One of the reasons why I immediately said yes to my “husband” (I learned to call him like that in India, but in real life we are not married) when he asked me to move abroad for a two year adventure to India was the perspective to learn yoga from the very roots, the original, the “right” Yoga.

Back in Germany I already loved Yoga, my little well designed and cosy, quiet studio and of course the mind and body work as well as the teacher (exactly in this order!). It always made me feel good but I could hardly explain why and for sure I would find that out in India!

Coming to India was – to be honest a shock – in many ways. Also regarding Yoga. Where had all the nice studios gone that I had dreamt off? I completely lost my sense of orientation but then did something that I always do when I have no clue anymore. Acting instead of speculating.

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Voluntary Yoga Teaching at the Total Yoga program at Vidya Foundation Bangalore

So I went to the yoga class nearby that was recommended to me. Again I was shocked thinking I should do Yoga outside, so hot, so noisy and so dirty (from my point of view) . How could anybody do Yoga  here? This could not be the real Yoga I was looking for. But what did I expect? I guess I was already right into it … the culture shock … BUT for some reasons I started liking going there. It was just the opposite of everything I had learned about yoga before and it soon started to become wonderful. As soon as I started to stop judging I learnt so much and had just a WONDERFUL time. Yoga just made it happen and I learnt a lot about myself and my ability to adapt to changes. I did not longer look for the “RIGHT” or “ORIGINAL” yoga, I did not miss the clean yoga studios, I did not mind the HARD body work, I just LOVED it how it was … the teachers and the ones who were struggling and changing with me. And yes, back in Germany I have to keep that mindset to let it be and not to look for the “right” yoga again but just let it happen and accept that here again “Yoga is no work-out but a work-in”. I know it all has to do with my own mindset and I am sure that this is Yoga all about no matter where on earth you practice it. Now I know: getting in touch with yourself – with your body and mind, your feelings and needs – your own truth – is exactly the Yoga I was looking for.

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Total Yoga Kriyas retreat Bangalore

THANK YOU INDIA, THANK YOU Manish and Neetu, Jagdeep, Punu, Sima and Victoria (and at least 20 more) for sharing your knowledge and your Yoga perspective with me!


– Esther Kimmel lives in Berlin and runs Kimmel Coaching working with Companies and Individuals. While in India, Esther also undertook the Total Yoga Teacher Training Course