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 ☺️🙏🏼

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😊🙏🏼

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