Besides uniting our mind and body with Jen and Heather feeling more self-realization after getting over jet lag and doing a week of yoga, another wonderful benefit of yoga at the start of the trip was how Jen and Heather shared Hindu philosophy and religion with us. After all, Hinduism forms much of the ancient traditions of yogic life. Heather recounted stories of Brahma the lord of creation, Shiva and his wife Parvati, Hanuman the monkey god known for his strength and ability to fly which he used to save Sita when she was kidnapped, and Ganesh the elephant god of good fortune declared by Brahma to be the first god to be worshipped by Hindus.
Jen explained the basics of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system translated in Sanskrit as “ayu” life and “veda” knowledge. Most commonly experienced as massage and body treatments, some of us went deeper to get medical assessments from local ayuveda doctors who do a full assessment of body types and prescribed diets and lifestyle that restore balance in one’s life. We appreciated these introductions because there are many Hindu gods and goddesses that are part of the daily spiritual practice of most Hindus we would meet during our travels, and for whom many temples and shrines are built that we see throughout the rest India.
As a traveling group of yogis interested in Hinduism, Buddhism and faith in daily life, we would ask our guides and other people we met how they practice their faith. Although many of the modern, busy professionals we met don’t go to temple, virtually every Hindu we asked has a shrine at home where they worshipped Ganesh and a different god each day of the week. In fact, in our religious tradition most Americans worship on Sunday, but in India you see and hear their faith in the sacred integrated into their daily life, more than you ever know: as a visitor even simply is seeing a woman feed a stray dog at her doorstep, watching people by feed from the vendor to give to the pigeons, but especially watching everyone carefully negotiate around the sacred cows everywhere!
Keeping it wild,
We are honored to offer a 14 day yoga retreat and adventure in India.