India: Connections

I got up early and went for a walk. Walking in Pune is unlike walking anywhere else I have ever been. It is suffused with noise, brilliant colors, traffic, throngs of people, so many smells all at once, it is complete sensory overload…and I love it.

I walked, people stared, I smiled, placed my hand on my heart and nodded. A simple greeting with no words. A silent but understood Namaskar connecting the divine one within me to the divine one within them.

As I continued to walk, the paved road became a dusty, dirt road. I followed the sound of music to a large tent across from a temple. I stood to the side peering into the tent and listened. I take a short video of the music. From within the tent, one of the musicians waves me over. I think he must be waving at someone else. No, he is waving at me. A group of older women start waving me in. I go into the tent and forget to take my shoes off. I created an instant scandal. This is a holy celebration for one of the Hindu gods. No shoes in the temple. I quickly remove my shoes and place them outside of the tent.

I sit. I listen.
I get a light whack to my shoulder.

One of the older women points to my hands and signals me to clap to the music. I clap. I stop clapping, I get another whack. I don’t like to clap because I have no rhythm…. I didn’t want the entire tent to see I had no rhythm but I kept clapping. I didn’t want another whack.

I get another whack. She points to my eyeglass case in my backpack and motions for me to put on my glasses. She wants me to see everything.

Then a beautiful woman, not just physically, but the intense beauty that fills a room from being grounded in strength and confidence. She commanded the stage. I have seen many Indian singers and musicians but I have never heard anything like her. I was stunned. I kept saying wow over and over under my breath. I felt another whack. I turn around and the older woman is nodding and smiling, very happy I was connecting with the music. I even think my clapping was getting better.

I would have loved to video it, but I didn’t want to be distracted by capturing the moment, I just wanted to be in the moment.

When I said goodbye to the older woman behind me, she grabbed both of my hands and smiled. Namaskar.




About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta Dell'Anno E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer Owner EssentialYoga Studio. Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and teaching yoga since 2004. She has studied extensively under master yoga teachers Patricia Walden, Zoë Stewart, Sri Arun H.S., Elise Browning Miller, and others. She completed a two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training program with Sr. Iyengar Teacher, Peentz Dubble in June 2017. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014, attended Abhijata's 2-week intensive in Pune, India, December 2016 and BKS Iyengar's Centenary 10-day intensive taught by Prashantji & Geetaji, December 2018. She completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as a 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor in 2014, completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center in 2005 and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. The studio provides individual & specialized privates, semi-privates, group private sessions, and yoga workshops. Roberta conducts local and out of town workshops. She specializes in yoga for scoliosis and back care. She uses props to help students and teachers of all levels transform their backbends, twists, standing and seated postures, as well as inversions like sarvangasana (shoulderstand). She also works with individuals who have physical challenges, specifically individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, CMT, Parkinson's Disease, scoliosis, and amputees in private, semi-private and group sessions.​​​
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