Hari OM! ॐ
How goes it?
I've fallen out of the newsletter habit, so I'm pretty sure this is the first of 2020. And what a start it's been! I've done cleanses, fasts, veganuary, offered a workshop and ecstatic dance in Gramais, sung and danced and done yoga at one festival, danced my socks off, did some breathwork and shared yoga at another, driven many miles and exchanged many smiles. I've met so many inspirational beings who have done and are doing much work on themselves and as a collective, moving into community-minded living and sharing and loving. It feels like I'm on fire. Life is flowing and I'm trusting where it's going.
Today in Gramais it's a total whiteout with a snowstorm and I'm hunkering down inside, recovering from the flu. For 9 days, this body has been purging and rebooting and I haven't been able to do much besides surrender and sleep. After such transformational times at Yogafestival Bodensee 14-19. Feb (see some snapshots below) and Let Your Body be the Prayer Ecstatic Dance Festival Allgäu 24-26.Feb, my bodymind system needed some integration and karmic cleansing time, which came in the form of the flu, yes proper flu with fever and bleugh and wipeout. Sometimes it is so. Our system receives an energetic upgrade, new frequencies for the bodymind and soul system to function from, healing our DNA and old belief structures and weaving new codes for the future. I've been loving reconnecting with tribe, yoga-ing and singing and dancing my way into new blissful states and levels of awareness. The future is all about collaboration, about the collective consciousness, about co-creation. I never really did the yoga festival circuit in the UK, I had my teacher, Steve and the Yoga Sanctuary and the wonderful sangha, and back then, that was just perfect. No need for any other workshops or influences or festivals and the like. Steve wasn't really a festival yogi and that rubbed off on me. And I didn't feel the desire or need to learn from anywhere else. But hey, each of us has our own dharma, our own path to follow, our own karma to see out... and here in Austria, mine seems to be all about connecting with people. Mostly through kirtan and dance. Here. There. Everywhere. And so it is. So I travel across 3 Länder: Austria, Germany and Switzerland and I meet familia, old shining souls, setting each other on fire with love and hope and inspiration. Aho! I can live my monk-like existence up here in the bosom of the Lechtaler Alpen, as long as I balance it with some sangha, with meeting in Love and Truth with fellow cosmic travellers along the way. Leela - divine play Praying, singing and dancing through life I have rediscovered the joy and power of dance. It's been burning and building for a bit. And now I'm full on LOVING IT TO THE MAX!!! Such freedom. Such connection to spirit and to Self. “To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful… This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking” Agnes De Mille As a child I danced. Awkward English, no hip movement, but still, I danced. I went to ballet and then left once I was told I had to do tap and couldn't just do modern and ballet. I fucking hated tap dance! So the rebel in me gave up dancing and I focused on making music instead, I sang in choir, I played violin and viola in youth orchestra and I went to listen to indie, grunge, rock and metal bands instead. I ran athletics, swam, played tennis, hockey... and then I danced at weekends. Then I was a clubber. A full on London turbo charged clubber. It began in the 1990's and it never really left my blood. I was always searching for something, I always found such freedom and pure joy in dancing, and sharing that passion for movement and music with others is still one of my favourite things. But those days were fueled by a desperate desirous search for new experiences and sensations and were filled with chemically induced 'highs' (after which came the lows), I pumped my otherwise healthy body full of toxins in my search for happiness. My main drug of choice? Ecstasy. MDMA and whatever else it had been cut with. Pills we use to say. Coke to keep going. LSD for the more goa trance parties, aceeeeeeed, E's for everything else. E's are good, e's are good, e's Ebeneezer Good... "Naughty naughty very naughty" Ha ha ha ha ha... And I was naughty. Naughty in the nineties and in the noughties. But life had other plans, and more drug-fueled raves were not on god's list for me. Eventually the narcotics turned into alcohol and somewhere along the way I stopped dancing - maybe once or twice a year. And then I got spinal and nerve injuries and that changed my life forevermore. And that's a very long story, but to cut it short, I still missed dancing. Broken body still missed dancing. I tried to go to clubs, but it wasn't the same. Since I started yoga in 2010, much of the time when I went out or tried to go out clubbing in the past few years, something didn’t quite feel right and sometimes the atmosphere made me feel either really uncomfortable or like I wanted to take loads of drugs again (those old sanskaras or desires rising up again). In 2018, every time I wanted to go to a Goa party, life organised something to prevent me from doing so... so I started to pay attention. Plus the parties just aren’t the same as what they used to be... with all our pills, our ecstasy, we were a tribe of one love back then, best mates who met seconds ago, united in a way of letting loose, of fuck the system... but times change and parties seemed more commercial... more aggressive, I dunno, whatever. I didn't feel so comfortable any more... didn't want to be around drink and drugs anymore. Didn't wanna be leered at by drunken or drugged men anymore.
I first turned up at Ecstatic Dance St Gallen in April or May last year and I haven't looked back since. I've found my familia, my dancing tribe, the open-hearted, free-beings who twist and twirl into natural ecstasy and joy. Whose hugs melt you into the big cosmos of love. And these beautiful beings have helped me heal, helped me open my heart wider, helped me free my body from its old pain patterns and conditioning, helped me constantly remember and rediscover the oneness in everything. I've now participated in some dance and movement workshops and I've found new freedom, strength and connection in movement meditation through dance as well as my yoga asana practice. Clean, natural, expressive, free. If you haven't been to an ecstatic dance yet, give it a go!!! It's literally changed my life. Anyway, to our teachings, which also continue to change my life! We're weaving our way through Pada One (Chapter One) of Sage Patanjali's (born c.400BC) Yoga Sutras. I was first introduced to these at the start of 2014, at the Yoga Sanctuary, Southampton and they've become teachings I keep returning to, again and again, each time to extract more juice, drink deeper, become more enthralled. Some of these are my own, loose translations, others are borrowed from others.
1.01 अथ योगानुशासनम्
Now, and in every moment, Oneness is found. (Now begins the study of yoga.) The only time is now.
Yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind and come to rest in the tranquility of the heart space.
1.03 तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्
Tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe'vasthānam
Then, the Self abides in the true nature of the Seer. (The soul sours within the cosmos).
Tomorrow we'll visit Sutra 1.4 in Living Yoga Flow (English) at 18:30, MitEinAnder Zentrum, Annagasse 5, A-6650 Dornbirn.
New hatha yoga class starting at Sportcenter Reutte!!! Dir.-Franz-Hosp-Straße 1, A-6600 Reutte From 20.02.2020 Every Thursday at 17:30-18:55
Thanks to a dear friend (Jan), I'm delighted to be working in partnership with Sportcenter Reutte until the summer, offering a weekly living yoga class on Thursday evenings. I'm feeling super grateful and very excited to be able to share my love and passion of yoga with more locals in Lechtal. Yay!!!
Lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu: लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु May all beings everywhere be happy and free.