Travelling makes people meet, one connects with more souls as on the road because space has been created for the encounters to happen. Not being stuck in a routine, one becomes more open, available, receptive. To the contrary, too busy with work, achievements, family and daily minor tasks, it seems like one gets lost in duties, thinks ahead only, about what needs to be done, purchased, fixed, arranged or organised. And being in the present moment doesn’t exist anymore. As stress kicks in everything must just become efficient, busy people need convenience, comfort, though it is out of our comfort zone that magic happens.
We can get lost, we forget “true life priorities” and are no more receptive to the lovely beings we come across. We eat not paying attention to enjoying and ingesting nutrients of our meal, but more just filling the void of hunger, hunger of our unsatisfied souls. Furthermore we don’t pay attention to the beauties of the common, nature and its wonders.
It’s there, it’s in the background, in other words the decor we live in, which we can’t even notice anymore, minds are too busy, too noisy. But nature is our home, not just the square box one returns to once the day of labour is over. Because we over look it greatly, we forget what impact we have as individuals on it. Do you realise that every thing we eat, we consume, use and throw away has it’s toll on the planet?
The ecological choices of the company that produces your toothpaste, the plastic bag you pick up because you can’t be bothered to carry a cotton one. The low cost shoes you wear, the massively produced clothing that doesn’t care about the chemicals used in its dying process, not to mention the health of its employees. The packaging of your tomatoes, the conditions in which those tomatoes are grown and the list goes on.
I agree, if one would like to be perfect and completely impact less, one should live off thin air in a cave, though a handful of grand individuals I admire make a difference by taking a radical stand through mindfulness. And you? How many times do you not enquire about your actions, purchases, out of convenience or carelessness?
Selfishness, let’s talk about it. As human beings and regarding our responsibility towards the planet, we hide. We are great at that. “Why would my plastic bottle I throw away make a difference anyway?” ” Everybody eats meat, I don’t see how stopping I could make a difference?” ” It’s ok, it’s only one more battery thrown away in the sea of unrecycled rubbish, it won’t be much harm.” But that is where we get it wrong, collectively we can make that change. By caring for others more than just ourselves and close ones. Sadly we hide behind the mass to excuse our behaviour. We blame the collectivity to buy ourself a good conscience, “I am no different than most”, but that isn’t how it works.
Remember that we are all part of this one big thing, the universe. “Our inner selfish desires” are responsible for this huge ecological chaos, not only the politicians and big industries. We buy into to it by supporting them and that is buy consuming their products. Yet we have the strength to make a difference through unity, unity is strength. When are you going to start?
I do understand we can’t all shop at the farmer’s market, spend for one or two on groceries the amount of a restrained budget for a family of 5 members in a month, order online from small designers that are ethical from A to Z, polish tiles and floors or wash clothes with purely organic and biodegradable luxurious cleaning products. But if you knew and you could…. why wouldn’t you? Give me one valid reason beyond your personal interest.
Everything is deeply intertwined, more than you want to imagine, every gesture, word and thought has is consequence for the universe, more than you maybe wish to imagine. But nature heals as well as nourishes us on several planes, emotional, physical and spiritual. We can’t live without nature, though nature will go on without us. Humans are probably some of the most intelligent living creatures on the planet, yet the most stupid too, the only one that has a suicidal attitude. We are killing ourselves and all softly.
Yes we are all connected, related, one, we breath the same air and our actions have repercussions on all. I am not perfect, but I try hard to act with consciousness, that is of course to the limit of my current abilities, understanding and perception of life. I am not judging you, I just wish more of us would think, really think about this mess, face the truth by being honest with ourselves…. could you? Would you please?
Through unity we can make a difference, one has to overlook slightly ones comfort and commit to making a change. Raise that level of awareness, you could be an example, not just a sheep amongst the others.
Because we have gone too far, but I deeply believe it isn’t too late to adjust, adapt….. if you want a change, be the change. Share, care, love, beyond you limited circle, for the postman, the old man who sits on the bench and you ignore, the cashier you forget to respectably greet, the unknown soul on the other side of the planet. Extend this to all the living beings you overlook as well as nature that is the lungs of us all and that without, we couldn’t exist.
I dare you to care.
For Ashtangis, practice rules your schedule. It dictates at what time you are going to sleep, obviously what time you are going to rise, how and when or what you are going to eat. A nutritious but not too heavy diet we need, to feel light enough in order float, or at least try to find buoyancy, yet fatty enough to have sufficient strength to go through all the vinyasas that are numerous in Ashtanga.
For this to happen, the best way to hit the mat is with an empty as possible belly. Dinner is very early or hardly existing since you start practising way before the sunrise, this usually results in having a massive post practice breakfast the next day.
