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Easter Monday is a Yoga Day!

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Jivamukti Yoga and Ashtanga yoga are the two loves of my life!

So if you wish to share my passion for these practices, join Jeanine and I Friday 18th of April for a Jivamukti Yoga workshop (scroll down for details) followed by a conscious dinner at l’o13tôt.

Monday 21st will be a Mysore class at the usual Babayoga location (rue Pré-Jérôme 6). From 10:00 am till 11:30 am I will happily and lovingly adjust you during a traditional Mysore Style Class.

For this class a minimum of participants is requested, so please do sign up latest Sunday 20th of April 7pm at the following address:

jogeneva@yahoo.com

I will email you back with the door code and confirmation if the class is taking place.

Have a smashing Easter!

Hari OM

We are going to turn you upside down!

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Greetings to you all!

As you may have read the title, yes, this workshop is going to emphasise on putting your feet above your head. No need to know how to do it!!! You will take it at your own pace to your own limits, but we will happily help you out of your comfort zone, BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE MAGIC THINGS HAPPEN!

In India, headstand and shoulder stand, just to mention two main inversions, are called the King and the Queen of postures. The benefits are just so numerous and very encouraging. Seriously, if we had more time in our daily practice (it often takes us about 2 hours just to mention asana) we would Jeanine and I most likely spend an hour inverted. Well, maybe not, but we could stay much longer then our regular 25 breaths.

Turning yourself self upside down doesn’t just increase self-confidence, it tones the muscular body, it slows down the aging proces, it reduces stress as well as anxiety, is good for the immune system, gives you a complete different perspectives of things… and the list is so much longer.

So come and join us for a workshop packed with inversions, don’t fear the practice, we will be two teachers lovingly assisting you through all the class.

It will take place at Soluna, Rue du Môle 14, 1201 Geneva. Easter Friday the 18th of April. The workshop will start at 18:00 and go on for two hours, please arrive 15 minutes early. We have plenty of mats and props, just bring your lovely self and enough change….. we usually lack that!

You may also join us for “one of a kind of dinner” that will be a three course vegan meal cooked by our loving and conscious sister Imane. The restaurant is an institution and Imane has been cooking for all for over 20 years. The food is entirely local, organic and seasonal. Don’t miss the best conscious Easter Dinner! Ilôt 13 – Rue des Gares at 20:30.

L’O13′TO

The workshop is 50 CHF (35 CHF for students with cards and unemployed, dreamers, drifters 40 CHF)

Three course vegan meal 27 CHF

So do send us an email if you are attending the workshop, the dinner or both. The earlier we know the best! We will email you back with the door code for the Yoga hall. You may also invite friends or your partner and family to join you at the dinner table later.

yogawithjj@gmail.com

With love,

J&J

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME

That’s it, I have returned to base camp a couple of weeks ago. I am happy to be back, I am happy where ever I go. I am grateful for where the wind has blown me and will continue to be wherever that will be next. This journey, my tenth, eleventh or twelfth trip (I don’t know) to India, has been one of a kind this year. I feel young, I am young, but a “je ne sais quoi” of “life experience” has kicked in….. I went deep into my practice, had extensive philosophical conversations, sleepless nights thinking matter over, sound sleep with enchanting dreams, chanted till I was in trans, read a huge pile of books….. My soul has been fed and I am now chewing on it all. It is still unfolding and it will take me further more time to understand what I have been through.

I want to take the opportunity of this post to thank life for its generosity, for the offerings life grants you with constantly, just open your eyes, everyday is a gift. For the souls I met when on the road, Alyx, Adam, Priya, Sarah, Marta, LadyRuth, Tomo, Pete, Louise, David, Pippa, the Tiagos, Arun, Mark, Clive, Christiane….. I am delighted to have shared these precious times with you or connected with you again. Thank you, thank you for the laughter, thank you being yourself, thank for having been so kind and generous to me, thank you for sharing your food, your wisdom, your knowledge, your house and heart.

Thank you Sarath for you kind and loving way of conveying the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga, thank you Shiva Dev for being so patient with me trying to learn to play the harmonium, thank you Jayeshree for year after year chanting with all the Sutras of Patanjali and shedding light on them. Thank you Lakshmi for putting up with chuckling throughout Sankrit classes and  interpreting the Hatha Yoga Pradipika in such an authentic way.

You all have been part of my journey and for so responsible for shaping me in a slightly better person. I wish that life continues to help me grow into being a better teacher, to be of service to whoever is in need, to act without expecting result of my actions, to be non judgemental, to develop equanimity, to be kinder and more loving. To be…. free.

“I shall pass this way but once; any good therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall pass this way but once” – Stephen Grellet

I also want thank all my friends and family that put up with my crap when I leave, deal with my flat rental, post and non attended matters… you are all a key for these journeys to come true. Thanks to all the staff of Soluna, Babayoga and Insens for letting me go and take me back on when I return. I cannot express my gratitude to all the teachers that subbed all my classes in order for me to have plenty of work when I returned, BIG UP! Thank you Larisa for taking care of my nest so lovingly. And I thank ALL MY STUDENTS coming back to me as I return, it fills my heart with joy when I start teaching again to see you dedicated to the practice.

Last but no least, I am overjoyed to be with my sister Jeanine again… WE ARE COMING UP WITH A DATE FOR OUR NEXT WORKSHOP AND DINNER THIS WEEK! I can’t wait to work in our loving messy way to get our monthly Jivamukti Open Class together for you.

For ever grateful,

With love,

JO

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Chloé, my niece, is fascinated by the harmonium….

Focus of the Month

MARCH, 2014

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Bhakti Trumps All

The Lord does not reside in the heart of one who is always focused
on worldly affairs, …and is falsely attached to the path of action.

Shiksha Patra 32.4, translated by Shyamdas and Vallabhdas

A practitioner must be careful not to lose sight of the ultimate goal of yoga, which is God realization. Remembering God and being able to serve God should be foremost in our minds and hearts and should permeate all of our actions.  When we ask, “Make me an instrument for Thy Will, not mine but Thine be done, free me from anger, jealousy and fear, fill my heart with joy and compassion,” we are asking God to reside in our hearts and to use us as His instruments. That plea invokes the arising of humility within our hearts and diminishes pride and with it the tendency to identify ourselves as the doer of actions and instead acknowledges God as the ultimate doer.

The simplest definition of Jivamukti Yoga is “a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings.” Even though bhakti and ahimsa are both tenets of Jivamukti Yoga, there could arise a tendency to forget bhakti, devotion to God, and become overly consumed with promoting animal rights, veganism and environmentalism—or you could say saving the world—as a way to practice ahimsa and develop compassion in one’s daily life. We must be careful not to allow our activism to take priority over our devotion to God. If we do we will undoubtedly be bound by avidya and asmita—ignorance and ego identification and all the debilitating vices that come with those hindrances, like pride, anger, revenge and impatience, for example.

It is understandable that when a person becomes vegan and experiences the truth that has been kept from them for their whole life it can be a huge, cathartic awakening. Realizing how caught they had been, how indoctrinated into a cultural system founded on unquestioned prejudice against other animals, on enslaving, exploiting and eating them, as well on consumption of the Earth’s resources and the quest for money, it is not surprising that that awakening would come with a certain amount of zeal and a full on commitment to activism. After all, to have your world turned upside down, to see that what you previously thought of as “normal” is in fact a lie, could certainly motivate a person to a life of action. Passion for compassion is a good thing and should be fostered and honored. But if you become too obsessed with thinking that it is up to you to save the world, you could easily become prideful and identify yourself alone as the one that must accomplish great goals.

