This is the second part of a series telling the story of the first trekkers in Nepal after COVID-19. To read part one first, click here.
Day two of the first trek after COVID
On the second day of our pilgrimage to Khopra Danda, we learn to worship the sun and commune with Mother Nature, nourishing our souls with the silence of the jungle and the inspiration of a yogi who lives alone there.
Early morning, as usual, I finished my mantras and went to meet the others. Pawana was enthusiastic and ready for our morning Sun Salutions, Dhima and Oceana also joined us. In the morning rays of the sun we did our yoga.
The Vedas say:
उदन्नादित्यः कृमीन् हन्ति ।
‘The rising sun destroys germs’
आरोग्यँ भास्करादिच्छेत् ।
‘Health must be received from the sun’
The Sun is the source of energy in this world, and spiritually it has great importance.
Kundalini in our system is basically an energy as well, it is responsible for all the functions of our body, physical and spiritual. In other words, we are made up of energy and the main source is the Sun. If there is no Sun there is no life.
The yoga sequence ‘Sun Salutation’ is one of the ways to connect with that Sun energy.
Sun Salutation is composed of pranayama, mantras and asanas, which together works all koshas of our body. Twelve positions of the sun are symbolised with twelve asanas.
When we do these twelve asanas, we work out our whole body and open up our pranic channels, helping us feel energetic, enthusiastic and calm – exactly what we need for a day’s trekking!
After our Sun Salutions, we enjoyed our sattvic breakfast of Himalayan buckwheat pancakes and fresh vegetables, then started our journey to our destination, Dhankharka.
Communing with Mother Nature
Our first stop along the trek was a magnificent waterfall set in the side of the mountain. Reaching up around 100ft, this natural wonder is not only an incredible sight but a sacred place to relax the mind too.
We gave ourselves an hour here to practice our meditation and deepen our connection with Mother Nature, drinking in the calm and peaceful energies and the sounds of cool bubbling water.
Of course, we also made time to take some awesome photos too!
Starting on our journey again, we began climbing uphill. It is said that in Nepal, there is only “uphill” or “downhill” and in the Himalayas, this is often true!
But this was a pilgrimage, not a marathon, so we took our time and for the next hour or so, walked slowly, enjoying the lush greenery and chirping birds, going deeper and deeper into the jungle before we reached the ecohouse of Yam Dai.
A Yogi who lives alone in the jungle
Yam Dai is a skilled artist who lives alone in the middle of the jungle. He eats what he gets from the jungle and utilises all he gets in nature. He is a true yogi and lives his life very simply and in perfect harmony with Mother Nature. We learnt a lot from him in the short time we spent in his company.
Yam Dai made us some delicious soups and salads, all organic and grown from his own hand, or from the jungle itself. The food was fresh and light, giving us the energy we needed to carry on our trek.
We didn’t wanted to leave Yam Dai’s place, created from his heart and skill, but our day’s journey didn’t end there and we had to move to our next destination Dhankharka.
The jungle at night time
Dhankarka is a community lodge deep in the jungle. It was built to house villagers or trekkers who hadn’t made it to their next destination by nightfall.
The jungles around the Himalayas are home to many wild animals including the Himalayan black bear, wolves and leopards. It’s not the safest place to be walking around at night time!
We were happy for the safe and cosy retreat of this simple lodge, and without another soul in sight, we enjoyed the silence and sounds of nature while doing our evening meditation and Moon Salutation yoga. After a warm shower, a hearty organic dinner and a soft bed, we drifted off to the strange but soothing sounds of the night time jungle.
In part three, we encounter silence and emotions, climb up into the clouds and witness a lifechanging sight.
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