Three cities, six ambassadors, nine yoga classes and five hundred yogis later, Asia Yoga Tour has officially unrolled! We asked one of our AYT ambassadors, Rebecca Pacheco, to relive the tour with us.
Meet Ryan "The Lion" Leier. He's magical, this guy. No really...in addition to defying gravity, he did magic tricks for us wherever we went: our Hong Kong hotel lobby, a local street market in Shanghai, a cab in Singapore. He's an awesome and entertaining travel companion.
I love this one! It's hard to believe this was only our first full day together. There was such an immediate bond. This shot is en route to a Buddhist nunnery, with a restaurant that serves incredible vegetarian food.
My gals, Giselle Mari and Faith Hunter, both absolutely beautiful inside and out. They opened the yoga tour with our first community class on a rooftop patio in Hong Kong, with views of the harbour and skyline. You would never know they had traveled from the other side of the world the day before. They brought so much energy and lightness.
Faith is a rock, as a teacher and person. You can just see it in the way she assists this student.
A community event in every sense of the word-this class in an art gallery in Shanghai included all levels of yogis, Shanghaiese, Westerners living abroad or on business, members of the media, people wearing lululemon, people wearing jeans. Ryan and Jeff Mah co-taught and incorporated some simple partner poses. If the word yoga means connection and union-this was it, in such a pure, fun way.
This was a trip highlight: cooking class in Shanghai! That's me, along with Kristin Altimari of Lycra. We're struggling a bit here-with jet lag and the precision of folding Chinese dumplings-but we're having a blast, and our dumplings still tasted delicious.
After cooking class, we attended a traditional tea ceremony. I'm a huge tea lover, but it made me realize how fast and harried our time with friends over tea or coffee is back home. In China, sharing tea is a mindful ritual and opportunity to slow down and savor the company you're with and steamy cups you share. This is Giselle pouring white tea (in a circular motion and clockwise) for Faith.
I can't recall what I'm smiling at. Possibly, everything.
Jessica Edwards, of lululemon who coralled and cared for us along the way, with Giselle. There was a strong sense of gratitude for the ability to do what we do, among great people, on the other side of the world. This brings all that back.
This photo of Faith in Singapore says it all. No caption needed.
Claudia Whitney and I didn't plan to prep for our community class in Singapore the same way, but it turned out we were on the same wave length. We listened to music, stayed loose, and, then, had a ball teaching more than 100 yogis on a roof deck overlooking the marina. There was even a laser show from a nearby skyscraper. I can't make this stuff up...
See lasers! And sarvangasana. But, please refrain from looking at the laser show while in sarvangasana. It's unsafe for your neck-instead, keep your drishti on your navel or toes. (I'm sorry; I couldn't help it).
One of my favorite meditation teachers, Jon Kabat-Zinn, would say, "Wherever you go, there you are." It doesn't matter where in the world you unroll your mat, yoga will find you. It is you.