Remember that karma yoga is the yoga of selfless service. As described in the Bhagavad Gita it can only be truly practiced by someone who is willing to relinquish the fruits of their actions. A karma yogi is one who acts selflessly for the greater good, is humble and does not expect any reward, not even acknowledgement or appreciation from others for their good actions.

I am not saying that we should be apathetic and not aspire to live a committed life that focuses on uplifting the lives of others and making this world a better place. On the contrary, we should aspire to living in a way that enhances the lives of others and strive to abolish all forms of animal and Earth cruelty and selfish exploitation. I am only pointing out that if we neglect to remember God in our whirlwind of compassionate activism we will lose sight of our ultimate goal and mire ourselves in undeserved fame, trapping us deeper into the grips of ignorance and ego identification. The solution is to devotionally offer every thought, word and deed to God—striving to align with and love God more. Be humble and remember that the cause of everything is God. Don’t try to do everything all by yourself. Let go and let God be the doer; be His instrument, His conduit. When you can become a conduit for God’s grace then you “can-do-it.” Allow God to work through you and give God credit for any accomplishments you may appear to have achieved. When others congratulate you, immediately defer to the real doer who is behind every action and proclaim, “All glories to Shri Krishna!” If invoking Krishna is too religious for you, that’s fine, but at least be humble enough to defer to a power higher than your own limited, mortal self.

~ Sharon Gannon

SH*T MYSORE YOGI SAY

“I knew you were in here, I recognised your Havaianas” -Ajay

“I knew I got the day wrong when I didn’t recognised any of the shoes outside the Shala” -Jo

“I can’t find my shoes” -All of us

The Passenger

Play me and scroll down:

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Guru to Go

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Dale Carnegie

What is Jivamukti Yoga?

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Do we know what we like?

IMG_8445It is 3:30 am Sunday morning, I am sat on the floor in front of the gate of the Jois’s Shala. I am fully awake, though I had only slept very few hours.  I am from far not the first one out this morning, others yogis were there some time before me.

The opening led class on Sundays is at 4:30, but you do want to be here about an hour before your class schedule to make sure you are not practicing in the lobby or the changing room. Though there is nothing wrong about that and some people are happy to be in those spots, I’d rather be in the main hall.

IMG_8433I actually used to fear those times, before I had one of those allotted slots, my mischievous mind was looking for some kind of excuse to tell Sharath so I could be part of the next batch…. I obviously didn’t come up with a white lie, though I felt very inclined too. So here I am, in the middle of the night, pulling  my Bhagavad Gita out of my bag with a sigh……might as well make good use of all that waiting time.

I picked up my reading from where I left the day before and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

“What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.” B.G. 2.69

My mouth dropped. Well, well, I thought, I guess it is meant to be. So I read further and once the gates opened, dealt with the hectic rush into the Shala and rolled out my mat on the ground as fast as I could before I am left stranded with no space. The practice I swung felt amazing.

A couple of months down the road, those “middle of the night wake up” and “very early mornings practices” are my favourite. Of course if I give it the slightest thought, when the alarm clock goes off at 3am, I would rather stay in bed. The trick is not to let your mind trick you, get up and do your duty.

IMG_8436So at not even 6am, we are out, it is still pitch black and we are queuing up for a coconut to rehydrate after sweating so much. I start reflecting on how many things I dreaded in the past but presently love…  about how ironic is life. Or is it that things are not what we think they are, how many pre-conceived ideas I have had are actually erroneous?…. does the sense of pleasure inhibit our real sense of freedom? Mmmm, I will get back to you on that one!

Anyway, I walked home that day, with an immense sense of joy in my heart, as well as lightness and freedom. A star, only one single star was still high up in the sky. Because since I was a kid I believed souls would linger in stars until they would come back to earth, I greeted my late grandmother and made a wish…. GOOD NIGHT*

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Mysore Morning Routine….

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That is pretty much it! (click on me twice to enlarge.)

A Quote to Chew On….

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I met this beautiful couple in Bali this past August,where they teach. Prem and Radha have helped me with my practice more than I could have hoped for. Their dedication to yoga and their practice is beyond  average, the generosity of their teachings incomparable. They always come up with hilarious analogies to make you realise which patterns you are in by observing how you act on your mat. The quotes they refer too are inspiring. One Prem spoke about, is how average people set their priorities and how backwards it is…. he mentioned these few lines, it couldn’t have been said any clearer:

« In life we prioritise»

•Work
•Family
•health
•Spiritual life

« Whilst it should be »

•Spiritual life
•Health
•Family
•Work

What are your priorities? Let us know.

XO

JO

The Lineage

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was the teacher of

T.K.V. Desikashar, Sri K. Pattabhi JoisSri B.K.S. IyengarIndra Devi and A. G. Mohan (to name a few)

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was the teacher of Sharon Gannon, David Life and R. Sharath Jois

Sharon Gannon, David Life and R. Sharath Jois are our teachers….

“For ever grateful”

Whether you practice the dynamic series of Pattabhi Jois, the refined alignments of B.K.S. Iyengar, the classical postures of Indra Devi, or the customized vinyasa of Viniyoga, your practice stems from one source: a five-foot, two-inch Brahmin born more than one hundred years ago in a small South Indian village.

He never crossed an ocean, but Krishnamacharya’s yoga has spread through Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Today it’s difficult to find an asana tradition he hasn’t influenced. Even if you learned from a yogi now outside the traditions associated with Krishnamacharya, there’s a good chance your teacher trained in the Iyengar, Ashtanga, or Viniyoga lineages before developing another style. Rodney Yee, for instance, who appears in many popular videos, studied with Iyengar. Richard Hittleman, a well-known TV yogi of the 1970s, trained with Devi. Other teachers have borrowed from several Krishnamacharya-based styles, creating unique approaches such as Ganga White’s White Lotus Yoga and Manny Finger’s ISHTA Yoga. Most teachers, even from styles not directly linked to Krishnamacharya—Sivananda Yoga and Bikram Yoga, for example—have been influenced by some aspect of Krishnamacharya’s teachings.

…..Continue reading the Yoga Journal article by Fernando Pagés Ruiz….

What’s cooking?

IMG_8413 2Yoga takes me to so many places and in those places I meet so many wonderful people. I never can get enough of this worldwide yoga community!

So I have shared a flat in Mysore for a month with the lovely and messy Marta, who left a couple of weeks ago and the house felt really empty for a while until I ran into Sarah. I was thrilled about the idea of sharing a home with her  as soon as I saw her.

I like to meet different people because they have so much to teach me and when it comes to living with them,  I can reassess my limitations and see where I am stuck with intolerance. “The problem usually comes from inside and it isn’t what we believe is the object, that upsets us”… remember, when you are pointing a finger at someone three fingers are pointing back at you.

The teachings do remind us that what we see in others what we have in our self, otherwise we would see it not.

But when it comes to sharing with a person you are very much alike, it is a nice smooth ride. Because of a similar sense of humour, laughing tones, yes, you can laugh about everything but not with everybody! Having a close to same diet makes the cohabitation in the kitchen so pleasant, dancing to the same music really elevates your spirits, conversations are constant and stimulating…. in other words I am having a ball with Sarah.

