Sacred blessings and healings

Against a backdrop of the disaster of the Himalayan Tsunami, life continues.

Roadside popcorn vendor and monkey eating popcorn

Roadside popcorn vendor and monkey eating popcorn

Last night was the graduation ceremony of the 300 hour yoga teacher training course and we all had a Hindu ritual blessing us and traditional Indian music concert with haunting violin and wooden flute, melodious sitar and rhythmic tabla drums.

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A shrine at the graduation ceremony

Getting blessed at the graduation ceremony

Getting blessed at the graduation ceremony

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Meditative beats

This morning, one of the other classmates led us in a 3 hour Thai massage workshop where we learned foot and leg massages. Thai massage, which partly originates from Indian Ayuvedic traditions, has a lot in similar with Ayuvedic massages. Like Ayuvedic massages, it is medicine. It is a healing process, removing blockages of energy and removing toxins from the body. Similarily, it also works on energy lines in the body and chakras (energy centres/transformers in the body). Thai massage works on stretching the body, so it is like yoga except the massage recipient is completely passive and relaxed.  In contrast to Ayuvedic massage, the massage therapist aims to use gravity and the weight of their own body to massage and stretch rather than muscles in their arms and hands.

The amazing Cynthia teaching us some Thai massage techniques

The amazing Cynthia teaching us some Thai massage techniques and Stuart, the willing volunteer

In the afternoon, we took a trip to a local temple high up in the mountains. With 10 of us each in safari jeeps, we winded up mountain roads through small villages, beautiful green terraced slopes of mountains, and passed many groups of monkeys sitting at the side of the road. Apparently, they gather as people sometimes give them bananas. It is amazing the effects of the rains though as our jeep was constantly slowing down to go around small landslides where mud and rocks encroached on the already narrow roads.

A hike to the temple

A hike to the temple

Jennie in picture perfect dancer pose

Jennie in picture perfect dancer pose overlooking the staircase up the mountain to the temple

We three warriors. From left to right, Jennie, Caitlin and me

We three warriors. From left to right, Jennie, Caitlin and me

The temple was up high on a mountain top after a long white staircase. We were blessed by the resident priest.

Prayer bracelets Hindu priests ties on our wrists as sacred blessings

Prayer bracelets Hindu priests ties on our wrists as sacred blessings

Feeling blessed

Feeling blessed

Aspiring yogis and our teachers who visited the mountain top temple today

Our merry band of aspiring yogis and our teachers who visited the mountain top temple today

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