What is yoga? The ever-elusive question that themes many of my conversations lately. Yoga is a tool to discover internal strength. A strength that comes through recognizing our vulnerability, our limitations, our humility. And okay, sometimes having those moments where we experience the feeling of a posture that we never thought we could do – all thanks to practice, patience and perseverance. The real wonderment here, I believe, comes from understanding the experience of the pose, rather than what we think we look like. Continue reading “update on practice”
Sometimes we need to challenge ourselves in new ways. In fact, I believe we need to constantly be doing this. Even after moving to a new country, and living in three different apartments in the span of a few months (I was house and dog sitting in between) and getting worn out from all the changes, I still felt a little stagnant once things just began to get settled.
Some might call this restlessness, except I have experienced restlessness and there was a different quality to my motions of life this time. Continue reading “a new studio”
I am not going to try to tell you what yoga is or what it should be. It has come to be understood in many different ways – both by non-practitioners and practitioners – and has come to have many different expressions, endless even, whether from the variety of lineages or the spread of them into different contexts, places, times and adaptions outside of their place of origin.
I can only speak from my own practice, from my own experience, from my opinions and insights, and from what my teachers teach me. Continue reading “art in motion”
I somehow always seem to end up in the best places. In the need to have accommodation booked in advance to apply for my visa to Portugal, I booked a short term rental on Airbnb, with plans to take a month to search for a location suitable to myself. I arrived in Martim Moniz, a small area named after the famous noble knight of Portugal, and immediately saw the contrast between a large renovated square with fountains and lounge chairs and somewhat pricey restaurants to the many ethnic wholesale shops and multiple ethnic-owned convenience shops/mini-markets/”Bangladesheries” dotted amongst the residences.
I soon learned from talking to anyone in Portugal that this area – the neighbouring bairro called Intendente more particularly was once a main hub for drug dealing and prostitution and despite recent municipal and local development interventions to requalify the urban space, many Lisboners still hold on to its reputation as an unsafe area. Continue reading “am I a gentrifier?”
to come home is to arrive again in the place that we started from,
the place that we have always known, have always felt, to be true.
the streets we walk today may be more lawless, the signs non-existent,
but our navigation steadily, and always, brings us back to centre.
to remember where we come from is not to picture a country,
or a landscape, or a house. All these are fleeting,
as the wanderer understands with a longing heart,
and how loneliness does not correlate with the distance of memories.
because home is where the heart is, as the old saying goes,
for the only place that is truly familiar,
is the body, mind and spirit that temple our sweet soul,
our essence that, at its own heart, is free and never lonely,
for it is wild, yet never lost. it welcomes the world to its front door,
in harmonious dance, a true traveler,
only experiencing the loneliness of separation and differentiation,
when we ourselves wander away from it, forgetting who we are,
running away from home.
I’ve never met as hospitable people as the Turkish. I’ve been here for a week now and have yet to stay in a hostel. I’ve been provided meals, more than luxourish assistance figuring out transport, time and friendship. Even the shop man wouldn’t let me pay for an electrical adapter after he saw that I so stupidly burnt mine to a crisp. This kindness is so unique to the Turkish because they act this way out of genuine joy, rather than feelings of obligation.
Continue reading “learning how to receive”
The first time I ventured to Asia, to work and live in Cambodia, was probably the first time I consciously took a pilgrimage in this life. I didn’t know at the time how much that experience would make me grow. I did know that I was yearning to be somewhere different than my own exploitative and consumerist culture, somewhere that respected Nature and people, somewhere that structured its society around supporting people to be all they could be rather than moulding them into a box for the greater efficiency of a system that is powerfully fighting to keep itself alive.
I didn’t find that place.
Continue reading “back to the Asian continent”
Change is surprisingly hard to deal with, it seems, as we get older and more settled in our ways. Yet everything, including our self, is in a constant state of change. Traditionally, we’ve observed this process through the seasons, ritually marking different periods of our lives, in terms of our activities and focus.
The summer is slowly waning into a cool autumn, as I prepare physically and mentally for the winter. With a new house and new flatmates, and a shift from city to countryside living reflecting a change in priorities, I wonder what the next six months will bring. As a traveller, I bask in new experiences, new environments and new people. Nevertheless, letting go and moving on is a tough process. It must include honouring the moments and the season that is to pass away.
Continue reading “popcorn and peppermint tea near portobello”
It’s time to simplify. It’s been time for a long time. In fact, it’s always time.
I suffered from chronic tension, stress and anxiety for years. Even as I recognized it, observed it, gave it it’s dues, it didn’t and still hasn’t fully left me. It became more noticeable when the issues finally reflected themselves through the physical body. My shoulders, neck, and spinal area have become misaligned, full of knots and tensed up tight. My nervous system feels shot. Indeed, my adrenal glands (the “anti-stress” glands, a backup system for your body to be able to relax after experiencing stress) literally shut down. They could no longer take on the load of stress that my mind was making up in its own games.
Continue reading “settling and slowing down”