Daniel van den Broeke
Yoga in India
For the past four months, I have been dedicated to learning Yoga, and what better place to do so than in India? I had the privilege of travelling there to learn from some amazing people, and the experience was truly transformative.
My journey began in Rishikesh, the unofficial yoga capital of India. With numerous schools and Ashrams, it was quite challenging to choose one. However, I found a guest house to stay in and discovered a new small yoga studio called Japam was opening up nearby. I love the energy of new initiatives, so I attended a class and was warmly welcomed by Himanshu, a highly skilled yoga teacher. He was organizing Hatha yoga classes in a former restaurant space that had just been repainted, and I felt honored to be the first one to practice there with him. For most of the time, I was the only student, and every morning, I would wake up at 5:30 am to attend a Pranayama session, which included cleansing my nostrils by pouring lukewarm saltwater into them. It was an odd yet oddly satisfying experience. Afterwards, we did breathing exercises followed by an hour of Hatha yoga. Within just three weeks of practising this routine, my body felt much more flexible and stronger. This was only the beginning of my journey.
I then traveled to Goa, where I discovered a beautiful Yoga Shala called Sampoorna, located in the jungle on a hill where monkeys would swing by as we practiced the rigorous routines taught by amazing teachers. It was a drop-in class, so various teachers were teaching classes, but I could tell that everyone there was passionate about living and loving yoga.
While in Goa, I learned about a yoga school in a city called Mysore, the unofficial capital of a yoga style called Ashtanga. Although I enjoyed this style of yoga, I wanted to continue practicing Hatha yoga. I was drawn to a school called Prana Vashya, which was offering an intensive course. And that's exactly what it was - a beautiful confrontation with my own limits. After three weeks of intense practice, I lost three kilos of body weight and felt incredibly happy that I had taken this opportunity to push myself.
Now, as I return to the Netherlands, I feel inspired and more flexible, with a passion for yoga that continues to grow. I am sure that this experience will influence my artistic work, but I will meditate on that a little longer. I will continue practising yoga at home and already dream of new yoga-learning adventures. If you are in need of any tips for yoga schools, please feel free to reach out to me, as I know some excellent yoga teachers. Namasté 🙏