Thanks you, anonymous lady in the ricefield

This anonymous lady in the ricefield opened a world for me…

When I was young we used to live in a rural area surrounded by a lot of farmers. We even had some baby pigs in our house who couldn’t stay with their mother. But until now I never realized all the effort mad to put my food on the table.

As kid I never understood why people prayed before eating. “But mom, you bought it in the supermarket and not God”. Still I don’t believe in the classical God, but I become more and more aware of the Universal Energy.

Now I’m here I South East Asia and see a lot of people working very hard for our food under difficult circumstances. The rice I see in the supermarket once has been yielded on a beautiful green rice field far away by people working their ass off literally in the mud.

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Traveling, packing and spending money – what did I learn

I already talked about my lessons in the spirit,mind and heart while traveling. What did I learn about logistics and financial? Not really yoga related but still might be interesting for other and future yoga nomads

Packing

Packing too much: I’ve seen someone with one backpack of 25 l. She had met someone without luggage, with litterly only his passport in his pocket. Wow. If you want to know how, the Google search is no bag travelI couldn’t do that, my backpack (65 + 10) was 18 kg when flying to Ubud.

No, you dont need to take three tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste with you. You only need one in three months and they sell it in the Seven Eleven for even a cheaper price. You don’t need to take two extra in-case-of phones (+chargers, +cables) with you. Extra wallet. Hipwallet. Didn’t use it. Ducktape, tierips and other McGyver stuff… didn’t need it and everything can be bought. (Happy though with a rope and clips to hang my clothes on)

In a lot of countries in Asia it is not done to wear sleeveless shirts/tank tops. So they are mostly unused. Instead take white shirts of technical sportsmaterial (nylon, with little holes, like running shirts) with you (if you have a Decathlon around: buy them there for a couple of euros.)

Spending money

First rule: If I lunch cheap on a day, I can dinner more expensive. And vice versa. A cheap lunch was 35 bath for a plate of rice and vegetables. My average price was 80-100 bath for diner without alcohol. A pizza costs 250 bath, and one time Ive eaten for 600 bath after walking for hours in Bangkok’s Chinatown and not finding a vega restaurant. Alcohol is expensive, 60 bath for a beer, 120 bath for a glass of wine. (Thats why the average is higher than 100. Not that I drank that much :-))

Second rule: keep track of your expenses. Set a day limit (for me 500 bth excl. hotel) and don’t spend more than that… on average. You can, but the next day you _have_ to spend less. And don’t forget, a lot of small amounts is a big amount.

See everything as a percentage of this limit helps also to keep the discipline. You see that I have spent two bath too much a day. Three euro for all the period, not bad for a big spender like me 🙂

Last rule: dont get obsessed with the rules. Enjoy!!

How much did you spend? Do you have other packing tips?

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Lessons of Chiang Mai

One week left in Chiang Mai ! A pretty sad realization, but I’m also ready for the next step, a month in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. It’s a good moment to reflect on what I discovered the last two months. (by the way, the inspiration to write this down – at 2h00 in the night – came after seen this video)

As you might know the plan was to travel around in Thailand. I started with five days of Bangkok and the plan was to visit four or five days in Chiang Mai. But at the third or fourth day I visited the park with people doing (acro)yogam slacklining and jugling. I got hooked and will stay around seven weeks (with a break of four days in Pai).  Maybe I’m less a traveller (and less die-hard regarding (lack of) luxuery and comfort) than I thought I was, but that was certainly not the most important lesson. Continue reading “Lessons of Chiang Mai”

On my mat I’ve learned

I’ve learned so much on my mat. In the yogaclasses of Bikram Yoga Arnhem, Affordable Yoga Paris, RYoga Rome. At my yoga teacher training with Samyak Yoga in Mysore, Inda. During my self practice at home, in hotels and outside in parks.

