not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Final Flow.

This morning was our final flow before graduation tomorrow. I woke up, puked and neti'd, then headed to the beach for a few hours of pranayama, meditation and yoga flow. We did a sun gazing meditation and then had a swim in the sea. After breakfast we took our written exam, and then Jess and I headed to Atman to reward ourselves with affogados (espresso and ice cream). Feeling excited and sad, and caffeinated!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cancelled Class and CAPPUCCINO.

We all have small assigned groups for our practicum. (Unfortunately for) Susie was sick this morning so, (fortunately for us) we had off!!! So as everyone was in the Shala, Vivek, Laurie and I headed to our local spot for some chai. When I wandered into the kitchen to place my order I saw a BIALETTI!!!!! So I packed it with coffee, percolated it on their stove and frothed milk!!! And good god almighty I had a proper cappuccino!! After a morning of nose flossing and puking, it felt good to relax and treat myself to a luxuries caffeinated taste of home.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Flossin' and Pukin'

5:45am : I just stuck this up my nose, threaded it through my mouth, and "flossed" the mucus out. Then I chugged a liter of water, jumped up and down like crazy, stuck my fingers down my throat and threw it back up. Yay for morning kriyas!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Be Gentle.

I had an epic cry in class, and then an epic laugh with Jess afterwards. We are quite connected at this point, so she took on my pain in class and had a cry as well (for me). She sent me this poem, which is giving me strength, by Kahil Gibran:

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered, Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the same well from which your laughter rises often times filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potters oven?

Jess ended it with Be Gentle. I've read it a dozen times now and it's more beautiful with each go.

At lunch today I ran around town, ate lunch at YoYos, bought some gifts and had a freaking deeeeliciou papaya and lime juice. Boom. Be Gentle and Enjoy Life.

Full Moon Funk.

Last night was the full moon, which is a time to purge. I have really been struggling with my body image, getting super sad about it, so in my heart I held the mantra "I am beautiful", while chanting the Ganesha chant "Om Gung Ganapataye Namaha" (Ganesh is a destroyer of obstacles). I chanted it under the moon last night (after a pretty epic birthday bonfire). It didn't do much for my self esteem so I decided to go to bed- that was until a huge rat crawled through the screen on my window. I'm not sure who was more scared, the rat or me, but there was a showdown and then needless to say- I didn't get much sleep.

Woke this morning and chanted to the setting moon and then picked an parcel card. I got the "zebra" which is about letting go of fear and knowing that I have support and am safe and protected. A good cry in yoga, a strong chai, and Im feeling good. Aum Gung Ganapataye Namaha.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day OFF.

Woke up super early despite it being my only morning to sleep in, and headed to my local spot for some chai, fruit and some solo time with my book. Laurie showed up shortly thereafter and we laughed as we sipped our warm, spicy, milky teas. Then we walked far down the beach to the next town, Mandrem, which is much quieter than the noisy town of Arambol. The beach was desolate, and the water was warm and glassy. We swam and swam and swam, did some yoga, and got way too much sun. Jess joined us, then later Bogey- we snacked on some strawberries and nuts and then packed up to head into the heart of Arambol. We stopped at the local yoga/spiritual bookshop and loaded up on epic reads. We could have spent a full day in the little shop. After much debate I settled on 4 books: Kundalini Tantra, Mula Bandha: The magic key, Osho's "Book of Woman", and Chakra Exploration. Afterwards Laurie and I headed to our in-town favorite local restaurant, YoYo's. It was even MORE delicious than it was last week. We had 2 extra large beers, 3 tulsi teas, 3 orders of naan bread, dal, paneer tikka masala, aloo gobi, and another dish who's name I forget- but it was dried fruit and cashews, chopped up with spice and stuffed into a potato, served in a spinach sauce. The total? $10usd. GAH. Amazing. We were beyond stuffed, but it felt good to indulge on our night off. We topped off the evening with a chocolate ball....a 10rupee rich and moan-inducing ball of delight. Thank god it's a long walk home...

Music and Moroccan Chai's.

Last night was the start to my one day weekend, so I had dinner with my favorites Jess and Bogey, and then we hung out and took in some Hang Drums at a local spot. We sipped on Moroccan Chai's (cinnamon, mint, cloves, star anise, and orange...AMAZING) and just got into a chill zone with the magical music of the hang drums. Beautiful night.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Morning Meditation, Silence and Swim.

