Waves, whales and other tales-Good bye Mirissa

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Mirissa sunset

I am sitting in a guesthouse in Colombo, arrived here after a surprisingly long bus journey ( accident on the highway:() and a hopelessly lost tuk tuk driver.. now I managed to find some food from a nearby bakery and before I have an early night to get ready tomorrow’s long train ride, I have to write about the past week and a half.
After receiving the last blood test results, I started to feel relieved, slowly getting back to normal.. I celebrated my “survival ” with cooking fajitas for the others ( my Mirissa family😊). It was really nice and started a tradition of dinners  which I’m missing already. I never thought I will eat this much Italian food in Sri Lanka ( in case you guys worried, no I don’t miss out on traditional Sri Lankan food, that’s lunch:)…so we went through a series of pastas, pizza and risotto, and on my last night I made an attempt to cook Hungarian food😊❤️🇭🇺yumm

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Pizza selfie!

I was also able to start teaching again, and I had really nice classes, a few of them one to one, and some small group ones. Sometimes we had to face interesting weather conditions ( when you send silent prayers for the rain not to start until you finish savasana🙂) but the roof terrace totally worth the weather gamble. And none of the yogis mind a little refreshing rain… I will miss teaching and practicing there, with the breeze coming from the ocean, monkeys jumping on palm trees, the sound of the prayer, the bread car and our resident bird and KK coming up to check out what’s going on.

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One of KK’s best yoga poses

I think I was very lucky that James( the owner of JJ’s Hostel) was the first person to reply to my email looking for a volunteering position. Mirissa is a beautiful place and the hostel is amazing. A short walk away from the beach, with very comfy beds , nice and friendly vibe and a breakfast to die for ( french toast💛), but most importantly the people who work there make this place as special as it is. The Sri Lankan staff making sure everything goes well . The chef who was always eager to observe what am I doing in the kitchen ( with her understanding of personal space😄) and cooked us delicious lunch. Dhanusha who was always keen to help with anything from finding gemstones for my sister to train bookings and he was always ready to tell me jokes with perfect poker face.

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Dhanusha the star
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The Chef in action( making my french toast)

The other volunteers, Lauren , this Aussie fairy who looked after me when I was ill, Metka and Rok, an awesome surfer couple who are truly one of the best teams I’ve ever seen and my fellow yoga teacher, Alessandra who taught me a beautiful class on my last morning and discovered Secret beach with me.

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And last but not least James, JJ himself, who built this place from literally nothing, really knowing what travellers need ( being one himself) and running the hostel as smoothly as possible. He is a bit of a role model for me, as I’m dreaming about building my yoga place one day( it always starts with a dream😉). Besides his professional skills, he was always ready to respond my weird jokes and watched vampire movies with me when I was going to daily blood tests(yaay).
If you happen to be around Mirissa, definitely check JJs out, and eat a french toast for me 😉
Mirissa was everything I needed for to recover, a beautiful and quiet beach, sun( with occasional pouring rain, making life very exciting) and quirky characters such as Lionel, my personal clothes maker, he has a little shop on the beach and makes beautiful clothes and accessories ( and custom makes stuff as well) . He has his “factory” as he calls it at his home and works very hard with his family.It was nice to have a chat with him time to time, although a bit dangerous as I never left empty handed(🙄). My other personal favourite was the coconut lady, who always gave me the best avocados and fresh king coconut (which I still have to learn how to open properly..), despite her injured leg (she was hit by a tuk tuk) working restlessly ,smiling every day.

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Lionel and his shop
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The coconut lady

I can’t write about my time in Mirissa without mentioning the buses… the cheapest rollercoaster ride ever, with entertainment ( all those Sri Lankan hits 🎶).

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The bus

I believe when J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter she took inspiration from these guys for the Knight Bus. If you don’t have a seat it’s a great test for balance and arm strength.

I was planning to go surfing but it had to wait until the last few days.. JJ’s volunteering crew got together , the pros and the beginners( although Alessandra turned out to be a natural talent) and we went to Weligama.
Well, me and the waves are usually friends, but to be frank it will probably take me longer to master them( a few years maybe😂). I didn’t take it into account that I’m still not strong enough and got frustrated with myself a little bit, although I developed my falling off the board skills up to perfection… I will keep trying though and hopefully one day I’ll stay longer on the board than 3 seconds.