Some mornings, hunger creeps in whilst still in Savasana, that’s when my mind wanders about all the good food I can have to start the day. I scrutinise the fridge mentally, viewing what are the items that are left over and creativity kicks in to come up with a satiating sweet recipe.
A couple of days ago, the smoothie I half dreamt of as letting the system cool off laying in Savasana, turned out to be my new favourite. It’s a pink delight!
If ever you can lay your hands on all the ingredients, try it! Trust me, it is worth it:
- the meat of one coconut (semi hard)
- some coconut water (enough to make as thick or runny as you wish)
- Half a pomegranate (a few grains can be kept to sprinkle them on top)
- As many strawberries as you can handle
- Some papaya
- A couple of dates (enough to sweeten it to your taste, I like to soak them before hand)
- A big spoonful of almond butter (the more the creamier)
- A couple of spoons of ground flaxseeds
I hope you will enjoy this smoothie as much as I do!
Peace, love and Pink Delight
From hot and sticky Mysore
Shivaratri was like “Shiva effect in full swing” for me, as my Sis Jeanine wrote in an email after I told her about my condition…. I have been so sick! A real Delhi Belly, high fever and a cold, all this in 35 degrees celsius!
It has been a few days of fasting and an intense purge, so shed a couple of kilos. But now I’m back to my bubbly self and the kitchen is calling me to prepare sweets just after practice……
I stumbled across this recipe on the blog of Joanna Goddard, smartly named “A cup of Jo“, who reposted it from Culinary Couture. Joanna makes me seriously crack up at times. We are the same age, bare the same name, live miles away from each other and our lives are unquestionably contrasting. However, I love to peak at mid-thirties women blogs from the Big Apple, the stuff Joanna occasionally comes up with is horrendously funny at times…. I’ll let you check that out for yourself.
So here it goes:
1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup honey (I used date sirup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferring raw cacao, a little less is needed)
2 tbsp. almond butter
Chuck all ingredients in the blender, wiz up, pour onto a small recipient and freeze until it solidifies.
You can sprinkled some shredded coconut on the top if like me you just can’t get enough of it.
Now I am in trouble, I have this tendency of being a chocolate junkie…… this fudge is so delicious it is hard to stop…. I can’t wait for the boys to come home to help me with my plate of yummy goodness before I devour it all.
Post practice hair and happy grin….. I like to think morning is the best time for fatty raw goodness! Ps, don’t forget to finger clean the blender, the exercise of polishing off the sweetness of the recipient is very up lifting.
Where rabies and scab full dogs run around wild, as well as others perfectly groomed are walked on leashes
Where hawkers sell spinach from bags hanging on handlebars of old English styled bicycles and the hardly known broccoli is going stale on shelves of pristine shopping malls
Where women stroll down the neighbourhood in their nighties, whilst others never step out of their mansions or extravagant cars
Where street ear cleaners operate from a plastic stool on the roadside and ultra modern private hospitals are filled with cosmetic holidayers
Where one can nibble anytime of the day or night at freshly cook street food for less than 50 cts and dine in the finest opulent restaurants
Where the latest technology is found as well as produced but still many households are not yet equipped with electricity
Where cows are holy and most won’t eat them but worship them, yet the most bovine leather is produced
Where the crippled have wooden plates splintering in their hands to drag themselves through the dust and distance, whilst some of the latest prothesis are conceived
Where the smell of burning rubbish and urine is covered by divine scents of the finest incens
Where one can drink a cup of tea made from a street stall just as well as sip coffee from an air-conditioned cafe watching the first scene
Where one can draw cash from a distributor but having to step over the still asleep and bed less watchman
Where drunken lads fall over or walk around with dead sneaks around their necks and wealthy business men share the same pavement with sheer indifference
Where one can sleep at his workplace, on the counter or footpath without being bothered or even out of place as well as in the most luxurious palaces ever seen on earth
Where dead corps lie on the ground unnoticed whilst lively children play cricket cheerfully just a couple of meters away
“IN INDIA EVERYTING IS POSSIBLE”
Today and tonight, we celebrate Shiva, the union between Shiva and Shakti.
May you all have a blessed Maha Shivaratri!
Om Namah Shivaya
It’s high season here for Ashtanga in Mysore, Big-time!
The Shala is full, or jam packed should I say?! Waiting time in the morning to get a spot to get cracking with practice is, well, it’s a while. Back in the west, having to show up more or less than an hour before your class starts and spending all that time patiently sitting before getting anywhere near the doorway sounds a little absurd. This is the protocol here and it has a somewhat humbling effect on us all. You know you will get in there at some point.
If you look at the clock at the back of the room, it says 04:15, no not pm, am! Also, the Shala clock is about 20 minutes ahead of real time…. so it is not even 4 really, Prior that time we spent an hour sitting on the ground waiting for the gates to open, not the mention the time at which we get up. ” Why???” You must be thinking…. practicing squatting to open the hips????
