A few words from my heart

A few words that puzzle together meaning.

"Sometimes we don't know where to go. We stay in between the jump, between on way and another. Hesitant. And that's the hardest place to be. Once we dig up the courage to jump, one way or the other, we find peace in the present. And that feeling never disappoints the soul." - DK

One Destination to The Next

I have been enjoying the present so much I have not had a chance to think about my exciting future plans. And it's a great thing. 

India taught me a lot and I wouldn't doubt if I refer to that chapter of my life in my future blogs. 

Importantly, it taught me to live in the present moment.

And that's no easy task.

However with ease I have been absorbing every present moment.

From Left: Alex, my oldest sister. Middle: Rachel, my middle sister. Right: Me.
After India I have been living it up to the fullest. Now, that's all subjective but when you've been constricted to cold bucket showers and no air conditioning plus the other amenities not available, everything after that is heaven.

Although this trip in Dubai would be a blast for any person, for me coming from tougher Indian living conditions, it put me in the mind set of "now" and forever positive vibes.

I was blessed to be in the presence of my sisters and I certainly enjoyed every moment with them. (Even the ones where we didn't get along). The last time us three did something together has been years.

We went on a desert safari riding camels and ATVS. We spent sometime at a Bedouin village, took a boat tour and bus tour (the Hop in Hop Off Bus), visiting the famous Atlantis hotel and seeing the only seven star hotel in the world. We went Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, we went to the beach and we skied and snowboarded at the indoor ski resort! All in three days. Literally, no time to rest. But that's my kind of vacation.

The best part, hard to say. But I love that they know me inside and out despite the fact I see them a few times a year, if that. It was some great bonding. 

My one sister and I were even asked if we were twins because we kept responding to his questions at the same time with the same response in the same tone. It was obnoxious but funny. We couldn't help it. 

Since we had such a packed schedule doing something every minute of the day it went with the blink of an eye. And when we took off and landed in Amsterdam for a layover I still didn't think about my future but I was so ready to get out in the city for a few hours before my next departure took off.

And I did. 

We landed at 6 in the morning. I freshened up and by 830 I headed out to the city. I got on the bus route to the centre city, bus 169, and around quarter after 9 I got off at the Vondel Park, the most famous park in the Netherlands. 

It was an overcast day but I was very happy to feel a cool breeze and no humidity. It was amazing. I had to head back by 1130 to give myself time for my next flight departing at 1300... I wanted extra time to go through passport check point and security. 

After strolling around I saw the water tours were opening up and to my convenience an hour canal tour started in two minutes at 1020! How perfect. 
On the tour boat in Amsterdam
I went! It was nice to see the city from the canal and learn about some history. As soon as I walked off the boat I got to the bus stop and conveniently my bus was leaving to the airport! It was incredible.

I got on the bus at 11:25. And made it back to the airport by noon. It was seriously perfect.

I got through security and passport check in and to my gate thirty minutes prior to boarding. This gave me time to freshen up and FaceTime my mother real quick. It was ideal.

I couldn't have had a more smooth layover.

Although it does take preparation in order to do it. I did research on what I could do, where, how far, how much it would cost, how to get there, etc. I was looking at visiting the Van Gogh museum or the Anne Frank house but I decided I wanted fresh air and I didn't want to be rushed in the tour. I think I made the right decision. And if I come back here I'll make sure I visit both places. In addition to the famous tulip garden, Keukenhof, which I would have loved to visit but it was not in season! (March-May is season) 

However I did purchase some tulips buds to plant in Panama.

Anyway, I have arrived to my house in Panama, and estoy muy contenta. 

Life is good. 

Advice: be happy right now. No need to always look forward to the future, even if it looks wonderful because then we will never get the chance to enjoy the moment. Plus, the future is unpredictable. If you can't enjoy the present, you can't enjoy much of life. Who know's what tomorrow will bring. 

Until then,

Live With The Heart: My India Chapter is Complete

A teaching from Osho:

"The Latin root word for courage is 'cor' which means heart. To be courageous means to live with the heart. To live in love, trust and to move into the unknown. Living through the heart is to discover meaning"

The experience I have had cannot be put in words.

