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Bathing in Holy Waters

washing it all away...

sunny 3 °C

Its been such a beautiful last two days that I'm quite gutted to be leaving Rishikesh. It feels so familiar now, and I think I'll be leaving a piece of my heart behind. Last night it rained and rained for quite a while. It was even cold again, as if the universe was preparing me for my return to England. I had my last day of Panchakarma yesterday, the last steam bath and I feel great now, really calm. My pulse has stabilized and all the spinach I've been eating seems to have worked. And I haven't even rushed out for a cappucino this time, I've decided to try and maintain it. I did my last Ashtanga practice here this morning. The wind rattled the shala and little birds who couldn't understand that you can't fly through glass (unless you're really really really good at Yoga) pecked at the windows. I talked to Louise about the Yin Yoga sequence some more as I think thats the way forward to mastering the Primary Series, which I intend to do. I'm also considering breaking the practice up- doing the standing sequence in the morning and the sitting/lying/backbends/inversions in the evening. That might make more sense and stop me rushing. I'll miss practicing there, its like a magical and relaxed Northern outpost of Mysore sans ego. And the views...

I know that I should have had my fix of astrology by now, but I got talking to a guy called Neil here. He told me about a woman called Dr Amodini who he had been to see and he said that she was so good that he was going again. I thought it sounded tempting, but I didn't have the time. So he offered me his appointment and said I really should. So, it felt like I should- oh, and she does tarot too, and having a passion for the cards I went to see her yesterday. I had called with my birth details the day before. What she does is take the date, time etc, meditate and sleep on it, consult the beyond and then make extensive notes on it. It is Vedic astrology with an emphasis on the karmic aspects of the chart. It was the most thorough reading I have ever had. Astounding. And I liked her a great deal too- her interest lies largely in Tantra and she has written a lot on the subject, she's also very candid and not in the least embarrassed to talk about anything. Funny too, and unpretentious. Anyway, it took over 5 hours without really stopping for a break, except for some chapatis and great green pepper curry when I started to feel faint from all the information. I don't believe in making things 'fit' but there was a lot there that exactly echoed certain experiences I have had and things I want to do, both now and in the future. There was a point where she said that from time to time I have to 'retreat' in a way and then I come back stronger, like a phoenix- maybe thats why I was so drawn to getting my tattoo of a phoenix like entity, it really spoke to me and I've never felt the need for another. And, as Amodini pointed out- its a phoenix with sharp teeth.... Teaching came up again, and study, as always. One thing she said was that it struck her that my chart had a lot in common with, of all things, a nuns. Considering I wanted to ask about lovelife etc that didn't sound too great, but on reflection I suppose it is. Why am I sucked into some bullshit nuclear family ideal of happiness when if I lived that way I'd probably die of boredom.... And theres so much I won't put up with that other people generally do that it makes sense... So now is the time of work and study. Lots of links to work and study abroad too... I'm hoping to go to Spain to do the Vyayama Yoga course if work allows. Anyway, it was a great reading. She also told me that I should bathe in the Ganges, the holy river, before I left, as it is a great cleanser. It was still cool last night so I went for a walk. Rishikesh was like a painting after the rain, the sky was a gentle pure blue mixed with satsuma orange and the hills and mountains seemed to go on forever. It was a lot like this dream I had years ago, of a mythical landscape, like a Poussin painting that was suddenly lit up for me, and there was a castle in the background. It was beautiful.

So, after practice today my mission was to go for a swim in the river. Not only do you have to find a good spot, safe and preferably away from hoardes of staring boys, but you have to watch out for the currents as they can be dangerous. So I was wandering around when I suddenly bumped into Sebastien who I hadn't seen for a few days. On his big sexy motorbike! He's a sweetheart and he ended up giving me a lift to a great spot to swim and sat by the river smoking and looking brooding and handsome while I splashed around like a duck and floated on my back for a while. Its an amazing experience bring immersed in the water here. It makes you tingle all over- its like a tingle that has nothing to do with the temperature, but its like a burning cleanliness. I swam underwater for a while too. Amodini was right, I did feel like a lot got washed away. And PJ Harveys voice echoed in my head singing "throw it all in the river.... to be washed away slow....". Afterwards we went back into Laxmanjhula, it has to be one of the highlights of this trip, that ride along a narrow road next to the Holy Ganges under the sun, with the wind caressing us, going very fast. In fact, it was one of the highlights of my entire life, no fear whatsoever, even though Sebastien started to go obnoxiously fast until I squealed a bit and clung to him in an obligingly girly way...... You know, something occurred to me. Over the last day or two I was thinking about how nice it would be to meet up with Sebastien and go out on the bike but we were both busy etc. Then just at the best possible moment there he was, on the same street as me, nowhere near the hotel. Made me think that something was listening. And then it occurred to me that even if theres not a grand plan or higher purpose it's certainly worth believing in, and certainly acting as though there is because it gives you a certain freedom and autonomy. Oh yes its definitely time to go home now....

Then we came back to Swiss Cottage and went for food, I had a meal that wasn't khichri! Tofu sizzler, it was like a proper Sunday lunch and was a perfect last afternoon here. I was talking to Dipen who works here- he's a talented artist, he was showing me some of his sketches, and has been tattooing for a while in Nepal. We both reckon that Rishikesh would be a great place for a tattoo convention so I gave him the emails of anyone I thought might be able to get involved. That would be a great trip back! I am SO going to miss it here. Its a place I will certainly return to. Sebastien left today too. We were sitting outside under the trees and he got all his stuff together and packed up on the bike. He held my face in his hands and said "Goodbye Vicky, I think you will come back. Next time you'll come back with full power, happier yes? YES?" and kissed my forehead with real tenderness and then he zoomed off in a cloud of petrol fumes and smoke... I leave for Haridwar this evening, I'm getting a taxi to the train station and then arrive in Delhi tomorrow morning. I've a few hours so I may try and visit the Red Fort before I have t be at the airport. Then two flights. Its not so bad. I actually enjoy the travel...

Posted by victoria8 04:46 Archived in India Tagged women

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