17 Apr Time for the final chapter to begin :)
HAPPY EASTER everyone – hope you have all had an awesome break and got to spend some quality time with your friends and family and also got to over indulge on many Easter Eggs!!
So the last few days of my courses were great – it was all about the practical elements of cooking and massage. We were shown how to cook many Ayurveda dishes which have various different balancing properties depending on which Dosha you are. There were a few little gems in there, with some wonderful tea concoctions which can help with indigestion, cramps, bloating etc. All of them are so simple to make and with basic ingredients too. We made a cracking sauce / chutney which will totally rock your boat and can be added to any savoury dish whatsoever to give it some zing! Back in my bodybuilding days that was always the challenge, how to make food taste good (chicken, rice broccoli haha) but keeping it healthy and watching the calories. I now definitely have a few 🙂 The chutney reminded me of the awesome Chimichurri sauce you get in Argentina with everything – I must learn how to put that bad boy together again.
Among many dishes we also learnt how to make Chipatti and Paratha – damn those are super damn tasty and a nice addition to any savoury meal too. I love learning about cooking and nutrition and definitely my eyes and ears spark up when I do it so I know that it’s a passion I need to pursue.
I think that Indian and Ayurveda food is still sometimes a little on the oily side with a bit too much dairy too but the cool thing about cooking is using a little intuition you can adjust or cater to your own needs by simply swapping an ingredient here or there. FUSION!
Our massage was great but a little too rushed as there is an absolute bucket load to take in. I would have enjoyed a little more theory on the massage before we got stuck into the practical side of things. I guess the thing is that this is simply an introduction to give you a taste to see if it’s something you want to delve deeper into. For me I really enjoyed the massage and marma (pressure points) side of things and it’s great knowledge to have but probably not something I will take further – there simply isn’t enough time to do everything unfortunately 🙂
I’ve had a few awesome evenings meeting up with the guys I did my yoga course with and also the people on my massage course. There are many cute and chilled little cafes and restaurants on the river Ganges where you just sit down on the floor on little cushions at little tables and take everything in. There is a lot of music in the town and often you have live bands playing, open mic nights and then just random people jamming quietly with their own guitars, drums and flutes.
I took my first dip in the river Ganges and it was really great. Where we are there is no pollution at all as we are pretty high up and close to the Himalayas so it is free flowing and a bit on the cold side but super refreshing and awesome!
Yesterday we got to have a go at Acroyoga on the river beaches here. Now that was AWESOME!! It’s a great little community, you pretty much rock up on the beach at anytime from 4pm and just join in. There are a few teachers who help guide and teach you. I really think I have found something which I want to pursue further!! It is super fun and challenging and takes a lot of trust and coordination between you and your partner. I tried both being the base and the ‘jumper’ (I think that’s what it’s called) or person on top and you both need to be in sync to make it work properly.
Today was one of those special travel days where you sort of have plans and it ends up being so amazing because of the random stuff which happens. A group of about 10 of us hired scooters….that was a mission in itself!!! They wanted passports as a deposit but of course nobody had them on them and then we somehow managed to annoy the only guy who could provide us all with scooters and he ended up not wanting our business! I reckon it took about 90mins for us to arrange 5 scooters after that! Once we hit the road it was just awesome – we headed to this waterfall which had a pretty cool natural pool at the bottom to swim in. The locals all wanted photos with us because I think its a novelty to get photos with white people! After that we decided to trek further up the mountain and had one of those ‘travel moments’ that you probably won’t forget. We all got invited to a locals house in the mountains, where they made us tea while we enjoyed just sitting around and watched them use their cattle to plough through some hay to help break it down, quite ingenious really! Words cannot describe it but hopefully the photos and videos will.
Afterwards we enjoyed a nice local meal which cost around £2 but that’s because I had two dishes – fatty boom boom!
This evening I was taken to the local town and introduced to the family of one of the guys who works at the school where I am staying. Talk about an authentic and humbling experience just seeing how the guys here live. He definitely has it tough as his dad is an alcoholic and gets violent so he as the eldest needs to protect his mother and 4 other siblings 🙁 He has also had to pay for his and 2 of his siblings schoolings because his dad cannot and will not. It’s guys like these who are the real heroes of this world and who I’d really like to help.
At dinner tonight I got talking to this wonderful German couple who are both 60 and WOW – they have an awesome view on life and have certainly lived an adventurous life and still do!! They are pretty normal and not the hippy type but definitely have a great understanding of life and the world. We were swapping stories of Ayahausca ceremonies we have all had and sharing advice of people who do awesome things that are worth looking into.
Tomorrow my last chapter begins while in India – I begin my Meditation Teacher Training and absolutely cannot wait to find out more about it. I have met an awesome Italian guy, Jacopo, who I’ve had many an awesome conversation with over the last 10 days and he has got me rather excited about what I will hopefully be learning.
Adios until then my friends and wishing you an awesome short week ahead
Gareth / BB / China / Token