At the beginning of this year I travelled around Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal, on a three month trip of a lifetime with my fiancé.
To get to Nepal, we had to walk across the border from India and take an extremely bumpy bus journey to reach Kathmandu. Due to the lack of suspension and terrible road conditions, one of the windows shattered in the middle of the night, allowing the freezing Himalayan air infiltrate the bus, not that it was particularly warm in the first place!
Thirteen uncomfortable hours later, we arrived in Kathmandu where the air was thick with smog but the landscape above, sensational. The city lies deep in a valley making it one of the most polluted places in the world and it became increasingly clear to us, also one of the poorest.
Tired, hungry and grumpy, we reached our guesthouse and were instantly welcomed by a series of smiling hosts with hands in prayer and “Namaste”.
Kathmandu was a hub of excitement and I loved it. The people were extremely friendly and despite the poverty of the country, its residents respected and cared for it. The streets were immaculate in comparison to neighbouring India and its heritage was highly respected. Throughout the city lay beautiful temples surrounded by colourful prayer flags. Everywhere you looked, you found an ancient piece of architecture tentatively crumbling but beautiful in its fragile state. The city was filled with atmosphere and colour. One of my fondest memories was eating Momos seated on the walls of a temple as small children were passing by selling chai.
Our next destination was Pokhara, a small town surrounding a lake beneath the breath-taking Annapurna range. The snow tipped mountains and cool fresh air made this place particularly special. My fiancé felt poorly there and I will never forget the kindness he received whilst recovering. I even took a yoga class, one to one and quite an experience! I turned up with a small tee-shirt and shorts, needless to say I was rather cold… naively expecting the warmth of The Power Yoga Company. The man who taught me lent me his own set of clothes to keep me warm and enabled me to enjoy the class. At the end of my trip, I left Nepal with a warm heart and fond memories of smiling faces and genuine hospitality.
Something which struck me about Nepal was how little people had and how this never affected their generosity. Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, its history and the spirit of its people made it one of the most magical!
When I heard about the devastating earthquake over there, I was heartbroken. Places I visited, people I met and remember with such fondness have been destroyed. Lives ended, homes lost and a remarkable history lies under rubble. The images broadcasted do not reflect my memories and are shocking to everyone whether they visited the country or not.
Please help The Power Yoga Company put Ahimsa into action, help those in need: come to our donation class this Sunday at 2pm.