Yoga Nutter

Once again I’m up early, this time it’s because of a yoga session that starts at 7 am. In spite of lots of enthusiastic reactions from the others when I’ve talked about it, I’m the only one there. After a while the Yogi shows up and we start by saluting pictures of Shiva and Ganesh while saying the “Oum” sound. Then it’s time for some breathing exercises and already my attention is fading. The guy keeps talking about all the mumbo jumbo aspects of yoga such as rubbing pressure points to remove belly ache, back pain, heart disorders and what have you. There’s one point that I shall rub and in 6 months I will no longer need glasses, another one and I will have long black hair in notime (I resist the urge of asking why he has almost exactly the same baldness pattern as I do and even some grey hair).

After a lot of useless yoga we finally get to some real exercising when we do a tree pose. We do a few more like that, and I realize that I have an audience in Piff, Puff and Petra who have awaken and are watching from the balcony. Many of the exercises we do he doesn’t even show properly, but as I have done a little bit of Ashtanga Yoga back home I know how the positions are supposed to look and do them right instead. The Yogi compliments me on my flexibility (which isn’t all that good, but his is much worse) and we move on to sleep yoga.

Sleep yoga is exactly what it sounds like, it’s positions good for sleeping in. Apparently you should lie flat on your back with your hand along the sides, or on the side with the hand under the head or if you are on your stomach you should keep your hands flat under your chest. Especially the last one is really uncomfortable and noone in their right mind would sleep like that.

The guy finishes up with something even weirder though: laugh yoga! This is how you should laugh: “Ha -ha ha ha ha!”, “Hi hi hi hi hi hi!”, “Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!” The guy is obviously nuts and I can’t help laughing at his antics. The lesson finishes up with me writing in his guest book and promising to send him a picture of us two.

After the lesson I go meet my guides for the day and get some breakfast samosas. Then we’re off to the first stop which is one of the guys uncles wood carving shop. Now to be fair I actually said I wanted some wood stamps so I actually wanted to see this. Too bad they’re almost all ugly! The material is nice and all, the guy collects wood that has been lying under water for long time and looks very nice. But most of the carvings themselves looks like something even I could do with some practice. I pick out a tiger stamp though that is among the least ugly pieces and buy it so that we can move on. I see it as a tour fee more or less…

Now it’s time for the village and we start off in the Brahmin caste, which is the priest caste and also the highest one. Caste does not equal financial status though and it’s apparent that this entire village is poor. At the side of the door, dates are painted, these are the dates when polio vaccination shots were given, interesting! We move on into another caste and it is separated by a well for the Brahmin area. The guys talk about the how you can clearly see the difference between the castes but to be honest I don’t see much difference. He also points out lots of those wardrobe sized temples which are placed here and there, talking about how beautiful they are. I can’t really see it though, since they’re all so shoddily made with paint all over the place and no attention to detail.

We move on to see a couple of the east temples also. These are more of the sandstone temples we saw yesterday and these are beautiful. What happened to Indian engineering a craftsmanship in the last 1000 years? Damned if I know, but they’ve lost it… If you’ve seen the western temples you don’t need to see these ones though, as they are basically the same, only smaller.

We move on to see more houses, I’m forced to look in another shop, but manages to avoid buying anything this time. After a while we come to the school and I get showed around by the headmaster. The kids don’t have class today but I get to see the rooms and some pictures. Finally I get to write in the guest book (and see that some of the others were just here) and make a donation. This is something I can fully support though so no problem!

Before dropping me off back at the hotel we make a final stop at the sandstone factory where they make sandstone sculptures of the same kind that are on the temples. Looks more like a workshop to me, but it’s interesting to see the process. This also means a shop of course, but I manage to dodge buying anything there as well. Upon parting I offer them some turkish pepper candy to which they react as violently as you’d expect =D

I find the others and we go to the Italian restaurant across the street which Maria recommended, Mediterrano. I order a pasta arrabiata, a favorite from when I was in Italy with garlic, tomato sauce and chili. Too bad it’s awful! Ricard is satisfied with his pizza though, even if it wasn’t top notch.

Time to board the bus again and go to Rewa. On the way out of town we stop and take pictures at the tree that they didn’t bother cutting down and just drew the lines around. The Indians must think we’re crazy! =P

Monto sits back with Monica learning Swedish phrases today. He’s actually really good and is learning really fast, soon he is using the phrases he’s learned with all of us. The roads are good and the 170 km only take 5 h this time. We pull into Rewa just after dark and go down a rather modern-looking main street. We go collectively and eat at another hotel since ours doesn’t have a restaurant. The place is nice but the staff speaks almost no English at all and get our orders wrong. They also forget to bring many of the things we’ve ordered. The prices make up for it though and the food we get is good so in the end we’re a happy bunch leaving.

Me, Ricard, Lars, Piff and Puff decide to explore some more of the town before going to bed and head for the main street. Not only are we mostly left alone when wandering around, the few times we are bothered it’s by people wanting to take a photo with the white people! We don’t mind that kind of attention and happily agree. One of the guys claim to be from the local paper, so I guess we should be on the lookout for those pictures! The main street mostly has clothing stores and I go into one of them in search for a uniquely Indian t-shirt. The language is a definite barrier but in the end I manage to convey what I want. Too bad Indians are really small, even the largest t-shirts are tight-fitting but I can’t resist buying two cricket t-shirts: one with the Mumbai Indians and another with Kings Punjab. Awesome souvenir!

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