I came here four days after graduating college, not really thinking what exactly I was getting myself into. It went by like a breeze of fresh air grazing your face. 

This breeze, changed me. It was fresh air from the Indian Himalayan mountains that decided to shine new light and find a way to enlightenment my soul.

It was a drastic change and as much I love change the breeze wasn't always complimenting. I had days where I thought to myself, "do I ever consider what exactly I'm doing before I do it?"

I had come to India on my own and agreed to participate in a yogic lifestyle which required more than I bargained for, but it made me stronger and now I am grateful for the challenge:

No meat
No alcohol
No dairy 
No proper shower (bucket of cold water)
No consistent running water (without water for days, on and off)
No makeup (my decision, and not an easy one! But I must say, I have gotten use to looking at my face without makeup)
No television
No air conditioning 
With the rigorous schedule starting at 6 AM on the dot every morning for 30 days and finishing at 1800 for dinner. (With a break for breakfast tea time and lunch during the day)

I met amazing people who were courageous and strong enough to drop their lives and detach from the world. 

Each and every yogi that accompanied me on this journey is an inspiration and brought new perspectives and knowledge as we came from all over the world: Australia, Japan, Thailand, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Russia, Costa Rica, Canada, Hungary, Spain, Chile, Vietnam, Mexico and the United States. (I think that's all)

And despite that we all came from different cultures, we all had one common ground: a passion for yoga and courage to detach from our lives.

In life we get used to our daily lives and get too comfortable, it's natural. But we need to find ways to change it up and switch around what we do. In order to do that we need courage. 

Courage to dip our toes into the fresh water. Courage to open a new door of opportunity and step through to the other side to a breeze of fresh air.

I have become a better human with more understanding and more compassion for the world. 

I see life in a new way of positive light and happiness. I am extremely grateful that I have this courage to find ways to broaden my horizons and explore into the unknown.

My advice: wander and explore into a new adventure. Go out of your comfort zone and find meaning in all that you do. Be adventurous and when you venture into the unknown you learn more about yourself than you ever knew possible. 

This past month has taught me heaps about who I am, what I want, and what I truly need. Osho is right. And when we love, trust, and dive into the unknown we live through our heart and we discover meaning. 

And after this experience I can say,

I am living through my heart discovering meaning.
I am courageous.
I am living in love, trust and moving continuously into the unknown.

My heart is full. 


The Last Week Of My Yoga Journey In India

My time is dwindling down here in Dharamsala as the yoga teaching training detox course is finishing it's victory lap. 

It's bittersweet. The more I become accustomed to this schedule and lifestyle the more I am enjoying myself. Especially the acro yoga. One of the girls is a master at it and thinks I'm a great fit for this type of yoga because of my body shape and I'm stoked about it, so she has been teaching me some moves and I will definitely take this practice into my life at home.

So that's incredibly fun and I am trying my best to enjoy this moment but it's hard when I know what's at the finish line -- a fun tourist vacation with my two sisters in Dubai and to cherry top that a Yoga Alliance Teacher certification in the bag. So forgive me it's hard to focus on the now.

But I am, I completed teaching my two asana sequences and only have a meditation to lead tomorrow morning (wish me luck) and a quiz to complete to finish the course. For me, teaching the asana classes were fun, I wasn't nervous and that's because I've taught asana classes before but I am apprehensive about leading a meditation as well as this quiz. If you know me well, you're aware that I can't sit still and so my ADHD had me staring out the window day dreaming, dozing off, or doodling in my notebook so I am not sure how much I truly retained in that class.. But I am not going to worry about it. 

I've been thinking and trying to recap my four weeks here. Have I improved mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally? What did I learn? How much of this yogic lifestyle will I incorporate in my Westernized life? Have I changed? 

I think mentally I have grown, I am mentally stronger. I have become more independent traveling to the east alone, learning how to adjust and cope with situations better, and having an even more positive outlook on life. And although sometimes my mind wasn't feeling meditation practice my mind became more stable and balanced, forcing my mind to be quiet, something that would have not been possible before.

