In December I went to Hyderabad, India for work to attend a course. Hyderabad is the IT capital of India and Microsoft has its main R&D facility there.
It is located just east of Mumbai and is known for its pearls and biriyani. I stayed at the beautiful Ista hotel. The spa in amazing and staff are incredibly friendly. As the only female western person on my course, the chef personally checked in with me every day to make sure I was happy with the food. As a vegetarian, I ate incredibly well. What struck me about the place most was the contrast from village to city life within 100m of the hotel. As I arrived by taxi off the highway from the airport we entered what I considered a slum; tin shack homes, ragged dogs chasing each other, pigs eating the raw waste on the street and herds of cows meandering down the centre of the main road as cars tried to pass them. I was so concerned that my taxi driver had taken me to the wrong place, I called the hotel only to discover I was two minutes from my luxury 5 star hotel! That is India, extreme modernity and wealth next to total poverty and slums. Love it or hate – I happen to love it.
I called the spa to book a private yoga class and a sweet Indian lady met me the next morning at 7am for an outdoor class. There we sat on a concrete slab surrounded by trees and tweeting birds and just behind us tall apt blocks being built surrounding this hotel oasis, choaking it off from the fertile valleys which once covered this area. We started with kabalabati breaths, moved onto sun salutations followed by some balances and back bends. We finished with shoulder stand and some seated meditation. It was an easy, enjoyable session and we chatted for some time afterwards about how people are now adopting the western habit of going to the gym to ‘sweat’ instead of doing yoga.
Posted on 20 December 2012 by Elaine Kelly