Devotion in the Monastery

Eva the Dragon anjayasana at the monastery Petra Jordan 2013

One aspect I love about Yoga is how it provides an opening to create a conversation with people I would not normally connect with.  And how it inspires people to try something new.

Last week I traveled to Petra, the rose-colored city in southern Jordan.

We arrived by donkey at the Monastery just before sunset.  The light was fading rapidly and I wanted to capture the Monastery’s brilliant orange color.  I could not climb up the ledge into the cave so my friend gave me a leg up.

Trying out different asanas, my friends instructed me.

“Get closer to the edge!”

“You need to raise your arms.”

“Bend back further – FURTHER!”

Photo accomplished, I jumped down and walked over to the café for a drink.  A young Bedouin boy whose father refused to let him go to school was helping our guide with the donkeys.  His name was Ziad.  I offered him a drink but he declined, sitting by himself near the older man.  My guess was he was instructed not to pepper us with requests.

We watched a young American man scramble into the cave by himself.  He did flips while his friends snapped photos of him from a long ways away.  I grabbed my camera and walked closer to take his photo.

Ziad decided he wanted to get into the act.  He ran over to the cave and the American hoisted him up.

I snapped their photo.  Nice – but boring.

“Raise your arms,” I called out.

Together they raised their arms.  The serious Ziad finally cracked a huge smile.

When the American hopped down, I showed him the digital photos.  He was pleased I caught his flip in mid-air.

Ziad, watching from the cave, began to do handstands.

When he jumped down, he ran over to me and demanded in his accented English, “Let me see.”

I flipped through the photos.

“Nice,” he grinned.

Doing Yoga in ancient temple on a mountaintop created two friendships that day.

My friend, Real in LA took the photo of me.  Oct 2013

2 responses to “Devotion in the Monastery

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