Don't you feel like letting out a scream? I had this feeling for days. I just wish I can be an empty space and scream my heart out. hadjfhaofhoaiehfoiqwyfhohsdafhoif oqiyfo qy4oi hdalfhalsdhflajh f;lqyrtoqyofhaskdjfhakjdfh haor'efh'ajfl'ieruoiqyo fqyoy1482tyoe fouahfjhadflhasldjfhajkdhfyqwoyqofhf..... something like that. It's something I do not understand but in a way I do. Full. That's how I feel. Exploding to the brim. Ready to unload, implode, explode... Something. Something boiling. Somedays I guess we all feel like this. And we can only sit with it.
Cookies and milk on a Saturday morning. Comfort food for these days. I thought I was master of being alone. I've done plenty of things of aloneness. But yes this is still different. It triggers a lot in me. Reassess, rethink, repurpose. Events like this give us time to slow down, see things in different glasses and pops us out to reality or the truth for a bit. And we question. Maybe question even more. But yes we are left to these questions. Introspection and challenging the self. Maybe in a way a form of craziness.
Privilege problems? Yes definitely. I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, clothes on my back. And these I even have the liberty to choose, not the basic stuff but yeah much luxury. To be able to choose for a nice place I feel safe and comfortable in, to be able to choose for food that is healthy and delicious and that will provide me with more than enough nutrition, to choose to clothe myself in these clothes, not just fabric, but the material things as well. And yes, my problems are also valid, but somehow it puts it in perspective. I don't really have much to complain about.
Maybe it's the alone-ness. The missing for physical touch and physical experiences. Probably. Probably also the reason why I put myself into yoga. Into these positions. To feel something. To explore these feelings and to breathe through them.
Love. Compassion. Peace. At the risk of being called a stereo typical, love, peace yoga person. I say love. Love for one's self and love for others. Healing and forgiveness and a chance to do better, a better tomorrow - for everyone. More love, more understanding, more compasion not only to myself but to my fellows. Because I'm not the only one suffering or having a hard time.
We give a bit more. Sing a bit more. Dance a bit more. Find the joy in the little things. It might seem bleak but they do say that it is darkest before dawn right? We're almost there. Wherever there is. And we will all make it. Together. Keep breathing. Like they say, if you don't breathe - you die ;).
Everyday seems to start later. The days are beautiful and the nights are long. The body wants to stay up late and enjoy the sunlight the world is offering and the warm cozy bed. I have to admit, I'm not online at 6 AM. It's getting more like 7. But thanks to everyone coming it gives me a reason to get up. I know no dependency but somehow it helps to know that I am there with someone stretching out the 'evils' that are trapped in the body. It helps to have a routine to keeps going and seeing you on the other side, having the same experience. Struggling sometimes, fighting through it and persevering. It inspires me.
The ashtanga practice is quite helpful for this. Because it has structure and it doesn't let me have to think so much. Why this, why that. Starting this practice 7 (I think) years ago I was trying my best to understand everything. Till this day, all I know is I know very little. But one of the things I know is that there is something about it. Something almost 'magic' if you indulge me in saying that. It is something I cannot explain. It just happens. When we were young we are vessels of learning. We accept what is told to us as truth, as we grow older, we learn to reason, and in a way to distrust and we start to question why, before accepting something as truth. It is due to a lot of factors, good and bad alike, that makes us think this 'magic' has an explanation behind it and I want to know the trick first before I believe it. And learning becomes harder, we don't absorb so easy. We want to apply our truth and our experiences - absolutely nothing wrong with that as the human brain was made to think - it is a beautiful design and it adapts itself. We keep at it. Everyday grasping a little bit.
Classes are there everyday of the week. I may be late but I will be there. Doing the best I have that day and happy to share this journey with you. I'm transcribing my pointers for practice on YouTube. Having new content there is helpful for my own structure. It helps me keep my own projects in place. I feel conscious recording these videos but they are also fun to make and takes my understanding of the practice in a different level. Hey, speaking and doing is very hard to do at the same time. ;) As always feedback and questions are very much appreciated.
Death, it comes to everyone right? And in this times it does seem close, family and friends, friends of friends, family of family. In the end we are all connected after all so we are all family and friends. Ones loss is somehow felt, it is someone's friend, someone's family that are in the numbers. It could have been in ours. And it is mentally exhausting. The unknowing where this ends. What will happen next. This is out of our structure lives of study, work, build a family... It was not on the list - something like this halts our plans, of life, of living. Maybe this is part of the learning, that for now we have to accept that we don't understand and we can only be empty vessels like child and be open to what is gonna come next, children filled with great intentions and with hope for a better future, for us and for the next generations. With death is life is very much present too. For both are coexisting and one cannot be there without the other. One gives way to the other, and one highlights the other.
I stay grateful to you. For being my support. For showing me kindness and love in this period of difficulty. I am grateful to those who share their time, energy and money. You are my support. thank you for letting me keep doing something I really love and I am passionate about. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
We are a different version of ourselves from when we started the lockdown. Our pre-lockdown selves are 'dead' but we are very much alive and kicking. How much magic is in that? Pretty much a lot to be grateful for. As always, I remain here for you, always grateful, always laughing and smiling and being silly, always absorbed with the magic.
Everyone still breathing? Numbers in Belgium is not looking so pretty. Don't know what it means, I try my best to not watch the news, it makes me insecure. I listen to friends and family and get the filtered version, and from there I try to find the truth, maybe this is modern hippie thinking, probably. I keep focusing on the things I think I have control of and do my best in those and not those that are out of my area of influence.
