So, this iswhere it all began, or almost. Yogi Vishvketu (commonly called Vishva) and I (Chetana Panwar) brought our first Yoga Teacher Training and retreat group to Kanvashram, North India in February 2004. It was an incredible month of intimacy – in the remote foothills of the Himalayas about 2 hours east of Haridwar. The dark marble hall was great for morning yoga, but philosophy and techniques classes eventually convened on the roof of the hall, which overlooked the Nalini River, and a lush jungle. Occasionally lungur monkeys bounded across the roof behind me, animating discussions somewhat, or a goat herder would pass by, and upon our asking announce that he was shepherding 150 goats!
This photo just popped up as I began this first blog entry, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reminisce about the elegance and the quirks of Kanvashram, and our first experience of co-teaching. (Notice the old car seat strung up as a swing in the background.) Vishva ji still hams it up on occasion while I’m about to close a circle discussion. Our venue has changed somewhat since we co-founded Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh, as seen below.
I’m writing this as a spontaneous introduction to this blog. I am quite excited about joining the lively dialogue that is emerging in the yoga community regarding yoga teaching, standards, and how yoga unfolds in our lives. I will likely also share my thoughts about yoga in India, yoga philosophy and diverse traditions within the tradition, and current yoga teaching methodologies. Since I am also a mother of two young children, and a have long been writing poetry and creative non-fiction, I have increasingly been exploring the intersection between yoga/meditation and creativity, writing and motherhood. I’m sure reflections of this nature will also show up here.