Tremendous Day, Part 2: Visiting the Krishna Temple

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The sun is setting on a tremendous day. Utterly tremendous -- that's all there is to it.

The tremendousness has had three distinct parts, but I'm going to document the second part first (primarily because it's the part I have pictures of).

This is the Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah. I was driving through Spanish Fork towards Payson a few months ago and I passed this ... phenomenal sight. The sign said "Tours - 10 AM to 7 PM," but I was on a schedule and couldn't stop.

Today, with buckets of time on my hands and an aching to explore, I made my way back (over many confusing state routes) and ventured inside. The temple is not as big as it seems in the picture above or any of the other pictures I've seen; it's actually cozy and intimate, if you can believe that. I walked in and was immediately asked, "Are you here for yoga?" Evidently, a Hatha Yoga class was scheduled to start soon. (I ended up getting this question three more times in the following ten minutes.) A little girl told me forcefully to "go see the birds, the llamas, and the cows."

I wandered around the temple for a few minutes and decided to join in the yoga class, taught by an honest-to-goodness monk. While I didn't know what to expect in terms of time commitment or intensity of the class, I figured that this whole day was an experiment in going with the flow and following my gut instinct. I could get up and leave whenever it felt right, or I could stay all day.

The class was wonderful. I was challenged just a little bit in the actual physical practice of the yoga, but for the most part, I was comfortable with the poses. Unlike any time that I've done yoga in the past, I genuinely didn't care how I stacked up in comparison to the other students; I wasn't competing. And what's more, I felt alive and settled in my body.

Lucky for me, this was no down-at-Gold's-Gym, run-of-the-mill yoga class. I was sitting in a Hindu temple, after all, and I was learning from a certified monk. After we spent roughly an hour on the physical practice, we moved on to another chapter, and this second hour was all sitting on cushions, singing, listening, and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra 108 times. It felt invigorating at some points, confusing at others, but I liked it overall. My favorite was the singing (a particular kind of singing with a sacred Hindu name, which I've inconveniently forgotten), done as a sort of call-and-respond hymn with an ever-changing tune that each individual practitioner revised at will. It was a gorgeous thing to hear. I thought of the verse from Doctrine & Covenants, section 25 verse 12: "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing ..." This was definitely a song of the heart, and it felt like prayer.

While I'm sure I could have taken pictures inside the temple without bothering anyone, it just felt ... I don't know, a little irreverent. Must be the Mormon in me. Trust me when I say it was beautiful. For today at least, pictures of the outside will have to suffice.

Hat: literally found it on the ground, on University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City
Super-colorful sweater: Liz Claiborne brand, $10 (thrifted at Saver's in Layton, Utah)
Brown sweater: Gap, borrowed from my husband (I didn't shrink it on purpose, I swear!)
Plaid shirt (worn underneath): Ross, $9
Gloves that are also mittens: Christmas present from my mom
Jeggings: gift from my mom (purchased at Ross)
Leather boots: Christmas present from my mom (purchased at Target)

This is Nikunja, the daughter of some of the temple's caretakers. She is a precocious, assertive young girl (which just so happens to be my favorite kind). Her demands that I go see the peacocks, llamas, and cows never let up, and the monk who led yoga had to reprimand her several times for distracting the class members (but the distractions were cute, I must say).

Here, Nikunja is offering the llamas some icicles to eat. What could be better, I ask you?

Check it out: Part 1 of my tremendous day (click)
Check it out: Part 3 of my tremendous day (click)


  1. What an amazing experience at that temple. I definitely have to go see that sometime. (I loved your outfit today!)

  2. Ok, so she is just precious! As are you! Love your colorful sweater...and what a beautiful place! I love little impromptu excursions...aren't they the best!

  3. Krisanne - It was seriously great! I highly suggest going down there, especially around 12:30 on a Saturday. In yoga attire. And if you can get there through the back roads rather than on the freeway, it's even BETTER.

    Ramsey - Impromptu excursions are the best, true. I feel so much more inclined to take them in the summer; I guess I feel free-er and more adventurous when I don't have to bundle up. But this winter day was just ripe for exploring, somehow. And I got some nice compliments from you out of it, so it's that much better! =)


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