A Yoga Minute
The world is full of wise yogiseven celebrities! These celebrities have all practiced yoga: Helen Hunt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Woody Harrelson, Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Karen Allen, Sting, Quincy Jones, Ali McGraw, Ruth Buzzi, Tom Smothers, Carol Lynley, Justine Bateman, Jeff Bridges, John Saxon, Maud Adams, Herbie Hancock, Sarah Miles, and Dixie Carter.
Maybe you're serious about yoga—and we mean really serious. If you have the time, the resources, and the desire, you might consider actually venturing across the ocean and visiting yoga's homeland: India. After all, if you want to learn from the masters, shouldn't you go where the masters live?
Well, not necessarily. So many wonderful yoga masters have come to the United States to live and teach that you needn't traverse the ocean to meet or study with them. And yoga has been in the West for so long that many excellent teachers have been born and bred right here among us!
A trip to India may be more valuable for you if you are interested in exploring yoga's historical context, or if you are simply fascinated with the culture. Of course, India today is far more Westernized than it used to be, and it may not be what you expect. On the other hand, maybe it will meet your every expectation. If you're a traveler at heart and feel your own personal journey would be richly enhanced by the trip, go ahead!
But hold on—hang up the phone, don't call your travel agent just yet. If a trip to India interests you, you'll get the most from it if you spend a good deal of time and effort learning everything possible about yoga right where you are. Once you've learned what your own country can teach you, you'll have the knowledge, skill, and connections to reap the benefits of a trip to yoga's homeland. Check out the India Travel Promotion Network Web site at travel.indiamart.com/ or Lonely Planet's Destination India page at www.lonelyplanet.com/dest/ind/ind.htm.
And if the idea of a trip to India doesn't appeal to you? Of course that's fine! You can learn all you need to know right where you are. Wonderful, competent, and qualified yoga teachers exist in virtually every city, and you can practice yoga just as well in your own living room as you can on another continent (probably better!).
The Least You Need to Know
V Yoga is best learned from a good teacher in a class environment.
V Finding a teacher who is right for your personality is important for successful yoga practice.
V You can also learn yoga at home through books, video and audio cassettes, and the Internet.
V Going to India can be a rich, rewarding cultural experience, but you don't need to go there to do yoga.
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