After travelling for a couple of months through south India and making our way through Varanasi to the north, we were ready to settle for a bit. Rishikesh is a beautiful holy city where the Ganga and the foothills of the Himalayas meet. It reminds me a lot of home actually,... mountain town that attracts conscious, spiritual seekers, yogis, musicians, artists and such. We have been here nearly 6 weeks and have loved every minute of it.
We splurged on our accommodation and have been renting a spacious and clean (luxury for India) room, with a western bathroom, built-in kitchen and a high balcony overlooking the Ganges River, the mountains, a couple of old abandoned buildings and the local landfill of trash. Hey, it's India...everything in balance. We have a mattress on the balcony with pillows and candles... we call it the "chillout lounge" and spent a lot of time out there. It's really been wonderful and we're still only paying $9 a day. Not too bad. We wake up to the sound of birds chirping, monkeys howling, kids playing, horns honking, ... and cows hacking up plastic bags... oh India. It's home and we love it. Everything is starting to feel normal now, which is good. We've been in India for over 3 months and it really is feeling very comfortable. India is feeling less chaotic and crazy and more relaxed and fluid. We've met amazing friends and have been having really magical experiences daily. Like a dear friend said, ..."having times where it's hard to discern between dream and reality--where everything appears and feels and sounds undeniably illuminated." We are definitely "in the flow", drops of water in the Holy Ganges, and it feels good. We have our routine of waking up, doing our morning practice (yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises), having breakfast on our balcony while watching the family of langore monkeys play in the trees. We have our favorite restaurants that we eat lunch at nearly every day, we have daily music lessons, we make dinner, sing bhajans by the river, sleep and repeat. It's been heavenly.
Our time here is coming to an end though and we are planning our departure within the week. We just bought a Royal Enfield motorcycle and will be driving it north through the Himalayas for the next 3-4 months. Feels crazy and dangerous, but we are totally psyched! Bus travel is just not comfortable for Colin's long legs and this gives us total freedom to go anywhere and stop any time we want. How exciting. Mom, I promise we will be very careful. Sending lots of love back home.
White water rafting was a blast. We were hesitant to go rafting in the Holy Ganges but after watching Indians play and frolic in the river, it seemed like another way to honor the river. The rapids were surprisingly big... biggest ones I've been in. Super fun.
I took a cooking class and learned how to make all kinds of delicious indian food. Palak Paneer, Muttar Paneer, Samosas, stuffed naan, pakoras, chai, etc... yum! The class was taught in their families tiny kitchen, which had a two burner stove, a bunch of spices, a hole in the roof for ventilation (and drying their laundry)... and that's about it. The three of us barely fit inside. Gives me a greater appreciation for my kitchen at home.
we love the longore monkeys
Beatles Ashram. The Beatles came here in the late 60's and wrote a large portion of their White Album here. It's totally abandoned and falling apart now which is sad, but it's an amazing place.
Holy Hari We ran into Hari, our yoga teacher from the south, randomly and spent a week with him.
some independent artist came in this abandoned building at the ashram and painted a bunch of beautiful murals inside.
Prem Baba has been in Rishikesh for the past month, so we've been going to hear his speak. Beautiful man
this is a water tank on top of a 5 story building. We watched the sunset with a 360 degree view of the mountains and the river
We rented a small motorcycle for Colin's birthday. We found a beautiful waterfall
my crazy husband
i love their signs
happy birthday colin... she sure does love his many beverages. Rishikesh is a dry town, so this was his most sober birthday in quite a while. Lemon ginger honey tea, masala chai, and mint tulsi tea. Colin is happy
Sushi night with some friends
Colin is learning the tablas. It helps that he's a drummer... but it's totally different. You can make over a hundred different sounds on these drums. So detailed and precise. Amazing! Colin pretty much hangs out with the locals playing music all day. He's in heaven.
I'm taking bansuri flute lessons. We love Ashok so much. He is our brother now. He comes from a musician family from Varanasi and learned from his father and grandfather. He became a master at age 18. Beautiful man.
Holi festival! The festival of colors where everyone celebrates their differences, acknowledging we are all one. Beautiful. Everyone frolics like children and throws colored powder on each other. So fun!
one of the few times men and women are allowed to touch each other
i actually really love the cows
even the animals participated
Yankees! for Carole Many people wear yankees hats and shirts, but have no idea who the Yankees are. Colin always yells, "Go Yankees" and they look at him like he's a crazy man. Makes us laugh every time.
I love this picture. Beautiful little boy. He didn't quite know what was going on.
swimming in the river to clean off
cows eating trash
colin plays music here a lot...east west cafe
my new favorite thing... Acro Yoga. (partner acrobatics) So fun!!!
my teacher, Emily
i love this guy selling cotton candy on the beach. So cute with his matching scarf
We flew this little girl selling flowers on the beach. She was so excited. Beautiful
Cows on the beach... who would have known?
it never fails... whenever we're doing acro on the beach... the cows come over and decide our mat looks like a good spot to rest. They push us out of the way, lie down and refuse to move. Funny animals
a beautiful baba came over and we invited him to join. He played with us for about 2 hours... and he was really good! So sweet.
then he flew me
look mom, NO HANDS!!!
a day of slack lining, poi and hooping
circus training A two day acro workshop. My body hurt for a week afterwards
Acro war wounds
Photo shoot at the Beatles ashram. The crew
star... my favorite move thus far
ha ha... dorks. an amazing ab work out though
Emily is a beast... this is rediculously hard
Mono limb reverse star... cirque du soleil here I come
Thank you Rishikesh... it's been beautiful