Well, only a certain amount of us fit in the room when it is a led class. A small percentage of us get to practice in the lobby or the changing rooms. So, if you want to be in the room, you are going to have do the waiting bit.
Despite the awareness we are supposed to have acquired over the years of practice, there are still a few crafty characters, like in any micro society. Pushing a little too much to get in, arriving last minute and sneaking up the line to not be left stranded spotless or practising next to the toilet. Their Karma, non of my business, just disappointing to see in such an environment.
Then there is also room we have to deal with besides patience. We usually align our mats with hardly any space between them in order to fit as many as possible in one row. Also, you do not want to go off it as you roll back otherwise your foot will most likely be tickling your fellow yogi’s nose at the rear, if not, literally kicking them in the face….
My first practice this year, was a 4’oclok in what we call a spot for “small”. Let’s face it, I am not exactly small, more like one of the tallest girls in the shala. However, I was grateful I was in the main room. The whole series was spent for me, turning around on my mat, left and right, facing one way then the other to try and fit my posture in meanwhile being as considerate as I possibly could to my neighbours who had me under their nose… no, I wasn’t even in a row, nor could I raise my arms in Surya Namaskara. My first mathematical experience was a serious teaching! The positioning had to be calculated a posture ahead to not miss any of it, I had to think fast and still just be in the body.
I smile back home when I teach a class and some get upset because of the number of participants there can be in a class. Trust me, here, if you have an inch between mats, you are lucky. I will never forget one year, when I unrolled my rug and one rolled over it on the left, then another partially covered it on the right. Not even a mat space! I looked, tried to mention my situation, but it was too late, Sharath came in and called out “Samasthiti“! No more time to move, so the lads gave me a look saying “let’s work around this, it will be ok”.
And it was perfect, the best time I ever had! Even at the most hectic times, when we knock each other and the “domino effect” messes up the entire the row, we rolled smoothly, in symphony. We learnt to pay attention to each other, to work together, to become one. You can fight you neighbours energy, or learn to work with it. You choose what you do with it.
This is what India teaches you, not much space, not much privacy, but if you go with the flow, wait patiently, then you will rock on!
This year, my kitchen is tiny, but really tiny. It is the dead end of a corridor, literally. I can barely turn around in this place so small it is! I have moved in to this new flat with my friends Marc & Clive I met last year and it’s a scream. I have the kitchen to myself, cause the boys only make coffee in the morning.
We are all three on the same schedule and I know, my bedroom door opening directly onto the stove, that when coffee is being made, well, I am almost late already and have to get out of bed. I open my door and sleepy heads meet.
So come on in and meet my messy counter top!
I remember India when one could hardly eat anything else then a tali for lunch and dinner, curry was also on the menu for breakfast. I love talis, but when one is travelling for months on end and not accustomed to the food daily, well, one starts to crave the comfort of tastes from back home.
Those days are long gone, now one can have, pasta, quinoa, vegan pizza, veg fritters……SALAD SAFELY, believe or not, though personally I am still very careful of where I have it. Supermarkets have also grown over the place like mushrooms and it is now the turn of health food stores to flourish. No one is challenged out of their comfort zone anymore, I miss those times a little I must admit.
So to make a long story short, you have just about everything here you could wish for as a health freak. As soon as I arrived and moved in, I run errands and stocked the only shelf of what looks like a galley with plenty of goodness and loads of super foods.
Going home after practice is what I prefer, digest whatever is coming up and remain in silence. However I do stop and have a couple of coconuts on my way back, then it’s in the kitchen I go to prepare what probably looks more like an ice cream…….
The other day I was inspired by a green looking smoothie I tried in a new hang out in Mysore, before I stock up, and came up with a similar one but “a la Jo”.
- a big bunch of palak (Indian spinach)
- fresh coriander
- fresh basil
- 2 small bananas
- coconut meet and water
- almond butter
- a few figs (soaked)
- ground flax seeds
- some cocoa nibs to garnish
Don’t ask me about quantities, just measure with your heat.
NOMNOMNOM! There herbs, the crunch of the cocoa nibs and the sweetness of the figs with the coconut twits was a delight!
What do you crave for after practice?
Peace, love and green goodness,
“I need to go home….. I am loosing my prana.”
“I couldn’t take the intensity of her breath.”
“I need my turmeric!”
“You’re breathing like a steam engine.”
“Am I breathing right?”
“To do this practice, one needs a lot of D’s, dedication, devotion, discipline”
– Sharathji in conference, Mysore 02.07.2015
Does this beautiful bright smile ring a bell? Yes, you guessed, it’s the lovely Laruga. Glad I am we had time to catch up a little before her departure, since she was leaving soon after I rolled out of a night train.
