Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

So 2011 is upon us, and here I sit typing up a blog entry, swaddled in full arctic gear and a blanket, shivering and cursing the whole concept of winter.  My yoga practice has gone from feeling fantastic to geriatric pretty much overnight, and I roll out my mat each morning with a space heater cranked up full tilt and sporting long johns over my yoga gear, along with a snazzy pair of legwarmers.  Nose:bleeding and runny.  Eyes: itchy.  Hands and feet: numb.  Lips: chapped.  Do I miss tropical weather?  ABSOLUTELY.

That said, I will try to look on the bright side of things.  It has been a pretty fabulous year with lots of amazing learning experiences, adventures, and new friendships.  My  passport has gotten a major workout with all the traveling I have done, and it has made me believe firmly in the idea that there is a very valid form of education that comes out of seeing the world.  There have been incredible people everywhere I have visited, and I am pretty grateful for all the kindness that strangers have shown me.  Many of these strangers turned into highly valued friends, and it has been gratifying to share so many of my adventures with them.

What's on the agenda for next year is a question many people, including my family, would like to know, and now that I flew across the world back to Canada I had intended to settle down in Victoria for a bit.  The universe is clearly not done messing with me however, because two days after I arrived I was surprised with a really amazing possibility that would take me to Australia for the next year, more or less, which is an idea I had been toying with before I left India.  So that is all up in the air at the moment.  Again.  What to do. 

Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions for what to do?  Any preferences for what I blog about?  Write me some comments, send me some feedback, it is great to hear what people are thinking.  I have been amazed by the number of readers lately, and the global scope of my audience... even though I only have 6 followers, the stats record shows me that I have passed 800 readers in the last few months.  Hurray, and thanks for thinking I am interesting!

Happy New Year!

*For anyone who was wondering, my mum is out of the hospital and waiting for test results.  Send some positivity and healthy thoughts her way!

Friday, December 24, 2010

On the Road Again: Super long flight edition

So the last few months I have been torn with indecision about what to do after my next teaching job in Indo fell through, and it has meant a lot of thinking, a lot of talking it out with amazingly sympathetic friends, and a lot of trolling the internet for flights to various location.  All the agonizing, however, was for nothing, as the universe had something in mind for me the whole time.  As I type this, I am transiting through Dubai, onwards to Houston (Dubai-Houston:16hours on the plane!!!), and then finally to Edmonton to be with my family, because my Mum is in hospital, and frolicking around the beaches of Sri Lanka while Mum is hooked up to an oxygen tank doesn't feel like the right thing to do.  My mind had been drifting towards Australia for the last month or so, thinking how great it would be to get a working holiday visa and spend the year there until my next India trip, but I was procrastinating like crazy about applying for the visa... maybe my intuition knew something else was on the lineup for me?  It makes me think that maybe the job in Indo wasn't really meant to be either; if I still had that on the go it would have been more difficult to get back to Canada to see my Mum and return to Asia in time for the contract to start.  My family was telling me not to ruin my plans to fly home on such short notice, but I had to kinda laugh at that thought: hard to ruin a plan that didn't exist to begin with.  So back to Canada for the next while, and I have to admit that some fear is there, at the moment mostly about the thought of WINTER, and then for the obvious things, like where to live in Victoria when I get back out there, and where to look for a job, and at the very forefront, for my Mum's health. Going home is the new challenge, the new adventure, and it makes me wonder what other surprises the universe has in store for 2011. 

Happy holidays!  The next few blog entries may be typed in mittens, so look forward to some interesting typos!

Monday, December 13, 2010

On the road again!

Last week I left Mysore with a lot of warm wishes and love, and it was really hard to just pack up and go.  My previous trip was entirely different; I enjoyed my three months but I was ready to leave at the end of it.  This time there were many tears and a lot of sad goodbyes, and it was a litttle surprising because I haven't had that reaction to leaving a place and a group of people in a very long time.  Arriving in Sri Lanka was a pretty smooth transition though, and after a short flight and a long bus ride along a gorgeous coastal road I was reunited with some dear friends from Canada who I haven't spent nearly enough time with over the last year or two.  More thoughts on Sri Lanka to come, but let's just say for now that it is pretty amazing to be practicing, drinking coconuts, and then jumping into the ocean for a swim.  Now the question is how long should I stay, and then where do I go from here? 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quotable Mysore

I don't often write about my asana practice because I figure that it is for one, quite personal, and secondly, quite boring for anyone reading who isn't into yoga.  But last week I had a memorable enough moment that I think it deserves sharing.  I am working into the Intermediate Series and up to 'pincha mayurasana.'
This guy makes it look easy.  But for me with my spindly ex-ballerina arms and lack of shoulder stability, a challenge is there.  I made it through two rather successful attempts last Thursday and thought I would go for one more, so up I go... balanced, breathing, one... two... three.... crash.  Face plant.  I am a little worried about tipping over backwards in this one because I don't want to land on the person in front of me, so my reaction when something goes wrong is to smoosh my face into my mat and bring my feet back down from there. 

Saraswathi saw my epic fail and came up to me with a laugh and a twinkle in her mischevious eyes and said, "you have nice face, don't break it!  Now take again, I help."  How cute is that!  She is one special lady.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bringing crafty back!

Last week was nearly entirely consumed by craft sale prep.  I sat waiting for my breakfast the day before the event working on a  half finished mitten with the goal of completing the set by lunch time, just so I could make a toque in the afternoon.  Yoga. Sleep. Eat. Crochet.  Can't talk, must crochet!  Little crazy no?   When I showed off my creation in progress to some friends on the way home, it was mentioned that Justin Timberlake can be held responsible for bringing sexy back, but now I am bringing crafty back, one project at a time.  It is a tough job, but someone has to do it!  The craft sale itself was a huge success, raising nearly $800 (33790 rupees!), and shining a bit of light on Odanadi as an organization as well as the issue of human trafficking itself.  Everyone who came to help out for the event was absolutely brilliant, and it was pretty amazing to see how much time and energy people are willing to give.  We had snack/chai wallahs, flower wallahs, cash desk wallahs, tag-making wallahs, helping-out-in any possible way wallahs, and also the number of projects donated by the Saturday morning craft crew was pretty spectacular.  When the founders of Odanadi arrived, they were blown away by the success of the sale and asked to call the media, so midway through the day, a television crew turned up to film some footage and asked if we could say a little something about the event and the purpose for it; I certainly didn't expect to make the local news!  The really great thing though was that the girls from Odanadi who attended had a fabulous day getting to interact with the yoga student and they all left exhausted, but with epic smiles and hugs and kisses.  Seeing the light and confidence in their faces took the whole thing to an extra level of special for me, and it is pretty safe to say that the day was just as memorable for the people who attended based on the warm feedback that I have heard in the days since.  And now every morning both before and after practice I get to see everyone sporting their beautiful new hats, mittens, scarves and legwarmers.  Pictures coming soon!