Just wrapped up a nourishing day to remember. We began with a hike led by Nicolai Bachman at Rio en Medio, an oasis of unusually fertile ground here in the High Desert. I felt like I was hiking in Oregon as the surroundings were moist from recent rains and shaded. We followed a trail along a creek that ended at a waterfall. The hike including lots of shallow creek crossings, just enough to add some adventure without any danger. We took advantage of the stone cliffs next to the waterfall – chanting while facing the stone created a powerful vibration of resonating sound. I took lots of pictures. It was so beautiful and peaceful and the plant life was always changing. Sunny areas held cactus, and the dappled shade was a haven for wildflowers and wild fruits. Leia ate as many wild raspberries as she could find. Groves of ponderosa pines smelled of vanilla and the pine needles provided a soft blanket beneath our feet.
We got back just in time to eat a sack lunch and then headed to Tias’s for an asana practice to counter our morning hiking activities. My legs felt relief within a short time and, as usual, Tias had some creative new approaches to forward bends.
We had a little time off, then a few of us ate an early dinner at Jambo Cafe (I highly recommend!) I had a Moroccan stew with raisins and sweet potatoes in it that was so delicious and flavorful. Trip advisor gives Jambo Cafe top rating and deservedly so!
In the evening we went back to Tias’s, this time for an unusual class with Nicolai and Surya Little. Surya Little guided us in supported restorative poses. As we relaxed into each pose, Nicolai chanted some of his favorite chants. It was a transformative experience for many of us. I just loved it! Being fully relaxed and supported allowed the sound vibrations to deeply penetrate. And the sincerity of Nicolai live chanting was significantly more powerful than just putting on some chanting CD. You could feel the prana of sound in a way that no recording could ever provide.
We ended the evening with agni hotra, an ancient Vedic fire ceremony where you throw rice into a fire of cow dung fueled with ghee. As you throw the rice offering into the fire, you think of something in your life you want to transform. The burning of the rice represents the transformation of your thought.
What a special day for all of us. One I will always remember. It was deeply healing for me. – Lori Gaspar