Let me warn you: This is not for the faint-hearted. This is not for the ones who easily feel embarrassed in public. And not for those who are afraid of making weird noises either. If you decide to go ahead, you’ll find yourself huffing and puffing while a teacher is watching you closely to check if you’re doing it right.
The noise you’ll be producing vaguely resembles a sneeze, but one that you failed to suppress. It’s a forceful exhalation through your nose, a bit like blowing it, but without any tissues involved. Importantly, you have to close your eyes. Not only to aid concentration, but also to skip the pitiful and bewildered looks bystanders will bestow on you.
So what’s the benefit of all this? Read the rest of this entry
I have been to India numerous times, travelling mostly by myself. Recently a friend was planning to go but got worried by what she was reading in the news. ‘Do you think it’s still safe?’ she wanted to know.
Replying YES would have felt like belittling recent atrocities, brushing them aside like an annoying fly we won’t worry about once it’s out of sight.
Replying NO would have been a slap in the face for millions of well-meaning, friendly and helpful people who genuinely welcome tourists.
Until recently, women travellers could at least take comfort from the fact that it was more or less safe in the foreigner-bubble. Not anymore. A Swiss woman has been raped, a British woman jumped from her hotel balcony on the second floor, injuring both legs, frightened of the hotel owner who (she says / he denies) wanted to enter her room at 4 am. A yoga student on the way to her 4.30 am class in Mysore has been groped and almost raped. Read the rest of this entry
Really, forget all the Lululemon gear, the Manduka mats, just come and practise yoga with these powerful and inspiring women. You don’t need a thing – a concrete floor in a spartan classroom is sufficient.
The women on the photo live with almost 2000 other Ethiopians in a refugee camp in Gorom, near the capital of South Sudan, Juba. Read the rest of this entry
I recently got inspired writing about Karma - and the reason is a cat. Yes, a cat. We met in Burma, out of all places.
Let me explain. You see, we were visiting this temple in Rangoon, gorgeous, by the way, and I am sitting there, all absorbed looking at the enormous Buddha statue with its several layers of gold leaf. I must have spent quite a while there, lost in thoughts. People around me were arriving, saying their prayers, some of them leaving, others staying, contemplating the mysteries of the universe.
And then she came. Of course I couldn’t be totally sure it was a she, but to my mind, cats are always female because they are in my native language. (My husband would always instinctively refer to a cat as ‘he’ because he’s French, and in French it’s le chat – don’t get me started. We had countless discussions about how a simple, tiny article can shape your perception of things). Read the rest of this entry
I know, I know. But there are some things that really puzzle me, and karma is just such a neat, tidy and convenient explanation (did you notice how nowadays everything’s about convenience? We even have convenience food!). Anyway, let me give you an example:
When I did my teacher training we were asked to step in front of the microphone and say why we were there. It’s an easy enough question one would think. Why are you here? After all you’ve just paid a few thousand dollars for the course, another few thousand for the plane ticket to India, and convinced your boss that it’s absolutely crucial you take this time off, right now. Read the rest of this entry
We’ve all been there. Repeating things in the hope that we’ll get better at them. That we SUCCEED.
Sometimes we do. Most of the times we don’t. Or at least not as quickly as we wish.
Now let me introduce you to this guy: We can say he’s had some minor setbacks. Some major ones, too. In fact so many, put together they even make a nice list:
Do you want to know how to be unhappy? Well, I’m surprised you read on, because most of us perfectly know how to be miserable. But hey, in case you forgot (or you’re one of these annoying people radiating positive energy!), here’s a reminder:
- Compare yourself to others (remember: you’re unique – just like everyone else)
- Want the things you cannot possibly have (even though this longing seems to make at least the beauty industry happy…)
- Focus on climbing the ladder, the goal – not on the joyful things happening on the journey (just to realise that after all your ladder was leaning against the wrong wall, ahem)
- Complain about your situation to everyone who cares to listen (which, eventually, will be fewer and fewer people, until you realise that you’re the only one who can change the things you complain about – even if it’s just changing your view on them)
- Constantly think of the past and the things that happened, or rather: shouldn’t have happened (until time travel is invented, that’s a waste of the very precious present moment, leaves you unable to act in the NOW and consequently gives you more sad stuff to dwell on in the future, namely the things you should have done NOW – and haven’t…)
- Have unreasonable expectations Read the rest of this entry