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Looks like a pro..
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..falls like a beginner😂

The waves seemed to be a theme at the end of my stay, I went whale watching with Raja & whales and was lucky(again!) because the weather conditions made it impossible in previous days to go, but on my penultimate day I was on a boat on the way to see the largest mammal on earth. Remember I called the bus roller coaster, well this boat truly was. Being on rough sea like this made me realised ( as it often happens when I travel) how tiny and insignificant we are compare to the powers of Mother nature ( that’s why we should pay more respect to her!) But the crew handled the waves with amazing professionalism, supporting the ones needed help and they even jumped into the ocean to save a girl’s hat when it flew overboard. They had extensive knowledge of the whales and they even took photos of them( as most of us was holding on to the boat for their lives, they just casually walked around). And there they were, with their spouts and shiny back, giant and peaceful.. we saw a few of them, making me feel humble and amazed… And a little proud because there were a few people who stayed on the upper deck ( it’s calmer downstairs)and I was the only one who grew up in a landlocked country ( secret sailor ancestors maybe?).

 


Now I’m on my way to Sigirya, to see other spectacular animals( very close to my heart), and as I’m writing this I feel a bit emotional. Thank you Mirissa, for letting me swim in the ocean( and washed away by it a few times when I left my towel to close to the shore), JJ’s crew to make me feel home and appreciated , KK to spend some of her time with me( and letting me feed her graciously) and the people who joined my class and let me share some of the yoga awesomeness on the roof terrace.
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I hope to see you again one day!

Healing

 

Here I was, having the opportunity to teach yoga in paradise, and then on my first morning I woke up with shivers and feeling odd.. Taught my class with that mindset you probably know if you are a teacher of some sort -nothing else matters, you can be focused and channel your energies to your students and when the class finishes, you just flop. I had a trip to a pharmacy ( luckily there is one nearby) and bought some paracetamol, went straight to bed and hoped it will get better. Well, the fever lasted a few days, I did my best to teach and make sure everything is fine, I had really great classes, with some experienced yogis and some beginners as well. But the weakness didn’t want to go away so I pulled myself together and went to the hospital( the public one) to get a blood test done( in case I have dengue fever which I suspected but you know, magical thinking, if you don’t think about it, it doesn’t exsist..)
The first hospital ( actually the second during my stay) experience was quiet intense, the very kind nurses and doctors to the guy who pushed me over in a wheelchair to the ward( they insisted, even though I was perfectly able to walk, there was a stamp on my documents stating wheelchair) being shocked that I am not married even though I am 35. They wanted to admit me straight away, so I tried to explain that I only came for a blood test. Finally they agreed that I can just sit and wait instead of taking bed nr 18( which was practically half a bed, every bed had two people allocated to them) .

IMG_0255 There was a point when I had a little boy on my right knee and an IV bag in my left hand, as the person accompanying my left hand neighbour had to go somewhere so she asked me to hold the IV drip for her. Made new friends:) everybody smiling and feeling that bond when you are in a similar(shitty) situation.
Finally someone took a blood sample( first one of many..) and after about 45 minutes I got the results.. and there it was, dengue fever. Even though I was feeling okay, my platelet count was low( boy, I learned too much about these little guys in the past few days:) so they still wanted to keep me there. I decided to leave to hospital against medical advice, because there were soo many people looking significantly more unwell than me waiting and they didn’t even get a bed, I couldn’t be that person.. so I signed some papers and promised to repeat the blood test the day after, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Both young doctors were extremely kind and patient.
So there I was, far away from friends and family, being slightly scared but still optimistic about everything and feeling very very grateful that the people around me only surrounded me with kindness and care and looked after me even though they only knew me for a couple of days.