Spiritually, well obviously I have become more in tune having meditation every morning for the past 28 days at 6:00 in the morning for almost two hours. But my mind has also been exposed to spiritual practices in which I was unaware of like, Reiki. In the end, yes. Before coming to India I was probably 5% spiritual and now I would say 25%. You westerners might disagree and say I am more spiritual than that, but you have yet to meet the gurus over here. 

Physically... I wish! No, realistically I have. I have been more aware of my body and its ability in asana practice and I have challenged my body to do postures I never knew were possible for me. Although I have years to go until I master some! 

Emotionally, I am not really sure how to tackle that one, I think yes I learned to continue to be independent and to feel emotions but to not attach. Because in the end nothing lasts forever. That's emotional right?

I learned a lot. Too much to explain but I am happy for this new knowledge from anatomy, to philosophy, to asana postures, to yin/astanga/hatha/acro yoga sequences, to NLP (nero linguistics programming), to much more. It's been a ride. (I'll have to save some of this enlightenment and blend it into to my book) anyway, point being: a few chapters of interesting knowledge. 

Will I incorporate this yogic lifestyle? To an extent, I will take what I believe will benefit my practice and my life. For example, the niyamas and yamas, social and personal codes, like the basics. 

This is my rational: I have an open mind to hear everyone's opinions and views just like I do when I hear this yogic lifestyle (which stems off of Buddhism and Hinduism religion) but that does not mean I will use it or agree with it. I understand this way of life but I am content and happy with mine. So, I will take what will benefit me. 

Have I changed? With every new adventure I take on my journey of curiosity I change. I become a better human. I see the world in the light of another culture and do my best to be apart of it so I can understand how other people live and with that comes change. New experiences new people new culture .. It's bound to make a lasting impression and it certainly made a mark on me and one I will never forget.

I will have one more final blog in the next coming days to bring this circle round and announce that the victory lap has been completed.

Until then, 

Last Supper

It's a rainy day here in Dharamsala and it's playing an active role on my mood. I am not necessarily tired because I would love to go to one of my typical yoga sculpt classes in Colorado or take a run at my parents house (both impossible things here, you can't go for a run in this town because of the culture) but it is that I am tired of the same routine - bored too.

I don't know anyone too well, although it's not my point to mingle, it's nice to have a person there to chat with. And I can't complain because Joey, the closest to my age and closest person to my hometown has been an awesome companion. But it's not like I'm going to blurt out all my thoughts onto his poor soul (I say poor because he has to listen to me), although he has endured the "Devin rants" aka me going on and on about a story the person probably does not really care about, remember where I began, or get the chance to interrupt me... Apologies Joey. 


Three weeks, going on four, without one day to sleep past 5:30, with pretty much an identical daily schedule, it's been more rough than easy. I am not one to wake up at the crack of dawn unless I am going my typical 7:00 yoga sculpt class back in the states. Otherwise I don't see a point in waking up that early. 

And here, we wake up to meditate. I have come to the conclusion it is not my thing and you'll see me in the back of the room with my head bobbing down because I am usually falling asleep since in meditation you have your eyes closed. 

An easy way for someone to doze off who is not serious about meditating. At first I really tried to meditate and all that jazz but it was pointless. I am not "ready" enough to have zero thoughts and quite frankly I don't mind.

I'll be giving a meditation class next week, which requires two mantras and two pranayama exercises, it's at six in the morning so at least I'll be half asleep when giving it... Let's just hope I don't doze off in the middle.

I am happy the weekend is finally here which means the count down is now onto single digits. Except tomorrow I will be doing the throw up detox I have already done, which I sincerely disliked. And then an hour later I will be doing a similar detox with a lemon type drink and then performing asana (yoga practice) until I need to run to the bathroom or vomit. That will be done up to ten times.

After that, we rest all day since our energy will be very low from cleansing everything out of the body. We are eating a very light dinner tonight, we are not allowed to eat out, and that has been my go to the past two weeks since I despise Indian food more and more.

My last meal before the detox.
But it's 72 hours of my life so I am telling myself, easy peeezy lemon squeezey. 

