Practicing Yoga in India

Yesterday was a day off from work and was instead, filled with sightseeing, sweets and yoga. I didn't want to come half way around the world, to the birth place of the practice, and not take a class.  To say it was incredible is an understatement.

The teacher, Namrata, left her dentistry practice to become a yoga instructor and now teaches classes and private lessons throughout Bangalore. We heard the night before that she is the best teacher in the city -- and she truly lived up to the hype.

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The studio was tucked away, off the main road, accessible by foot. The trees canopied the road and led us to a gate, behind which stood a beautiful, light-filled studio. The Hatha practice was similar to that in the States, except the sounds of roosters crowing and dogs barking filled the otherwise quiet venue.  It sounds as if it would be a distraction, but there was something soothing about the natural noises that was enjoyable. Fans whisked overhead, but there was no air conditioning -- just light, noise and the teachers voice.

The class went by quickly, which tends to happen when I'm invested in the movement of my body and the stillness of my breath, not thinking about what I have to do later that day or mentally making a list of grocery items.

After class, she handed each of us a bracelet with a gold yoga charm -- a great daily reminder to practice the principles of yoga, each and everyday. The most important principle? Be kind. I'm already planning a trip back -- at least in my mind -- where I can practice at an Indian Ashram.  What an amazing adventure ... Namaste.