I was practicing yoga alone the other day in the yoga room at the Paro lodge when I heard a commotion outside. I looked out the window and saw an ox and cow grazing on the land behind the spa. I knew that they shouldn't have been there by the hotel standards but I didn't want to call security to disturb them. No guests were around and they looked so peaceful. So I just watched them eat and listened to them "moooo" for a while. Eventually they moved past the spa area and into very common areas so I was forced to call the management to have them sent on their way. It may sound so simple and maybe silly, but watching wild animals live is always so inspiring to me. I turn into a little kid and "ooh" and "ahh" at every cow, horse, chicken, mule... etc that I see along the way. In the US we are disconnected completely from the natural wildlife, save for maybe pigeons.
Later that day when I was teaching the staff class for yoga, I kept gushing about these cows. The staff, used to having wildlife walk into their villages and maybe even their houses, thought I was nuts. I kept going on and on about this beautiful black ox with the most gorgeous horns and how it was perfect with my yoga. Then out of nowhere these three pretty birds all lined up on a branch outside the window. One of the staff noticed it and pointed them out. they were all next to each other at first and the staff commented on how you never see three sitting directly wing to wing with each other on one branch. Again I was having this amazing connection with how wonderful nature is. Unfortunately I only had my old iphone which is slow and doesn't have the best camera, so the picture is a little blurry and also I couldn't snap it in time with the birds next to each other.
Part of yoga is about connecting with ourselves and our natural surroundings. We're one with ourselves, with nature, with the universe. To be able to practice yoga in surroundings that are so connected with nature is truly a blessing. We make these safe and welcomed studios in big cities to help us feel more connected with ourselves and less connected with the busyness and disconnectedness of the cities and that is wonderful and I'm so grateful for all the studios that I've been fortunate enough to practice in. But to look outside and see ox grazing, birds chirping, horses plowing fields, cows pooping and to be so close to it, to nature... well it brings me back to a place I've never been but where I always belong (if that makes sense).
But now I find myself writing on my computer on a beautiful sunny day in the beautiful valley of Punakha with birds chirping all around. And I can't help but think, "What the fuck am i doing staring into this machine... I should go for a nature walk or hike." So off I go to explore the beautifulness that is this region of Bhutan. To explore the beautifulness that is the life I live.