Saturday the 29th September marked our second visit to Sri Aurbindo Yoga Mandir Ashram out at Thankot, for a full day of Yogic sharing. The Ashram is set in a backdrop of beautiful forested hills and has sweeping views of the Kathmandu valley. Even though it is not far from the city, with all the hills, trees, clean air, plants and flowers you feel as though you could be miles away and this makes it a wonderful day retreat.
There are over 100 children and 20 or so adults living at the Ashram, in refuge, where they can embark on their educational studies and yoga, also learning to organically farm, paint Thanka paintings and weave. The children come from very poor families or from the streets, thus giving them a sanctuary and a place where they can be happy. The adults are there to teach the children or have been at the Ashram for many years and have learnt skills they are now passing on to the next generation. They are running their own organic farm, growing many seasonal vegetables and have a small heard of cows to produce milk and yoghurt. The cows are organically fed too and you can really taste the difference in the milk, it is delicious! From the cows they are also producing their own biogas for cooking.
Our programs there have included the practise of kriyas, which are cleansing techniques for the body, and pranayama classes, which are breathing exercises, that also cleanse internally. These practices have many physical benefits but are also very calming for the mind. Extended asana classes have given us a bit more time to explore some of the yogic postures than during our regular classes. We have embarked on the practice of Karma Yoga, the practice of selfless service by doing some gardening on the farm for the ashram, with no expectation of results. In fact, this has been a very relaxing experience in itself with all of nature and a cool breeze around us. Guided meditation sessions have also been given, as well as the practice of chanting mantra, which can be a very powerful and healing experience.
This time we were blessed with a performance by the children of the ashram of classical Indian dance including the Bharatnatyam, which comes from the state of Tamil Nadu in South East India. It was so colourful and bright and all the children looked so happy and wonderful in their costumes and make up, and were so full of energy, it was a wonderful experience to see. Of course, every time we visit, we are fed very well with a delicious organic vegetarian lunch, all ingredients grown at the Ashram, and RamChandra the director can never let us leave without filling our bellies with more delicious snacks!
You can help support the Ashram by coming along on our next visit. A donation of Nrs. 1500 goes to the Ashram directly from your payment for the day. During a visit you can also buy their produce; vegetables, shawls and towels, woven at the ashram, milk and yoghurt. Otherwise you can find them at 1905 farmers market on Saturdays from 9am-12pm and at the Summit hotel farmers market on Sundays from 9am-12pm. Or contact them directly here; www.auronepal.net Email email@example.com
One last little note to help the environment, if you are buying their milk and yoghurt please return the containers to them so as they can be recycled, you can return them to the Summit hotel or 1905 on the days that they are there for the farmers market.
Om Lokha somasta sukhino bhavantu
May all beings find balance and harmony
Om shanti, Nicky