We are one week through our residential Teacher Training Course at Tapasyalayam ashram here in Uttarkashi and here are our initial thoughts on it.
SAEE (Health Coach)
Before coming here I was a bit skeptical about the availability of things in the local market, Netala being a small town. But it was quite a relief to see most of the veggies available in Bangalore here as well – fresh, organic, locally grown and tasty produce. Only thing missing is carrots and beetroots which are available in the winter season only.
The lady managing the kitchen is very smart and helping in nature. It really surprised me when she learnt the trick of oil-free cooking on Day 1 itself. So, we could dish out oil-free, dairy-free, sugar-free food right from the onset of our programme.
Our day starts with fresh green smoothies and sprouted legumes of different kinds like moong, kabuli chana, kala channa etc. Lunch is unpolished rice with different varities of dal everyday (tur, rajma, moong, masoor, chana etc), seasonal vegetables like lauki, pumpkin, ridgegourd, bittergourd and different salads. Every evening we have a demo of simple, quick yet tasty snacks which are much looked forward to! This week we enjoyed aloo-chaat, peanut dip with veggie sticks, date laddoos, lauki halwa etc. to staisfy our sweet tooth. We also enjoy hot cups of herbal tea with it. Dinner is satvic and light consisting of chapatti sabji and dal or sometimes vegan kadhi-khichdi or daliya khichdi.
Our food philosophy is simple – tasty, whole food meals, with healthy dose of raw food prepared lovingly in the humble kitchen of the ashram using the freshest ingredients. Our eating plans seem to have lost the essential philosophy that Mother Nature knows best. Hopefully this Yoga TTC will also be an educational healthy eating holiday and the participants rediscover healthy eating relationship with their food.
REGEESH and MRINALI (Yoga TTC Facilitators)
Uttarkashi – A place where hundreds of saints got enlightenment. We are on the banks of Ganga – not a river but devi personified. When you walk along her banks, its easy to see why this river is so revered. You can’t help but be spiritually moved. It is giving us the perfect setting to take our yoga and meditation practice to the next level. With the blessings of Ganga and ambience of the Himalayas, our TTC program seems more enriched. With Saee managing our whole-food-plant-based meal plans – its the icing on the cake! Going back to nature, our roots where the taste of our food is not polluted by chemicals, feels soul nourishing and wholesome.
We have a pretty packed schedule of practicing asanas twice a day, theory lectures, yoga nidra sessions and interesting discussions and exchange of viewpoint floating around as we are covering various topics. Away from the hustle and our daily city life routine – we seem to have only one subject to think of – YOGA!
Dips in the icy cold water of Ganga flowing right next to our cottages, the constant sound of the waves as it flows through, camraderie during the common meal times sitting cross legged on the floor, getting to know each other with conversations going late into the night, exploring the small village near by, struggles of trying to getting into postures never practiced before, the snoozers who drift away almost immediately during yoga nidra sessions…our first week has been good so far!
If the packed yoga regime gets to be unbearable, at least we are in a gorgeous place to unwind. You can have an amazing yoga class anywhere, but when the practice is in unpolluted crisp mountain air, amid beautiful scenary, set amdist lot of greenary with the ashram garden loaded with freshly grown maize, bay leaves, curry leaves, lemon, guava, kitchen herbs..it is a different feeling. Hopefully, all participants will leave feeling better than they came and feel that its a worthwhile program structured to encourage to bring things they have learned into their daily life once back home.
OVER AND OUT!