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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