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KK the hostel’s cat kept me company:)

Next day I decided to go to a private hospital so I won’t take up time and energy from other people who need to be treated more than me.. my numbers were even lower and the doctor warned me to take this very seriously.. so I bought spinach and beetroot ( I did my research about increasing platelet count:) and decided to stop being a hero and just let my body heal.
The human body is amazing, just thinking about billions of cells working together as an organisation to keep you alive and healthy is fascinating. And in times like this you have to just provide your body what it needs to work those healing processes. We forget about this way too often, we never take a break, never give us time, we go back to work way too early after an illness.. but in general, the body feels what it needs to heal( like when you craving certain food ) , so it is wise to just honour it ( if you can)..
Healing can be a long process( and I’m not only talking about physical one), sometimes you just need to give yourself time and be kind to yourself.


I became very frustrated initially, I am in this beautiful country, near this beautiful beach and I am spending my days in bed, doing nothing. Then I just surrendered. I will get better, and I still have time to explore everything. Baby steps..

IMG_0257I had my last visit to the “bleeding room” ( one of the funniest signs so far) and I was so pleased to learn that my blood counts are within the healthy range, I have more energy and I can slowly go back to normal( still being careful though) starting with teaching a class this evening..

 

I will be back with more stories ☺️🙏🏼

Changes

 

Sri Lankan trains are amazing. They get you where you want to go( although you might have to take that only one at 5am in the morning ), they sell food on them and you can meet interesting people from the sweetest to the weirdos.


You might have to forget about your western comfort zone, personal space and just embrace the sweat. I realised that the Hungarian train rides of my student years and my London travels on the tube in peak time were preparing me for this experience.
I found myself on a 5 am train this morning from Kandy to Weligama as I decided to trade the hill country for the ocean and found a new opportunity to teach yoga. It was kind of a spur of a moment decision, but sometimes the pieces just don’t fit together and you either feel bad about it or change. I ( thanks to some friendly support) decided to change, and took my second train ride on this beautiful island.( the epic one between Ella and Kandy is still awaits).
Now I’m sitting with salty-coconut oily hair in Mirissa, swam in the Indian ocean and felt that completeness that I feel every time when I’m in any kind of water and excited about my classes tomorrow, see who will turn up and how will everything be this time. In Kandy I had some amazing one to one sessions with a fellow yogini, and that inspired me so many ways… but it was time to move on..for both of us.
It’s like when you hold an asana with awareness of breath control and you feel it when it’s time to change.


My week in Kandy was fun, I explored the city a little bit, tried some yummy food and drinks , visited the temples and the botanical gardens

and had some arty chill time at the hostel. Plus I got to spend time with one if the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met(💛).

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Will continue this tomorrow, now it’s time to sleep 😴😴😴
Update:
In the past two days I taught 4 classes, my favourite is the rooftop with the rising Sun in the morning ( if the clouds allow us to see it🙂) and finishing by starlight in the evening. I look forward to classes in the next week and a half, meeting new people, bringing them some yoga magic.

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I will be back😊🙏🏼

 

Transit

So I’m at Mumbai airport waiting for my connection to Colombo. Here I am again, Mother India, you welcomed me with the really high humidity of the monsoon, almost felt like a warm and sweaty hug. Although I’m not even permitted to cross your borders and will take off in a few hours, you still have an effect on me. This is where it all started, my journey of becoming a yoga teacher , the smell of the street food( even the airport one), taste of the chai brings back so many memories, many faces now all spread around the world, sharing light. Hope you all doing what you planned to do..
I remember my first official class.. prior to that I had some brave friends in Hungary and London kindly helping me practice on them and of course the unforgettable volunteer experience with Crisis at Christmas 😊..
But my first official class in the Community Centre, small room in a cozy victorian building with green lino floor and lots of character. I feel like I came a long way.. from that slight nervousness, a lot of notes( I guess we all start like that..) . It is almost like climbing on a ladder , discovering new and new floors in a building, a different point of view every time. I’m very curious how will this change with experience, I’m still very green as a yoga teacher, so much more to learn.
I feel honoured that I got to teach a few people’s first ever yoga class. It’s always exciting, but it also feels like it comes with responsibility( especially with all the assumptions and expectations of yoga today). Well, most of them returned, some of them became regulars😊🙏🏼
I am grateful for all the ups( simply people’s faces after class, the feedback and reviews received ) and downs( those couple of occasions when no one showed and I questioned myself) of these 6 months, I learned so much about yoga, so much about myself , every class adds a thin layer to my yoga teacher identity, brings on new ideas, new perspectives. I like my little yoga crew, a great bunch if people, our end of the season class in the park was truly special..They did so well, kept focus even in a not so ideal situation.
I am grateful for all the support I received from friends, from sharing Facebook posts to taking photos or just simply being there, I couldn’t have done without them, without you.
And I am grateful to you, reading this post , listening to my thoughts.
In a few hours I will arrive to Sri Lanka, where a new chapter begins, yoga teaching almost every day for a month, new layers, new people, new connections. I can’t wait!
Will keep you guys posted😉
Namaste😊🙏🏼

