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After a year in India, teaching yoga is a reality

Sam Walters and Ariel Ramira Tarr pose with their Royal Enfield motorcycle on which they traveled for a year in India. (Submitted photo)1 / 6
Ariel Ramira Tarr is shown in a yoga pose on rooftop in Chennai, Southern India. She spent the last year there traveling. (Submitted photo)2 / 6
Elephant rides are given in front of Jaipur Fort in Rajasthan, India. (Submitted photo)3 / 6
A temple view in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India. (Submitted photo)4 / 6
Ariel Ramira Tarr stands under the sign identifying Khardung La- the world’s highest motorable road. (Submitted photo)5 / 6
Ariel Ramira Tarr and Sam Walters in Pokhara, Nepal, in front of Annapurna mountain range. (Submitted photo)6 / 6

India is a long way from River Falls where Ariel Ramira Tarr graduated from high school in 2008. After attending Portland State University for a short time, wanderlust took over. She headed first to Australia as a nanny for one year, taking a trip to New Zealand while there.

It was in Australia, she took her first yoga training.

“I loved having a practice that worked with both the body and the mind,” said Tarr. “It calms the mind and invigorates the body.” She was no stranger to yoga, since both her parents at one time taught yoga.

Next she was on to Brazil, spending six months there, three of them at a yoga center.

It was back to Australia, where she met her partner Sam Walters. Together they saved for a trip of a lifetime -- a year in India, the birthplace of yoga. They left Australia in January of 2013 and returned to Wisconsin on Christmas Eve 2013.

Once in India they both took two more months of yoga training before setting off on their Royal Enfield motorcycle to explore the country from bottom to top.

Tarr admits there wasn’t a lot of planning as they made their way and that the bike broke down a lot. Loaded with backpacks and supplies they found their way from sea level to the mountains.

“Many times we would end up in towns that never saw a tourist,” said Tarr. “We ended up where the bike took us.”

“Usually our choices for accommodations and food were limited,” said Tarr. “There was an element of surprise each night to see where we would end up.” One night they found themselves in sleeping in a Hindi Ballywood Movie theatre.

The natural beauty and peace atmosphere they found on tea plantations was welcomed.

“There were fewer people, less hustle and bustle, the scenery was amazing and the air was clearer,” said Tarr. Both did yoga each morning.

The colors and smells of India Tarr remembers well. Both good and bad, curry vs. urine.

“The hardest thing was the garbage,” said Tarr. “Before I had the desire to roam. After India I feel the desire to rest.” Looking back on her travels Tarr perceives each differently.

“Brazil was vast and remote,” said Tarr. “I was the most comfortable in Australia and India is harmony among chaos.”

Tarr will begin teaching a drop-in yoga class, March 5, at Healing Waters Wellness Center in Hudson on Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“On a physical level, yoga helps balance, strength and flexibility,” said Tarr. “Mentally it is one day a week to let go of everything in your life. Vinyasa Flow yoga is a bit more fast-paced then some types.”

She is also teaching yoga at UW-RF.

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