On a recent business trip to Budapest I was keen to experience yoga in a different country and potentially in a different language.
Within my time and travel constraints I found 2 options.
My first class was in a meeting room at work given by a colleague that had recently qualified in one of our meeting rooms. Students were scattered either side of the desks in the meeting rooms as we followed our instructors sequence. I still remember giving classes having recently qualified – with a certain degree of nerves and not daring to move too far away from the primary sequence. Despite offering to the follow the class in Hungarian, I think she took pity on me. With a mixed range of students, the 90 minute class was a wonderful way to get the travel and day’s work out of the system.
Looking to challenge myself I found a second local class to gain a Hungarian yoga experience – a 90 minute Bikram class before work. The studio was located on the second floor of a small shopping arcade. Fortunately, it turned out that another student recognised the lost look on my face and directed in the right direction. Most of my practice has been Vinyasa flow so this would surely offer something new. And it certainly did as it was silent Brikham class with no instruction but ‘prompts'(sounded like a ‘pfssss’) for the next position. It was no coincidence that I positioned myself in the middle of the room with many angles covered by the surrounding mirrors.
Despite not experiencing being taught yoga in a foreign language, the overriding feeling was that there is a connection between yoga practitioners – whatever the country, whatever the language (or not), or setting; it is our shared perspective that brings us together. We do spend a lot of time on the mat looking inwards, however, I do believe that this practise in itself does make us more open and worldly in our perspective.
Whenever possible, I will certainly aim to join classes wherever my travels take me. If you have the opportunity certainly continue your practice, or self study (Svadhyaya) as a student of yoga.