McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh, India

Press the center of the heel down and connect with the earth and everything will be okay. The last day of yoga. I should have been writing notes on all the poses but haven’t. Pressing the center of the heel down and stretching out the toes is what I remember at the moment.

Backward bends make you more extrovert, forward bends make you more introvert.

There was a party at the yoga center this evening. The teacher is a bit of a musician. Someone described him as an Indian Elvis, but I think he’s more of an Indian Roy Castle. He can play the didgereedoo (he owns two), guitar, Indian drums (I can’t remember the word for them) and he sings. There was an instrument for everyone. We sat around a fire, drinking chai, eating cookies and making noises.

There was a thunder storm today. It’s made the sky clear and the air cool. Sheltering in a restaurant on the side of a hill, women dressed in orange across the valley took shelter too. That was a wedding party. They’d been making a lot of noise earlier, and for the past two days. Higher up the mountain two Shiva houses were visible. These are small white huts, like mini-temples, dotted over the Himalayas. They’re supposed to be homes for the god Shiva. Shiva is a dreadlocked chillum smoking god who lives in the mountains. There are also a number of holy men following his example, living in huts and caves smoking a lot in order to get close to him.


  1. Anonymous · 24 November 2006

    smoking god¿?¿?

  2. paul · 25 November 2006

    I don’t know if Shiva himself smokes, maybe some people think he does, but certainly a number of people believe that by smoking they get closer to Shiva. A bit like Christians drinking wine to get close to Jesus?