Another day …. and yoga

There have been many that have extolled the power of yoga, and regretfully I have ignored that advice for over a year.  Not any longer.  I went to my first (of many I hope) yoga class this morning at 6am, literally out the back of my building in an open-air venue used for wedding ceremonies.  As an aside, I have encountered multiple weddings since my arrival, apparently December & January are ‘good’ months to get married, so it’s been kinda neat to follow along with a wedding party’s procession through the streets.  I really need to start to bring my camera with me every day, so sorry no photos! But I digress …. back to yoga.

Firstly, this is not anything like a yoga studio we westerners are used to.  It’s freezing (open air and 6am in winter time) and the class is free to members of the community.  It takes place every morning except Mondays, so now I have no excuse but to attend a few times a week.  It’s nothing like the hatha yoga I have experienced on Bowen.  We spent 15 mins warming up with a rather vigorous series of exercises, remember it’s COLD!  Only then do we get into the yoga.  All instructions are in Nepalese so I just snuck a look at the people around me and copied them.  It was invigorating and I felt great after it – I think I will make this my morning routine!  I am in bed early as it’s so cold at night-time (thanks for the warning Katherine D)so the early start should not be a problem.  In any event it’s a sleep in compared to my waking time for my work at PHNIC! So if there is a lesson I have learned thus far, it’s to do more yoga and smile so others will smile back.

After another hearty breakfast (chapati & omelette followed by banana/apple & yogurt), I managed to catch the right bus and get off at the right corner on the road, walk up the hill to SIRC.  I met the same kids along the hill as yesterday, so they now giggle and shout hello whilst I bid them namaste.  Then their tiny hands come together in front of their hearts and bid me namaste, after which they break off into oodles of giggles again.  Very sweet!

Yesterday on the walk down the hill to the main road, I was escorted by a group of small boys skipping along beside me grinning from ear to ear.  The Nepalese are a happy bunch for sure, always have a smile on their faces.  A lesson for us all for sure – if we smile more, then others will smile back.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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7 Responses to Another day …. and yoga

  1. Katherine Doyle says:

    Hi Kate, Namaste! It’s great to be able to follow you on your journey. You mentioned Banepa. Is that where you are? I remember it as a very busy long distance bus hub!

    • Kate Coffey says:

      Yes, Lok’s place is in Banepa, apparently many volunteers stay there. It’s in Banepa as there is no accommodation around Bhaishepati where SIRC is. So I hope a KTM-bound bus to get to work each day, about 5 mins. The road is far too full of speeding trucks & buses on the wrong side of the road to make it safe to walk the 4km or so from Lok’s place! Have you been to Banepa?

  2. Grace Coffey says:

    Hi Kate! I smiled as I read your update – thanks for passing on your smile experiences! gx

  3. Sinead says:

    There was a study done in the UK..the researchers stood on the streets of the cities around the UK and smiled at 100 people. They recorded how many returned their smiles. Edinburgh came last with only 4 returned whereas Glasgow came 2nd with a score of 68. I always found shopping much nicer in Glasgow! I smile when I’m running too….it takes the pain away!! Enjoy the yoga! Will you have a sleep in tomorrow then (Monday). Have a good week! Sxx

    • Kate Coffey says:

      Really, only 4 people smiled in Edinburgh?! That is pretty shocking and a bad state of affairs. This morning coming to work I had the same kids giggling and smiling at me, it is infectious. And yes I had a sleep in this morning! I went to yoga Sunday morning and will go again tomorrow. My plan is to go every 2nd day. Not quite feeling the benefits of it yet but then there is much tightness to unwind 🙂 xo

  4. curtis says:

    They don’t smile because of the bad dental…you don’t want to see teeth…did I mention Bonnie was born in Edinburgh…ooops…

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