This video gives you an idea about the yoga teacher training course I did with Chaitanya Nitai Das at Yoga Inbound in Cuzco. I really loved the training and can truly say that yoga has had a life changing effect on me.
In this video you will see parts of the lessons – yoga philosophy and training and Chaitanya will tell you about his training and the idea behind Yoga Inbound and finally I will tell you why I enjoyed it so much.
For more information about Yoga Inbound in Cuzco – please visit the website: http://yogacusco.com/
Going into a new year usually makes people think about resolutions. They often consist of things they want to change – like stopping to smoke or lose 10 kg etc. I decided that I would rather like to focus on the things I like to stay the same.
1. Staying adventurous: I spent more than half of 2009 travelling all the way down from Costa Rica to Argentina, spent time in an organic Hare Krishna village in Peru, went through the Bolivian desert on horse, jumped out with a parachute in Argentina etc. I want to continue having the courage to do and live things that may seem risky and that may not have a guaranteed reward because only that way does life stay an adventure.
2. Staying open-minded: This is something I have to work on continuously because we are often not conscious about our own prejudism. Before I met Thomas I only dated Israeli men for about 10 years and couldn’t imagine going out with other nationalities. But I am happy that I did go out with Thomas because I learned an incredible amount of things from being with someone from a different culture and with a different mental pattern than what I was comfortably used to. My stay in the Peruvian Hare Krishna village is another example. Had I known in advance that it was a Hare Krishna village I would never have joined. Why? Well actually for no reason at all. In my mind Hare Krishna had a stigma and I don’t have any reason for this. I actually ended up finding out that the religion possibly fits my belief system better than any other I have studied so far (Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Christianity, Islam), but I am not a devotee. But I definitely want to continue challenging my own prejudism and try to stay open-minded.
3. Staying healthy: I have been a vegetarian for 18 years now and feel very healthy. However, in the past I have been a bit of a cheese-bread vegetarian because I hated cooking. I changed this in 2009 and after my return to Denmark I started cooking and can actually make some fairly decent dishes now. Furthermore, being adventurous and fairly open-minded brought me to the Hare Krishna village in which I learned yoga. I have studied it before in Thailand but due to lack of a spiritual dimension I lost interest in it. Vaisnava yoga included the spiritual dimension and I fell in love. This made me take a yoga teacher training course in Cuzco, Peru and since then I have done yoga almost every day. I want to continue this practise because it keeps me healthy physically and mentally.
4. Staying friendly: 2009 is probably the period in my life in which I have gotten the most new friends in all my life and I really feel like my life got enriched in ways that I can’t even begin to describe. I love the company of people and I really believe that the essence of life is the people we surround ourselves with (and animals of course). I want to continue making an effort to meet new people and to nurture the relationships I already have.
5. Staying in the now: I spent the last part of 2009 just enjoying being in the now. I didn’t make any plans and hardly ever made any appointments more than a week into the future and honestly had no aim for my life – but I felt very happy. But I do realise that if you don’t visualise events – nothing happens (law of attraction) and although you can be perfectly happy like that – I do like the magic of visualisation. But I want to try to stay as much as possible in the now and enjoy every moment no matter what I do.
So when I say happy New Year to everyone I wish to add that in my experience happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is felt when you don’t want to be anywhere else than where you are, be anybody else, have anything else or be with anyone else. It is living every minute with love and gratitude. May the New Year bring happiness and love to everyone.
A year ago today I boarded a plane in London for Madrid, and began a journey that has taken me through fourteen countries in 12 months, culminating back in Spain where I am now. Along the way I have had some amazing high points, and also without doubt some of the most challenging times of my life. The countries I have travelled through are, in this order:
12 months later I am speaking Spanish fairly well (albeit with multi-country accents & vocabulary), I’ve finally learnt some yoga, and I’m in the process of setting up an online English teaching business with an old friend here in Barcelona. You’ll be hearing more about this sooner rather than later as it should be ‘going live’ within the next couple of weeks.
