Yes to Yoga in India!

Below is a photo collage from the daily yoga sessions in India.  As usual, I didn’t take many photos while teaching because my focus was not on taking photos during that time.  We practiced yoga in a variety of  places, mostly outdoors:  rooftop terraces, poolside gardens, former palaces-turned-hotel rooftop, grassy areas, a tennis court, a hotel lobby area when heavy rains drive us indoors, and Mogul style open-air arch covered yoga space in Agra for practicing yoga.  I had a very mixed level group and everyone worked with guidance to modify as necessary or to go into the poses more deeply if ability and experience allowed.

Some early mornings in the desert climate of Rajasthan, it was so cold that we had to do vigorous lunges in order to warm up.  At other times, it was warm and we soaked in the sunshine of India.

how to describe our yoga experience in india?….pink turbaned groundskeeper govinda puts down his broom and does triangle, tree, and warriors with us from a distance,  eventually he comes closer and closer and joins our circle briefly on the last day at the hotel….so cold, place hat on head and gloves on hands… so warm…so sunny, place a cap over your face in shavasana for shelter from the sun, wearing shades during the yoga practice, shades slide off face during downward facing dog…om circle, hold hands, left palm up, right palm down, take energy from your left hand and give with your right hand, the circle vibrates with life….with a few words, how would you describe yoga, she asks them…personal trainer at gym nearby places weights on fran’s mat to hold it down and  gives fran advice on how many oms we should do as a group, he adjusts heads to tilt one way in shavasana and fran realigns everyone’s heads, rain drives us to do yoga in an interior  space in delhi, we move tables and chairs and do yoga to the sound of thunder and listen to heavy rain that is a first february rain in 44 years….fran’s voice competes with raucous birds, jets flying overhead, nearby traffic, high winds in delhi, and hearing aids that decide to act up at the most inconvenient of times…in varanasi, guest yoga instructor smriti comes to grace us with her devotional yoga practice and surprises us with her powerful ancient sanskrit chanting, a voice that pierces the heavens….for many days we are together on this journey in India where  we stretch, twist, strengthen, breathe, clear our minds, practice being present, absorb rays of sunshine, connect to India, to each other, to oneself…we do yoga and become a community…we do yoga and become one family

Below is a collage from the few photos I did take of our yoga sessions.  As you can see, I generally can only capture yogis in pair work or in deep relaxation poses!

Turn up your volume, sit up tall, and breathe!

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7 Responses to “Yes to Yoga in India!”

  1. Tone Deklaver Says:

    Fran, Thank you so much for the most wonderful trip. Yoga was great!! (even in the cold). Our flight back went smooth and we arrived on time. I slept 11 hours last night!!! Please thank Arvind and Kelly from me. I would have loved to come to the beauty spa.
    I will save all your blogs.
    See you soon and have a wonderful time at the Kumb Mela.
    Love Tone


    • frangallo Says:

      Hi Tone, So good to hear that you and Peggy had a smooth flight back! It is a long trip back home and so much processing to do…glad to hear you slept 11 hours! I will let Arvind and Kelley know you wrote. What a wonderful trip that was! Love, Fran


  2. Rick Says:

    Really like this language: “for many days we are together on this journey in India where we stretch, twist, strengthen, breathe, clear our minds, practice being present, absorb rays of sunshine, connect to India, to each other, to oneself…”

    Watched the slide show twice I was so moved, with the help of the music, of course!

    Woody looks like a master!



    • frangallo Says:

      Yes, Woody is a master, as well as all the others. They put their all into the sessions. Good things happen when you practice yoga on a daily basis! On our last day of yoga together, we were back at the same rooftop terrace at our Delhi hotel and the personal trainer who had brought out weights to hold down my mat on day one was out there observing us. He kept giving the class a thumbs up! After class, he said, “This same group, yes? Looks like new persons. Very strong, good!”


  3. Nora Brown Says:

    Love the music and the photos, makes me miss our retreat in Italy!


  4. Kathleen Conroy Says:

    OMG, Fran, please sign me up for your next yoga retreat to India!

    I would have loved being there and almost felt like I was there with you as I followed your blog. Loved the dog photos, and loved the shots of yoga practitioners in various poses and settings.

    have a safe journey home.


    • frangallo Says:

      HI Kathleen,

      So glad you will come on the next yoga retreat to India! I will keep you posted! Also, you have just inspired me to post two more dog photos. The three dogs in the two photos are gems in many ways…I miss you!
      love, Fran


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