Recently, I've been asked to be part of the Yoga Gives Back organization serving as Regional Representative in Sweden. I'm sincerely honored and humbled to align myself with the powerful work YGB supports in uplifting the lives of those stricken with paralyzing poverty in India. In the future, I'll be posting more information and videos centered around the great work being done. There's nothing better than paying forward all the blessings bestowed through the practice of yoga. Truly!
Above, is a video highlighting the beauty of micro-finance from the man who started it all, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
Now, through the inspiring vision of Kayoko Mitsumatsu, the president of Yoga Gives Back, she has expanded this vision to the woman of India inspiring those who practice yoga to be involved.
For more information, please visit, www.yogagivesback.org.
"The task of all tasks is to transform what is insignificant into greatness, what is inconspicuous into radiance; to present a speck of dust in a way that shows it to be part of the whole so that one cannot see it without also instantly seeing all of the stars and the heavens’ deep coherence to which it intimately belongs." - Rilke
Ahhhh. I'm slowly breaking into blogging regularly again. Feels nice. Hard to believe I've been living in Sweden for over a year and a half now. Will be two years in mid-November. Although, much of that time I've traveled outside Sweden. In many regards it feels natural being here. I mean, Swedes are quite normal down to earth people. Culturally, it hasn't been all that challenging to flow with life here. It's a progressive country. Stockholm is clean and livable, with a big, little city feel. The winters haven't scared me off too significantly. I've made quite a few friends who are living here as foreigners and we often joke that the ones who complain the most about the weather are the Swedes themselves! Funny how the amnesia sets in, because winter feels like a distant memory. Summers in Sweden are stunning. I feel no need to be anywhere else this time of year.
What's been keeping me busy is the start of a new Mysore program. I've done this before knowing it takes an abundance of time and energy in the beginning. With that, I've been battling fatigue. Kinda started since India. I brought home parasites. Had to do a cleanse to take care of that. Think it addressed some issues with my diet. So, I've been tweaking in that area. Looks like I'm low on iron, hence the fatigue. It's been low grade in that I've been able to still practice, teach and work. However, it just made it more challenging.
Added a few things to the diet which have seemed to really help. Sometimes you can be so deficient it takes a while to simply get back up to equal footing. I've come to a point where I don't want to be defined by diet or labeled as being something that pertains to what I eat, such as vegan, or vegetarian. Does that mean I eat mostly vegetarian? Well, yes. Often vegan. However, I never want to restrict myself into a box. Whole, organic foods are where it's at. Knowing where your food comes from is extremely important. Connecting with farmers who use best practices in their methods is another necessary element. With that being said, I've added a daily supplementation of krill oil (non-vegetarian, obviously), and it's been amazing. Great for muscle recovery. Gonna give this ago for a while, since, like I said before, been deficient in a few areas. I'm very thankful for the krill. Hard to believe those little guys are food for most whales - our biggest mammals on earth. If so inclined, google krill oil and see what you find. There's loads of good information.
Also been experimenting with taking coconut oil. Working my way up to 3 heaping tablespoons daily, maybe 4. Wow. It's amazing stuff. I've always known about the wonders of coconut oil, but never committed to making it a mainstay to my diet. I can really tell the difference, and looking forward to observing the long term effects. What I didn't know beforehand was that ingesting it helps to prevent and kill parasites. Something I will have to remember during my next trip to India. Coconuts are in abundance in Mysore. Duh. I was always slathering the oil all over my body, drinking coconut water, but never consuming the oil. The missing link!
