Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yoga Voyages: Yoga Absolute Goes to Assissi

Here is a Guest Post from my friend and colleague, Yeshie Palmo. When she is home in Vancouver, Yeshie Palmo teaches yoga and meditation at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Vancouver.

For the past several months she has been away on a meditation retreat, and is currently in Italy visiting Assissi and Rome.

Check her website for more details about her yoga from a Buddhist perspective and meditation trip to India in April 2009.


So far, my best Italian is the greeting line above! I always love a multi-functional word. I have to admit it is a bit intimidating to be here on my own and not among any other tourists. Being in a new foreign country can be quite difficult to figure out and normally I am either near someone I know that knows the way around or other tourists that do not know their way either, but at least we can figure it out together. The house is so far away from everything, I do not get a chance just to duck out to the streets and check it out and slowly get more familiar with the lay of the land or the language. So I am going to dive right in and take the train to Rome next week - the next sunny day.

Other than that, things are going well. I am finally over the jet lag and the flu that I had and have finally started doing some yoga. The house has so many books that I can really read whatever I want. Yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, Renaissance Architecture, History of Italy, India, Tibet, etc etc. Actually I do not know what to read! I am reading a book that the owner of the house published about his teacher,Anandamayi Ma. I had not heard of her, but she was a pretty amazing self realized Indian female master. I have included some photos of the house, Assisi and Perugia (about 15 minutes from Assisi - quite a pretty little town that is across the valley from Assisi).

From here I am leaving soon for London. I tried to go to the Putney Sivananda Center last year but it is really far from my friend's home in Kings Cross. Maybe I will try again this time. I love checking out all the centers around the world. I usually have my uniform with me when I travel and try to teach a class but I did not bring it this time. I did not think that I would venture out of Italy! Instead I have not really ventured in Italy! Hahaha! One of my big reasons for going to London is to see a very close yogi friend of mine. I go to as many of his classes as I can. He is an amazing master. I met him a few years ago in Rishikesh and since he has moved to London. He is now building an Ashram in Vrindavin. I think he will come to teach a retreat in Vancouver sometime this year. He is quite something, this Himalayan Yogacharya Yogi Ashokananda.
I hope you have a nice holiday season and are not too snowed in!

If you have been to a wonderful place on our planet to practice yoga, send me a few pictures and a description in 200-300 words, and I would love to post you as a Guest on Yoga Voyages.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Written Inc.: Thematic Photographic 30 - Holiday

Written Inc.: Thematic Photographic 30 - Holiday

Holiday in Canada

In the West Coast Rain Forest of British Columbia's Lower Mainland, Boxing Day is usually balmy and the busiest day of the year for retailers, but in 2008 we had snow. Again. The third blizzard in a week, and the snow is now so deep cars are buried half way up the doors.

I live on a hill and did not put on snow tires this year, so I left my car parked and walked to the mall, stopping along the way to watch people spinning their wheels as they tried to get up the road. Whole families came out to shovel and push their visitors' cars uphill to help their guests home. I joined a few pedestrians more than once to help, random acts of kindness for drivers unskilled in snow.

But as I am walking, the scenery is beautiful. Douglas Firs soar into snowclouds and cedars' fragrant boughs droop over the sidewalk, dropping a load of snow as I brush against them.

Robert Frost's words run like a mantra in my mind:
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep..."

No, today I would not rather be barefoot at the edge of a tropical pool.
I pause and listen to the salmon stream running over stones down Burnaby Mountain.
The air is clean and still, not silent yet calm. As the city shuts down around me, I feel the moment unfold its perfection, and I am happy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Meet Us On the Mat: 24 Hour Yoga Relay 2008

Thank you to all the yogis and yoginis of Burnaby, Vancouver and around the Lower Mainland who met us on the mat for World AIDS Day and participated in the 2008 24-hour Yoga Relay. For 24 hours from 4 pm Nov 29 to 4 pm November 30 in participating yoga studios and at the Croatian Cultural Centre, participants of all ages practiced yoga and collected pledges from families, friends and sponsoring businesses.

Together we raised over $70,000 for Unicef to help children around the world whose lives have been changed forever because of AIDS. Orphaned, infected at birth, or infected through sexual activity forced on them by war, disaster or poverty, these children need help. The money this project raises each year helps Unicef provide them with shelter, food, medical care, education, and hope.

At the Croatian Cultural Centre, volunteer yoga teachers taught back-to-back classes in various styles of hatha yoga, including Sivananda, Kundalini, power, flow, yin, yoga nidra and others. Some people practiced every class; others came for one or more, and left when they needed to. In their breaks participants could cast their intention into the Wishing Well of Intentions, bid on the Silent Auction, eat a snack, meet their friends in the conversation alcove, nap or meditate in the silent room, or mark the OM canvas with their fingerprint.

If you missed us this year, mark your calendar for next year. December 1 is World AIDS Day. The 24 Hour Relay usually runs the weekend before that. Check the Yoga4 Kidz website for updates and for how to get yoga into your child's school.
Free Yoga Day and Open House on Saturdays from 12:30-5 pm: January 10, February 7 and March 7
2010 East 48th at Victoria at theSivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Vancouver.

4 levels of yoga DVD for practice at home, on business trips and vacation so you never miss yoga class again