Every once in a while we have been meeting on the beach at 6am instead of at the Shala for our pranayama and meditation. When we arrived in the darkness this morning there was no teacher. We set up in a circle and eventually Scarlett appeared, but she doesn't teach us meditation or pranayama, so we were all a bit confused. A half hour passed and then eventually Scarlett chimed in. She said "How many people were waiting? Waiting for a teacher to say something? Waiting for instruction? Waiting for a dismissal? COME OUT OF WAITING AND COME INTO *BEING*". She encouraged us to enjoy and be in silence, instead of always waiting for what's next. Just *be*. The Buddha once have an hour long lecture, where he just stood with a flower, saying nothing, and then left. When we are waiting, we let in anxiety, worry, maybe even fear. Turn waiting into watching, into being. It was a powerful lesson.

After the meditation and a bit of breath work, we did an osho meditation where we jumped up and down with our arms overhead, making a "huh" sound (the sound was just a result of the jump, super organic). After several minutes of doing this, we stopped, and I yelled. Not really a yell, a scream. A loud fucking scream. Two, actually. It was so release all of the sadness that was built up in my chest. And then Scarlett stripped off her clothes and jumped into the ocean. And since she's the teacher, many of us followed. Some people went in clothes, some were naked, others like me were just in tank tops and undies. The water was as warm as a bath tub and as glassy as a lake, and the air was crisp and cool as the sun was rising up over the hill. On the walk back to the Shala, everyone had smiles on their faces. I truly felt born again when I got out of the water. So grateful for the journey. God Bless.

Sounds That Heal.

Last night Sequioa lead a sound healing class. We were flowing through the chakras, in a standing position, and then laid down as she played the digeredoo, chanted as she played the drum, and also some Tibetan singing bowls. Honestly, I wasn't very into it at first. As we worked through our first three chakras I actually kept thinking "when is this going to be over....". And then, the heart chakra. It was especially powerful because we had done a heart opening Anahata chakra flow and meditation earlier in the morning....

The way I have interpreted my (personal healing) journey here is 3 steps forward, and 2 steps back. So, in the end, at least I'm moving one step forward each time. I started crying at the heart chakra, and it continued into the throat chakra. We were chanting sounds for each energy center, but all I wanted to do was scream. I was actually doing a silent scream as I sobbed through the pain that had overcome my chest and throat. I almost felt like I couldn't breathe. It was actually quite horrible, and scary. I was grateful when we finally were able to lay down and absorb the sound, as it took us on a healing journey. My tears continued as the journey finished, and as everyone filtered out of the Shala, Jessica was healing me from the heart up, and Bogey had a hold of my feet...both of them, yet again, holding space for my sadness. When I finally came about it was just Jess and I in the Shala. She sat with me for a long time and held me, and coached me through the grief (she's truly a brilliant human being, wise beyond her years). I cried a lot more as I fully felt what I was feeling. The only way to heal is to go fully into the grief, which is something that I didn't want to do - because who wants to feel pain?! Who wants to be vulnerable?! But I realized that all that Jess was saying was true, and it'll only get better if I move into it with full awareness. As soon as I think I've had my last break down, or that I've hit my lowest low, there is a whole new depth to the pain and sadness than I knew was possible. As I said, 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Most days I have a smile on my face and feel amazing, but when we start to do the energy work and I really tune into my energetic and emotional body, I realize how broken I am...which is totally scary. Again, I'm grateful for this experience- to really heal, guided by amazing teachers and held (physically and spiritually) by my beautiful friends like Jessica. It's a process, it's a process, it's a process....Change Takes Time. As Laurie reminded me yesterday, "Cailin, Rome wasn't built in a day! Slow down! Kundalini Shakti isn't going to rise tomorrow, and the grief isn't going to disappear after a hundred rounds of Uddiyana Bandha." So, as Rory says, SHANTI SHANTI. I'm going "shanti shanti" (soft soft, slow slow, peace peace) on myself. It's a process, change takes time.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Number One

Numerology charts told Laurie and I that we are #1 women...which means that we are super feminine women with super masculine energy. Today we had a good laugh on the beach during our lunch break about how we need a SHIVA. Boom.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Song Circles.

Last night we sang as the sun set on the beach. There was about 40 of us (and a few dogs) in the circle. This morning we met in the dark at 6:15am and did our pranayama and meditation hour in a circle as the sun came up. Now that's what id call bringing it full circle.

Adjustment Circus.

We have been learning lots of adjustments lately, deep and amazing adjustments! So be prepared for some epic assists when I get back!

Japa + Mala.

The other night we had a little ceremony before chanting, and we were all gifted with (tulsi) mala beads that had been blessed in Rishikesh. When you are chanting mantra with a mala it is called JAPA. Japa is turning your concentration to god. You're raising a low vibration to a higher vibration. Chanting mantra has the power to pull something in to you, or repel something away from you.  There are mantras for protection ("Om Dum Durgayei Namaha"), to transform anger ("Shante Prashante Sarva Krodha Upasha Mani Swaha"), and to remove obstacles ("Aum Gung Ganapataye Namaha"). Also, mala beads come in all sorts of wood, seeds, and gems. There are certain types that correlate with certain deities and mantras, and really you should only ever chant one mantra on one mala. One Mantra = One Mala. Otherwise you confuse the energy of the beads. You want to infuse your beads with one prayer, one energy, one intention. A mala has 108 beads, so chanting one round would be saying the chant 108 times. 