This week I have been learning a longboarding. Thank you Ellen for teaching me and lending me a board to play with. I've been making the streets of Antwerp a bit more dangerous. The only other time I tried being on a board was a surfboard in Portugal, that time I ended up more under the board than over it. It's good fun being on the longboard and feeling like a child and finding some escape and happiness in moments like this. It feels free and I am far from being fast or stable or doing tricks but it's fun to learn something new. Be a total beginner at something. Of course it's beautiful to see how other people are good with it. Maybe one day I can do more than go on down a little hill, or at least learn how to break, instead of jumping off the board, or maybe do that with a bit of grace. But hey, I haven't broken my face yet or any important body part. So I'd like to keep it at that.
That and doing bring penny up, bring penny down plank challenge and learning to handstand. Let's just say come Friday my body was broken and totally tired. And a totally different body. I still probably don't know what it means to be stiff, but these activities gives me an idea how other people's body can feel like. I think it's a very interesting process. I feel like it's a different body, same practice, same me but different and it keeps it very interesting.
Somehow everyone is getting used to this, I quite enjoy having the city as my playground, reeking havoc with my longboard (no not really, I'm quite safe and I ride super slow, maybe this is also dangerous, hihi). Sleeping later, with these beautiful days, I just have to make the most of it. Eating yummy Belgian chocolate. Being like a child in this big playground. Of course, without disregard to those suffering this endeavour and those fighting in the front lines. This is not easy for everyone and we can only try to give our best. Keep the faith alive and send good energy to those who need it.
So I continue practicing with you. Sharing the online mysorespace, seeing your smiles through these trying times. Learning in this new ways. keeping the hopes high. That's the best I can do at this time. Being a good mysore style teacher, to me, means - you end up with no students because you teach them how to do it themselves. It's not good for business, I guess I was never really a good businesswoman. But I am happy to see students and friends managing their practice and being strong through all of this and balancing their way through these time. And I keep being there. If they need me, happy to help them and being helped by them. I am not anyone's teacher, if anything I am lucky to be everyone's student. To be honest, I learn a lot more from all of this and I am really grateful. We are all walking the same way, we might as well lend a hand when we can, for now no contact hands, but you know what I mean, support for the support.
We keep practice, we keep learning, we keep balancing, we try to be as graceful and thankful as we can. Volhouden, stay brave, stay beautiful.
We're entering week 4 into lockdown. It kind of seems like a lot longer than that. There are days I feel like I will lose it, and days that I think I got this. I try to take it one day at a time. One breathe, don't get too overwhelmed. I don't have to have it all figured out. One day, one week, one month. Just like the practice. Focus on the current pose, don't think too much ahead. Be present.
The human resilience is quite admirable. We make do with what we have and we tell ourselves we make it work. And we learn and we relearn things. We reinvent our way of living so that it will fit the current circumstances. We make things work. We look in the bright side and focus on the things we can do. We use the time to come back to the basics, rediscover things. Learn new things, rediscover old passions, refine, retune and we find out that there is more. We were built to overcome this. We were designed for greatness.
I never thought an online shala would be something. A lot of the teaching of Ashtanga is in the touch. And the human touch remains very valuable. I miss the hugs, the physcial connection with loved ones. For me the human touch remains magical, there will be things that is easiest to communicate with a single hug, a single touch. But we make use with what we have, voice, the facial expressions, the pictures, the words.
I keep being inspired with the people around me. The human drive and strength. It supports me seeing you all so strong and fighting through this. The consideration we show for those who are weaker and who have it harder is very heartwarming and it keeps me going. I find my strength in this.
The shala remains as a place to share things. I'm on week two of teaching my parents. They have been eager students and they enjoy it. In the beginning of my practice, I tried to get them to it, and now they come on their own and I am more than happy to be able to share what I have with them. And in all honesty, I'm more prepared to adjust the practice for them and not them to the practice. The rules are rigid, people are not. And it's a pleasure to see them enjoying the practice. For those who prefer to practice in the afternoon I have also opened Mysore sessions Tuesday and Thursday 17-19 CET. The self practice remains 06-10 CET. I practice with everyone and watch the video afterwards to be able to give feedback if wanted. If you want a private online class I'm also very happy to find time for online private classes.
I use the YouTube channel to teach, record tips that I think students will find useful in their practice. The videos are not perfect. Nor am I. My head gets cut off sometimes, sometimes I forget the words, sometimes I'm saying wrong things in the videos while demonstrating. But it comes from a good place. The intention is to serve and to help and to support, those who might be needing it now. I enjoy trying to explain and I realise how hard making this videos are and talking while doing the pose. So keep asking me questions and enjoy my mishaps on YouTube.
These are different times, different is not necessarily bad, I get to study with Eddie Stern in the comfort of my own home. Or do chanting with Luke Jordan everyday and listen to his extensive knowledge (that my mind cannot take all in at once, my attention span is like 15 mins). I have my low times where I feel overwhelmed with all my feelings. So I revert to coloring my walls, dancing to beautiful music, singing my heart out, playing my guitar (however bad that sounds), writing my feelings, eating fantastic chocolates, cooking food, cleaning up the mess I made, walking to the water to see beautiful Antwerp sunsets and enjoying watching the people enjoy the simple things in life. The basics, like a nice glass of water after a walk. Basically that's all you really need in life, isn't it?
Keep safe, keep sane. Check the website, message me on facebook, whatsapp, instagram or carrier pigeon. I'm always happy to be of service and be a friend.