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Yoga on the Roof in Tso Pema

Three days ago we arrived in a town referred to as Tso Pema (also called Rewalser) after a combined 14 hours on buses from Delhi. As amazing as every moment after landing in Delhi has been, our time in Tso Pema has been especially surreal. Tso Pema is a lake in the center of the town which is sacred to Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs, and it is surrounded by vibrantly colored places of worship. Being so used to the classic red color of temples in Japan, I never even knew that purple, teal, yellow, white, gold, or indigo temples existed, yet now I am surrounded by them.

Yesterday we woke up at 7:00 am to have a group yoga session on the roof of our monastery. Even with views of beautiful mountains, the sounds of monks chanting, birds chirping, an Indian family yelling at one another from across their apartment, and monkeys watching our every move, we somehow managed to stay focused enough to struggle through the sequence that Sarah (one of our instructors) was taking us through. It was the perfect start to my day, and I was struck by how lucky I am to have this experience. Throughout the rest of the day we had a Tibetan lesson and then met with a Lama who fled Tibet and is living in Rewalser as a refugee. Lama Jigme answered all of our questions, whether they were about the situation in Tibet and how it can be helped, or how one can calm their scattered mind. To end our day, we had a delicious dinner of dal, rice, chapatis, and a dry okra and potato curry on the roof before we crashed into bed.