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Doing yoga in India, the birthplace of yoga

Doing yoga in India, the birthplace of yoga

Yoga started in India 5,000 years ago. A typical yoga class in the US has almost nothing in common with experiencing yoga in India. This is how it differs:

YOGA WEAR – don’t bother packing your $150 designer spandex yoga outfit; most of your fellow yogis will be in pajama like outfits – and some may actually show up in their pajamas! Think loose, think cotton; and definitely leave revealing garments at home.

INSTRUCTOR– will likely be a gentle, humble person who says very little. Instead, he or she leads the group through a series of poses that serve to stretch your body after a night of sleep, and meditation that prepares your spirit for the day ahead.  In the US, one can become an instructor in 4 weeks. In India, it takes about 10 years before someone who has been practicing yoga starts to teach others. 

VENUE – If there is a ‘studio’, there will be no disco balls on the ceiling, or posters of Krishna on the wall.  The yoga room will likely be unadorned. There might not even be a yoga room; you may gather by the hotel pool, or on a terrace.  What is lovely about yoga in India is that there will often be a serene view to the outdoors, somewhere to fix your gaze as you stretch.

MEDITATION – In the US, the instructor will often end the class with a couple of minutes of meditation, sort of like cooling down after a hard work out. In India, meditation may take up half of the session.  Meditation and yoga are inseparable; while yoga addresses your body, meditation addresses your mind.



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