And as if that wasn't enough information for you, there is also a specific way to hold your mala beads. To begin, you use your Right hand. Keep the beads hanging between the ring finger and middle finger. Press your thumb against the ring finger to seal it in, turning your palm to face down. You use your middle finger to pull the mala in towards you, bead by bead, chant by chant. You never cross over the "mountain bead" (where the tassle is"), or use it to start or end. If you want to chant another round , remove the mala, turn it around, and begin again. 

And so, let the Japa begin!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Today I played hookie. I was exhausted, in every which way one is capable of being exhausted: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. My body is beat up, my cheeks hurt from smiling and my eyes hurt from crying. My abdomen is a thousand-different-types of sore from extensive pranayama, applying the bandhas through my practice, and from my new obsession with the powerful and amazing Uddiyana Bandha. I have been GIVING myself to my practice, completely- as well as waking every morning at 4:30am for over an hour of my own personal sadhana before our classes begin. Bogey said it right when he claimed that this training is ripping us open...a full surgery. Your fears, your weaknesses, your ego, your truths...all staring you right in the face, and asking you to deal with it. It's spectaular, but it's also realize that you are truly in charge of your destiny, and that life is as beautiful as you allow (or should I say "decide") it should be. Though I'm surrounded by great people, deep down I'm feeling incredibly vulnerable and very alone. My life from this moment forth will never be the same. I am on a path, and that path is definitely one of self-inquiry and self-help, as I continue to become the best version of myself. Because "good" is not enough. I want great, I want divine, and that's what I'll have. I digress, that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what's going on in my mind, my heart and my body. Truly grateful each day for my teacher Rory, and my friends Jess and Bogey- because without them I would surely be losing my mind right now. So, today I treated myself to an afternoon off- anatomy never really was my favorite subject anyways....

I had my personal practice this morning where I attempted to apply Uddiyana bandha, while pulsing my Mula bandha, whilst in headstand- attempting to subliminate stagnant energy in my lower chakras. Then I did 3 hours of practice in the Shala with Rory and Safah. After breakfast I scooted out and headed for my favorite local spot. Kadah and Rajeesh had my chai started before I even sat down, knowing my "usual". They complimented me on my beautiful Bindi, and then left me to myself...I think they could sense my sadness/excitement/frustration/bliss. I put on my headphones are for the first time since the training began I listened to music!!! And I read my novel!! I didn't think about yoga or read my manual, or study anatomy. I just *relaxed*, and it was glorious. After my chai's I headed down the beach and set up camp at the Blue Pyramid. I had a swim and a cry in the sea and then soaked up sunshine in Blue Pyramids lounge chairs, and enjoyed some of their healthy (expensive) organic food. I'm heading back the Shala now for our afternoon sessions, but I am feeling rejuvenated after a much needed afternoon off. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

In-Town Adventures

After the boating adventure and breakfast, I headed to the beach. Sun and lunch with Bogey, Jess and her son Mabon all afternoon. Later we all parted ways and I joined up with Laurie (my super-authentic Scottish Chai Tea-partner-in-crime) and we cruised into "town". We shopped a bit and bopped a bit, and ate a lot. We actually started with cheesecake and chocolate cake. Later we had the most epic, most delicious, most grand and inexpensive feast of this entire trip. Truly magnificent. It's good that we had a long walk home, because we ate so much. We stopped for a "chocolate ball" at the same little bakery stand on the way home, because what's dinner without dessert?! And then once we were all the way back, we weren't ready to call it a night- so we had a chai at our local spot. All in all, a fantastic day off.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Magic Morning on the Sea.

What a magical morning on the sea. 

We met at 6:45 when it was still dawn, and split up into two boats then set out to sea. I was in the same boat as Jessica and her son Maben. She's such a beautiful person, inside and out- and by nature, even before having a son, she was meant to be a mother. Hell, she's been nurturing and mothering me since the moment I arrived. 

I hadn't realized it until I smelled the engine as the captain started it up- but it was the first time I've been on a boat since my dad passed....the last time id had a ride out on the back bay was early spring of 2012, with Dad and Billy Herr. This morning, the smell of the engine and the sea, the sun just starting to come through and the cool breeze of the morning all brought a tear to my eye. Once a bit off shore we saw some dolphins, saw the sun rise up over the hills, and I even jumped overboard and had a swim in the warm water. Another beautiful day on this wonderful journey...