So last night when I was busy with my duties, my flatmate put together an amazing pudding. A chia seed pudding! Yumm… gathering all the ingredients in India wasn’t the easiest, some of them were generously donated to her from fellow yogis that bought a lot gear with them, but she rocked it!

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I had to go to bed with empty stomach because I getting up at 4am for a led class, the pudding was my breakfast and I will surely do this one again so good it was!

Sarah got the recipe from the “coconutandquinoa” blog, worth checking by the way. And here is what she smartly got together for making this healthy pudding happen:

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Enjoy*

XO

JO

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Day Off

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Put a hat on.

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Choose a rickshaw wallah.

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Pile into the rickshaw with some friends.

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Set off for the day!

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Choose an offering.

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Bow to Ganesha.

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Enter the sacred space…

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Enjoy every detail.

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Joke with the wise.

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Give your offering.

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Observe the elder…

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Respect the elder.

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Reason with the youth.

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Appreciate the ordinary.

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See the beauty in the common.

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Look behind doors.

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Meditate a little.

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Then stretch a bit.

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End the day with a pleasant sight.

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Good night*

Blog Crush

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Just fucking so good, nothing to add.

Enjoy!

XO

JO

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In the Mirror

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Happiness is for sure a decision. No discussion here about it. Up to you to get up and decide if you ‘re going to go through your day with a smile or pulling a long face despite the mess. It is as easy as that, full stop.

Since I made that decision, a few years ago there was no way back into misery. So the days when exciting things happen, I am just over the moon. Today, is one of those days, a friend from Geneva is visiting me in Mysore. I felt ecstatic ridding a rickshaw through the city to go and pick the lady up. Nearly surreal to have a feeling of  home in this chaos.

So from happy as a standard, it can only get better!…. SMILE*

 

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Dress Code or Moral Code?

Have you ever asked yourself why you dress? What is the intention behind the apparel?

I do, very often and according to where I stand in my mind my dress code is impacted. I have gone through a few different phases in life, but must admit am quite consistent in my style. Not completely out there, but I am known for having my own ways. To me, dressing our bodies is an extension of our expression.

I will never forget the book I read of Paco Rabanne (I am not a particular fan but its one of those weird books I picked up) at the age of 12 that took the expression  “Clothes don’t make a man” to another level. He added to the quote “but it is not our bodies that we dress yet our minds”. Pretty smart no?

To a certain extend, clothing is clearly a way of conveying a state of mind, a religious belonging or social rank. It can also be an armour or a façade… clothes today take definitely a lot of space in our daily life, too much maybe. “Hipsters” are a good example, I do like the look except that what was at one time unusual or original, seems to have invaded the concrete jungle worldwide. Has a subculture become mainstream or the looks just mimicked, therefore some of the outsiders are no other than fashion victims?

That said, even looks can reveal if they are genuine or not, one cannot pull off something too “fabricated”, some disgrace, inconsistency usually gives it away.

When one is not in a good space, clothes seem to not fit, they can become as uncomfortable as the skin shell you are in. Have you ever worn something outrageously loud and not bear the looks drawn upon you? To the contrary when one is confident and clear about where one stands, clothe is a second skin and choosing what suits you isn’t a big deal, it is instinctive and it shows.

Did you also notice maturing is knowing what suits you? You downsize on your wardrobe and do not make hideous mistakes buying those items you will never wear. You know what works for you with time.

What I love about yoga by the way, in a studio hall or Shala, dress codes or social ranks hardly exists, everybody is in there, sweating or dripping, red hot, pulling a face and huffing and puffing for some. In other words, you are not at your advantage. You are bare. Your mimics and body language is the talk you talk, the transition in between postures the walk you walk. No more hiding, fanciness and style can’t save you here.

Even if you are one of those who is fitted in a fancy branded complete outfit, your practice will be no greater or smoother.

Comfort and quality are an honourable choices, because the gear will last longer and your class be less troublesome with embarrassing costume issues. But beyond style and all above mentioned, I believe as yogis one should take responsibility in their choice of apparel. Buying attire can also be taking a political or shall I say moral stand. One often criticises items made in China but doesn’t take it any further. By the way, are really all factories politically incorrect in the land of dragons and emperors? I personally haven’t investigated…..  Yet do you know in which conditions are those fancy pants you wear produced? Some companies publicise about how great they are at putting to work poor third world villagers and generating for the neediest an income to them to survive, omitting to decently take care of their local employees…. isn’t sustainable another great marketing tool?

So be a yogi, forget the tight pants that will illusionary give you a small ass, yes, that is covering up again and check your gear. Even better, accept to sweat and that you can be wet, ecological cotton is pretty comfy versus those super synthetic tights or one other way of doing it is going second hand. Get real, get used!

So chew on this and take your stand.

XO

JO

What’s in the Blender?

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Hello Sunshine!

It is a scorcher here in Mysore… and the sun is beaming, reason for which the fruits and vegetables are so juicy as well as luscious. What astounds me the most, is that hardly no salt or spices are required to make a tasty meal, just fling in the pan a couple of veggies, heat and stir them up…. there you go, a yummy dish! So healthier.

Today I have committed to getting back to what is my usual diet. Here, everything is so unalike what I have back home, you can easily fall in the trap of over eating or being tempted by trying everything. Food is dirt cheap so one would develop the bad habit of ordering half a dozen of dishes just to satisfy their taste buds. I know, far from Aparigraha.

I feel very greedy as well as I sweat buckets during my morning practice. That’s it! Enough is enough. Smoothies only in the morning, main meal at lunch and a light bite before seven in the evening. I know Jeanine, I hadn’t until this precise moment opened your mail on the five contemplations from Thich Nath Hanh…. it is now done as well as I am done with my bad habit!

Here is what I contented myself with today for breakfast and felt very satisfied:

  • Fresh coconut meat and water (you can use shredded coconut and carton water)
  • Half a dozen of strawberries, yes they are in season here
  • Half an avocado
  • A quarter of a pineapple
  • 2 dates, these are so sweet

To me, strawberries, pineapple and coconut is a perfect tropical blend. The avocado will give the creamy touch without the bad fats, it is also known to help weight loss. The coconut is a great source of fibre, vitamins, mineral, it’s water is an important source of potassium and electrolytes. Strawberries alike all berries are packed with antioxidants just to name one of its health benefits and did you know that pineapple isn’t just loaded with vitamin c but is a anti-inflammatory because it contains bromelain? And dates… iron, fibre, potassium as well as adds the sweetness you need avoiding processed sugar.

Get cracking!

XO

JO

Focus of the Month

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FEBRUARY, 2014

Intention

tyaktva karma-phala-asangam / nitya-trpto nirasrayah
karmany abhipravrtto’ pi / na-eva kimcit karoti sah
He who has let go of the results of his actions is content and free of dependency, knowing that it is not he who acts even when performing actions.

Bhagavad Gita IV.20

An aim that guides an action is an intention. To do something intentionally is to act on purpose. To act on purpose means that you act consciously. To pay attention is to act consciously, to act deliberately—to aim towards a goal. It is said that those who believe in coincidence aren’t paying attention. Practicing yoga with a high intention is very important because what determines the outcome of any action is the underlying intention. Practicing asana with an elevated intention could make the difference between achieving mere gymnastic strength and flexibility or enlightenment.

