Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan. January 2019

Issyk-Kul in Winter

Here I am in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, for a total of 5 months, before hitting the Himalayan mountain passes when the relaxed April weather will allow it. I love life’s the twists and turns. This temporary sedentariness balances the fervor of my walk through Kazakhstan, and besides, who said sedentary can’t rhyme with crazy?

Crazy is the best way for me to describe the New Year’s retreat organized by my mom and Phillip Guruji, towards whom I cannot possibly express enough gratitude. Choosing the coldest time of the year to plunge into the coldest conditions – a nearly frozen high-altitude lake named Issyk Kul, surrounded by the Tian Shan mountains – the beginning of the Himalayas. On top of the everyday Yoga practice from dawn to dusk, we would cross the snow to take gradually increasing dips into the lake, starting at 5 minutes, then 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, and finally 20. The states this would put us in are hard to describe – psychedelic to say the least – and the deepest bonds formed between us as we sing, laugh, shiver and shake uncontrollably in a slightly worrying state that we come to appreciate.

And Midnight of New Year’s was spent neck-deep in the lake, with a bottle of champagne (don’t tell the other yogis), a heart full of joy and a sky full of light. All that to say, happy new year to all, may this cycle start freshly, brightly, full of awareness and love, of appreciation, of love, of sacredness, of breathing, of love. May you be happy. I love you all!

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