|This Peru adventure has been so incredibly wonderful. I could never have imagined the flexibility required on my part to teach at the various locations and in various situations! In general, it was more challenging than I had ever expected, but more rewarding as well!Teaching in Lima was so much fun because we all felt really great. We had lots of oxygen, warm weather, sunshine, and great locations for us to practice. In the mornings, we had our sessions across from our fine Sonesta El Olivar Hotel at the 500 year old olive grove-turned-urban-park. The park was quiet and relaxing. The ancient olive grove is home to some 20 species of birds and their songs delighted us as we stretched, strengthened, and breathed! People strolled by with their children and dogs, stopping to admire the yogis. One very unusual man with a foot fetish and sporting a huge thick crucifix came around twice to admire first John’s and then Peyton’s feet! He kept saying, “Che lindo!” He kept exclaiming how pretty their feet were! At first I thought he was a priest because of the big cross dangling across his chest, but then I realized that he was simply interested in the guys’ feet. In the late afternoon and sometimes late in the evening, our yoga sessions were held on the top floor of our hotel in Lima, either alongside the pool or in another area near a conference room. It was beautiful to see the olive park below and the modern Lima cityscape around us. The air felt fresh with the night air and we could see the city lights which looked so festive! One day, while up on the rooftop along the poolside, we saw a hawk!I have put together a slideshow demonstrating the various locations for our yoga. I felt so ill one day in Puno’s 14,500 feet from the high altitude and thin air that Marilyn and Doug had to teach one morning session for me. Then, for the next two sessions, I wrapped myself up in a blanket, sat down, tried not to move because movement of any kind set my head pounding even more strongly, enough to make the world spin and my last meal to come up! From my low perch, I led the group into a sequence. I heard everyone gasping for air as they transitioned from one pose to the next.We ended up not doing yoga at Machu Picchu. The group had split up in two with one group volunteering to go to the mountain to see the sun rise at Machu Picchu, and the other group opting to sleep in and arrive at the site mid morning. By the time we all got together on the mountain, it had started to sprinkle lightly. We simply did a few poses and that was it.
Perhaps the most interesting yoga was in Paracas at the poolside. The hotel had their outdoor stereo on at full blast and there was no turning it down…so we did our yoga to and 80’s soundtrack and listened to Saturday Night Fever and other music. We laughed and did movements to a beat. We were really very happy to be in the luxurious hotel, out of the bus that took hours to get to Paracas, doing yoga at the pool side looking to the ocean watching the sunset! At one point, we noticed the stars starting to appear. The southern hemisphere’s night sky! And it was unbelievable. A star studded sky appeared above. As everyone got into shavasana, a few shooting stars shot across the sky and everyone screamed with excitement! It was one of the most unbelievably surreal yoga moments of my life, outside under the stars!
Cusco’s yoga was in a cold cold room that Marilyn said reminded her of the New York subway! It was amazing that anyone showed up to class as everyone was gasping for AIR during the simplest of asana. I was feeling deeply grateful for the few who did show up for yoga in Cusco! I felt sorry for those who felt as ill as I did. Some of us were using an oxygen mask three times per day!
The room we did yoga in at Aguas Caliente was fantastic! It was located alongside the rushing river just outside a huge window. The river was so loud that it drowned out all sounds, including my voice. It was absolutely wonderful to meditate to the roar of the rushing river.