Squatters, Rice and OM, Oh My!
As a writer, I have an amazing imagination and create wonderful stories with happy endings and beautiful things. Sometimes reality bites.
Enroute to my yoga center, we drove through Kathmandu Valley. A place of nameless colors: a palate of rice paddies, mustard fields and mountains. The romantic mist cleared, and we pulled up to my yoga center. I had been bitten. The stone façade building looked like a prison, complete with a public shower, squatter toilets and a plywood board bed.
However, this retreat wasn't supposed to be about the glorious mud baths and divine facilities I had envisioned; it was about me. Focusing on what is important to me, what should be important and balancing the two. This was a test.
It was about self-discipline. It was about detoxifying. It was about focusing on what will make me better.
Each day, we started with a 6am stroll through the villages where I experienced Nepali life like no where else and ended at 7pm with chants and songs. Although it was physically challenging, it was also mentally challenging; I had many hours each day of solitude to think, write and be. My yoga teacher noted that I wasn't very talkative. I didn't want to talk. I wanted to be.
Yoga and mediation are hard work. I am sore, stretched and twisted. I am also better. I am able to sit 20 minutes without moving and only my left leg falls asleep from sure pain-even though when I'm meditating I'm not supposed to feel that. I have a book full of ideas and the focus to write it. And I've discovered that showering naked under frigid spring-fed water without caring what any passerbyer sees or thinks is pretty liberating.
I end this entry as we do in yoga, with a big OM. (My yoga teacher says there are hundreds of meanings for OM-you choose which one works for you.)
Published on 12/22/06