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Yoga holiday for Pakistanis at Hindu Kush Heights

After a yoga camp in India helped her rediscover and cleanse herself, a young Pakistani practitioner is trying to organise similar camps in the relatively safe locales here.

Aisha Chapra, a Karachi-based yoga teacher, found solace in yoga as she was trying to tide over a bad patch. She was depressed, disoriented and directionless and yoga gave her peace.

But the real self-discovery came at a camp last year at Sivananda Kutir, on the banks of the river Ganga in Uttarkashi, where she was nicknamed “Sathya” by the “Mataji” in-charge of the ashram.

“We began with honouring Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, and suffering, and then we honoured Lord Vishnu, the preserver of our manifested universe,” she posted on her blog.

In the third week, with the full moon lunar eclipse close by, we offered flower, kum kum, and rice to the Divine Mother. And in our last week we asked Lord Siva, the King of Dance, to pull us through the last of our blocks,” she wrote.

Chapra’s first “incredibly successful” yoga holiday in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region was shortly after her India visit. Now she is busy planning her second holiday in the picturesque Hindu Kush Heights.

The exclusive holiday planned for September 21-28 is open to only 10 people and will cost over a lakh Pakistani rupees.

Asked to describe the difficulties encountered in organising her first camp, Chapra told PTI: “Well it wasn’t difficult at all! Chitral is safe to travel to, and most of the guests had been wanting to visit Northern Pakistan, especially Hindu Kush Heights at Chitral, but had not found a group of people to go with and doing yoga was a really big attraction for most of the guests.”

Chapra said, for her, the holiday was an “amazing learning experience as a yoga teacher”.

“We spent most of our days in Mastuj, a smaller village in upper Chitral, where we met lots of locals in our daily walks and practiced yoga on the beautiful grounds of the Mastuj Fort (Hindu Kush Hotel),” she said.

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