This little corner is one of the popular “coconut stands” in Mysore we LOVE! I like to view these side road seats as “a cafe with a view” on daily life.
If you roam phone less here, just sit down for a bit, take a sip, gaze at the scenery and friends will come round to join all hours of the day. Coconuts after practice, coconuts on the way to chanting, coconuts after chanting, coconuts to take away….. coconut in smoothies, we are cuckoo for coconuts!
Chop the top off, squeeze a little lime in it , it’s a coconut “à la Mysore” and enjoy.
So much better than our carton water back home….
Dear lovely beings,
Where has time gone? You tell me…. I have no idea!
When one reaches India, time seems to freeze, one enters a time warp and days, minutes or hours become pretty irrelevant. You better not pay attention to it, nothing happens here like in the West. We are all greatly challenged by the paste of how things unfold on the first travels to the sub-continent, however with experience, on learns to sit back and that everything will unfold perfectly well in due time. And the perfect outcome is most likely not what one expects.
India has swallowed me alive this year.Every journey I feel like I am thrown into a washing machine, on a more or less long cycle, turned upside down and inside out, in other words, washed out. Thankfully before I return, I get ringed out and laid in the sun to dry. As a result I am soft as well as fresh as new.
After a what seemed like an eternal voyage, I was more than delayed 25 hours in Abu-Dhabi, I finally reached Goa and friends. The length of my journey completely threw off my internal clock, as a result I slept, ate and practised when I could for a week. The good lesson of the delay to me was, because I ended spending Xmas flying and in a hotel room, I had no more attachment to the celebration. Again, one of those prejudices…..
The typical no yoga clothes/towel hotel room practice.
I needed to be unplugged lately, catch up with dear friends of previous trips, digest my hard work, which actually is just learning as teaching, connect with new encounters…… I swung in the trees with my hammock most times besides my morning practice in Auroville, red a few marvellous books and had extensive deep and interesting conversations with absorbing entities. Thankful I am to have been totally immersed in the jungle, what a bliss it is to live at the rhythm of nature. I neglected my camera too…. being in the present with no disturbance was sheer luxury in which I indulged.
On the way to Monica’s Shala, green, green, green….
That said, I will try and make up for it this month! I reached Mysore just a few days ago, meaning I am getting up in the middle of the night and sweating buckets in the morning. The heat produced by all the practitioners in the Shala makes it so easy and agreeable despite the night freshness to practice and it feels so good to be here…. I am looking forward to this new chapter ahead of me. More stories and recipes to come! I’ve purchased a new Indian blender….
See you soon.
Love, pranams and…. MASALA DOSA!
I could swear that every year I become slightly deafer because of the loud abuse of honking……
kripa… Grace is when something comes to you that you can’t even imagine existed… Jai Sri Radhe – Shyamdas
Shyamdas-ji graced us with his presence at the jivamukti teacher training in Omega. Of course, I could not guess it would be the last time I would be receiving darshan from him. I am forever grateful to Sharon Gannon & David Life, they keep bringing us in the presence of saints. In the Jivamukti Yoga lineage, we are all incredibly blessed to be a part of this miracle continuously unfolding… It’s all Hari’s grace.
Jai Shri Krishna
Sri Krishna Sharanam Mama
“It’s Sanskrit Pop Music! Did you know Sanskrit was the first Pop Music?!” Bob Thurman, author, teacher and father of my beloved friend Dechen, once said to me, referring to the songs I’d just played for him. “Sanskrit is meant to be sung!”
If you think Sanskrit is not your ancestral language, think again. Sanskrit is the parent language to all Pan-Indo European languages and so basically, first there was no language, and then there was Sanskrit. It was a gift to the world from the Divine and the early Sanskrit writers knew that. Each symbol is designed to represent an aspect of the Divine light that stands in all of us, not just symbolically but also vibrationally. Sanskrit is an “invocational” language, which means the word is the form. By saying the word we “invoke” it to exist. The vibration of the sound isn’t just referencing the Divine. It IS the Divine. So if we sing the words for the Divine, in Sanskrit, we create the Divine around us. First there was the Word and the Word was God.
After teaching thousands of yoga classes at Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City and beginning each class with a Sanskrit chant, I have learned one thing to be universally true. People like to sing. When we sing, we’re usually not angry (well, Johnny Rotten was probably angry). When we sing we can’t be worrying. The whirling fluctuations of our mind, the chitta vritti in Sanskrit, have to stop. Singing makes us feel good. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you may be surprised to know that hundreds of people in New York City, fresh from a busy day’s work doing all kinds of things, come and sing with a group of strangers. I have heard many students come to me and say how much they love it, that while at first they were wary and worried they ‘d sing badly, they now look forward to it in every class. I say everyone is designed to sing. We all sang in Kindergarten, and when we did we became a pure channel for receiving and transmitting the light of the world. Try to remember what a group of sincere five year -olds singing sounds like. And then know that’s what God hears when he listens to you.