I was just reading an online article about the growing popularity of yoga in America. It stated that 22 million people are practicing yoga! The top six reasons why people practice yoga according to the statistics are: to gain flexibility, to lose weight, to increase muscle tone, to relieve back pain, to look younger and to reduce stress. In all the millions of statistics gathered, no spiritual intention seems to have emerged.  People weren’t citing as their reason to practice yoga the goal to become enlightened or to get closer to God or to better contribute to the happiness and freedom of others.

Yoga certainly doesn’t care why you are practicing. Yoga will give you any result you intend, if you do it long enough. What you are thinking about when you perform an action will determine the result of that action. You become what you contemplate. If you want yoga (the practice) to bring you to Yoga (the goal—enlightenment), then the intention underlying your practice must be Yoga. You are not going to achieve Yoga as your goal accidentally—you must desire it with your whole being.

Yoga means enlightenment, or to link to the higher Self. Just as each person must find their own way to relate to God, each of us must find his or her own way to articulate an elevated intention. Offering your practice to God is one way of establishing a high intention. For many that is a tall order. Offering your practice to your teacher is another. Wanting your teacher’s enlightenment, you dedicate the efforts of your practice to that aim. That will give you a break from thinking about yourself. Offering your practice to a person you know is another way to establish a high intention, because other-centeredness takes us out of our egoic self-centeredness and awakens compassion, which is the cause of enlightenment. What is realized in the enlightened state is the Oneness of being—where otherness disappears. So if you can find a way to set an intention for your practice that helps you to get past your preoccupation with your small personality self then you are on the path which will lead to Yoga. In the Jivamukti Yoga tradition we often set the intention for a class by chanting Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantuand then we add the translation: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” The Bhagavad Gita teaches that one who desires Yoga must renounce the fruits of their actions. This does not mean that you don’t do things on purpose or set enlightenment as your goal. The wise practitioner has faith in God and knows that their main duty is to act with the utmost integrity, with the highest selfless intention, and at the same time to not be concerned with the outcome of their actions, but to leave that to God.

—Sharon Gannon

To Have or to Be….

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That is the question.

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Strolling down the main street of Gokulam today, my mind went for a walk. I was admiring all the beautiful houses and thinking about my knew friend who wanted to “get rid of some money” by buying a house somewhere in Asia.

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I never have possessed a flat or a house, though I have lived in many. Do not have a car, not to say I can’t drive, I usually cycle around town like a lunatic and believe me, it is much more efficient than having a motorised vehicle though a little more wet at times.

That said, I do rent a flat, which a sublet every time I leave, pretty often that is. It’s a charming old place filled with books, records and yes, clothes. To say, nothing substantial.  However, this year, I expressed the urge of getting rid of the excess of material I had accumulated. The sense of freedom it generated was greater than I could have hoped for.

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Usually I save all my pennies to have a long winter break and study further more yoga, a shorter one in the summer because I enjoy a couple of weeks off from teaching and visit friends. My first big leap was taken at the age of 17, the destination was India.….that was 17 years ago!  Plastic hadn’t yet damaged the scenery, and nope, no emails or cellphones were available. Do you remember telegrams? Recalling the fuss of trying to get hold of a friend traveling in the same country to meet up, makes me smile.

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The wind has blown me to several countries in Africa, more then a couple in Asia, the Caribbean, Northern America, Central America, not South yet, Polynesia, throughout most countries in Europe and to many other places I forgot.

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I believe I have spent more on travelling than people have on a house.

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The planet is my home, as it is to all of us in different ways. But having been for extensive times on my own on the road, I get the feeling I could go to the moon and be comfortable there too.

If ever you consider leaving it all behind… never forget:

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Hit the road jack!

XO

JO

Sandhya’s Cooking

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This is most likely my favourite place in Mysore for food.

Sandhya is this amazing cook that has literally been spoiling the yogis since 1998.

She cooks in her house, local and traditional food, in a lovely old Mysore style home and welcomes you in her dining and living room for lunches. But be aware, you must book ahead!

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Her food is done with so much love that it is more than satisfying and vibrant with energy.

The good news is that if you haven’t made it to Mysore and wish to try some of this mouth watering food, you can order her book online. I is not so complicated and out of experience, I know that you can find all ingredients in the local Indian Stores back home.

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Sandhya has a website and a little blog, if you wish to have a  peek at was is happening in her house…. we all gather around big tables, share the bowls and dishes of the yummy food constantly flowing in.

The chapatis here are also my absolute favourite. Humid and warm, fine and tender… home made food with love.

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When you eat here you can be sure of the freshness of food.

It is all Sattvic, foods that yogis emphasise on eating. No onions, no garlic, considered as too heating for the body (according to Ayurveda), vegetarian too. It also means eating the food in the next four hours after it has been prepared, eating left over becomes tamasic, the opposite, that will harm the body.

As yogis we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and cereals, nuts, fresh herbs. We avoid sugar, too much spices as well as salt.

Drink plenty, eat a little, sleep a little, do your practice and do not neglect meditation!

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A Reflect – ion

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To reflect on,

A reflect,

The reflection of,

My reflection,

A reflection,

True reflection

But on reflection…..

I reflect,

Only a reflect.

Upon reflection… see you tomorrow!

XO

JO

Blog Crush

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Thanks to you Giulia I have become a reader of Love Yoga Anatomy.

The funniest thing of it, is that my Friend Priya has been told about this website by Kino but couldn’t remember the name of it… our student Giulia forwarded us a mail with this link, which I transferred to Priya and TADA! That was the link she couldn’t lay her hands on.

Anyway, If you are a yoga geek like us, it is more than sure that you will appreciate browsing this site. It is an amazing source of anatomy and physiology information. It ranges from interviews, books references, videos, workshop listings to so much more.

I like the “non commercial” aspect of it, great job Stuart!

There is also a page called “Caffe Moksha” a sort of platform where one can ask questions the experts, it seems like quite a few topics can be treated on that page… can wait to see this grow.

It always nice to see people’s dedication to sharing their love of the practice and generously dishing out their knowledge. I am grateful for people like Stuart.

I love yoga anatomy!

Enjoy reading*

XO

JO

Ghee? Gee!

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Click on me, blow me up and read me! Seriously, I am worth it.

I have already mentioned it to you in a previous post, I felt a couple of years ago very righteous in my vegetarianism, until one day, I read a few books on what we today call veganism. Upset I was and therefore changed my diet not being able to live with a clear conscience.

I didn’t happen for me overnight, but my home became vegan, though still make small exceptions when am a guest at someone’s house or travelling in certain regions or countries.

India is somewhere I still made more than a few exceptions. I more like “suspended the green diet” for the time of my travel, though always stayed off the meat and fish.

However, this year I really feared a chai loaded with milk, I felt no urge to have one. And more then a month down the road, I still haven’t. Renting a flat here in Mysore and India having changed a LOT over the last seven years, one has access to nearly all the luxuries and goods one could wish to have. It ranges from soya milk, broccoli to wheat grass just to name a few. Though I must say I haven’t yet encountered vegan butter spread or soya yogurt…. not that one can’t go without.

