After my two weeks of trekking, signing up for a Yoga retreat in the foothills above the serene (yet modern) lakeside town of Pokhara and below the Annapurna Range seemed like a perfect follow-up.
Who’d a thunk – I head to a yoga retreat with the intention of breaking through my jaded travel-heavy headspace & hitting refresh on my body and mind before the next chapter, and voila – that’s exactly what I got. But I needed to let go of expectations and accept my experience as-is to get there. The yoga and meditation were great, and the gastro-cleanse was absolutely necessary, but I took even more away from the spiritual teachings that Duga (the retreat “mom”) and the reat of the sadhana family shared and embodied throughout the week. Many of the practices were totally unfamiliar and I fought them at first, finding the chanting of the mantras painfully repetitive. But I gave it another go, and once I knew what to expect, I lost myself in Duga’s solid half hour of storytelling and life lessons, and then belted out the sanskrit chants all 108 times.
Valeda’s Sadhana life lessons, takeaways and intentions forward:
– You are your soul first, your mind second and your body third. Take care of the first and the rest will fall in line. Be good, think good, do good.
– Act on intention, not instinct, habit or reaction
– Notice when you judge others or yourself.
I want to study buddhism and practice meditation more. Yes, there’s “god” involved, but their “god” was a prince that left a wealthy life of disconnection ad unhappiness to meditate and become one with the world he was a member of. That I can appreciate.
Pokhara’s Peace Pagoda
A steam bath, not a torture device
Paragliders launching from the peak above the retreat
Views of the Annapurnas on the flight out of town