If Sanskrit, like Dr. Thurman says, “was the first Pop Music”, then Krishna was the first Rock Star. Krishna played the flute so beautifully it mesmerized the Gopis (sounds like “groupie” to me!), the young girls who milked the cows. They would drop their milk pails in the dirt and go to Krishna, bathed in divine bliss. It is said that Krishna plays a special song for each and every one of us to call us home to the Lord.
I’m not Indian. I like Rock and Roll. I don’t get as excited to hear the harmonium as I do 4/4 time. The special song that Krishna plays for me sounds like Keith Richard’s guitar. Most especially, the opening riff to ‘Beast of Burden”. It never fails to wash me with bliss. We all have music that calls us, elevates us above the mundane and makes our hearts burst with love. I’m usually called by Keith’s kind of groove.
You would think that makes it a bit awkward to spend time with him in real life, but it doesn’t. He once said to me, years ago when I was more likely to be playing at CBGB than yoga class, “You know Kelly, there’s only one song, and that was the first song and it was written by Adam and Evil. I don’t write songs, I just receive and transmit.”
If its all the same song and Adam and Eve were the first people with language, they probably spoke Sanskrit. So sing your ancestral language, maybe in the way I have received and transmitted the melodies to you, maybe a bit more traditionally. But whatever you do, don’t forget to sing, any way and any language you want. Sound creates form, and when you stop worrying and sing you add positive forms and peace to the world. It has been scientifically proven that the delicate sound of a butterfly flapping its wings affects the stratosphere on the other side of the world. Imagine what happens when you sing loud and strong with a heart full of love. Just like in Kindergarten.
Now treat your soul with this beautiful rendition of the Refuge Mantra and sing along http://www.reverbnation.com/kellybritton/song/4622485-shri-krishna
The end of 2014 is approaching and we will be teaching our last workshop before spring.
This Friday 28th of November from 18:30 till 20:30 at Insens
“ONE LOVE TWO TEACHERS”
Will take you through the focus of the month with heaps of love
and lots of care:
Dinner will follow at Helveg.
Should you join us for the workshop, do book your spot!*
The room is cosy and limited in numbers.
Also drop us an email if you are joining us for dinner:
Peace, Love, Greens and more Love
*Because we can only accept a limited number of participants, please note that your booking is firm and you will be billed for last minute cancelations. Thank you for your understanding.
The place is pretty cosy, so places are limited.We highly recommend booking your spot early. (Tel 022 347 15 15 / Email email@example.com)
See you there!
love, more love, and veggies.
« The ecological devastation of our planet can be traced to a single cause: raising animals for food. So if we stop participating in that animal agribusiness, we stop participating in the devastation of our environment on planet Earth » – Sharon Gannon
We recently watched cowspiracy in the comfort of our home. Here is Marc (not a vegetarian) ’s message about it:
« This is the most important, the most relevant and the most politically charged documentary film of our times. Everyone should watch it. Don’t wait »
Thank you for daring to care,
It’s Sunday, autumn and I am feeling lazy. I swung my practice nearer to noon than morning, had chocolate just after squeezing a lemon……. Oh BOY! I am a total chocolate junkie right now. I’ve been having chocolate before practice for the last couple of weeks, searching for a kick to uplift me throughout it.
In this season the body slows down just as nature goes into some kind of sleep. Trees retract their sap and all nature turns into an explosion of orange, red, rusty colours. I love the sight of it, a little less the chestnuts on the ground as I swish through parks with my bike….
As cold weather arrives, do you also feel like comfort food and sleep? What are you craving for? Rich soups and fried potatoes, chestnuts and pumpkins have been on my menu a lot. I tried making pumpkin soup with apples and safran instead of the classical coconut cream, curry… trust me, the alternative was so good!
Because today is quite chilly, I felt so happy to have taken the decision to not leave the house. Played some of my favourite records, listened to a dozen to times to “Entendre la forêt qui pousse” (hearing the forest grow, very seasonal) from Chapelier le fou. And, after my initial sugar fix, fruits followed a deep core floor practice then I suddenly got so excited at the idea of making my favourite pancakes, simple joys of cooking really uplift my mood.
The recipe I enjoy comes from the Post Punk kitchen blog, Isa is such an inspiration for turning the traditional unhealthy soul food into more ethical and wholesome dishes. These puffy pillow pancake’s will satisfy any serious comfort craving for the authentic american crepe!
I used egg replacer instead of the ground flax seeds and only incorporated one spoon of sugar since I pour more than enough maple syrup of them, also not being a vanilla fan, skipped that. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Peace, love and sugar*
If you are in town this weekend and haven’t yet made plans…. we have one for you!