So I tried a little curd, wanting to substitute what I use back home…. mmmmm, not at all convinced. It didn’t take long for me to be over that too. I noticed I am really repulsed by eggs, just as I was when I turned vegetarian at the age of 15. I trashed them down my throat believing they would be good for me… you, know, because of that thing we all fear to lack, PROTEIN. What silly preconceived ideas one can have.

And recently I stumbled across this article, here above, that made me really sad. Sad thinking of the dishes I cold have with ghee that have participated in the slaughter of more than one little creature.

Waow! And this is happening in vegetarian Nirvana!!!!

The lecture of the article reminded me of the time I din’t know how cheese was made….

Are you aware also that casein is present in most of the cheese one can buy? Casein, one of the components of milk, coagulates when rennet (from the calves stomach lining mostly) is added to the preparation to give the cheese its harder texture. Mmm, if you don’t eat flesh, it’s maybe something to reflect on.

The more one avoids dairy, the easiest it becomes to live without. It actually isn’t that pleasant at all to consume them once your body is clear of it.  It is heavy, too greasy and really doesn’t smell that good. I have hardly been sick since I stopped my dairy OD, my rashes have gone, not to mention that allergies have so much improved….

Ok guys, way passed my bedtime here… early yoga wake up tomorrow. Gonna have a hot coconut milk and turn in..

Sweet dreams*

XO

JO

Day Off

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Saturday through the camera lens.

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A deity facing the water.

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Lord Shiva.

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Unknown antique deities.

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Hanuman.

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Two others monkeys.

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At times laundry wallahs.

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Laxmi?

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Parvati, Ganesha and Shiva.

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Looks like Patanjali to me.

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Happy yogi out of town….

…. by the river!

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SH*T MYSORE YOGIS SAY

“My mother is serious kapha overload” -David

“I am not eating today, I am working on my Marichyasana D” – Clive

“Have you cried  in the changing room yet?” -Jenny

 

What’s in the Blender?

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Hello there!

And welcome to my Indian version of “What’s in the Blender?”.

No fancy pots and pans, next to nothing when it comes to kitchen appliances, the worstever just purchased blender, that splatters walls, because the notice doesn’t instruct “hold the top on”…. yep, I tried painting the walls pink with papaya smoothie.

No need to mention very dim light in the house, since no window gives an outside view from the kitchen….which doesn’t help my non existing photographic talent, I have bravely decided to blog about smoothies in the Subcontinent!

Having a serious habit of making smoothies, I set off one fine day to buy some Indian appliances. After checking all the local shops and store, yes, I did also visit the supermarkets, my choice was set on the cheapest ever blender. It was only once I started the process of blending that I realised that my new item didn’t posses any good blades. Oh well!

So it all about standing in front of the archaic machine, hands on the lid and putting up with the deafening sound of the engine long enough to acquire some warm thick paste.

Here in Mysore, having a local store we call the “Chocolate Shop”, one can buy the amazing super food of raw cacao, yum!

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Raw cacao is packed with antioxidants and minerals, according to the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) it contains more antioxidants per gram than goji berries, blueberries, prunes, raisins, red wine, and green tea.

That said, it should be consumed in moderation. Cacao contains two controversial elements; theobromine, a powerful stimulant which affects our nervous system and oxalic acid, which inhibits calcium absorption. So this is as treat and not a daily indulgence…..

So here’s what was in today’s after practice fix:

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  • Two small bananas
  • Raw cacao paste (enough to taste)
  • Half of an avocado
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • A table spoon of raw palm sugar
  • Some soy milk and some (coconut) water

Enjoy!

XO

JO

Natarajasana

Natarajasan

Lord of the Dance

Hanging out on the roof top the other day with some friends, we pulled off a few postures for Magda’s new book to be released.

Natarajasana is one of my favourite, it opens the shoulders, expands the chest, strengthens the back, stretches the psoas, tones the legs, activates the inner arch of the foot, requires a certain sense of balance, for so, sharpens your concentration.

Soften your gaze and stay focused!

XO

JO

Intermediate Series

Last Monday day I overheard in the background Sarath saying “Pasasana!” as I was folding my mat to go in the changing room to do my finishing postures.

I heard it again and again as I walked away. So Sarath came to me and said “You! You do Pasasana Wednesday”.

“Me? Oh, ok.” (not quite knowing which was the pose… )

But why Wednesday I thought? I wasn’t sure of what I heard and didn’t further question.

The next day I came back and being in such a routine of doing the primary only, I completely forgot about my new posture so moved on to finishing not thinking twice. At that moment one assistant walked to me and said “Did you do your Pasasana?”

I obviously forgot  thinking I heard “Wednesday”, however I thought, here you go! So went back and started doing it when Sarath walked up to me again “I said you do Wednesday”…. I got scolded.

So Wednesday I can tell you I didn’t forget it since I ended up with Sarath and the assistant watching me wiggling into a posture I never did. Luckily, my chopstick like legs and monkey arms were of great use (they used to be such an embarrassment in my teens) and in a short time wrapped myself into it. So Sarath added Krounchasana….. and apparently, according the Indian tradition, one never does something new on a Tuesday!

Have a great day!

XO

JO

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SH*T MYSORE YOGIS SAY

 

“My Drishti is so great since I got my nose ring ” -Priya

“I don’t do onions or garlic” -me….

“You have an amazing internal practice” -Jared

“I’ve been sprouting since I got here” -me….

A Conference

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If you have been to the KPJAYI Shala in Mysore, you most likely know that Sunday is a conference day.

We all pile in the room in which we practice in the morning, the last day of the week (our first day of the week) at 4pm. Which is actually 3:50 pm, because the Shala clock is 10 minutes fast…. “now why” maybe you are thinking?

Well, “Be a Yogi, Be on Time”! Or be before time. (My dad must find this quite ironic that his daughter is actually writing this)

Last Sunday, Sarath reminded us of the importance of the Eight Limbs Path or otherwise “Ashtanga Yoga”. Once you have registered here, the Asana (postures) and chanting is mandatory, but the study of Philosophy and Sankrit is optional. Though according to tradition, you first have to master the two first limbs and then only do the Asanas.

So last Sunday talk, was all about refreshing our memory about Yama and Nyama, in other words “self restraints” and “moral observances”.

These two first limbs have also 5 “sub-limbs” which are:

Yama

  • Ahimsa – Harmlessness or non-violencce
  • Satya – Truthfulness by word, deed and thought
  • Asteya Non-stealing in a broad sens
  • Brahmacharya – Sense-control or walking towards Brahman – This implies sexual abstinence if not a house holder, and faithfulness to one’s partner if in a relationship
  • Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth, greedlessness

Niyama

  • Sauca – cleanliness
  • Santosha – being content, happiness
  • Tapas – austerity, discipline
  • Svadhyaya – the study of sacred texts and introspective self-study or self-analysis
  • Isvarapranidhana – Living with an awareness of the Divine

As practitioners we have a chance to raise a hand during the meeting and question our teacher about our doubts or have light shed on our grey zones. During this debate, some soul had to enquire about Ahimsa… the vow of non harming. Because the Shala is so full, getting into to the room in the morning can turn out to be a little hectic. Space is limited and all are concerned about getting spot to lie our mat down for a led class. This person seemed concerned about the fact that we are all yogis and seemed to be fighting our way in.

