Week 2 — Rishikesh

Namaste my wonderful people!

This week has been another whirlwind adventure for this gal! On Monday morning I woke up, ate breakfast, said goodbye to the sweetest host family a girl could ask for, and headed off to a Rishikesh! Rishikesh is about an hour and a half away from Dehradun, the city in which I spent week 1 for those of you just joining us. My coordinator, Mayank, and I chatted the whole way. We enjoyed some oranges from a fruit vendor and some really great conversation. Rishikesh is located right on the Ganges River. It is BREATHTAKING. Wow. So much wow.

We had to cross a super long footbridge to get to the side of the river where I would be spending the week. We passed so many people from so many parts of the world on the way there. Apparently, Rishikesh is quite the foreigner hot spot. We walked through shops and pharmacies galore and eventually wound up at the hospital where I spent the week. The hospital is called Parmarth Nature Cure and Yoga Center. It is tucked back away from the hustle and bustle and COVERED in monkeys. I stayed at the hostel affiliated with the hospital and lived like a patient for the week. I had my own room and bathroom and it was lovely.

In Rishikesh, I was placed with a yoga doctor, a naturopathic doctor, and a doctor who focused on spine and knee rehabilitation. It was AWESOME! I felt right at home in the rehabilitation center, learning about the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, muscles, all the jazz that really gets my blood pumping! The naturopath lectured me about massage therapy, hydrotherapy, mud therapy, diet therapy and acupuncture! I also got to see some of these therapies being practiced in the clinic which was neat! Your body is SO amazing people. Use what nature has given us to heal yourself and you won’t be disappointed. I do have to say that my morning and evening yoga sessions were my favorite though! People. Yoga is hard. Don’t let people tell you otherwise. It isn’t all funny hand gestures and downward dog. No sir-ee! It is challenging and motivating and completely life-changing! Why did I not get into yoga before this?! I am kicking myself (which I actually can’t do because I am NOT flexible. We are going to work on that.) When I come back to the U.S. I will most definitely be joining a studio. If you have recommendations, shoot them my way, please!

Limited wifi made for a lonely Elizabeth this week, but that’s why God gave me a planning personality. Each day I spent time with the three doctors and also read the entire news paper, went on a walk, enjoyed a cup of masala tea (at the hotel with wifi), let my family members know I was alive, gabbed with hospital patients over dinner, listened to the entire Hamilton soundtrack and watched the sunset by the river. It was truly one of the best weeks of my life. I even bought some souvenirs for myself, including, but not limited to, the BEST chai yes I have ever had made specifically from Himalayan herbs. I MIGHT share. Might.

I left Saturday afternoon back to Dehradun. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going back to but, to my wondrous surprise, I was brought back to the Negi’s! The wonderful family that took care of me last week! What a blessing! I was overjoyed to see Ma, Mrs. Dola and Pournami! Such a happy heart. An overflowing, happy heart. I enjoyed spending time in their company and also getting the chance to catch up with my family in the U.S. who I had hardly spoken to all week (curse you time difference *silently shakes fist*) which was equally as amazing as being back with my Indian family. I spent the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday being very lazy :-) Sunday afternoon, Mayank and I went on a walk through the oldest part of Dehradun close to the foothills of the Himalayas. Guys, I feel so incredibly small looking at the Himalayas. It’s quite the feeling. 10/10 would recommend. We stopped at a cute little cafe on the walk and I enjoyed some tea before we turned around. I saw a scorpion on the walk back! A SCORPION! It didn’t even register to me what it was till Mayank alerted the store owner and I snapped out of my funk and slid a bit farther away… hehe. I also saw a man on a moped wearing a Minnesota Golden Gophers zip-up! Way to represent, homie! Where he got it I’ll never know but it made me smile and feel close to home.

This experience is showing me I am capable of more than I ever dreamed or imagined. I have power inside of me that can move mountains. I am a strong woman and I am proud of it!

Here’s to the final stretch of this Indian adventure in Patti which begins tomorrow morning at 7am. These next five days can choose their own speed, I won’t wish for one way or another. I am simply along for the ride and enjoying the view out the window.

Xoxo,

Elizabeth

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