Thoughts on International Yoga Day

 

 

“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. people are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life.I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being. ”

/Osho/

 

Yoga is like everything else. Everybody has their own interpretation, beliefs and priorities. On international yoga day I am thinking about all the people I got to know through yoga , the diversity of them, different age groups, nationalities , background and attitude. Everybody’s yoga is different from dedicated ashtangis to yoga therapists , the ones practicing for decades and the ones just started.
They all have different preferences for pace, difficulty, the amount of spirituality and beyond the mat stuff they bring in, their favourite poses or the exact opposite, those ones we find challenging
( and very often grow to love them).
But one thing is common: these people once moved out of their comfort zone and attended to a class/started practicing for whatever reason. And most of them continued to practice, discovered new things( or thousand year traditions) and they all know how does it feel to step on a mat( grass, sand etc) with your bare feet, breath in and then…

I would like to think the world will became a place where we accept and celebrate the beautiful uniqueness of individuals.

 

Love. Peace. Respect.

Happy international yoga day!

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Connections

Practising yoga makes you more conscious about connections. You connect movement with breath, intentions to practice, your body to the ground and yourself to the universe. You connect and disconnect yourself at the same time, trying to enter the “yoga zone”. Interesting how a disconnection creates space to other connections. Digital detox can be great sometimes( I think I’m lucky because I grew up before mobile phones became a thing not to mention smartphones..)
I’m thinking of this topic for a while now, and I decided to put it in words, as I’m visiting Hungary and seeing my old friends always makes me a little bit emotional and reminds me how grateful I am to have them.

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But how do I get to friendship from yoga?
Connections are important to everybody, whether it is connections to other people, places, sometimes objects and most importantly to ourselves. I had a few classes when we were offered to dedicate our practice to someone and these experiences were really special, not to mention partner yoga or working together in certain poses. I never forget when I taught a class for a bunch of homeless guys and some volunteers and in the beginning I was very careful to enter their space at all but they looked ( and expressed) they feel very safe in class so we ended up in a circle of warrior III-s, gently connecting to each other, without weighing each other down but giving everybody the support they needed. Sometimes your yoga bubble is expandable and you let other people in:)
Beyond the mat, how you relate to people is part of your practice( Beyond the mat-the 8 limbs of yoga ). Friendships and social connections are very interesting, the intensity or length of connections can vary depending on many things. I think most of us have at least one person in their lives who would finish a sentence they just started and who could pick up a conversation where you left it even if it was a long time ago. The reason why I’m very grateful to life is because I have more than one of these people, and even though we might reside in different countries and our paths are not the same( probably the exact opposite in most cases) but the connections are there, solid and strong.
Imagine yourself in a middle of this network like flexible ropes connecting you together. Sometimes the ropes dissolve as you have temporary connections, they might not be forever but they bring you/ teach you something or simply experience something with you. And that’s okay, you can’t be best friends with everyone, people travel through each other’s lives all the time. Someone might come along with you when you grow up, someone might be there for a few months, years and the connections terminate..suddenly or just slowly fade away. Stepping away from a connection can be as important as creating a new one. Distance and solitude can teach you many of things.IMG_2002
As I said, connections are important but I also think that you shouldn’t let them sole define you. Yoga can be an amazing tool to self discovery, and expanding your practice beyond the mat can develop the connection to your own beautiful self and through this to other people. As an example, I have a very fiery temper, and sometimes this fire burns other people around me without them being the cause of it. Since I practice yoga,I am more careful about how I handle this, I might choose to have a very powerful asana practice followed by meditation ( if I have the chance) or more consciously choose a time when I can talk to people about problems instead of letting the volcano erupt. Being self-aware and self-connected can give you a different view of the outside world.

