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