Recently we took a much needed and well deserved layover day in Sing Gompa, a small village that rests just off the Gosaikunda Trek in the hills of Langtang National Park. Comprised of large guest houses and terraced hills, thick-haired horses and fluffy dogs, Sing Gompa is more of a place of rest than residence for those who come through, but we had the luck of having both.
On our day of stillness we gave our bodies time to heal, to stretch, to pause. Yet our minds kept busy. As the day brightened, Anna Lu led us in a slow, methodical, rejuvenating yoga class. The change in movement was welcome to our tired limbs and tight muscles. After that we practiced and improved our Nepali language skills through interviews and practicing for end-of-trek skits, to be performed all in Nepali.
To cap off our morning, the group huddled by a wood stove, drank kalo chiya (black tea), and wrote “This I Believe” pieces, a writing exercise with the focus of sharing aspects of our personal stories through the descriptions of objects, people, moments, sounds, and metaphors we hold dear. We ate Nak (the female Yak) cheese and shared our reflections with each other.
Often in movement of body we forget about its antithesis, stillness. They have an important relationship: one of support and recognition. Without one the other cannot be fully present, and vice versa.
And so, a week into our methodical motion, we slowed the metronome of physical movement, thus allowing for other parts of ourselves to come to the foreground—minds, mouths, musings. It was a rich and enjoyable way to pass the time, and brought out new stories which had yet to be shared.