Supporting others and feeling supported is also important. How to support someone can be a complicated thing. I think we all have those people in our lives( and certain cultures encourage this as well) who would try to outbid your problems thinking that would make you feel okay.IMG_1998

Let’s say, you fall into a 5 m deep hole , and you only have a 2 m ladder and no torch just a lighter, you share this with someone looking for support who replies ‘oh, that’s nothing, I’m in a 10m deep hole with no ladder’. Should this get you out of the hole? No. Would this make you feel better? No.

As a wise friend once said to me, silent has the same letters as listen. Listening is an element of that flexible rope connecting us together, alongside with many other things( personal to everyone:) .

And to widen this, writing or reading a blog could connect people from different parts of the world, without knowing each other in person. You open a window to your thoughts( or get access to someone’s) to bring on new connections regardless of location. Read, write , be open minded and non-judgemental..and don’t forget to listen😊🙏🏼

The be present project

When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is a miracle.   /Osho/

Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your life deeply.   /Thich Nhat Hanh/

Life in London (or pretty much anywhere in the Western world) is often about rushing. Getting from one place to another, rushing to get a job, a living space, entertainment..it never stops. People are constantly online, absorbed in a bubble, never look up or look around. And all they do really is missing out. As the great thinkers above said, life only happens in the moment. But we are spending so much time in the past , reflecting on what happened to us, or the opposite, worrying about the future and we don’t focus energy on the right now. Before we now it the right now is gone.

Yesterday I decided to challenge myself to try to spend a full day focusing on present. No whatifs, no whatwillhappens,howwasthats ,  just try to experience what’s right in front of me. I have to say that I choose a day when I wasn’t at work (as a teacher who works with young people who have learning difficulties that would be almost impossible).

So, I woke up in the morning and didn’t spend 30 minutes in bed scrolling on Facebook. Good start:)
I had a very beautiful morning yoga practice followed by meditation and pranayama, I just followed my instincts and interestingly I ended up just following a new flow of asanas . I liked that:)  Yoga and meditation is a place where I am used to focusing on the present, although this doesn’t mean that this is not challenging. (see my previous post about The art of breathing and meditation).
Then I had my breakfast. In silence, I left my phone upstairs, so the virtual world cannot suck me into the bubble.

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We did this in India during my yoga TTC, silent mornings, I remember back then some days  I found it challenging..
but today I just enjoyed my breakfast (yummy, isn’t it?), rediscovering the artistic beauty of porridge and how funny a sliced up fig looks like.. the flavour was more intense, I focused on how the colours look and the different textures feel like.

After breakfast, I had to connect as I had some work to do , some emails to send but that was it.

 

A bit later I made my way to the swimming pool. Public transport. London. People in their bubbles. Then this thing happened: a mum got on with a 4-5 year old kid. He was happy looking around (even directly in people’s eyes!)  and playing. And I realised: this is it, they know how to be in the present, they don’t spend their life constantly worrying about future and past actions. I’m not saying that from now on everybody should behave like a 5 year old, but it’s nice to sometimes look at things as one. I did this exercise once for a classful of  teenagers in a psychology lesson. I brought in a bubble machine and asked them to look at the bubbles as they were little kids. the outcome was amazing, everybody(even the ones constantly looking at their phones under the desk) got involved and the usually most ignorant young man had the great idea of using the fan to create a bubble storm in the classroom.

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I arrived to the swimming pool. I love water, I am a proper waterbaby( Scorpion!) , just being  close to any kind of water makes me really happy, swimming in water makes me feel whole. However, as part of the be present project, swimming had an added challenge: I usually use this time to rethink things, plan lessons, develop ideas for the future etc. Many of my lesson plans and yoga class ideas was born in the pool. So this time I tried to let those ideas, concernes, reflections just float in and out of my mind like passing clouds and my 45 minute swimming session became an underwater meditative motion.( I have to admit, for most of the time I was the only one in my lane) It felt really good.

