Dawn. I hike upwards the mountain and I take off my shoes. With barefoot I step into the garden and look up at the building. A feeling of calmness falls over me as a warm blanket. My spirtirual self feels at home here, although the stress of the past few months still dozes as an irritating humming in the back of my mind.
I am at the the Purna Yoga Retreat in Pokhara, an organization with a beautiful base on a hill in Nepal. It offers a broad range of yoga days, courses and hikes. The location itself consists of a stunning garden, a common area with dining tables, a lounge and a bookcase filled with the most inspiring books, different rooms to stay overnight, a number of roof terraces with hammocks and rocking chairs and a crazily beautiful yoga room with walls of glass. The view is phenomenal and it’s dead silent, the base is fully decorated to find a little bit of yourself back. I meet the teachers. They seem to come from somewhere else, but not this earth. Whereas I still fight with sadness from the past and fear of the future, they all glow with peace and self-acceptance. Today is devoted to yoga, meditation and especially lost of rest. I surrender.
The day goes by and by this time, I have had already a number of yoga sessions. It’s been nice. I have missed it. Last year I followed many classes and I noticed that my body was getting more flexible, that I started to feel better and that the dense clouds in my mind started to evaporate. It’s time to get back to this. The sessions alternate with tea, thinking, enjoying the fresh Nepalese dishes that are being cooked in the small kitchen. These are the only things within my reach. As a digital nomad I am 24/7 online and I would have to escape more often from that online world. You can’t check your Facebook when you’re in the middle of a ‘downward facing dog’. You can’t pick up your phone when you meditate in a half lotus pose. Yoga and meditation force you to focus on yourself and to let go of everything around you. Even my down to earth boyfriend clearly enjoys these days and later on he decides to buy to some meditation books.
I move back to the room for another meditation session. Meditation has always been a tricky thing for me. My mind is too busy. I can’t concentrate on my inner-self. Usually I get frustrated, but this time I let the waves created by the singing bowls let me lead me. I try to touch my soul, but she continues to slide away from me. This time I accept it and I decide to focus on the life around me.
I watch right through the walls of glass and see the water of the lake. I hear birds. I am aware of every move move on the rice terraces. I feel the wind stroking my hair, although I must have imagined this and I feel equally one with life. This is how it always should be. I fall asleep, but after waking up I wonder whether it’s been sleep or not. I am just away from this earth. Is this what they mean? Little by little the last chunks of stress fall off me, taken away by the same wind. Next to me someone bursts out into tears. I realize that every person fights a daily battle with his or her own demons. We should all be a little kind to each other.
It’s late in the evening. Time for the last part of today. Chanting. Kirtan. In front of me are all teachers, with different instruments in their fronts and they are sitting cross legged on the floor. They start with playing, first a singing bowl, a drum follows and instruments I have never heard of take over. They seem to form a whole. This is so beautiful. The man with the beard start singing, a gorgeous choir follows and the teachers repeat the words for us until we sing along with all of our hearts. As if we never have done otherwise. Different people join us. We are asked to do what our hearts tell us to do. Someone starts clapping. I am aware of every tiny tingling in my body. The space of the room fills itself with warmth, with solidarity, with love. Together we make music, we create a special flow that makes us forget about everything around us. We sit like this for five minutes, ten, maybe an hour, I have lost my complete notion of time.
My eyes are filled with tears. I feel pure joy. Happiness. Gratitude and tears roll along down my face. I am so thankful that I am here, at this exact moment, and have the opportunity to be with these people.
Note: I have, of course, been in touch after the terrible earthquake. Fortunately, the disaster has caused no damage to this beautiful retreat and its people and they ask all of you to continue visiting Nepal. Especially right now.