Yoga practice is coming a bit easier with every passing day, as I am finding myself catching my fingertips and toes significantly more than I could a few days ago. During the morning break, Julia and I went on a run through the path I found yesterday, determined to reach the temple that is perched at the top of the mountain. After running by the post office, we picked up the trail I found yesterday, running by the back way into our hotel. Soon, we were standing at the foot of the temple, straining our necks to get a glimpse of the top. We began climbing the cement stairs towards the top; there must have been 100 steps total, all winding up the side of the mountain. The temple was beautiful and we were given a protecting prayer by the temples priest, who appeared out of nowhere somewhere near the top floors of the temple. It was a wonderful experience. Maybe it was the blessing we received, or maybe it was being up above the city with a birds eye view. Or maybe it was the sense of accomplishment of finding a secret place by ourselves. But as we left and headed back to school, trying our best not to roll down the ridiculously step hill that lead back to town, we laughed and both agreed that we had just become officially part of Rishikesh, initiated, welcomed. The feeling was similar when a local shop owner asked me where I was from and when I replied “California”, he smiled and said “Oh, welcome home”.