Alaro, Mallorca

I came to Mallorca to visit my friend Howard, who we discovered a mutual passion for laughter, simplicity and joyfulness on the Island of Iz in Croatia two years ago, while teaching Thai Massage at the annual European Thai Massage Gathering. My friend Nicky had connected me with a yogi couple she had been inspired with who live and teach on the island, David Lurey and Mirjam Wagner. David told me about that Deva Premal would be chanting at Palma city, a double dose of fun, between teaching yoga and chanting kirtan with others..
Howard and I, attended a yoga class Friday morning, led by Sandra,  Earth Yoga studio owner. I had wanted to see the studio, but also to have students meet me, and be inspired to attend my workshops. I also wanted Howard, who lives in a village called Alaro, about 30 minutes from the city, to connect with the Yoga community, as what he shares is so beneficial to them as well.
Where Howard primarily works with private clients, giving massage or cranio-sacral treatments, I had always known that Thai Massage is more suited for yoga teachers and practitioners. Today Thai Massage, or Thai Yoga as I call it, is part of every yoga teacher training. I may have my opinion on the quality of the teaching, which are usually done by someone who spent a week studying this complex art, and perhaps given a few treatments, Thai Yoga has become a common word like I predicted over 7 years ago when I opened my first Thai Massage Center in Phoenix, AZ. The center was pre its time, and closed before its first year anniversary, where today there are two Thai Massage centers carrying my Thai Yoga Massage DVDs.
Between the morning Yoga class, and the concert, Howard had a chance to connect with many he has not seen in quite sometime, as well as be inspired about sharing his courses in new areas.
“When you live in the village you want everyone to come to you,” Howard told me when I first arrived, and as we were strolling around the old style buildings, tucked in the valley in the center of the Island, I could see why.

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Deva Premal and Co.

