Garage Yoga

The floor is hard, the walls are bare, the light, thin and waning...

<em>Edit Article</em> Garage Yoga

Illustration Credit: I Am Here by Andrea Cobb

For my first yoga class in the town of McLeod Ganj, four kilometers north of Dharamshala, I walk down crumbling concrete steps. Chip bags and candy wrappers collect in mounds around my feet. Then I follow a hand-painted sign into a dark concrete hallway where the sounds of televisions drift through open windows along with the smell of curry. After another set of steps, I find myself in front of a blue-flecked metal door with shoes piled on the floor. I push the door open on squealing hinges and enter the yoga studio.Which is not a studio but a concrete box—a parking garage with windows.Thousands of miles from my house in northern Utah, sitting in a garage that clings to the side of the Himalayas, I find that my vision of yoga in India—light-filled studios, Eastern-clad instructors, revelatory poses—wilts and fades. The floor is hard, the walls are bare, the light, thin and waning. But when the teacher, Vijay, floats his elegant body to the floor and asks me to close my eyes, open my chest, and listen to the teachings, I feel I my heart stir.When Vijay starts the class—as we sit with our chests lifted an …

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