Loving it here! It’s a combination and contrast of chaos and peace! Goats, dogs, cows, bikes, tuk tuks, taxis and people, all claiming possession of the narrow main street; vehicles missing you by millimetres as their horns blast loudly in your ears.
And then inside our tranquil little yoga school perched on the mountain, there are these idyllic vistas across the valley;
sometimes clear, mostly misty; nesting eagles and naughty monkeys.
Every time we leave our little bubble of peace and venture up the hill and into the street, it’s a yoga practice of maintaining a sense of calm amidst the confusion of the street. Like those annoying noises and distractions while you’re in Savasana.
The big change of culture is quite an overload on the senses as I keep taking in the many quaint and peculiar characteristics. I’m delighted every time I see a Tibetan monk in their burgundy or saffron robes, and I laugh at the goats in the road, chomping at the billboard stickers pasted to the building walls.
I know Mcleod Ganj is the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but I didn’t realize how big the Tibetan community is here, and it feels more like a Little Tibet than India. I’ve hung Tibetan prayer flags on my balcony; vibrant patches of yellow, green, red, white and blue greet me as I start my day. Hard to believe I’ve easily slipped into the routine of waking up at 5:45am as I’m not exactly a morning person. The mornings are peaceful and each day’s view from my balcony is different. Human beings whose dance music pumped across the valley late into the night are still asleep, while the birds are awake and welcoming the day. Their calls and cackles are interspersed with the occasional mooing of cows.
Yoga studies are in full force as we start to make our way through the mountain of books on yoga philosophy, therapy, Sanskrit language, physiology, anatomy, Sutra, chakras and more.
Asana practice (4 hours a day) is a mixture of Mysore vinyasa and traditional Hatha yoga poses and we ease into it as our bodies recover from jet lag and adjust to the altitude. The first few days were mostly misty and raining and then there was a magical moment when the clouds cleared and we stepped out onto the long balcony to do a series of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana poses, one foot up on the railing, arms to the sky, gazing out towards the mountains and smiling at the beauty of the scenery and how lucky we are to be here.
1. Lock door so the monkeys can’t get in
2. Switch off water heater to save energy
3. Don’t absentmindedly brush teeth with tap water