Dear fellow-yogis at NSY,

I got back to Sydney yesterday and want to use this forum to say Thank you all for your generous support to Amnesty financially; and even more so, a huge emotional boost to me!

By the Grace of God, I was able to complete and achieve my goal of summiting Kilimanjaro without any issues – mental or physical.

I strongly believe that Ashtanga Yoga and its regular practice held me in real good stead in more ways than one. I had all the porters and guides doing Surya Namaskaara with me every morning on the mountains. I am told that one of the trekkers who went me has captured it on their camera – shall share the vision with you all when it makes its way into my inbox!

The discipline of breathing deep and full was particularly useful on Summit night when oxygen saturations dropped to 76-80% (normally above 96%) – I could hear Sarah’s voice guiding us in class to breathe deeply and with ‘sound’ and expand our ‘back ribs’! Along with this came the instruction to my mind of ‘moving seamlessly and effortlessly between poses’….don’t know about effortless, but seamlessness came into being when putting one foot in front of another day after day for 7-9 hours a day; but most of all on Summit Night when we walked from ~10.30PM and reached summit at 7AM in extremely cold weather (negative 17 degrees Celsius), the rapid walk downwards for another 4 hours afterwards notwithstanding!

Keeping my mind focused on climbing that night was definitely a product of my Yoga practice – focused internally on my own breathing, keeping in mind the various bandhas to help with the weight of my backpack, moving one step at a time; yet acknowledging and being aware of the extreme fatigue – my own and that of other climbers, very cold winds, etc etc etc

I truly felt very energized after this walk up Kilimanjaro – being riddled with old-age arthritic aches and pains here in Sydney, I was amazed at how there was not a twinge when we were on the mountain – the air being so clear, the mind very relaxed, and sumptuous and wholesome freshly cooked food – no processed foods at all was served apart from sliced bread!

So, I say thank you all and in particular to all the teachers at NSY – Angelika, Kate, Petra, Philippa, and Lisa; my very special gratitude and Pranaam to my guru, Sarah.

Wishing you all the very best that the future has to hold.

Suchitra