I’m writing this to you from the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. The balcony from my hotel overlooks this amazing river. My brother once said to me, “You know, most people vacation in Europe, and yet you continue to return to India.” My answer was “Well, I am not most people.”
But ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out why I continue to return to the subcontinent. I am simply drawn to the atmosphere, the people, the colors, the smells, the animals, the temples and the feeling. It is difficult to put into words, but I believe part of it is the way in which Indian people hold all things as sacred.
The river Ganges is not just a river, it is a goddess. The nearby mountain top with the Kunjapuri Temple is not just a mountaintop, it is where part of Sati’s body fell when Shiva was in such anguish at her passing. There seems to be a story for everything, and a celebration for every story. Part of the Indian culture is to acknowledge and uplift life itself as a gift from the divine. And this is how I want to live.
So I return to India, to be reminded of the things that are most important in life. And one of those things is actually that it does not matter where you are, if you are present to your experience in that moment, then that is where the sacred lies. This, of course, is why I continue to practice yoga, to be as fully present for each person and each situation that life has to offer. I do not always get it right, but I continue to make the effort. And anyone can practice yoga any time and anywhere. You do not need fancy equipment, just a desire to practice.
It becomes a reciprocal exchange of energy, when I practice the yoga of present moment awareness, the beauty and inspirational nature of the world gives back. I can only hope that I am a worthy instrument of this exchange and to be there for those in times of their suffering as well as in times of joy.
The on-demand library holds many ways to practice with me for many situations. Yoga for stress relief, yoga to reduce anxiety, and yoga for better sleep are a part of the yoga for healing series that you can find in the ODL. And there are plenty of classes to stretch hamstrings, strengthen core, and release tight fascia among other themes, plus you will find meditations and breath practices there as well. Please join me at your convenience online on demand.