In order to avoid practicing in the changing rooms or in the lobby, you have to arrive about an hour before your practice time, let’s say if your class is at 6am, your are on the steps by 5am, I’ll let you imagine at what time the alarm clock goes off, not to mention what bedtime is! I actually really enjoy that hour before sunrise, sat in silence amongst others. To me, it is the best time to read, since I seem to always fall a sleep reading in bed, no matter how interesting the book is. Last year I devoured my first “Marcel Proust” on the steps before dawn and this one I am studying the “Baghavad Gita.

It is pretty peaceful but you have to remain vigilant! Once everybody stands up, you better be ready for it. A few minutes following the rise, a small door opens and we all literally “squeeze in” through it. In the hall, in just a few seconds, all the mats have covered the floor. The game is simple, run, spread your mat and then go and get changed.

So this is the topic that someone brought up. Aren’t we being a little aggressive?

Sarath answered as such:

“This is how we do it India, there is always a lot of people here and you have to find your way into it with it”. I know back  from where you come from it is different, but you just have to accept it how it is here.

I will tell you a joke from the country side:

A man from a  village in India was concerned about going to Mumbai, he feared the crowd and not being able to board a train in the city or even worse, get off it. The advise his friend gave him was to stand on the platform and let the flow carry him onto the train. When it came to getting off, well, just the same, stand in the middle of the crowed and let the people carry you out.”

If your feet don’t seem to be touching the ground when you standing and trying to get into the room, just don’t resist and push, let the people take you in…..

“Go with the flow”

Have a lovely Sunday*

XO

Jo

Sankranti

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Yesterday was a Holy Day in India.

And over night, all the cows turned yellow!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Now how did this happen? Yesterday they were still black, brown, white, now they are all brown, black and yellow. I couldn’t stop cracking up imagining these little Indians guys running around town all night smearing cows with turmeric, note that not one square inch in is missed, in order to obtain a perfect result. Seriously! I wish I could be told how they do this……

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Makara Sankranti is the harvest festival celebrated in India between the 13th and the 15th of January. It is like the Indian New Year for the Hindus. It marks the end of the yield season.

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I do not know much about this festival, but I can tell you that a lot of people draw amazing flower patterns on the ground in front of their house. It is their way of inviting the “Gods In”…. beautiful! A little water in sprinkled on the ground and then using powdered chalk, they lay down their design.

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I also live with Calamity Jane, officially Marta Jane Canary, or just Marta for my room mate. So calamity Marta wished to celebrate Sankranti and set off on this lovely afternoon of the 15th of January to see what was happening in town. Marta is a lovely soul, who tries so hard but drives me sometimes challenges my level of tolerance. My yogic patience is put to serious test. I am in my mid-thirties stuck with a bunkmate that can’t wash dishes or buy soya milk when we are out and who gets jumped by cows!!! Not to mention she doesn’t take the rubbish out, though we have a special organic bucket to feed the beasts…. it’s ok guys, Calamity Marta is sat beside me as I write and we are both dying with laughter.

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So Calamity Jane fought the Indians and Marta the cows. I joined the lady for dinner last night and that’s when I got a better idea of how the festival was celebrated…… the cows after being covered with turmeric or heavily decorated are forced to spring over a fire. The only thing is that Calamity Marta was taking pictures on the other side of the inferno where the animals are supposed to land….. it resulted in the yellow animal flying onto to her, the girl was flattened on the ground and her camera smashed… thankfully there was more fear than harm.

See you soon!

XO

Jo

Mysore

Namaste!

That’s it, I have made it back to Mysore and I am thrilled to be here. What a blessing it is to be sharing a yoga practice with a Shala packed with brothers and sisters that are dedicated to a daily routine of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

I arrived on the 30th of December from Goa and booked myself into the “Dasaprakash Parasadise” hotel, an Indian 70′s style 3 star establishment. Maybe 200 rooms, 4 Indian guests and myself. It feels like being in an old Stanley Kubrick film, just as if a nutcracker was going to appear out of the blue and do some crazy stuff… well not quite. But the hotel is weird and creepy but I love it!

So I set off on foot the next day to register at the Shala. A few meters down the road hail a cab, hum I meant Rickshaw, do not negotiate the price with the driver since he obviously doesn’t speak English, but show him a note and mention to him the quarter of Gokulam and we seem to agree of this arrangement.

After a few minutes ride contemplating the surroundings I spot my friend Adam on the other side of the road. So I tap on the driver’s shoulder in order to get him turn around and go back, but he mumbles something about no extra space and doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. He clearly doesn’t understand so I insist that he goes back. He finally turns around and the next things is that Adam is now going the opposite way to ours on his moped. Buggeration! So I tap on the drivers shoulder again to get him to turn around once more to follow my friend and now he obviously  thinks that I am stir crazy.

I get upset and want him to stop to get off at the red-light, put my freshly operated leg on the floor and he shoots off full gas me half out of the rickshaw and him yelling that we are going to the police station. I thought he was going to break my leg. So we arrive at a crazy speed at the station me fuming and him screaming. I do not speak Kannada, but he is obviously accusing me of hitting him on the back!!! I finally get a word in, explain the whole thing, that I was tapping on his shoulder to get him to stop to greet a friend… GENERAL LAUGHTER!!!

Pfffeeew, I am a free lady. WELCOME TO INDIA!

So I have had surgery on my knee 2 weeks before I left Switzerland and was a little concerned about how ma practice will be here, though I had only left my mat for 3 days after the operation, I was then stuck with only standings and a few modified sitting postures for a while….. Well, I must say I was dumbstruck with the fast recovery! First of all the heat of the room of the Yoga Institute KPJAYI is pretty high, not to mention also very humid, plus the energy of all practitioners fed me more than I could expect and dream of! My first complete practice was amazingly easy. Less then month down the road after the op, I am back to my normal practice. Undoubtedly, THE VIBE OF THE ROOM IS MAGIC!

That said I must admit.. that the first time I bent my leg fully was upon my arrival in Goa airport. I got off the plane with the urge to go to the bathroom, I thought “here we go” my first Indian toilet this year…. so I get into the  “Indian Style Loo” of course, didn’t think twice and squatted down in Malasana…. OUCH!!!! That was it, terribly painful but the knee was fully bent. How ironic I thought.

The days here go in a heartbeat… swimming, studying, reading, sipping coconuts, cooking or going out for Masala Dosas…. tones of laughing and wise chats too. I am in my element and will be happy to tell you more about Mysore. Jeanine will also keep you tuned in on her side so stick with us!

See you soon and don’t forget your coconut water after practice*

Jo

Hari OM

Fed up!

Jivamukti Focus of the Month

JANUARY, 2014

Fed Up

 

atha yoga-anushasanam
Now this is yoga as I have perceived it in the natural world.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (PYS 1.1)

Anyone who is engaged in serious yoga practice has come to yoga for the same reason—we’re fed up! That means we’ve had enough.

