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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Coming Down off the Mountains

I wake from slumber at 6:19 am, nearly 30 minutes later than the morning before- I must have needed those few extra minutes. Finished with mindless meditation through sleep, I move onto mindful meditation through yoga. I begin cross legged in the lotus position on the dewey grass, and try to recall the session we performed the the previous morning. I greet the sun rising over Bhaktapur, my body moving through the positions with an ease that surprises me- until recently, the practices of yoga and meditation have proven to be frustrating and out of reach. I am now able to appreciate yoga as a valuable tool, I like the way it demands training from your body and mind, in the same way that traveling on foot through the mountains does. Every step is an opportunity to gain flow, and to become more aware of myself in the way that I move and exist in space.

I am saddened that trek has come to a close and that I am no longer living and breathing at the feet of the Himalaya; looking back onto the experience now it feels like some sort of dream-state halfway to reality. Now I am feeling so emotionally, spiritually, and energetically charged that I scarcely know what to do with myself at times. Through yoga and movement in general, I am reminded that while I am not hiking for six or seven miles each day with my possessions on my back, I can try to bring elements of those days to my current location near the city. There is so much I do not want to lose, or forget: the renewed respect I gained for the environment, affirmations of my physical capabilities, and the meditative state I seemed to naturally fall into while I’m on the trail. This brings me to thinking about how I want to take ownership for the rest of my time in Nepal, and continue to pursue the theme of intention within the trip.

As I close my eyes for a final exercise in breathing, I can almost see my last glimpse of the snow capped peaks along that road through the hills. I am aware of the golden light streaming all around me, and the rest of my senses come alive.