Of course I’ve learned about how to move my body into a posture. How to hold it. Steady and comfortable as it should be but also sometimes unsteady and uncomfortable. I have learned how to teach, to adjust, to assist.

There is so much more to learn.. but until now….

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Silence please

I just return from a two day meditation program of the CMU university of Chiang Mai, Thailand. And it a very nice experience to get into meditation!

We started at Tuesday afternoon at 13:30 at the Wat Susan Dok, a little bit east of the old town. There were around 30 participants. People from all over the world but a lot of Germans. We started with a short introduction about Buddhism near the temple. By taxi we were brought 15 km out of town where they have a meditation center in the middle of the nature. Strange to hear the birds after spending two weeks in big cities.
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One week after

It’s incredible how fast the time flies. It’s already one week ago that I’ve been given my certificate for the teacher training. After the ceremony me and one of my fellow students flew to Thailand. So no black hole for us. We’ve started in Bangkok and stayed there for 5 days. I’ve seen a lot of markets, the three most famous temples, ate a lot of nice things, been served and helped by a lot of kind people but I missed somehow the charm that Paris, Amsterdam of Rome has.

After that we went to Chiang Mai. Already in the taxi I felt that I like this city more. More charm, smaller and we were lucky to arrive at sunday evening so there was the Weekend market (another one!).
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Pub guru

Real wisdom can be found in the pub. Wise words spoken by the pub guru 🙂

1) The POWER is inside YOU
2) One step backward, two steps forward. Eventually, the number of steps forward will increase. Sometimes you need a setback to see how far you have gone ahead.
3) Don’t be to depend on your professional helpers to avoid to be kept in the role of victim and wait passively for what they propose
4) Do not listen to your internal critical voice but to the internal voice that gives you compliments. (Give them names)
5) Don’t put the responsibility outside yourself (social workers, others, friends)
6) Take care not to be too influenced by external events and actions of others
7) Find social support and distraction. When you don’t want it, is just when you need it!
8) Do not to pretend to know what other people think.
9) Not everything happens immediately. A lot of things need time. Just keep breathing
10) The pub guru is always right. Listen to the pub guru!

Plaisir and envie

(VF ci-dessous – Merci à Google Translate) / (Nederlandse versie onderaan )

‘Plaisir et envie’ are important words in the hotel where I worked until yesterday. ‘Plaisir’, having fun in what you do. ‘Envie’, going to your work with the desire to do so.

My secret dream is to live a life and doing a work that is independent of place. ‘Digital nomad’ is a term that is used lot for people like that. Imagine sitting at the beach designing a website with a (virgin) mojito next to you.

Another desire is making the difference. For my guests, people around me or even humanity. In January I saw a television program about a young lady – she has my age 😉 – who gave up everything to help people in Nepal some years ago. It woke up a sleeping desire. What could *I* do to make a difference ? I noted some keywords. Tourism, kids, yoga, poverty. You can guess the resulting phrase.

When the camping in Rome asked to come back on very good conditions I secretly knew the answer. Or better said, felt it. This was also the chance to fulfill another desire: traveling in south east Asia. Making a long trip before I am old and have bigger responsibilities than not having a walkout. So I practiced every decision making model possible and wrote my letter. Then I read again about a yoga teacher training in India (samyakyoga.org), maybe too early but felt another spark and filled in the form. And after that I’ll travel in Thailand and Indonesia.

I think it’s important not to be afraid of making choices to do what you really want in life (respecting your limits and responsibilities). So like I said in my very improvised goodbye speech at work:”it’s not that I don’t have the ‘plaisir and envie’ here, but I think there are more things that will give me even more ‘plaisir and envie’

Who knows what the future brings. I hope, believe and am confident that it will work out for me whatever it will be. Just breath. And if it all doesn’t work out for this moment, there’s the French expression that I heard a lot the last days: “Jamais deux sans trois” – after two times there’ll always be a third time. And also that will be with the same dedication as always.

Thanks to all for being there.

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