On Yoga and Fully Embracing your Adventures

The Kids of Berea
Inside Ponte City Apartments. Photography by Sean Brand Photography.
If there is one thing that I have learnt well, it is that life is too short to not fully embrace all your experiences.  Whatever shape or form these experiences come in, embrace them.  If you meet the Universe half way, the Universe will meet you half way too.  The same goes for your relationships: you give 100%, you get 100% back.  My yoga practice has taught me to give myself over to the moment and the love I have been receiving lately is absolutely incredible.

This week, I travelled to Malawi again for work.  This time we spent four days in Blantyre.  As poor as the country is, it is richer in spirit and heart than anything I have ever experienced.  The people are warm and present.  I interview a lot of top end banking executives and if you know the corporate banking sector, it can be a little stiff and formal.  Not so much in the rest of Africa.  When people greet you, or give you a hug to welcome you to their country, they mean it.  And that kind of connection is what I am talking about.

In between filming and interviewing, of course, I managed to get onto a rooftop for a quick little customary asana or two:

Blantyre
Warrior, Trikonasana.

Blantyre 2
Standing Bowpulling, Dandayamana Danurasana.
And then over the weekend, just to add a cherry to the top of an already awesome week, Steven over at Yogaworks held a Hip Hop Yoga event inside Ponte City Apartments with Safiyah, and they killed it!  We had to go underground because of the rain, and it was PERFECT!  My highlight was getting to take some beautiful photographs inside the tower.  It was pretty trippy.  The building has a lot of history which you can read about here.

My heart is feeling open, more open than it has in years.  It’s the kind of openness that shines right out of your eyeballs when you smile.  And that kind of human to human connection is what I have been moulding my life around.  It feels oh-so-goooooooooood.  What on Earth are we here for then, if it is not to fully embrace our humaness?  Live yours exceptionally well 😉

Ponte
These kids are everything!
If you are not following me on Instagram or Facebook, please do.  There are plenty new yoga photos in the pipeline as I continue to select the best ones for my yoga book in collaboration with Sean Brand Photography.  Please send me your feedback and your own yoga stories, I always love hearing from all of you!

See you all on your mats.

xx Eliza

 

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 Read more

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!