Atha means “now.” But it’s more than just “now”; it means now in terms of “hereafter,” or “going forward.” The importance of that nuance is that it implies that whatever has been happening will now, hereafter, be different. So in his first sutra, Patanjali is speaking directly to those of us who are fed up with things as they are. Everyone has a different story about the shape that being fed up takes for them—a miserable job, a life on drugs, a troubled relationship, etc. But fundamentally it’s the same for everyone who comes to yoga—at a certain point in life we take inventory of how much is really great and how much is suffering, and we come to the conclusion that it’s mostly suffering—even if the suffering is relatively mild, like “things are fine but I know there’s more to life.” Most people are not there; they’re not quite willing to let go of the old model. Some even like their suffering and identify with it. They’re not at that point where they’re fed up enough to say, “okay, what else is there? I’ll search high and low to get it.” But for those who are, Patanjali grabs us and says, “you’re ready to hear this stuff.” That’s the good news of that first word atha.

The word shasanam can be understood as a set of rules, a discipline applied to us from the outside, a set of instructions for what we’re supposed to do next. But when we put the word anu, which literally means “atom,” in front of it, it means the instructions or ways to act that come from the inside. For example—“I’m thirsty, so I’ll go get a drink of water.” It’s that simple: we don’t think of it as a rule that when you’re thirsty you have to go drink water, or when you’re hungry you eat, we just do it. In this sutra, Patanjali is telling us that yoga is one of these things that comes naturally. It flows from us, through us, and basically if we could just get out of the way, then it would be free to manifest in our lives. And that’s the practice of yoga—the practice of getting out of the way.

Of course it’s very difficult to let go of the parts of us that disable the natural flow of wisdom and purity, because they’ve become enculturated and neuroticized. They are the ways we cope with the world, our No. 1 defenses: they are how hard we’ve got it and how impenetrable our problems are. But Patanjali is saying that these are the parts of us that are unnatural, that have been inflicted upon us, and we could take them off like we take off a set of clothes. But it’s not so easy. One hundred percent of what restricts us is in our minds and has been concretized in our bodies in different ways. So yoga practice is meant to point out to us where that energy is stuck, whether in our minds, our shoulders or our hips. In this way, yoga is often referred to as a discipline. But it’s important to understand that it’s not the kind of discipline that’s forced on us from the outside, or in the case of teachers, it’s not a discipline that we’re forcing on others. It’s a discipline that’s naturally arising. As we move through our difficulties in the practice, whatever they are, we understand that the encounter with difficulty is a blessed moment and an opportunity. It is not a fail, but a chance to reflect on what separates us from each other, the nature of suffering in our lives, the role that prejudices and fixations play in our lives, etc., and just let them go. It can happen very quickly, in just an instant, but it can also take some time; it’s not easy to shed a carefully constructed armor. The great teacher Dharma Mittra likes to say, “Get mad and do it!” Get fed up!  But don’t do it because a teacher tells you to do it or because it’s a rule; do it for your own reasons, because you’re fed up with the way things have been and you want them to change. Do it because you want to do it. Do it to get rid of a cruel dictator—your identification with your mind. Do it as your personal revolution. Atha

— David Life

 

A “Spiritual Warrior” Night

It’s Friday night and you’re still not sure what you’re up to….

Come and join as well as enhance the collective wisdom, by taking part in the Spiritual Warrior Class!

It’s HOT, it’s HIP and it’s HOLY.

A Jivamukti workshop on self-practice and time management:

11 Rue Verdaine with J&J 7pm till 9pm

50chf and 40chf for dreamers, students, drifters, artists…..

Drop us a quick email if you want to join us for the door code.

<yogawithjj@gmail.com>

 

“Hot, Hip and Holy!”

***Our last yoga workshop before spring***

Dear Lovely Souls,

Trees have gone from red to bare, days from warm too cold…… The holiday season has started, no doubt!
For the yogi, every day is a Holy Day! When one acknowledges that all living beings are spiritual (they breath, we breath the same air),  one cannot live an ordinary life. For instance during the practice of asana, by deliberately putting ourselves into various shapes, we strive to experience the sameness in the change of form: the vitality of life (prana in sanskrit) in all life forms. We become conduits of energy temporally taking the shape of a mountain, a snake, a cow, a dog and ultimately dropping off the human body itself.  It is therefore of crucial importance to start our practice with an elevated intention. As we move with breath awareness – inhaling, exhaling, conspiring – we are breathing in-synch with all living beings and co-creating every moment in every breath… What could be more hip?
Gradually we reconnect with the whole : making more and more holy connections, seing ourselves in others and respecting the sanctity of all life. We become more compassionate… 
As David-ji reminded us : “The choice we have is to consciously partake of the construction of our reality or to remain the victim of fate (really unconsciousness). The one who strives to be reborn consciously into life is the jivanmukta

« Hot, hip and holy » also means that you should expect to sweat out your karmas in the grooviest way… hit the mat!!!

This last workshop of the year (and until next spring) is our humble offering, as a way to support your home yoga practice …  

Are you ready?

December 2013 Jivamukti Workshop with Joanna&Jeanine

PLEASE SIGN UP BY EMAILING US AT yogawithjj@gmail.com  and take note of the new location (Salle Verdaine, 11 rue verdaine – upon registering, we will email you the door code)

Do turn up 15 min before the beginning of the class, bring a mat (or let us know if you don’t have one).

The price of the workshop is 50CHF and as always students, non-employed, moonwalkers and dreamers have a special discount (20%)

Deep pranams and blessings to you all,

With gratitude and love always,

J&J

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere, be happy and free, and may the thoughts words and actions of my own life, contribute in some way, to that happiness and to that freedom for all. 

What is in the Blender?

The weather has been so warm in Switzerland until pretty late this year, that we had strawberries until the month of November! Though the winter has hit us bigtime recently, that the trees have gone from red to bare, that the “bise noire” has risen, a strong  and stinging local wind that freezes us to the bone, the light is divine.

Most mornings I wake up before the sun reaches us and have the privilege of seeing the sunrise on the lake leman, just magical. So before I dress up warmly to hit the concrete with my bike, I cycle no matter what (storms, snow, blizzard and ice), I make myself a big thermos of Tchaï and a smoothie to take with me.

This is what was in my blender this morning, a pineapple and strawberry smoothie:

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Ok, ok… the avocado, dates and pineapple are not local, I confess, this is a compromise I still do not manage to do, I love my fruit too much. That said, I think pineapple, strawberries and coconut work beautifully together!

  • 1 tbs of chia seeds, loaded with omegas 3 and vitamin E!!!!!!
  • 3 dates (soaked for half an our with the chia seeds “as you shower”) great source of fibre, B6, iron, potassium…..
  • 1/2 an avocado, the best fat.
  • a handfull of strawberries (if out of season you can buy the frozen ones)
  • a thick slice of pineapple (the white one from Ghana is my favourite, organic from sustainable farms)
  • A good splash of coconut water and milk from Dr. Martins (available in most organic stores)
  • 2 tbs of dried shredded coconut

Just wizzz it all up and add more liquid of you wish!

Sweet dreams to you all and don’t forget to wrap up tomorrow*

XO

JO

For Chocoholics!

This is undoubtedly the best ever chocolate mousse we ever had!!!

If you joined our post workshop dinner table last Friday at MU-FOOD and were one of those who asked for the recipe of the dessert….

