On a Sunday, before sunrise, a group of 35 people gathered near Girgaum Chowpatty, Mumbai on cycles. They had no idea where they were headed. It was a secret mission. The clue was handed over. “I spin the wheel of the Charkha – not too far from the gate of the church”. That’s all it said. A few minutes were spent pondering. “Gate of the church – Churchgate railway station!” said one woman excitedly. The cyclists were on their way – to their yoga class. Many had not ridden a cycle for over 10 years. Along they sped on their two-wheelers – the Arabian Sea on one side and the sun slowly rising on the other. Sun, sea and the wind on their face – it was a morning they would remember for a long, long time.
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As they reached the Cross Maidan park – a vast green open space – near the railway station, they knew this was the secret place for the yoga class. The teacher, Shirley Bativala, an Iyengar Yoga teacher, was waiting for them with a grin on her face. The group could not remember the last time they had gone such a childlike hunt – it felt good to be a kid again!

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The yoga class started next to the beautiful installation of Mahatma Gandhi’s Charkha – what an apt art piece! This experience had already shown them that they could be self-sufficient and feel good about themselves.

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Shirley got everyone to focus on their thoughts while doing each pose. Everyone willingly helped each other to do the head stand for the first time. It felt wonderful to enjoy the park in Mumbai and see the blue sky as everybody finally laid down to relax in the Corpse pose (Shavasana)

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Two hours of time spent being a kid – surrendering to the unknown – taking the initiative to do something you had not done before. Two hours of a mini vacation which helped them get their smiles back, a glow on their skin and their spirit dancing in joy.

The event was organized by Formless, a community initiative, to spread Yoga, learnings on Masters, life lessons, wellness and more through pop-up events, workshops, outdoor classes and silent retreats. To know more, check out: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Formless/1479511198984258.