Help the children in India by buying Guruji Calendar , follow the link to have a look , it is amazing!
If you are in Rishikesh you can just pop in the ashram and buy one for only 200 rupies:)
washing my feet in a ritual - crashing sound of water and thunders - bringing my hands to my forehead, feeling like I always did - rolling noodles with chopsticks on a spoon of soup - repeating sounds resembling words - feeling the sun gentle on my skin - echoing air con in the background - inhaling pollution - aching toes -meditating in massage - staring at life happening before me - learning - listening -winning fights on pennys' ground - feeling stone, chaos of markets hypnotic colours awakening sounds hypnotic sounds awakening colours - experiencing - appreciating
politeness - tickling of spices in my mouth - feeling the ground with my bare feet, inebriating - contemplating temples - walking others foot prints, reminiscing monks' lives - floating mind - escaping thoughts - drinking - dancing - spinning new faces around me, reminding the unknown - staring at the city lights from an open window ,
happening life - walking surrounded by digestible shapes and smells, calling you with squeaky voices - standing on trains, TV in the background - respecting the king on Monday's yellow t-shirt - sweating sunshine - crawling crowds of sex market whispering loud "ping pong show, ping pong show", disbelieving indifference -frying bugs - shopping malls, temptation labyrinths shining, tidy steel corruption - holding tight on racing scooters juggling allies of unknown poverty - smiling children - finding peace within clear deep eyes simplicity, purity, forgotten
things - running dogs, homeless dirty puppies surviving fights fighting life - introspecting in yoga - energizing - spreading rays reaching others - sa wat dee ka , korp kun ka - absorbing life - fading images brought back to me - floating - peace
I would like to share with you the story of an inspiring and loving woman, Sri Anandamayi Ma.
I had the pleasure of visiting her temple on one of my trips to India and I went back many times ever since.
The first time I set in meditation in her temple, with no expectations, I receive a special message from her.
I was really sceptic about "hearing staff " so I thought that I was just a bit overwhelmed by my India experience and started imagining things. However, I than spoke to and heard of many people which reported speaking to her in meditation, as her presence is very strong and " she likes to chat:))) " as they say.
Here below is an extract on her life from her organisation website and link to her website if you would like to read more about her:
" Sri Ma Anandamayi today is widely recognized as a personality of great spiritual eminence. She was born a hundred years ago and she took samadhi at the age of 86 ; these limitations, however, cannot said to have conditioned her utter freedom to be just herself under all circumstances. She was the embodiment of a joyous self-sufficiency, which enraptured the hearts of all who came near her.
The mysterious aloofness of her personality was totally beyond human understanding and yet it was so
tempered by her compassionate love for all living creatures that she seemed closer than the most indulgent friend ever could be. She was the Teacher whose guidance was sought by the learned as well as the simple, the old and also children, people from alien cultures or from traditional backgrounds.
Although she travelled incessantly, it was seen that she was at home everywhere and no one was a stranger to her. Throughout the length and breadth of India and also beyond its shores people found her to be, as if the personification of their own inner vision of the Adored one who is most dear to their hearts.
If you are around Rishikesh you can take a short drive to
Tehri Garhwal , about 40 min away and visit one of the most beautiful holistic resorts in the area, Ananda in the Himalayas.
Ananda is a stunning palace and used to be the residence of the Maharaja many years ago, but also to my great surprise I found out that Anandmayi Ma ( a spiritual guide and saint) visited and lived there for many years , in a small room on the palace terrace.
This place is the perfect blend of luxury and holistic. The suggestive settings on the top of a mountain overlooking the Holy town of Rishikesh and the precisely looked after gardens in the resort grounds accompany you into a journey of holistic bliss.
At Ananda you can experiment a full range of holistic treatments in the Spa (one of the biggest spa I have ever seen), but also you can take part to a great range of classes to get a deeper understanding of the Indian culture and the yogic lifestyle. They have fully ayurvedic menus , but also the option of indian specialties if you feel like indulging yourself..
My ideal day when there was:
Meditation classes to start the day, yoga and a ayurvedic breakfast. Than join the Vedanta class for some philosphy discussions. Relax in the spa for some tailor made massage treatments for the rest of the morning reading a book and sipping herbal tea.
In the afternoon more yoga followed by a class of choice: they often run special classes from specialized guest teachers , while I was there they had the Art Therapy course.
For the early evening more vedanta and meditation or you can also join one of the cooking classes which runs every couple of days.
In the evening there is usually some entertainment which sees local artists performing.
Here for you couple of my favourite recipes I have learnt while there :
LEMON AND CORIANDER SOUP
40g button mushrooms
40g pock Choy
5g sea salt
5ml lemon juice
1g white pepper
30g corn flour
10g spring onions chopped
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of coriander finely chopped
800ml vegetable stock
In a pot put together the vegetable stock and all the veggies.
Bring it to boil and while boiling make sure that you clean the scum from the top.
When veggies are cooked add the seasoning and the lemon juice and serve with a little coriander sprinkled on top.
STEEL CUT OAT UPMA
300 g oats
150g sliced onions
10g chopped green chilli
5g curry leaves
25g finely diced carrots
25g finely diced French beans
40ml oil (freshly pressed sunflower is better)
10g mix lentils
3g mustard seeds
175ml fresh milk
I a large pan heat the oil in and add the mustard seeds, when they finish popping add the dal (lentils) the cashew nuts and let them sauté' until golden.