Laruga Glaser is in Geneva, lucky we are to have her visit. Laruga teaches internationally and is most of the time on the road, her practice is outstanding and the lady shines from inside out! She is authorised by Sharath Jois, the Mysore Ashtanga Institute “Level II”
Friday 31st of Oct at INSENS 18:00-20:00 60chf
Saturday 1st of Nov at Soluna 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00 130chf
Sunday 2nd of November at Soluna 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00 130chf
FULL WEEKEND 280chf
For more details about the schedule, check the Babayoga’s website on the news page.
I hope to see you there!
Please sign up:
« My spiritual sister, Yogeswari, works tirelessly, has created Azahar foundation, and teachers yoga in all corners of the world, wherever terrible things are happening specifically as a result of war. She’s totally unafraid, and such an inspiration! She carries a library of book and a harmonium everywhere she travels (…) All the good flowing out of yoga centers encourages us to care. We want to care, but sometimes we forget, and so all these place are reminding us: Remember?
The goodness in the world conducts itself through these individual people and their communities. Goodness uses the people who are willing to be instruments of goodness.They live and they work in collaboration. There’s nothing egoistic about these individuals. It’s goodness, and goodness is eternal. It never dies. » ~ Ruth Lauer-Manenti, Sweeping the dust
We are all witnessing the power of Yoga every day and Azahar Foundation’s mission is to bring this wonderful tool to many more people, in particular to disadvantaged youth in the developing world and in post-conflict settings.
BREATHE IN YOGA – BREATHE OUT PEACE
On Saturday, November 15th, in the spirit of World Peace, we hope to unite yogis across the world to practice one class.
Brigitte De Picciotto is generously hosting the Yogathon .
In 2015, Azahar Foundation is stretching its activities to Rwanda. It is my great joy and a special honor to teach a jivamukti yoga class in support of this exciting new project.
Join us and be part of the Global AZAHAR YOGATHON Community.
Mayy eva mana adhatsva / mayi buddhim nivesaya /
nivasisyasi mayy eva / ata urdhvam na samsayah
Keep your mind on me alone, your intellect on me; thus you will dwell in me from now on.
In this age of struggle, known as the Kali Yuga, it can be very difficult to maintain a serene mind. Conflict between nations, conflict at work, conflict with enemies, conflict with friends, conflict at home, and even conflict within oneself can disturb one’s mind and destroy one’s happiness. It is common to be suspicious of someone who is happy and calm, thinking they must be ignorant, uneducated, living in a bubble or even mentally ill, and that to be an intelligent, caring human being one must be disturbed and filled with anxiety, and further that if you seek solace in spiritual practices you are an escapist living in denial and burying your head in the sand.
Buddhim or buddhi means “intelligence.” The highest and most important aspect of the intellect is its ability to grasp and understand the truth. Many people focus their minds on relative truth, that which is bound by the transient comings and goings of temporary existence, while the spiritual practitioner aims to comprehend or dwell in absolute truth. Absolute truth is knowledge of the supreme Self or God. Krishna in this verse from the Gita tells Arjuna that if he is able to focus his intelligence on Him, on God, then without a doubt (samsayah), he will gain access to the heart of God. God is Love. God is Great. With great love all is possible. To know God is to love God, and this is the yogi’s purpose. To realize that purpose one must devote their whole being to that aim. As Patanjali advises, Ishwara pranidhanad va (PYS 1.23), and for those who do, success will be guaranteed absolutely (va).
Chitta means the “content of the mind”—the mind’s intelligence—and prasad means “blessed.” A blessed mind is a serene mind. Because so much of the anxiety we experience seems to us to be caused by other people—they make us mad, they act in deceitful ways, they are unfair, they are unkind, and on and on—Patanjali tells us in chapter 1.33 of the Yoga Sutra that chitta prasadanam, or serenity, is our mind’s innate state. Hey, that’s good news! We should have faith in that truth and do all we can to protect that blessed condition from defilement. Patanjali gives some advice as to how to accomplish that: be happy for those who are happy, compassionate for those who are unhappy, delighted for those who are virtuous and indifferent to those who are wicked. If we choose to ignore this advice, we will become entrenched in our own negative emotions and be unable to remember God or devote ourselves to His service. Our intelligence will be consumed by anxiety, and we will be unable to enjoy anything in this world or in any other.
Finding fault with others is a sure way to disturb your mind and destroy your intelligence. When judgment of others arises, strive to let it go. Let God take care of things. If you remember that He is the supreme doer, you will be able to surrender and let go of your ego’s tendency to try to control the outcome of a situation. Your job is to protect the serenity of your mind. As my teacher Shri Brahmananda would say, “mind, your own business!” Follow the dictates of the yamas and relate to others with kindness, truthfulness, caring, respect and generosity. Rid your mind of the diseases of pride, envy, anger, laziness, lust, greed and gluttony. No one is saying that this is an easy task and that we can accomplish this alone, so to provide help in times of need we would be wise to contemplate the practical suggestions given to us by holy beings and do our best to put them into practice. Help is available in the form of satsang, and satsang can appear in the form of holy teachings written by holy beings, like the Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutra as well as contemporary teachers, like Shyamdas.
