I recently went to India for the first time after spending time in Germany with my sister. Emmy and I haven't seen each other in years though we text all of the time. It was surreal seeing my little sis' own place, treating me to meals, cooking food... We're both officially adults. How did that happen?
It was so, so cold in Germany. It was below freezing most nights I was there. We spent most of our time in her town of Muenster, near Dusseldorf in west Germany. walking everywhere and watching Netflix. My sis does mixed martial arts and took me to my first MMA class where she took me off guard in a guillotine choke. Much to her chagrin, I had a hard time taking it seriously and didn't want to hurt her.
We took a train to Berlin where I introduced her to her first yoga class at Jivamukti Berlin. We visited the East Wall Gallery which shows some of the more creative pieces of the Berlin Wall. We had tea at The Ramones Museum. We even found someone to take our aura photos (mine's the blue one, below) since Em had seen mine and was curious to know more about her own aura.
When we returned back to Muenster, we went to YogaFlow Muenster, her local studio. Emily speaks German but knows no yoga, and I know yoga but speak no German. It was an interesting experience to say the least! I've never taken a yoga class in a foreign language before.
I hitched a flight to India and arrived on my birthday. I spent a 4 days touring around Delhi, Vrindavan, Agra, and Jaipur before going to Rishkesh to stay put for a few days. Vrindavan, which is Krishna's home and has the iconic ISKCON temple, was my dream stop on the entire trip. We went there during Holi which added another layer of fun to the whole experience. Galta Ji, the monkey temple outside of Jaipur, was one of my favorite places on the trip- I really enjoyed watching the monkeys that live in and around the temple. The temples in India were out of this world- You can feel the magic in each and every one of them. I asked our guides a million questions I had ever wondered about India and Hinduism. As we were driving from city to city, I fell in love with India's trucks. They are each completely unique: Painted and decorated and moving art. I think I need to seriously consider becoming an Indian trucker. In Rishikesh, we stayed at an ashram on the Ganges River so we often got to walk over a large bridge spanning the body of water or watched the sunset on its banks. It was a really great trip but between the sights, the sounds, the smells... it was a complete sensory overload. I really enjoyed this beautiful country, but the jet lag was the worst I've ever had. I'm glad to be home!
Many people keep asking what's next on my radar, and I'm excited to say that I'm teaching a workshop on April 14 at Lift Yoga that's called Mantras, Mudras, & Mythology. The workshop will focus on Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, Hanuman, and Skanda and the amazing Hindu myths and stories of these deities have been passed down for centuries. It's like a gigantic spiritual storytime that has to do with the origins of yoga. Attendees will get to learn what the heck a warrior 2 represents and who Anjana was and why Anjaneyasana was named after her. I'll also be teaching mudras that go along with each deity and we'll be singing some songs with the harmonium that have to do with some of the stories- For example, Sri Ram Jai Ram is a song based on the famous Hindu epic the Ramayana. We will be exploring "multiple modalities of yoga"- there are many branches of yoga and the asanas are "hatha yoga" and only one small slice of the pie. We'll be exploring Jnana Yoga (aka philosophy and study) as well as Bhakti Yoga (aka the yoga of loving the divine through song) as well as Mantra Yoga (aka chanting) and of course Hatha Yoga (because we will be doing a yoga flow in the class too).