Besides yoga, learning about nutrition and longevity are hobbies of mine. I can't seem to help it. Been tuning into some ground breaking information in regards to this. I like to experiment and see how things affect me (within reason). For one, there is so much misinformation out there. Going mainstream is definitely a no, no. To many agendas. Most importantly, I've continued to have an open mind in regards to it all, while releasing belief systems and labels. In doing that, I've felt tons better. It's all about balance. It's all about listening, too. Most people are so disengaged from their own bodies, anxious, or even trying to mold themselves into something they are not, that they don't even give themselves the opportunity to listen to their own intuitive guidance. Like one Ayurvedic doctor told me, "if you make eating an issue, it will be an issue. It's not a problem. Listen to what your body needs, and most importantly chew your food thoroughly!" Hahaha. I like that last part. Eating low on the food chain as much as possible is another no brainer.
It's amazing how the world is viewed in brighter color when feeling more energized. Whoo-hoo! Also, my boyfriend has made the point that acclimating to a new environment/culture/life can also attribute to the wind being taken out of my sails from time to time. I can see his point. Even positive stress, is still stress. Takes awhile to adjust. My little brain cells are being rewired constantly especially with the language. It's amusing how when I hear English it seems to come into my awareness at full volume. When I hear Swedish it pulls back into the background. Not really the best habit I've adopted. The language thing is moving at a snail's pace. I'm definitely the turtle, not the hare, in this little scenario. Hahaha.
I've got some good things to look forward too. Like, my sister coming to visit with her family in a little over a week. Selfishly, I can't wait to tickle my little niece. She's the cutest. Should be fun. Stockholm is a great city to show off. During that time Yogayama, the studio that hosts the Mysore program, will be taking a two week break. I wasn't too privy to this idea, but it's the European way! Taking time off. My American mind is wired so differently. But it's great, Swedes see the importance in the quality of life. When students tell me they'll be going on vacation, I'm be like, great, I'll see you in a week or two. No, no, no, it's more like 5 weeks. It's the most natural thing in the world.
"To love and to be love is to feel the Sun on both sides." -David Viscott
Embarrassingly, I've been really behind on my postings. There's been plenty to talk about, write about, complain about, whatever, but I just haven't had the focus or inclination to sit still long enough. Blah. Yeah, I've been nagging about this for sometime now. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. Repeat. Repeat. At any rate, I might as well get some of you out there, that is, if you are STILL out there, an update on what I've been up too.
Granted it's early July, but let's rewind back to early May. When I had the pleasure of practicing with Peter Sanson, one of the few Certified Ashtanga yoga teachers, for the second time (pictured above). Can you believe he'll be 50 next year! Amazing. I won't go on and on with accolades, but truly, Peter Sanson is one of the best. Radically humble, unassuming, totally focused. It seems to me the better the teacher, the worse their online presence is! I was actually talking to a colleague about this. You just can't seem to find much about Peter online. He doesn't participate in marketing and all that, not that it's bad, but well, when you meet him you truly feel his heartfelt sincerity in regards to his time with Guruji and what it means, down to the very core, to do this practice daily. I just can't say it enough how essential he is to the greater Ashtangi community. The simplicity of his message speaks loud and clear. BREATHE. Relax. Let the breath and movement be your guide. Be aware of what arises in that. That is the practice. That's the yoga.
As a person he beams. He's grounded. He's just real. No airs at all. I think that is what makes him exemplary. He's just damn normal. Thank God! When you practice under his guidance it's ultimately about you, not him, and guiding you through the integrity of the practice in a way that softens the practitioner, not hardens. He has a real gift in that. It's all about quality, not quantity. Not how far, but how deep.
I had to jump at the chance to practice with him when the opportunity arose in that my practice life is solitary. Yes. I'm a home practitioner and have been for a LONG time. Working with an experienced practitioner/teacher such as Peter is invaluable. Simply being in the presence of it is enough.
Peter's stories in regards to his encounters with Guruji are truly special. Often he was the only Westerner practicing in the shala among a sprinkling of Indian practitioners. His life for over 20 years entailed of annual, extended trips to Mysore to practice with his teacher. It's an inspiring story, and one I don't want to spoil or taint with my own words. It's his story to share, and one worth hearing.
Thank you, Peter (though a little bit late!)