Another meaning of intelligence that I found in the dictionary is “secret information.” I think Shyamdas thought of intelligence like this when he spoke about the importance of protecting the most secret information, your devotional bhav: “The age of struggle has arrived and can destroy everyone’s intelligence. Be careful! This Kali Yuga can swindle you, so secure your devotional mind, guarding it like you would a precious jewel. Safeguard your bhava.” (Shiksha Patra 29.1, translated by Shyamdas and Vallabhdas). The Path of Grace outlines practical means to protect one’s chitta prasadanam: only eat prasad, food that has first been offered to God, and even water should be offered before drinking; keep good association (satsang); listen to accounts of Shri Krishna’s lilas; sing His praises and always chant the refuge mantra, Shri Krishna Sharanam Mama.
As you can see, there are many sources of holy advice. It seems like if we were able to incorporate at least some of these precious jewels offered by blessed beings into our daily lives, we could experience a little serenity during these difficult times. I certainly hope so!
FRIDAY THE 3rd of OCTOBER
SIGN UP SO WE CAN COOK
THE MOST RIDICULOUS OUTFIT
WILL HAVE FREE FOOD!
Hilarious, over the top, too bright, ridiculous, hippysh!!!!
From 18:30 till 21 come and have fun.
We will chant, laugh and dance,
Om, meditate, sweat….
Milène will play live, create the Bhav
As we will move you through our brisk tailor made hideous Jivamukti Practice,
BE READY TO LAUGH
Kwai will soothe your hunger and quench your thirst
Green veg shots and finger food is on the menu
At Soluna’s pop up Mocktail Bar after class.
Please kindly remember to bring change,
50chf for class
25chf for food and drink.
MANDATORY REGISTRATION BY EMAIL FOR MUNCHIES
Be there or be square!
September 21st, the largest march in history took place in NYC and many other cities around the globe.
Our friends from the Jivamukti Yoga School of NYC were there of course,
and many other vegan friends … walking the walk, and most importantly walking the talk.
With 7 billion people on the planet and 70 billion animals used for food, animal agriculture is number 1 cause of 51% all greenhouse gasses.
The most simple, cheapest and most efficient way to slow (or even reverse climate change) is at the end your fork : GO VEGAN.
Wanna read from The Cookie Devi (she attended the March)? Here you are !
More facts? http://cowspiracy.com/fact-check/
Thank you for daring to care!
In our prayers, we often ask for what we wish for.
The health we lost,
The departed love,
The wealth we don’t have…..
We frequently forget gratitude.
When ever you start wishing for something,
Flip that thought over and be thankful for what you have presently.
And why not give,
With no expectation in return, just knowing your gesture will do some good.
If you feel like giving a great amount or just the few coins you can afford, that you like sweating during a yoga class, come and support me taking a vinyasa flow class, moreover, support children and women in need in India. Friday 19th of September at INSENS, from 18:30 till 20:00. No need to be a member, the space and class is open to all. Brigitte De Picciotto has generously provided the space for the class to happen, I will happily spend that time with you.
Every little helps so I hope to see you there!
Following my teacher – Sharon Gannon – ‘s instructions, I am getting ready to prepare the prasad.
The recipe is simple… it is a simple recipe for joy.
Please spread the word to all the yogis at the Geneva Yoga and Music Festival : Prasad will be served tomorrow after the Jivamukti Yoga class (10.15 am – 12; Ecole des Pâquis)
Greetings to you all,
Presently in our office, which is Janine’s kitchen, I am trying to get started with the sequencing for our class for the yoga festival and my beloved sister is making food for the soul, this raw green soup from Sharonji’s cookbook “Simple Recipe’s for Joy“.
It seems like we can’t help ourselves mixing greens with wisdom as working….
Peace, Love and Green Soup*
Some festivals require wellington boots…. we go bare foot.
Some festivals advise a hat…. we take a mat.
Some festivals provide alcohol…. we do kombucha.
Some festival finish really late…. we start when you go to bed.
Some festivals feed you with fast food…. we eat slow wholeheartedly cooked vegetarian food.
So come and fill yourself with love and joy…..because we are going!!!!
“The Magic of Cooking” is the focus:
A dash of Dharma talk
An ounce of meditation
A spoonful of chanting
108 pounds of Vinyasa Flow
All this will be finely baked in the
Sunday the 14th of September from 10:15 am till 12:00
Come and have fun, join, gather, share the love. Our dear Daniji has struck again! If you’re in town or around….drop in and take a yoga spin!
