On Yoga and Travel

Jupiter, Venus and the Zambian sky

Lusaka in Zambia is the same amount of travelling time away from Johannesburg as it is to travel to Cape Town: a two hour flight away. That kinda blew my mind. Somehow, as a South African, the rest of Africa seems deep, dark, dirty, corrupt and far away. What’s up with that? I’ll pick ignorance and inexperience as the answers. My first trip into Lusaka was soul enriching and mind expanding. It came at just the right time too because I moved apartments and completed my Yoga teacher training in the same week.  So I was ripe for a paradigm shift.

Here is what I learnt this week: Life is a dance between making it happen and letting it happen.

Trikonasana: Triangle or Warrior pose

  

It is not always easy to discern between the two, especially when most of us are driven to do, achieve, accomplish and succeed – all the time. I know I fall into the category of materialising tangible results at a rapid rate and at a certain point in your mid thirties you realise it is all a bit much to constantly be measuring your life by incremental result after incremental result. Who invented this metric system anyway? 

Tree of fire

I took a moment to step out of that paradigm and honour the space between no longer and not there yet. It is an uncomfortable space between doing and being, a bit like being in limbo but in a more mindful and conscious way. Patience, discipline and focus are key. You do not act, but rather observe and take your cues from the natural unfolding of how life happens and be brave enough to go with the flow. Life happens while you’re busy making other plans, as the old saying goes (thank you John Lennon), so why beat yourself up about it? We always get what we need in the end, anyway.

Tree pose on a rooftop in Lusaka

So the trick is to be still and present enough to observe the connections between your experience of things and the natural unfolding of things, without the panic of realising that you are not in complete control of things and that everything is moving along as it is supposed to. I think it is called having faith and being in a humble state of grace. It is a sweet surrender.

   

We are lucky enough to live on a magical continent. I am looking forward to exploring more of it. And the more of the deep, dark continent I explore on the outside, the more of my own deep, dark inner world I explore on the inside. Once I wrapped my mind around that, I realised it is not so dark after all. It is actually quite glorious if you have an open enough mind and heart about it.

Namasté.

See you in class. 

Life is what happens…

…when you’re busy making other plans!  This is me Bow Pulling on a bridge on the South Bank in London.  All sorts of psychological context embedded in that metaphor, if you are that way inclined!  Which I am, but let’s not go there shall we?

London was amazing.  London is amazing.  I could live there.  I want to live there.  I never managed to get to any studios. I know I planned to, but there was so much life happening around, that all I got was this one photo to share with you.  There were others but this one is the cherry.

So, the exciting thing about Bow Pulling which I’ve discovered along my yoga journey is this:  Your leg is rooted to the ground, like a tree you need strength (roots) to keep you extended upwards while rooted to the earth.  Your other leg is kicked back and pointing up towards God, almost like an antennae straight into communion (communication) with a power that is higher than yourself.  And when you kick hard enough, you feel that energy coming down from above, and from below straight into your core strength (your authentic self).  Your arm extends forward, like you’re reaching for your dreams and goals – but you can’t reach too far too soon or you’ll lose your balance.  So the posture is three fold. Rooting down, extending up and reaching forward.  The back bend happens naturally as your practice progresses – flexibility beats fear!  But we’ll leave that for another post!

Happy practicing, see you in class!

Londres

I will be exploring a few yoga studios in London at the end of September.  I am jetting off for 10 days to get a feel for the place, visit some lovely people and start a whole new process for myself: personally and maybe professionally too.  First on the list is Bikram Yoga UK.  They have 4 studios across London, my local guide will have to be a darling and take me to as many studios as we can fit it.  London is such a big city, and I don’t expect to only be doing yoga for all 10 days.  There may be a ferry trip across to Paris but for now, it’s London Luvin’ baby!

Another studio Bikram Yoga London.  Both these two studios look PACKED.  I guess, in South Africa we are a lot more conservative with our space.  Many teachers have said that overseas most people are half naked and very, very close to each other!  That should be fun! Ha ha ha (only funny if you practise Bikram regularly, totally gross if you don’t!)

Exciting times up ahead!  Travelling, practising yoga, blogging about it all where I can and living my life as full and honestly as I can because life is too short to not do the things you really want to do!  This first trip is a litmus test to see if London is all it is hyped up to be and be a foundation block for me.  2012 will be my big travel year where I’m planning a month trip across Europe. There has been a lot going on in my life in the last 2 weeks.  And I am eternally grateful for my regular practise that continues to be my life glue.

See you in class!

Move.Learn.Eat

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I cannot get enough of these videos!  STA Travel Australia posted them about 2 weeks ago on YouTube and Vimeo and this “Move” video has got close to 500 000 hits already.  Thanks to @russellism for sharing these with me.

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I have a very clear vision of doing this very, very soon.  These particular videos were shot over 6 weeks and compressed into these three 1 minute clips. If you’re in the TV biz, you know how phenomenal the editing and camerawork is, not to mention the creativity behind these videos. Nice man candy too, I won’t lie *chuckles*

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I am inspired beyond words:  as a yogi to Move, as a curious mind to Learn and as an adventurer at heart to Eat!