Touch down in Nepal!
It’s actually rather cool, as in we’re not immediately covered in sweat and diving for the first air conditioned place we can see, in fact, we don’t even need aircon! Refreshing start.
So we started with a couple of days in Kathmandu before starting our 7 day trek up in the Langtang Valley. I’m going to be honest here, Kathmandu is very much like any other city – crowded, loud, polluted, dirty, exasperating, then throw in a natural disaster, that feels like it only happened yesterday. The April 2015 earthquake that shook Nepal to ruins, a massive 7.8 on the scale i believe, and man you can tell.
We decided on the 7 day Langtang Valley trek primarily because it’s meant to be the easiest, remember that word, easy! As a yogi I’ll admit I’m more used to building and lengthening all of my muscles gradually. Trekking felt more like i was asking a lot of my legs rather quickly. As we walked they seemed confused as to why I wasn’t landing in the splits. However as the days went on my legs gave in, as did my nose with the altitude.
As we climbed higher the living grew simpler and it became clear that somewhere along the journey from Kathmandu we had stepped through a very large wardrobe. Small tea houses welcoming you with Nepalese tea and momos. They offer no electricity, no WiFi and what’s even better no knowlege or understanding about what’s happening outside their valley. I watched in awe as two very young Nepalese children played together with their father. No clue about politics or racism, terrorism or crime, I doubt they even knew who David Beckham was. For that brief moment I was almost envious.
The terrain on the trek was horrendous. Landslides are still a big problem but what’s so clear to see is just how severe the earthquake damaged mountain life. Langtang was actually the village most affected, once a thriving little village busting with trekkers, you now walk straight over a pile of rocks that covers it. I’m a real believer and lover of mother nature and these people do nothing but treat her with respect, live in peace and only take what they need. I had moments of frustration and anger, thinking of how so many people exploit this amazing planet, how can these people be the ones who pay the price?
Then I sat with a woman who mediated and prayed morning and night, we watched men carrying 50kg + up and down the mountains everyday. We watched the entire community pull together and rebuild. Without questioning it and, even more amazing, without any bitterness.
Please add trekking in Nepal to your bucket list, it really does clear your mind and cleanse your soul. At the same time please do a little yoga after each day if you want to move the next morning.
The lunge or Anjaneyasana
This posture with save your little leggies from seizing up. Try to make sure the front leg is at a right angle, any further over and you’re putting too much pressure on your shin, which is bad news when trekking. To begin with keep your back leg down, maybe a cushion under your knee if it’s sore. Keep the body centered as you allow the hips to sink down, still checking that 90 degree angle on your leading leg. To make the posture deeper try drawing the back foot up towards your sitting bones. After a long day trekking however, really take this easy. Your muscles will have tightened so you could very easily damage them. Go gentle.
Next up, everybodys favourite, split downward facing dog or Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana in our little round tea house.
So when trekking it’s not just your legs that suffer, so does your spine from all the pounding on your heels coming up through your spine. Have a look at my post on “keeping a healthy spine” for some gentle back openers. Remember in split down dog to keep your neck and head heavy. Spread your finger tips wide and feel every part of your palms on the ground. Visualise your chest drawing down to the ground and your shoulder blades opening. Don’t concentrate on how high your leg goes. Instead concentrate on the foot that remains on the ground, keep that heel heavy. Repeat on the other side and hold for as many breaths as the altitude allows you.
Trek. Nepal. Breathe. Cleanse. Respite.
Love me xxxx