Dear friends and students...
I have neglected this Blog for too long but life has been very full, wonderful and challenging.
I hope now to restart and keep up this connection with you all from time to time!
Victor asked me to let you know about next year’s schedule so here goes!
Our May and June courses this year dwindled in numbers, so we have decided to just offer one course ....in June.
Dear friends and students...
The Year of the Horse is galloping along and so are we!
Two wonderful groups attended our May and June courses in Eftalou.
The teaching seems to go deeper each time and students are ever more ready to take the dive, even if sometimes un expecting it they just topple into the 'Underground journey' and find themselves letting go of more than they imagined!
With body and senses clean and cleared, the joys of a turquoise sea, an early morning soak in the healing Hot Springs or a quiet meal under fig-trees as the sun sets over the horizon all seem more delicious and vivid as the days go by.
Family visiting from Canada and USA and then presenting and teaching at the Athens Yoga Symposium filled the time for me between courses with love and joy and in July we flew off to Bavaria and taught for Maria Kluge who had organised a six day retreat in her beautiful home Osterloh near in the foot-hills of the Alps.
It was designed for teachers of young children who live in impoverished areas and/or come from abusive homes. The core-group was from Baltimore but several others from European countries added to the international flavour. All big-hearted and wonderful people who above all loved and cared for "their children". Maria once again proved her generosity and hospitaliy were a life-changing opportunity for all.
Here from our bed-room window... bathing beauties in the garden pond..
And now we spend a few days in London in our little room on the fifth floor.. a 'nest in the clouds' above West Hampstead'.......a perfect place to rest and recover.
here is a view from the kitchen in the evening Sunshine.
Dear Friends and Family
Back in Eftalou...we are enjoying a quiet time to rest and 'unwind' ....whilst..
My time in California was both full and fulfilling! The teaching was exciting with many old friends and new ones all receptive to the way this work had deepened and is evolving.
A weekend with Julia in her beautiful place near Sebastapool and Tamara's healing work,
Here is the bed in the room I was given at Hotel Whitcomb during my Pre-Conference workshop and Presentation at the Conference for Yoga and Psychology in San Francisco.
I chose to sleep on the floor as the bed was too soft and what to do with all those pillows???!
My base was with Kate and Eric in their stunning home high up in Mill Valley where the sea mist climbs over the hills like the long fingers of a dragon in the early mornings.
Time with Tia, David and Lisa fun and joyful....... and although due to flight delays and lost connections that stretched my return journey to three days, finding Victor waiting for me in Athens airport at 3.30am and hearing that his test showed he was cancer-free and no need for Radiation.... all tiredness vanished in a moment!
Sending you all love and gratitude
Dear Friends and Students
Greetings from Eftalou where Spring has spread a carpet of flowers across the valley and birds are busy finishing their nests while the people of Molivos are painting and preparing their homes and shops for the Summer!
As many of you know this winter for us was a time to catch up on hospital life! First me with surgery on my leg veins and then Victor for Prostate cancer. In all we made three visits back and forth to Munich, where were fortunate to have excellent care, wonderful doctors and a place to stay as well.
Victor is recovering well and plans to visit his children and their families in April and I shall be in San Francisco to teach the Pre-conference Workshop on April 12th/13th and give a presentation class on Sunday morning of the Conference April 20th.
I am not ...as originally planned ...giving the Key Note on Friday evening. CIIS and the organiser Mariana Caplan decided instead to have a renowned Academic for the evening presentation.
I shall follow this with a short meditation.
I am sure it will be a wonderful event with many experts offering their experience and we shall see how entwined and important are Soma and Psyche are in our lives.
I am so looking forward to seeing new and old friends again and hear that several of you have already signed up for the weekend workshop.
"Winter-time in Eftalou and a cold, cloudy day .....I came across these old photos from our Yoga Trek in Nepal 1985"
Once again we traveled back from the East coast, west across the continent to New Mexico and the beautiful home of Charlie and Zoreh where we had one day to rest and receive an Ayurvedic massage from Melissa Spammer before starting the four day teaching event with Rama Joti Vernon.
Here at Kripalu there is so much beauty to be found in Nature, rolling hills, mountains in the distance, forests and a shimmering lake in the sunlight. The last apples had almost all fallen, just a few still clung to their branches reminding me how I still cling to some old ideas, expectations and fears. In America what we Europeans call Autumn is for them "the Fall'..... a perfect word for this time of year when Nature lets fall her fruits and we can shed the clutter of old emotions and memories allowing them to compost into the soil and become food for new inspiration and creation!
Some of the fallen apples were still edible, juicy and delicious. There is always so much more taste and freshness in what we pick or gather than what we buy at the Supermarket and has been sitting in a box or plastic bag for some days!
I believe that the same is with Yoga practice and teaching...it has to be fresh and what we find in the moment to feel deeply satisfying, not a repetition of something we did before or remember a teacher giving out in a class no matter how good it felt then.
Letting go the role of 'teacher' and simply meeting these wonderful souls who have chosen, saved their money, made arrangements at home or work and taken the time and energy to get here is indeed a miracle and a meeting.
The rest follows and emerges, revealing itself in surprising ways that push us to the edge and flood over the gates of resistance.....a happening, a discovery and each day a sense of immense gratitude and understanding.
Kripalu is huge with several workshops and retreats running at the same time. Hundreds of people taking yoga, meditation, self-help and other classes, eating organic meals and staying in rooms or dorms.
It sometimes feels like an enormous ship at sea and I wonder how it all seems to work, the coming and goings of groups and teachers, all the schedules and meals, sleeping arrangements and finances not to mention the problems that arise with maintaining and old building....the chaos that could happen but doesn't!
Perhaps it is the seed of Swami Kripalu's legacy, his being and teaching that somehow invisibly permeate and touch all those of us who pass through its doors.
I was so lucky to have Ilana and Liza as assistants for both retreats as the numbers reached 82 at the weekend and 45 for the Womens' three day event. Ganesha was very present as we worked with the base Chakra to feel more grounded and energised, opening to the earth and then to our inner power. Several animals and birds appeared as helpful images to open and move, to deepen and uncover 'our inner creature'! We stretched and danced, spreading our Heron wings. We found our snake, the spine winding and unwinding memories and tears through the body. As layers fell away we laughed and dared to be outrageous at last!!
Krishna the Indian God of Love was not far away as I sat cross-legged in a corridor to talk on Skype with Victor who was teaching in Rochester. Even in a Yoga Institute we can be grateful for the Internet to keep the threads of life and love alive, no matter if people are stepping over you and the sound or image keeps fading!
The first day was for women only... a warm and beautiful experience with sharing and deepening into practice as well as some lively movement. There are no photographs of the class as it would have been disruptive to the intimate atmosphere when people are in their own personal process of unwinding and healing.
Our visit to Yellow Springs coincided with the glorious colours of 'Fall". This little Maple tree was at its best and just outside Patricia and Andrew's living-room.
Here is the altar that some of the students added to each day with colourful leaves and other treasures.
In this photo almost everyone had left on the last day but a few were left and here you can see Patricia..front left... and Andrew standing in a pink shirt. Victor might be saluting or perhaps a fly landed on his forehead!
When we first came to the USA many many years ago the teaching was mostly about technique and training but now most students have found their own practice and we are more concerned with the 'energy body' and an internal exploration. This is both exciting and challenging and the classes are deeply rewarding. We loved our time with old and new friends at Namaste!