FullSizeRenderkcTravelling back home a walked throuh my favourite corridor at Kings Cross, I alway have a feeling that at the end of that one day I find myself in Narnia or some kind of Wonderland.. this was the first time I noticed how cleverly the little lights sit on the side and I was observing people’s facial expressions walking through it. Many of them tourist, lookig at it the first time, with a curious face what’s in the end( it is just an escalator but maybe one day..:) )

 

 

By the time I got to the afternoon, I went through standing in the queue in the post office having a conversation with a young mum about her son’s excellent shoe disappearing skills ,  cooking and other domestic fairy jobs.

In the evening I had a meeting bringing some possible bad news. And there was it: the whatifs, the what didIdowrongs, the whatwillhappennows will all trying to drag me away from the present. And at that present moment I was upset. So I tried to live in that moment , experience it fully without going into any further combination. And it was really hard, I kept sliding down on that road bringing more negativity. But this was only my perception, creating therories about the future that’s not even there. Finally I found my connection back to the present, and it helped me to feel calmer and focused.

Overall my be present day was a very inspiring experience, and I know that a lot of times it is necessary to factor in the future or reflect on what happened, but I think it is important to try and be just present as much as we can. We can do this through connecting to people, yoga, meditation, art, any other ways you can think of…or just simply be,  experience our lives as fully as we can, and exist in that present moment before it’s gone.

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Photo:Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Fitting in” and “being good at”

 

A couple of days ago I went to a ballet by Ballet Black, it was a beautiful production, really good choreography with very talented artists. The dancers in this company brought back a memory when my ballet teacher (mind you I was 5!) didn’t let me go on stage because according to her standards I didn’t have the right physique for ballet. I wanted her to sit next to me; be amazed, excited, sad and even laugh(laughing during a ballet , right?) with me and see that art shouldn’t be restricted by body shape or skin colour. Obviously not everyone will end up as a professional artist, but you shouldn’t be told not to do something because you are different (for any reason).

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When you are a kid, you do things naturally for the joy of the action, you draw pictures, you sing songs out loud, dance carelessly until somebody(sadly often from education) says that there’s no purple elephants, your voice is out of tune and boom! Self consciousness steps on stage, holds the pencils,  echoes your voice and the enjoyment of the activity slowly disappears behind the (dis)approval of others. An Oscar-winner Hungarian short film tells a story about this in Mindenki (Sing), watch it, it’s really good🇭🇺🏆👍🏼📽💜

I think it is important to find the way back to that pre-consciousness stage again. To draw a picture, sing a song , dance around the house , loose yourself and feel the happiness coming from the activity itself. And just not listen to the inside voice telling you off, dare to be silly, feel the freedom of expression..whatever form you choose💃🏻🎤🎹🎼🎬🎨🎭.

And about yoga… I heard so many people saying “I don’t have the yoga body”; “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough”, “I’m not the yoga type”… this is just the same voice telling you that you are shouldn’t do something if you can’t be good at it..

THERE’S NO SUCH A THING AS BEING GOOD/BAD AT YOGA

When I you do yoga for kids, I can see how they enjoy the practice without being overly conscious about themselves, they don’t feel ashamed if they fall out of a balancing pose or can’t reach their toes etc.

People full of img_1658doubt should just give it a try, treat it as an experiment, don’t look at other people just feel your body doing something new (maybe weird) and don’t judge… Just enjoy the movement, the breathing, the meditation. Leave your ego behind and sink into yourself, it might be hard at first, but be able to laugh at yourself and take it easy.

It’s just yoga☺️🙏🏼😎

 

 

 

As for ballet, I decided last year to face my demons and I found a beginners class with an amazing teacher. I didn’t receive offers from the Royal Ballet, but I spent a great time getting reacquainted with this beautiful art form, laughing at myself when I missed a step and felt proud when I got them right and most of all, I enjoyed dancing👯💃🏽💕.

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Becoming a yoga teacher

Decision

Sometimes people’s life is straightforward, like a train ride, two parallel lines going to a clear destination with predictable stations.

Well, my life is probably  more like  cross country trekking  without a map. I moved to London 8 years ago ( leaving my  🚂  behind) and somehow ended up in teaching young people with learning difficulties. But my restless mind was looking for new challenges. It was time for a change.

