YOGO Ambassador and Yoga Instructor Bradley sent us this funny yet useful guest blog from India - print and keep it with you on any trip for a quick yoga fix, and you'll need only yourself and your YOGO to stay centered.
India is a long-awaited journey for many yogis or avid yoga practitioners wanting to explore the roots of Sanskrit terms, experience what contemporary teachers conduct, and find a deeper connection to the 8-limbed yoga philosophy, including the physical practice of asanas. As I set off for my first trip to India, I knew it would offer much in terms of culture and cuisine, and surely, I reckoned, “yoga would be easy to find anywhere…”
After two days in Delhi, I decided to venture for 8 days to Rajasthan, a western state near the border of Pakistan. Natarajasana, eka-pada-rajakapotasana, (one-legged king pigeon pose, respectively) might ring a bell – Rajasthan, the land of kings (raja)! Kingdoms of Hindus and Muslims converged over the last millennia in Rajasthan, creating a path of forts and palaces (Taj Majal anyone?) that delight any onlooker with their depths of beauty, and plenty to keep you on your feet all day. And walk I did. But not without my ongoing search and repeated question: “where’s the nearest corner yoga studio?” (Oops, maybe I should have learned to say that in Hindi first)
I saw a billboard that advertised 7 am yoga but no one answered the phone. I stopped by and was met with – “come back tomorrow”. Thirsty, hungry, hips tightening and craving some poses, I instinctively pulled out my YOGO Mat from my backpack and flipped it open. In Jaipur, my first Raja-style city, my hotel floor glows an 8 ft. path from bed to bath, and…Epiphany Strikes Back…I realize that the mat is our teacher!
Next stop: Pantanjali, on the road to Riskikesh!
When in dire need, this Raja-inspired royal sequence while traveling is just enough to keep you limber before hitting the forts, dipping into the next fried street goody, or sniffing out the next class (watch out for cow paths :) Breathe deep, and stay present!
If you only have 15 minutes, check out this 10-minute flow on the go, followed by a 5 min savasana and/or mediation.
Step on the mat, come to tadasana (mountain pose), and set your intention. Be inspired; be a “Rajput”; create your kingdom.
Follow the sequence, taking at least one full inhale or exhale in each pose, and follow first right, then left side. Let each inhale begin to move you to your next stronghold, hold steady, exhale, then breathe in more strength. Feel your mat ground you to the earth. Initiate each movement with the breath, and sense the teacher within as you exhale.
Brad Lyon first began his yoga practice over 10 years ago on the beaches of southern Spain. Through professional training and personal experience, he continues to devote himself to using the mat as a canvas for invigorating energy and finding a space of tranquility to harness one's body and mind. Brad leads a guided vinyasa and alignment-focused practice with a hands-on approach to provide a path to well-being, self-awareness, community and spirituality. He currently teaches for DC Men’s Yoga, Buddha B, Past Tense Yoga Studio, and also at the World Bank's community yoga program. Find him: @lyonyogi