Add the onions, ginger , curry leaves and chillies and let sauté' until the onions are ready.
Add the oats and let them cook until they are turning lightly brown.
Start adding the milk by whisking it through to avoid creating lumps. You can use hot water instead if you prefer.
When all the milk is absorbed the Upma is ready.
This is a great option for breakfast , you can serve it with different chutneys.
Enjoy it :)
When I was India at the Anand Prakash Ashram in Rishikesh, where I studied, I was introduced to the children sponsor program that they have set up in order to support the local and nearby community.
What they do: they match children with appropriate sponsors and provide a communication link between the child and sponsor. Children are supported through their school education and sponsors are provided with school reports and regular updates of the child’s progress. Also children and sponsors are encouraged to stay in touch by writing letters to each others. They also support the family of the child as they are a great part in the success of their child's education.
You can make a huge impact on a child future and life with a very small contribution.
Here are 3 different ways you can sponsor (the amounts are quoted in Canadian Dollars ):
If you want to get involved please follow the link below
Today I connected to my guruji which now is in Canada and soon will go back to India to run a teacher training.
So I thought to share with you the link to his website as he is amazing and I wish for anyone to be able to attend his course.
The amount of knowledge that he shares with you is behond words , is a way of being .
I was in India with him on another training just couple of months ago and every time, to my surprise still, I undertake an amazing transformational experience.
Thank you Guruji!
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge in yoga related anatomy and can't go to attend a course abroad or have limited time to study, I have just the right course for you.
I took this course early last year and it was fantastic!
The Australia based teacher Simon Borg, runs Yoga Synergy school since 1984. Yoga Synergy is based on the deep use of the anatomical knowledge to deepen and evolve asanas and your practice, SimonBorg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss being physiotherapists and yoga practitioners themselves developed this over 30 yrs, also based on the teachings of Professor T. Krishnamacharya.
You need a good internet connection, as the lectures are all online and at times they run for more than an hr , it is well explained and illustrated with asanas and demos. You also access a great community and info sharing with all the other poeple that are or have been on the course.
For more info follow the link below:
In my teaching experience I often had athletes joining my class and it is quite interesting to see how, often, their approach to yoga is quite different: they know their body well and they are seeking to balance a sport routine which often develops or tightens certain area of the body more than others. Sometimes there is also a struggle with the understanding of the depth and non competitiveness of yoga itself, being used to being part of a competitive sport environment is hard to let go and just be with no expectations.
I found that the book below had quite a good insight on a different approach and suitable yoga for balancing an athletic lifestyle.
The Athlete's guide to Yoga : an integrated approach to strength , flexibility and focus. By Sage Rountree
Sage Rountree and athlete herself, decided to develop, through her understanding of an athlete body, the most suitable yoga balancing asanas.
Sage also offers online classes:
Her website is : www.sagerountree.com
I was just skipping through some yogic news today from the Yoga Journal Blog and I came across this article about Rodney Yee and his new program with Urban Zen ( www.urbanzen.org ) which helps training nurses and doctors in hospitals to use yoga as a complementary therapy. Fantastic ! Apparently more than 300 doctors and nurses will be trained to bring yoga into hospitals.
Check it out:
If you are looking into gathering some great knowledge on yoga and its history and philosophy this is an amazing DVD.
Not easy to get as you need to either order it online or, for example, I found it at the Jivamukti studio in New York; possibly some well stocked yoga studios might have it.
Is a little pricy but it is totally worth the money , it will give you a great insight on yoga through the testimonials of some amazing yogis spread throughout 2 DVDs of 3hr15.
You can sit back and relax and learn a lot:)
When I was in New York last week I went for a yoga class at Kula Yoga ( http://www.kulayoga.com )
I had an early morning class with a young teacher called Lori and she introduced some different postures in her blend of styles of yoga . She trained with Shiva Rea but also she was applying the signature style of Yoga Kula (working towards a specific goal through the all class , building up to achieve a specific posture at the end of the class with repetitive themes) , the whole sequence was enriched by some strong and unusual asanas, she later explained that she learnt an ancient form of martial art inspired by the strength of the animal spirits originated in Southern India , Kalari. Some of the postures really felt energizing, especially by using pressure points while holding the asana.
Here a brief explanation:
The origins of the ancient martial art of Kalari-payattu are lost in hoary antiquity. According to some of its proponents, it was the sage Agastya Muni who developed the Kalari fighting technique, while others claim that the great warrior-incarnation of Vishnu, Parashurama created Kalari.
Kalaripayattu is indigenous to the South Indian state of Kerala and derives its name from the Malayalam word ‘Kalari’ which literally means ‘battlefield’. "
Check out more:
My friend Justin couple of days ago sent me the link to a free download of one of his amazing songs, his 2008 debut "As The Sun Meets The Moon." The link below
will take you to the free download .
If you'd like to make a contribution to his upcoming release, there is an option to donate when you download the free album .
Stay tuned as he will release a new album entitled "Momentous Change" soon, you can take a listen to a single from the upcoming album called "Keys To The
Enjoy it:) and thank you again Justin
A Passionate Yoga Teacher, Appreciating Joy within each and everyone's Smile. Grateful for her Yoga Life, Experimenting and Searching for Innovative Healthy Food, Music Soul, Interested in all New/Alternative Therapies, Seeking for any Dance & Art & Cultural Stimulation, Hopeless Travel Addict and Animal Lover, especially 4 her gorgeous border collie Joy;)