to soak it in for a while; to become a local in this fascinating place. I finally got my chance.

As the result of a very serendipitous encounter in Nepal in 2016 I was offered a position to teach yoga and English communications at a small design college in Jaipur called Gurukul School of Design. As everything was coming together for my position and relocation I kept feeling as though I was in a dream. The job seemed to be the perfect fit. I was to be a wellness coach, yoga instructor and English teacher for students learning fashion design. And the location seemed great. I had only spent a day in Jaipur on a previous trip and I remembered it as a city rich with culture and liked the fact that it it's not too big. Yes, 4 million people live in Jaipur but that pales in comparison the the 17 million living in Delhi just 4 hours away. 

Although I had long wanted to live in India I was faced with a tough choice. I loved living in Portland. After nearly 8 years in the Pacific Northwest it had become my home. I had lost love, found love, grew my business and have a wonderful community of friends who became my family. Yet, I knew that if I didn't seize the opportunity I would always wonder what might have been. Maybe the job wouldn't be great, maybe I wouldn't love living in Jaipur; but maybe I would. And after all, my wander lust still lives, my sense of adventure guides my heart and I knew I could always return to the off I went.

Those first nights in the hotel were filled with dreams. Dreams of the past; stressful disorienting dreams of the future. I would wake up tearful and exhausted, wondering whether I made the right decision. I was thrown into things at work and felt out of sorts. The noise of the traffic got to me and the intense heat was stronger than I thought it would be. The hotel was clean and quiet and when I stepped out the door in the morning I felt bombarded by the surroundings. I knew there would be an adjustment period and I tried hard to keep that in mind.

The days passed and things got easier. My co-workers and I became fast friends which has been a huge help. I found an apartment, found where to buy the things I needed to make it a home and slowly I am finding my way. I have made a few more friends, gotten (more) comfortable running through the neighborhood in the early morning hours, found a gym and become acquainted with the local vegetable markets. Its slowly becoming home. I've traded the cab ride for a 30 minute walk to catch my ride to school and love how it feels to be part of the city starting its day. The rooftop of my apartment building provides the perfect backdrop for my morning yoga practice and I'm becoming accustomed to the heat. (although I am definitely looking forward to the "winter" people keep talking about)

I am slowly finding  rhythm in my life in India. Its been 1 month since my departure from Portland and as I find my routine I'm finding my flow. Like so much of life, its the little things that make such a huge difference. Naturally, I'm looking forward to returning to Goa, camel rides in  the desert and train rides to visit enchanting palaces. This is all part of what enticed me to take this leap. But life is made up of many small moments, not just the exciting ones. It's how we choose to live each of those small moments that forms our reality. Wherever we choose to go we have to learn to seek out happiness, to find our flow that brings us peace. My flow is in friendships, love, health and laughter. I am finding all of that here. How do you find your flow?

Warrior-Flow Fall Happenings

Jennifer Oechsner

Happy Hour....and "Journey to Ecuador" 

Thursday, November 3rd, 6pm

Hello Friends! Want to grab a drink and talk yoga and tropical adventures? Join Kimi Marin and me at the Bye and Bye to learn all about our NEXT yoga, mediation and volunteering trip...."Journey to Ecuador". We will share our plans for the trip, answer any questions you may have and build excitement for our next once in a lifetime adventure. Join us for on November 3rd and you will receive $50 off the price of the trip. Not in Portland? No problem! Kimi and I can set up a Skype call to and we can have a cyber toast.

Warrior-Flow @ Yoga Union

Saturday, November 3rd, 1-3pm

Join me for this very special Warrior-Flow workshop. No experience necessary, just a willingness to try something new and HAVE FUN.
$25 before October 22nd, $35 at the door

Reserve your spot TODAY! 

Healthy Appetizers For Your Holiday Happenings

Sunday, November 6th,  4 - 6:30 pm

Tired of bringing the same nibbles to holiday potlucks?
Join me to learn step by step preparation to make simple, fun, seasonal, and healthy recipes with a creative twist that are sure to be a hit for large parties to more intimate ones.

Lots of samples provided and recipes to take home!

$30 @ Rain Meditation and Yoga, 2735 SE Main Street
*RSVP by 10/30 so I can determine food amounts*


Journey to Nepal...a journey within

Jennifer Oechsner

As many of you know, I am co-leading a yoga and meditation retreat to Nepal with Kimi Marin.

This adventure has been in the works for a year and it's a project Kimi and I are so excited to be working together on. Our partner in Nepal, Asahi Treks and Adventures, has been a great pleasure to work with. Thank you, Kumar for all of your help. This trip is another dream come true for me and as I prepare, I find myself filled with butterflies and joy. I encourage you to put your dreams on paper, make a plan and set the wheels in motion. Find what brings you joy and gratification and keep it in sight.

Arranging the volunteer component of Journey to Nepal has also been a moving experience for me, an experience from and of the heart. I am grateful for our guests' enthusiasm for this endeavor and for the many individuals who contributed to the cause. I embrace the opportunity to travel to this enchanting country and practice Karma Yoga, yoga of service.  I am grateful for each individual who is joining us on this journey.

I will be posting messages and photos periodically throughout the trip. Follow me on Facebook for updates on our adventures. 

Each year I will offer a new opportunity to travel with me to an amazing location.  Next year's retreat is already in the works.....Journey to Ecuador! Save the dates, March 23-April 1. It is going to be another amazing adventure with yoga, reiki, meditation, horseback riding in the jungle and more. This trip will also include Karma Yoga. Stay tuned for details. 


Step Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Jennifer Oechsner

I heard someone once say, "the magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone". This phrase has really stuck with me and I come back to these words of wisdom when I am fearful of putting myself out there. While I still get stuck in ruts and hide from change, I try to catch myself when I feel this happening.  

Over the years, I have definitely stepped beyond my comfort zone in some big ways. So far I have lived in 2 foreign countries, moved around the world and across the country for 2 career changes, traveled on my own to 8 countries, competed in full contact kickboxing competitions and fell on my face numerous times when trying to master side crow.  In each of these experiences I remember the vibrancy of my nerves, the butterflies in my stomach and the edge of fear. However, each of these situations taught me something new. Some of the lessons were painful, but each experience has made me a better version of myself.

Some of my best memories that involved me leaving my comfort zone have been found on the road. When I stepped off the plane on my first trip to India I was excited, nervous and a little apprehensive about whether I made the right decision to travel there on my own. That 5 week adventure had its ups and downs as any trip will, but overall it was amazing. To have a positive experience traveling in India one must be willing to embrace the unfamiliar. Amidst the chaos, the crowds, constant sensory stimulation and heat, I found peace. I found joy, I found presence, I found kinship, and I found a connection to this amazing and spiritual place. My time in the Himalayas was a big part of each of these treasures.

The Sherpa people of Northern Nepal have named Mt. Everest (the Himalayas and the world's tallest peak) Chomolungma or "Mother of the World". This speaks to the deep reverence people of that region have for these mountains. The Himalayas exude power, majesty and command respect. Next year I will again be traveling to the mighty Himalayas, this time by way of Nepal. And this time I will have the great pleasure of traveling with a dear friend and anyone who is inspired to join us on this grand adventure. 

Along with Kimi Marin, I am hosting "Journey to Nepal". We will hike together, practice yoga, explore the treasures of this fascinating country, and take our yoga off the mat by volunteering in a small village hard hit by the recent earthquakes. This is an adventure you don't want to miss. And you have just 3 more weeks to get in on the special early bird pricing. Contact me today at for more information on this once on a lifetime adventure. Step away from a traditional vacation and wander from the comforts of home. Who knows, it just might change your life!