yogaThree years ago I went on an adventure to a place near Kathmandu in Nepal.

I wanted to train in the practice of yoga.  I wanted to go to the Homeland, get a true feel for the practice.

Not knowing anyone there, I took two flights and landed in a foreign land, somewhat uneasy I might add.

Getting into a vehicle which had seen better days, I took in the surroundings, the smog, the madness in the traffic, though it was strangely exciting, entering the unknown.

Upon arrival at the Ashram, as the light faded, I was introduced to the Guru.

I am unsure how this Guru came to be a Guru but he held respect in the village.  He was revered.

He also was not particularly keen upon debate, specifically with a Western woman.  Possessing little English could also have been a factor in that.

Now I don’t wish to pass scorn upon this man, I did like him.  I could see the good in him.  I had respect for the culture.

Buddhist-Chanting-Morning-PrayersWe had a set programme.  Early chanting at 6am, no lie ins here.  Yoga at 7.30, then breakfast Yoga Nidra at 11, then a break until 3 for a meditation sessionYoga again at 5.30, then dinner.  Chanting again at about 7/7,30 before lights out at 8pm.

It was working with the natural cycle of natural light.  Chanting involved some truly beautiful and touching songs/chants.  Yoga Nidra was one of my favorite parts.  Yoga Nidra is known as psychic sleep, very deep relaxation, on the cusp of sleep.  It is extremely healing and powerful.

I will also say in the initial phases I was extremely keen upon leaving.  Whether it was the conditions, the lack of home comforts or uncomfortable feelings surfacing, I wanted to go home.  I muddled through and came out the other end.

It was a powerful and memorable month in my life.  An indelible mark, a story to be regaled time and time again.

I will forever hold the image of the Guru as he stood one night, struck against a full moon as the incessant barking of dogs reigned.