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It happened in a weeks time really, from the initial idea that I want to do something  else beside my job ( which is a weird and wonderful, challenging and beautiful area), to the conclusion that I want to be a yoga teacher, and how I’m going to do it. The pieces of the puzzle came together so quickly that I started to be suspicious ( you know when everything happens so smooth and you are waiting for something to go wrong..). With a help of some very supportive friends and fellow yogis I conquered the fear that  “I cannot put myself into a pretzel, how can I be a yoga teacher”, I realised that honesty and authenticity in my practice is more important 😊

Then a colleague/friend suggested to look into teacher trainings in India, specifically in Goa ( his family orignates there and he thought I’d like the place) so I did.

I had to decide the time and I ended up looking for a course in October-November. Imagine my boss’s face in January when I asked for a month unpaid leave right after the beginning of the next academic year… But everybody was really supportive and after some research I found the perfect school: Trimurti yoga(💜). They offer multi-style teacher training, this sounded perfect as I wasn’t really dedicated to any yoga style.

The time flew by really quickly and I did my preparations etc., but it didn’t sink in until I was sitting in my friend’s car and I saw a plane taking off when we were approaching Heathrow. Sh*t, I am going to India!  The beginning of the actual physical journey materialised in form of a Jet Airways plane . 17 hours later I landed at Goa airport, in 35 degrees and bright sunshine.

Goa

img_1816My first adventure in Goa was sitting in traffic ( literally outside of the airport) for 2.5 hours, still in my London clothes, not knowing what’s happening ( later on I found out that there was a big international conference and they closed the roads). India is teaching me patience I thought…

A few days after my arrival the course begin. The location was perfect, in the jungle  between Agonda and Palolem, surrounded by nature  and I had my own little cottage. Happiness:)

During my journey I started to write again, I neglected this for a long time but the jungle seemed to awaken the sleeping spirits and they came out in form of words. This one is about the very first days.

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India. Mother India. It feels like I’m in film
and the rhythmic noise of the fan is coming from an old movie machine.
Suddenly the dream comes real. Blow horn! cow on the beach
First time in India? Where do you come from?birds screech.
Buying overpriced elephant pants from a very nice lady’s shop
I say to myself: one silly tourist mistake is allowed, but it has to stop.
Palm trees and lush gardens, a pink house. The Arabian sea kisses my feet.
I find peace in the noise, quiet in the crowd.Toes in wet sand. I am complete.

Our days were pretty intense, starting at 6.30am with pranayama and meditation, followed by asana practice, anatomy, art of teaching, philosophy, alignment and adjustment and finished with an evening asana practice at 7pm. Some days it was more challenging than others but learning something I was truly interested in made up for it.

And of course the team. I always find it fascinating how various  people can be drawn together and connect via a mutual interest. My Trimurti friends, coming from literally all over the world meeting in Goa, India and going through the same thing, experiencing it on their own level.

I met so many beautiful people, with their own stories and motivation. And I beleive that even though we are spread all over the World again, some things would make us react the same way, our collective Trimurti unconscious is there and alive😊.

They  supported me through classes and beyond,  shared happy moments ( a very special birthday) and challenges ( ashtanga week😬), days off and late night studies and in the end we proudly observed everyone teaching their final practicum.We did it!

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Graduation day!

The guides towards this point were our teachers, representing different backgrounds and yoga styles from the very traditional to modern, helping us unfold our own yoga teaching  path( at least the beginning of it:) .

I also have to mention the staff who made all this happen from organising to looking after us every day, real heroes handling everything with a smile.

The one month flew by, hatha, vinyasa and ashtanga week was gone, and I quickly found myself starting to think ( and stress) about coming back to the “real world” and what will my next steps be.

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My last sunrise at Agonda beach

I was lucky enough to enjoy a few more days of the beautiful Goa with my newly found friends  before I made my way back to London in November.  And there it was. The culture shock. The cold. The darkness. But I knew I had a mission: starting my teaching practice by January.

The first steps

I was quickly drawn back to work, and didn’t really have time to think about anything until the Christmas holidays. My first class was for a few friends, and a kids yoga class followed by volunteering with Crisis@Christmas. This was an amazing experience, teaching really unconventional yoga classes to various people( guests and volunteers), there was a point where I had to trade in my football skills for a yoga class( you can imagine, I’m a spectacular football player😉) . In the meantime, I was searching for a place to hire, silly me around Christmas, when everybody is off. I just had to practice patience again. And in the beginning of January( yaay 2017) I found it, it was the first place I was looking at, a friendly ,small community centre in a victorian building not far away from my home.