Geneva Yoga and Music Festival, from the 10th till the 14th of September 2014
Beloved students, dear readers,
Summer never reached Geneva and is already drifting away, however the sun never leaves our hearts.
Everybody is going back to their schedule and we are still juggling with ours : frantic conversations, extensive reading, ad hoc typing, tea drinking, brainstorming, head scratching, taking notes, losing the taken notes, starting all over again, questioning and changing our minds often ….
Something is cooking here… stay tuned!
Peace, love and greens,
Welcome to the Shala of the Lovely Kristina Karitinou…
If one day you are passing by Crete, she is more than worth a visit!
Manjuji, you are so wise and so friendly,
thank you for continuously sharing the knowledge of the tradition*
“I don’t do cheese at home.” -…….
“I am looking for my Moola Bandha.” -Barbara
“If I didn’t do yoga I would be on valium now!” -Pauline
“I’m the kind of skip savasana person.” -Tanya
“Where should I feel the pain now?” -Manouri
On your tip toes creep in
With great care, walk through the Shala
Avoid the gracefully strong legs and arms in motion
Mind to not step on the fellow practitioner’s mats
Unroll yours as carefully as possible, soundlessly
Find stillness in Samastitihi
Hands in Anjali Mudra, bow and pray, invoke
Crickets, cucumbers, hot nights, crystal clear water, white, blue, turquoise, wild nature, creamy avocados, dill in outrageous quantities, more cucumbers, sun, tones of sun, laughs, cats, dozens of cats, practice, practice, again practice, share, talk, enjoy, swim, little sleep, many naps and start all over again!
The life is simple here, no cell phone, hardly no clothes, warmth and kindness is all you need and what you get on this fantastic island of Greek Gods, Crete. For the last couple of weeks, the few items I possessed to cook are one pan, a knife and a cup. I very much appreciate coming back to simplicity, no juicer, no oven, no blender…. it is all considerably raw and plain, but so tasty, just the essential.
I have ran into the cutest organic store ever, it doesn’t provide much, but again, I am right now very appreciative of the lack of choice. It makes everything so much more special!
All here is absolutely sun kissed! The sea, the scenery, the people and no need to mention the fruits and veggies. So grab a few greens, add your favourite “fava” as the locals would say, a touch of red, then squeeze some lemon, drizzle this taste explosion with the most exquisite olive oil and do not forget the heaps of fresh herbs! Enjoy*
From anger, strength arises
From sadness, softness
From tiredness, energy
From anxiety, serenity
From fear, confidence
From unrootedness, stability
From perplexity, clarity
From happiness, delight
Every day one has to compose with their feelings or emotions as hitting the mat. Twelve years down the road of asana practice I am still fascinated, if used in an appropriate way, how asana can shift for the best one’s mood.
My moods don’t swing as much as when I was younger and hadn’t yet discovered this beautiful tool of yoga, but I still have my ups and downs, my good and bad days, sad times…. Something happened the other day, and after the initial shock, the next daybreak I became pretty cross. I took my emotion, addressed it in order to not get overwhelmed by it and used it.
I ripped my mat that morning with my anger, until it cooled off and it did. My practice was simply fantastic, savasana still and blissful. I was amazed, once again in the shift of my mood. Rage and anger can be pretty destructive feelings, by if used positively one can benefit of huge amount of physical and mental strength, followed by release and maybe interesting achievements.
Look, observe, breath throurgh it and use it, what ever is going on. You can be victim of your emotions or overcome them by feeling them, welcoming them, embracing them, talking to them but don’t hold on to them! It takes a little experience to be able to observe and compose with it, but not that much… again, awareness is the key word. So flip that switch on and be the observer.
Enhance the beautiful also, learn to have fun during practice, smile and even laugh. Float through postures if ease is on the menu today. Find buoyancy and steadiness effortlessly using your positive mindset. Anything can grow in any way, a little will power and you’ll do wonders.
My mat is my shrink, my therapy, my friend, my consoler. Asana my salvation, my refuge. If badly started, my practice will get me through the day, if I got up with a big bright smile, which is most days, post mat time I hopscotch to my bike which I’ll ride to the class I am happily going to teach.
An urban setting,
A few Kind Souls,
Tons of laughter,
A touch of knowledge,
Heaps of will,
Many bold Colours,
One great vegan chef,
Some food for the soul,
A patchwork of patterns,
Big Bright Smiles….
The perfect blend for a marvellous evening*
IN GRATITUDE TO
NICOLAS FOR HOSTING US
CAROLINE FOR YOUR GENEROUS HELPING HAND
KWAI FOR COOKING OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR US
OUR STUDENTS FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE
WE LOVE YOU ALL