Finally, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the people I have met along the way. The trip wouldn’t have been the same without you. Special thank-yous to: All at the Cooperative School in San Pedro, Sushi, Francisco, my mother, Paul, Serena, Jameson & Laney, Pete & Heidi, Svayam, Carlos & the Reina Madre crew in Buenos Aires, Rachel, Ben & Marina, Rory/James & Marcela in Spain, and Ana-Maria.
Having studied Spanish grammar in Guatemala and Ecuador until I was blue in the face, my Spanish language learning leveled out for a while simply because I couldn’t face opening up another grammar book.
Then I arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and decided to try out the famous Intercambio concept. Put simply, an Intercambio is a language exchange between two people. You meet up, spend half the time talking in your native language and half the time in theirs. This usually takes the form of meeting for a coffee and chatting for an hour in English and an hour in Spanish, although some Intercambios I have done have lasted 5 hours or more…!
I have been using a website called Conversation Exchange to organise Intercambios in Buenos Aires, Madrid & Barcelona. You need to register and add a brief profile (no photos allowed incidentally), then you can either contact people or wait until people contact you.
Intercambios also have a bit of a reputation as a means of meeting potential partners. Out of 15 people that contacted me in Buenos Aires from the Conversation Exchange website 14 were women between the ages of 28 and 33. My Colombian friend suggested to me that they were all after European visas. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that more women are learning English?
Whatever the underlying motivations, intercambios are a great way to practice your Spanish, get out and meet local people, and make new friends.
San Telmo is the oldest barrio (neighbourhood) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cafes, tango parlors and antique shops line up the cobblestone streets, which are filled with artists and dancers. Sundays is the day of the main San Telmo market, and this video is a collection of four short clips I filmed during the Sunday market.
Ilha Grande is a beautiful island located 150 km southwest of Rio de Janeiro. It is Brazil’s third largest island and has a tropical scenery and nice beaches. The hillsides are covered in lush forests which are remnants of the Mata Atlantica ecosystem. The land area is 193 km ² and the highest point is Pico da Pedra D’Ãgua, at 1031 m.
This Atlantic rainforest holds some of the largest remaining populations of many endangered species, including the red-ruffed fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus), the brown howler monkey (Alouatta fusca), the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus), the red-browed Amazon parrot (Amazona rhodocorytha), and the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris).
The seas around the island, which are also protected, has a unique mix of tropical, subtropical, and temperate-zone marine life, and may be the only waters in the world where it is possible to see corals and tropical fish along with Magellanic penguins and southern right whales.
The entire island is a protected area, with most of its territory included in Ilha Grande State Park, and the rest subject to stringent development restrictions. Small-scale ecotourism, however, is encouraged, and the island, which is road-less and off-limits to cars, features over 150 km of hiking trails connecting the handful of coastal villages and hamlets, where lodging is available, to one another and to the many beaches, mountain peaks, waterfalls, and pristine forests.
I visited there during the winter of 2009, but the weather was still pleasant. The island was the scene of a devastating mudslide on January 1st 2010 killing at least 19 people.
Rio De Janeiro truly occupies the most spectacular setting on the earth. I have never been to a city with a more beautiful location. The city may have a reputation for being dangerous as well – but believe me -it’s worth a visit. Gorgeous mountains, rain forest and white-sand amazing beaches…what more can you possibly wish for?!? By nightfall, the seductive sound of samba fills the streets, and if you are not seduced by the incredibly friendly Brazilians, you will for surely be seduced by the music and dancing.
Few things you definitely should not miss while in Rio: the stunning view from Cristo Redentor, sunsets on Ipanema, people watching at Copacabana beach, a stroll through Santa Teresa and samba clubs in Lapa…all amazing things to do!
I am not a city person – but i really loved Rio De Janeiro and would love to return one day.