Thursday, March 31, 2011

Holy HOLI!!!!

Holi is a spring religious festival here in India.... They celebrate it by throwing colored powder and buckets of water on eachother... and dancing the day away! (my kind of festival!!!) One of my yoga teachers explained that the meaning behind putting the colored powder on your neighbors, friends, and strangers so that we lose our identification, and look inside instead of externally. Unfortunately, Holi in many places has turned into a drunken crazed festival with a lot of groping from florescent pink powdered men. Luckily, we found safety within the walls of our yoga ashram, and the surrounding streets. We did venture out, but only made it a few houses down before getting DOUSED with buckets of water from the neighboring kids on the rooftops. We danced on the streets for hours as our faces and bodies constantly changed colors... Happy HOLI!!!! ;-D

even the cows of Rishikesh took part in Holi! ;-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All men (and cows) are created equal...

Stephanie and I were taking a stroll to Ram Jhulla bridge and came across this cow who was helping himself to a drink from the local watering station...

Not only is it OK for cows to help themselves to water..... but as we were being entertained watching this cow, a man strolled over to help him take a big swig of water. Cows have it made here in India. ;-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Singing the night away...

Nights in Rishikesh... Since Rishikesh is a "holy city," you can't find any alcohol or meat being sold. Supposedly there are a few "secret menus" where one can find the hidden bottle of beer or chicken leg. So what does one do at night to entertain oneself in Rishikesh???? Well... you can sleep... or meditate... or hang out at the various restaurants and tea houses... One night we were invited to a bon fire singing party on the roof of one of the restaurants. A funny German guy with a guitar led us in mantras and songs about peace, love, and happiness... Soon Stevie, Katherin and I found ourselves up swirling and dancing about the fire. Who needs a disco when we have bonfires under the starry sky?!?? I found the lyrics to one of the songs we sung... hahaha.... :-) Every little cell in my body is happy Every little cell in my body is well Every little cell in my body is happy Every little cell in my body is well Feel so good Feel so swell Every little cell in my body is well Feel so good Feel so swell Every little cell in my body is well

Rafting down Mother Ganga

16 yoga teachers in training decided to raft down Mother Ganga on our day off.

For only $7 we had 3.5 hours of rafting time down the Ganges river. Not too shabby, eh?!

The rapids only went up to level 3.8, but it was heaps of fun. I have been rafting in Ecuador and Uganda, but Mother Ganga's rapids were more like mini-roller coasters, as she swooped us up and down with her swells. It was amazing to raft down one of the holiest rivers in the world. :-)

There was also a bit of cliff diving towards the end of the rapids.

Davvi took some awesome video footage of our trip... check it out!!!

Mother Ganga... I love you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yoga Class

A friend put together this stop motion video of one of our yoga classes here at Yog Peeth. :-)

Monday, March 7, 2011

A new home for Yog Peeth...

One Sunday, Yog Peeth arranged for us to go see the spot for their new home.

Currently they are renting out Krishna Cottage, which is up the hill from Ram Jhulla bridge in Rishikesh.

Their plan to move towards a sustainable existence... They bought a gorgeous piece of land a few kilometers East along the Ganges river. To reach their new home you have to hike about 20 minutes uphill along a beautiful serene trail which passes a serene waterfall.

We saw the construction in progress, explored the nearby village, had tea, helped lay some stones, ate lunch, hiked to the waterfall, before heading back to Krishna Cottage.

Unfortunately I caught a strong stomach bug on the hike, and had to run/hobble back up to the construction site... there are no toilets built yet... so let's just say I left my mark. ;-)

They don't expect to finish until at least next year.... but I am jealous of the groups who will have the opportunity to take the course in the mountains.

Start of the hike up to the new home of Yog Peeth

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A temple with views....

Last Sunday, Yog Peeth arranged to take us on a day trip to Konjaburi temple.

Konjaburi temple is perched on top of the foothills of the Himalayas. The views were stunning... but sadly if you travel up a mountain in India it means steep, curvy, crazy, belly turning roads. Somehow I kept my eyes on the horizon and was able to keep my breakfast down... but others were not as lucky.

Luckily at the top we were able to re-gain our balance, mind, and enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas.

Here are some of my photos from the trip... I hope you also enjoy my first photo shoot for my up and coming bollywood career!!! ;-)

The Yog Peeth Family ;-)

The drive back...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Neerghat Waterfall

Adele, one of my really good friends I met in Kenya, came out to see me in Rishikesh...

Before she came, I had been in Rishikesh for over a month studying yoga , but still had not hit up any of the sights.

It was a good chance to see some of the surroundings and re-hash some great and crazy Kenyan stories.

After a breakfast overlooking the Ganges river, we set off for Neerghat Waterfall... It's about 3 km uphill from Laxman Jhulla bridge.

From the entrance gate you pay 30 rupees to enter (70 cents), then the gate keeper chicken scratches a map on how to hike up to see the 3 waterfalls.

It's a nice 1/2 day trip if you want to escape Rishikesh and get a dose of nature.

Another bonus was the pool beneath the waterfalls where you can have little fish nibble off dead skin off your weary feet.