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So now I teach every Monday, sharing yoga with lovely people( most of them never done this before), I feel happy after each class, and I know this was the right decision. And I keep writing.Maybe one day Liz’s Yoga Space will explore the world (or if the NASA going in this pace even space  🚀 )  but for now I spend my time developing my practice and learning from my students. Every single time.

How did yoga affect my life?

If you practice yoga, you know this feeling. It starts when you step on the mat and fully forms after shavasana. When all the tension melts, the world seems to be a better place to be ayou have that “yoga glow”.

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But if I reflect on the whole process, from my first yoga class until today, I can see the bigger picture( at least the part that’s revealed by now). Sitting at the airport in Budapest( I spent last week in Hungary visiting family and friends) , and thinking about tomorrow’s class I realise how my life is strongly influenced by yoga. I’m pretty sure some people find this annoying 🙂, but yoga pops up pretty much everywhere. It changed the way I think, the way I speak, the way I think about my body, how I feel my body ( like when I’m sitting here subconsciously correcting my posture pulling my shoulders back and down ,engaging my core) and how I relate to other people. ( the 8 limbs ey? Beyond the mat-the 8 limbs of yoga )

But how did this start.. and when?

Breathing
After a few yoga classes I became really aware of my breathing. I am using it more purposefully in daily life, and I am rarely out of breath( even after climbing stairs etc) any more. Being more aware of your breathing influences a lot of things, I found that it’s easier to calm myself down in stressful situations or just simply “keeping it it together” at all.
Sports
I do love sports, I enjoy swimming and cycling, dancing ( I was taking ballet classes for a while) and look:yoga, like a little fairy figure sitting on my shoulder is always there. It changed the way how I relate to my body in these activities, I’m more aware of certain muscle groups( you know, the ones you didn’t even know they existed before your first class😉), it tells me not to injure myself , to look after my body and to respect it as (like everybody else) I only given one..

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Walking
I have a typical walk( my boss would describe it as marching:) ), since me and this yoga fairy are closely acquainted the way how I walk changed as well, I probably seem taller and my posture is much better. The energy is the same but I don’t “‘march” with my head down any more, my back is straighter and I feel the ground with my feet in a different way, my balance is better, I feel more connected to the Earth.

 

Body

Obviously yoga changed my body a big deal. I wasn’t flexible at all, and I had body image issues to an almost unhealthy extent. Then I learned that with regular practice I can develop( slowly but surely), and I started to feel really empowered by the fact that I am actually able to do certain things.( don’t think big, just reaching an inch more forward or bending slightly deeper, balancing a little bit longer:). Also love and respect came along with that towards myself and my body. Even now and then those negative thoughts still come up, however after acknowledgement I just let them go. This is a really important part and I emphasise positive body image  a lot in my classes as well , our bodies are not the same, and no one should compare themselves to others during practice. Every body is beautifully complex , individual on its own, and we should be aware of that. Self love and self respect is essential in your luggage through our yoga journey☺️.img_1593

Gratitude, peace and change

Regular yoga, pranayama ( breathing) and meditation taught me peace. I am a fiery person( pitta-kapha ayurveda-wise), I can be really passionate about certain things and I used to be quite impatient and short tempered. I’m not saying yoga completely changed my character, I still have the same passion , I just channel it differently. I’m learning to let things go and accept those I cannot change. But I also developed an attitude towards things I don’t like, I don’t just suffer in silence or moan about them, I change ( either my thoughts about them or the situation) as that’s the natural way of life. Evolve, observe and learn… 
This doesn’t mean I take everything with a peaceful smile on my face, oh no.. but how I perceive situations ( including my own or other people’s emotions towards them) is different.

Perception is the key word. Perception of myself, others, the universe we live in. If I have to put it in one sentence, yoga changed my perception. And I do hope it will keep changing me, helping to reveal that bigger picture…

Namaste ☺️🙏🏼❤️

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