Once we complete the 10 rounds we are only allowed to eat kitchari for the next 48 hours. I explained in my previous blog it's two types of grains, very bland. Unfortunately I can't even sneak in a sweet treat because that will only upset my stomach and at that point in the game I doubt I'll be up for it.
This practice is suppose to clean literally everything out of the body, so you start fresh once it's all said and done. For example one person did it who was a chain smoker and vomited up tar basically because this is getting everything out one way or the other.

The Asana practice performed after drinking the detox drink.

So thankfully those delicious cakes I've been treating myself too apparently won't matter, although I'll most likely be regretting it tomorrow.

I am sincerely looking forward to seeing my sisters in Dubai and doing some awesome tourist things, but until then I will continue to embrace this yogic lifestyle as best I can.

Oh and although this whole experience has been a detox in itself I have clearly snuck away to find sweet treats and Oreos but I am still following the vegetarian protocol (I can't say vegan anymore because I am sure the treats at the bakery I have scarfed down were made with an egg which is not allowed in that diet) but for vegetation protocol that means I have not had a piece of meat since I left the states. In addition to the fact I have not had a sip of alcohol (although that's not part of their diet) so I'm staying strong.

Anyway I am sincerely looking forward to a big juicy cheese burger with guacamole and fries on the side. As well as a fat tasty crab cake. And of course a nice beer to go with it wouldn't hurt.... So indulge for me!!! And when you take that delicious yummy filled bite think of me over here in India sitting on the floor (since chairs don't exist in this culture) eating kitchari (the two grain dish) for the next 72 hours. 


Around the Bend

The end count down to becoming officially certified as a yoga instructor by Yoga Alliance has arrived! And I couldn't be more excited. 

Although we still have quite some time and I'm enjoying the experience, we're over the hill and riding slowly down to the finish line.

Morgana (in grey pants) and I (in blue top) during a partner yoga workshop.

I completed my first practicum, teaching a thirty minute asana. It went well, my class seemed to enjoy it as I got positive feedback (but who's to give negative in a yoga environment). I focused on back bends in my sequence and I felt awesome teaching! 

Although I have taught before (because I'm certified through Corepower yoga) it was different. This was a true asana class with my new knowledge and a different atmosphere.

I am most apprehensive about leading a meditation class. That is next week. As well as leading one more hour class. 

I am completely over eating at the yoga school and I have been eating out quite a bit, finding some great tourist - approved places to eat. In fact, a lot of Israelis travel here for some reason, so there is a decent amount of Israeli food, which has been to my delight.

And I can't complain about the prices because, for example, this awesome vegetable burrito that I order is $3.00 U.S. Dollars and it's legit. So the prices are awesome but I have done a good amount of shopping so unfortunately running out of rupees (the Indian currency) has already happened. 

They don't take credit cards so that has been a downfall and my reasoning for buying a good amount of gifts is because the prices are good and they'll come in handy in the states and in the states the prices would be way higher, so I am telling myself if the  purchases will come in handy, for a good price, I'll make it happen. 

Anyway, the schedule is lighter although philosophy and meditation are still in the mix, and you know how I feel about that. But we are doing four hours of Asana (postures/practice) yoga! So finally we are really getting into postures and stretching our bodies, instead of having the lecturers more often than asana. So it's nice.

This weekend we do a big detox of our internal organs. We drink this mixture of something that will upset our digestive system so it will clean out everything causing us to run to the bathroom vomiting and out the other end. And to top it off we can only eat kitchari, a mixture of solely two grains, that is easy to digest. We can only eat that for 48 hours. I decided I'm going to do the detox even though I said I was over it in the last blog. 

I have come to this conclusion because this is the only time in my life I will have this opportunity and support to participate in the detox and in this environment.

So we shall see. That is going to be on our "day off" but it's not really off because we will be busy puking and so on. 

Until then I will be treating myself to dessert and bread and all of the above. (Except meat and alcohol because that is not allowed).

Oh and if you were wondering how I am doing with the water and sickness... I am back to myself feeling fantastic and energized to the fullest. And the water, well I've adjusted to using bottles of water to "shower" myself and I am happy when the water turns on for a cold rinse. But it's not often and I've adjusted... We are around the bend!