Yoga in Rajasthan

Every morning, we bundle up and do yoga outdoors!  Today’s schedule is a bit different because we will be riding elephants early this morning, so yoga is in the afternoon today. I am very happy because I know we will be warm while we practice yoga later today.  We may even be hot, which I will welcome!  Since we have been here in India, we have done yoga at poolsides, on spacious lawns, in courtyards, on terraces and rooftops.  I have a very mixed level group and it is my joy to challenge myself to come up with sequences that can be modified or intensified according to everyone’s level.

The greatest challenge is not to teach a multi-level session.  The greatest challenge has been how to do yoga in the cold temperatures of the desert mornings!  Yesterday, it must have been 48 degrees F.  That is very cold compared to the daytime temperatures of 78 degrees F.  Some come to our 7 a.m. morning yoga sessions wearing gloves, hats, slip proof socks. Everyone, including me, wears layers.  We have a hearty group, thankfully!  We do Warriors around the grounds (looks like lunge after lunge) and Warrior Series and other poses to warm up our bones.  Most of the times, we do get warmed up.  Yesterday, on our last yoga session in Jodhpur, most of us never warmed up!  My toes were icicles.

One morning I asked the group to define yoga, using a word or two.  We went around the circle and we heard each others’ answers.  Their answers were beautiful, reflective of who they are, what their individual experience of yoga is.  Every answer was different and yet the same!  Every answer held truth.  Yoga encompasses all of life and, like a Rajasthani gem, reflects light and beauty.

Yoga is union.

Yoga is.

Here I introduce our fantastic group of yogis who are on this tour of Rajasthan and include their definitions of what yoga is:


Angel: Yoga is Calming Down.

Ginger and Woody:

Ginger and Woody.  Ginger: Yoga is Friendship.  Woody: Yoga is Relaxing (later he redefined yoga in Rajasthan: “Yoga is freezing your ass off at 7 a.m.!”

Ann and Bob

Ann and Bob.  Ann: Yoga is Strengthening.  Bob: Yoga is Awareness.

Dave and Rebecca:

Dave and Rebecca.  Dave: Yoga is Truth.  Rebecca: Yoga is Living with Intention

Lina and Ron:

Lina and Ron.  Lina:  Yoga is Happiness.  Ron:  Yoga is Physical Work and Involves Effort.

Bobbie and John

Bobbie and John.  Bobbie:  Yoga is Breath.  John:  Yoga is Awakening.

Peggy and Tone (pictured with Bob):

Peggy and Tone (pictured with Bob).  Peggy:  Yoga is Presence.  Tone:  Yoga is Mindfulness.

Kelley, Arvind, and Fran (photographed with a Rajasthani man from the Vishnois village)

Kelley, Arvind, and Fran (photographed with a Rajasthani from the Vishnois village).  Kelley:  Yoga is Getting in Touch with Yourself.  Arvind: Yoga is Removing Distractions so you can be Present.  Fran: Yoga is Being Present and Fully Connecting to Life.



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5 Responses to “Yoga in Rajasthan”

  1. Susan Says:

    Loving your posts–as always. Please tell Tone I say Hi!


  2. Karin Bigman Says:

    Looks like a great time . Italy was cold mornings too !!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. 1gr8 Says:

    CBS had a program about the millions arriving at the Ganges… What an historic time for you to be visiting India…Your blog commentary and photos are exquisite!


  4. Rick Says:

    Absolutely love hearing what yoga is from each yogi. So this week I’m going to ask my poetry students to write, in a few words, what poetry is for them and compile the replies for the class.

    Namaste to All the Yogis,


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