India is definitely magnificent, but the pollution has gotten the best of me. Too many trips out of Old Rajpur into Dehradun breathing smoke and exhaust. This has led me to catch a cold. And, so, I opted out of Asana class this evening to rest, practice Pranayama, and catch up with those of you reading this.
I am not sure how to post pictures in an organized manner, but here goes. If you look closely at the group picture, you can see the gargantuan Himalayas in the background. A few days ago, about 12 of us from the Yoga and Ayurveda Program at Yog-Ganga in Old Rajpur went for a hike to an old hill station called Mussorie. It was quite a hike - 4 hours in the blazing sun. No highways intersecting the backcountry made it impossible to change your mind once you started the excursion. Amazingly, there were many huts in the middle of these foothills with the nearest town 1-2 hours walk away. Most of these homes were self-sufficient, with crops and the like surrounding them.
There is a picture here of a student in the program dancing Odissi dance. He is from Malaysia, of South Indian origin and has been studying Odissi for 15 years. It was a powerful performance which brought be to tears because of the pure beauty of the form and the presence of the performer. This is something I have not felt from a performance in many years. It inspires me to start dancing again.
The other pictures are from the home I where I am staying. There are nine of us from the yoga program staying here. It is a good mix of people. Among us are Americans, a Peruvian lady who now lives in Japan, a Mexican woman who now lives in Miami, a Frenchman who now lives in England, a Brit in Britain, and a Malaysian. We share dinner every evening, which is always delicious.
As for the yoga and Ayurveda, it is simply nice to be practicing so much everyday. Some classes are disappointing. Others are great. There is no complaining on my end. I just feel blessed to be in India and to have the opportunity to devote my life to the study of Yoga and Ayurveda.
More to come soon. Send me a note if you get the chance. I'd love to hear from you.