Here it is:

vegan chocolate mousse
It is Candle’s 79 recipe. Candle 79 is a restaurant as well as a Café in NYC which we absolutely adore. The atmosphere of the café is laid-back and cosy plus the food is so satisfying and tasty. The restaurant is a classier place where they serve gourmet vegan food to die for. If ever you are in NY, trust us, do go and have one of their meals! Plus you are supporting a sustainable business. We both possess their cookbook. It is perfect for entertaining guests that are not vegans, satisfying all palates.
So here is the easiest vegan chocolate mousse THAT HAS TO BE DONE THE NIGHT BEFORE you wish to serve it!
  • 350 g of semisweet chocolate chips (or normal chocolate bars)
  • 240 ml of soy milk (or rice, almond, nut milk)
  • 450 g of silken tofu
  • 150 ml of maple syrup
  • chocolate shavings for garnish

Melt the chocolate in a pan at a medium heat with the milk – Let it cool down / In a blender mix all ingredients for at least 5 minutes (very important) / pour into individual little pots and refrigerate over night.

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Let us know how much you enjoyed it!

Daniji, Maeva and Anastasis surely did……..

See you next week.

Love and sunshine,

J&J

We love Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Sweethearts,

Today we are not posting a recipe but we thought we could not keep to ourselves the awesomness, vegan goddess and sheroe that is Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Here’s a short bio by herself « me. Vegan. Cookbook. Caveman » ; Location and Website: Quinoamaha · theppk.com ; twitter handle : @isachandra

We don’t want to sound too cheesy but here are two things that you don’t wanna miss out :

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  • Her new video series (free): Make it vegan! (She must be reading our minds)

To put it simply, we can’t wait to have our hands on a copy of Isa does it !

Don’t blame it on us if you are mouth-watering already, go in the kitchen and cook!

We love you too…

J&J

Avocado Delight

More than once I have been asked “what is it you are having?”….

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Saturday at Soluna Champel, I give the morning class, that I LOVE, packed with people and energy. I usually have on the side of the desk, a smoothie I am sipping, which is my breakfast. Most of the yogis are inquisitive about my glass jar filled with some obscure thick liquid.

Because you are so many to have inquired, here is a recipe of one of the many smoothie I make.

This is one I had religiously, not to say psychorigidly every morning for many years. I discovered that avocados could be eaten as a desert and not just in a savoury manor in Ethiopia. For months I was overjoyed with the amazing way of having breakfast with a “SPRISS“.

I must admit I was reluctant about it in the beginning, oh boy! How silly I was, avocado is married to desert and sweetness!

  • Half of a ripe avocado
  • A dozen or more raw pistachios
  • 1,5 table spoon of grated coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup of rice milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of coconut water
  • some maple sirup for extra sweetness
  • A handful of spinach (with stems)
  • chlorella or spirulina (optional)

Good night and mind the bugs don’t bite!

XO

JO

 

 

Mash it Up!

Puree, mash, smoothie….. mush, smash….slush….

YUMM!

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There is nothing more comforting than a hearty mash. I would actually even name it soul food. But I like to give the traditional mash potatoes a little twist and since parsnips are in season, I mixed the usual tubercles with the more perfumed one. A drizzle of truffle oil, a pinch a salt, a few grinds of pepper and the wonder is done!

Add a few veggies on the side, simply seasoned, as long as the quality of your greens is genuine, little spice or herbs will be needed.

For a quick fix in the evening after class, I like to use ready made organic vegan patties as for a side of protein.

So to make a long story short, I get through the door at 9pm and in the next half an hour I am sat at the table.

 

For this mash I used (serves 2):

  • 4 medium size potatoes (floury type)
  • 1 big parsnip
  • rice milk (just enough to give moist to the mash)
  • some vegan butter (a big table spoon)
  • a good drizzle of black truffle oil
  • white pepper
  • salt to taste

Peel the tubercles and cut them into cubes. Boil them in water for about 20 minutes (until tender) and drain well. Add the vegan butter, truffle oil and keep pouring sips of rice milk until the  mash is as smooth as you wish it to be. Salt and pepper is to be added to your taste.

See you soon.

J&J

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I’ll bring the dessert …

I don’t have a sweet tooth, but when we are invited for a potluck, I often offer to bring the dessert.

Here’s what I brought at my cousins gathering last sunday : Fluffy vegan coconut oil banana muffins .

The recipe is quite simple but here are a few tips (specially regarding the ingredients and quantities in our metric system) …

 

Vegan coconut oil banana muffin

I used frozen bananas (from Rwanda, the best!) and a blender to purée them. As for the quantities read below:

  • 2 big frozen bananas (purée in a blender)
  • 200g of all purpose flour
  • 10g of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg ( if you have a grinder, fresh is best)
  • 300g of brown sugar (I used rapadura, great for baking)
  • 100 ml of coconut oil (use 125 ml if you don’t use frozen bananas)
  • 125 ml of vegetal milk (I used unsweetened rice milk)
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • For dipping :  50 g of granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (optional, I often skip it)
  • 15 regular cupcakes baking cups

Follow the recipe: pouring the wet mixture (purée banana, oil and sugar)  over the dry (flour, baking powder and spices) – Then pour 1 tablespoon into each cupcake cup. It should make you 15 cups if you fill them to 3/4 full or so.  Bake at 200°C for 15min or so ( check at 15 min )

Ideally I would bake for tea time – me thinks there’s something particularly sweet and sexy in serving a platter of  cupcakes&tea – or simply on a rainy sunday when I plan to stay in pajamas all day long (that’s a story for another day).

Enjoy the smell of your house and the joy these treats bring to your loved ones.

Jeanine

Creamy Parsley Dressing

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I don’t know about you, but for some reason I have always preferred other people’s salad dressing than mine.

It seemed like I always made the same few dressings I could easily get bored of. But the vegan world gave me a whole new perspective on salad dressing, in a short period of time I have never become so inventive and creative. They now come packed with herbs, nuts and love.

This is one I tried out recently and absolutely adored, it is from “Lisa’s Project Vegan” blog. It is loaded with cashew nuts, tons of parsley, sweetened with maple sirup (which we are presently hooked on) and the combination of white vinegar and lemon is just perfect.

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Try it out (just put it all in the blender and wizzzzz it up!):

1/2 cup raw cashews nuts
1 cup parsley (I wash the whole bouquet under the tap and chop it up with a pair of scissors, leaves and stems all go in!)
2 cloves of garlic (I thought 1 was enough you can also go without)
6 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon agave (or maple sirup)
The juice of 1/2 lemon

Thank you Lisa!

Have a lovely day and don’t forget to eat your greens*

XO

J&J

Jo’s all time favourite breakfast

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As a yoga teacher, most of the time I am dashing out of the house before the crack of dawn to give an early class. For so, except for Sundays, my breakfast is in a colourful liquid form. Yes, you guessed it!…. A smoothie, which I pour into a jar and throw into my bag to have after practice.

So Sunday’s first meal is a real treat to me.

I still do my practice (squeezed between my couch and turntable in my living room), but can linger at home where I spend most of the day in the kitchen.

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Fruits are always that first thing I crave for in the morning, I love to have them in bits with soya yogurt and home made granola.

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Granola is one of the easiest treats to make, you can use the oats you want and add all the nuts you wish.

This morning I used:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • A mixture of oats
  • maple sirup

I put all the dry ingredients into a non-stick pan and turn the heat on high, pour some maple sirup on top (you can also use cane sugar) and continuously stir until the oats and seeds are golden brown. I take it off the hotplate and let it cool down.

I use this to sweeten my fruit and soya yogurt for a more satisfying breakfast.

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Bon’ap!

Have a lovely Sunday.

XO

Jo

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