“Sheema, Sheema, Sheema, Sheeee-Maa” sang the artists on stage;
Deva Premal seated by her electronic organ, dressed in a Red silk Indian sari; Mitten, her partner, both on and off the stage, a long time Rajneesh devotee, who has been inspired to play music for his teacher; Manos, the native American, long haired flute player who has become part of the duo chanters, turned underground rock star; and an American keyboard player. Together they have arrived to city of Palma in Mallorca, though Mitten excited the crowd when he mentions how he lived on the Island in his early twenties, in a small village that now has become a popular tourist attraction.
“Sheema, Sheema, Sheema, Sheeee-Maa” the chant continues.
This is no ordinary concert.
It was only a week ago that I sat with my friends in the Truman Center in Independence, MO, just outside Kansas City, to participate in a similar event, t his time led by Dave Stringer and the Kirtan Band (composed of local musician among the two permanent members of the Stringer band).
When he took the stage, Dave shared with the crowd that this is not a concert, but rather a participation. “A concert alienates the crowd, a Kirtan is a blur of the obvious. The crowd is the chorus, where the band on stage only offers notes to explore. Now the band does not have to hire a chorus, and the crowd gets a band for its sound.”
“The quickest way I have found to experience the magic of existence, the beauty that surrounds us, the Love we seek, is to sing and dance,” the soft spoken American, with his English hat smiles at the crowd. There are only 30 of us sitting on the floor, and perhaps another 20 on the bleachers (compared to the 1100 that are seated at the Palma Theater center). “I know from experience.”
I know as well. Which is why I am here. There is something magical when we sing, when we dance. No wonder Rumi wrote: ‘you dance inside my heart, where no one can see you. But sometimes I see you. And in those moments Art is created.’
Where Dave Stringer and his band drummed, on keyboards, Indian tablas, violin, guitars and thimbles continuously for almost 3 hours, and without the restriction of chairs we had the opportunity to jump, sing and dance, the Palma experience was set as an old movie with an intermission. I jokingly tell my friend Howard, as I sip on my cervesa (beer in Spanish), “they must have cut a deal with the theater so people would buy drinks and food.”
The crowd observes all the rules of behavior one would in any movie theater, and while it would seem that everyone should be familiar with the call and response of the Kirtan experience, in the first half Mitten constantly has to re-invite the crowd to sing.
To our defense though Deva and Mitten are not creating a “true” kirtan experience. It’s not that they needed to use their high tech abilities to post the words on the screen behind them like Dave Stringer did, but they don’t repeat one or two single sounds as is the common experience throughout the world.
Kirtan is a form of connecting to the divine sound all around. The leader calls out Sanskrit sounds, that have no memories attached to them. Think, for a moment, of any word in your language and you will discover it has associated memories with it, both collective and personal. Take the common word ‘the’ for instance. It will carry with it the memory of  anything you wanted and never received, that which you did obtain and eventually you forgot about.
Take the sound ‘Om’ and your mind will go blank. It has no meaning. More over, all other sounds in the Sanskrit language have their origin in this universal sound. Albert Einstein himself shared with the world his insight that the universe arose from a sound, a big bang, if you like.
Most chants will repeat two or three sounds together, and will establish a continuous repetition, basically creating a meditation for all.
The first half of our Friday night experience is filled with complex sounds that require prior memorization (such as the Gayatri Mantra, an ancient chant composed of 14 sounds). While most of us are familiar with these chants from listening to their albums, there is a reluctance to share the vibration of our own sounds throughout the crowd.
Mitten does his best to break us free from our self enclosed captivity, as if we were song birds held in a cage, unwilling, or uninspired to offer it’s natural heart felt feeling through it’s beak. He makes just the men sing, then just the women, but the feeling of quiet observation is very much felt in the air.
The beer, wine, water or coca-cola, must have done something because we come back to our seats and from the first song of the set I can feel that the crowd will end up, finally, on their feet.
“Sheema, Sheema, Sheema, Sheeee-Maaa” The band and the crowd are chanting together.
“Sheema comes form the Hopi tradition,” Mitten interjects as the other members carry the tune. “Sheema means Love.”
I have known the chant for years, but always wondered how it ended up with Sanskrit ones, and honestly always thought it was some word in an Indian dialect. I suppose it is an Indian dialect, only the Indians of the America as opposed to one from the many dialects in India. I feel a surge of inspiration. It was just under a year ago that I sat in a synagogue in Poland feeling a surge of Love rush through me on my first weekend of my European teaching tour. At the time I was listening to an Israeli flute player, playing a Jewish tune for Peace on a Native American Flute.
“Sheema, Sheema, Sheema, Sheeee-Maaa” we listen to Mitten words, and also continue filling the hall with love.
“Will all the men stand up,” Mitten is calling us into action. “And chant to all the women here.”
“There is nothing sexier than men singing to women, isn’t it?”
The women clap in approval.
“Now all the women stand up and join the men.”
We are all on our feet now.
“I am going to teach you the Hopi dance that follows this song. Bring your hands together, in prayer like fashion, in ‘Namaste.’ Now look at the person to your left and sing to them.”
I turn to and catch eyes with Howard, chanting ‘sheema, sheema, sheema, sheee-Maa.’
“Now turn to your right.”
I catch eyes with an elderly lady and chant ‘sheema, sheema, sheema, sheee-maa’
“Now chant to someone you have not chanted to.”
And thus the band got us all to dance on our feet, with each ‘sentence’ chanting to someone new.
I chanted to men and women, all sizes and all ages, flushed at my heart with how my last trip had such a presence of the Mother, both my personal Ima (Hebrew for mother), and the grand Mother that takes care of all.
“Are there any men out there who are brave enough to come on stage and sing?” Mitten is on a roll.
I rush to the stage along with a few other brave souls, though by the time I sit down and chant a few lines, the disnticntion between men and women disappears and the stage fills up with bodies, all carrying the tune ‘sheema, sheema, sheema, sheeee-maa.’

Bikyasa Yoga transforms your Health and Happiness

“Gabriel, that was brilliant, I have never done anything like that before,” Clive, a tall, broad shoulders English ex-patriot, living in Alaro, Mallorca with his wife and 4 children, is beaming as he walks out of the second story Yoga studio. “I feel like I am on ecstasy. That was amazing. What do you call that?”
“Bikyasa” I humbly smile. I am not averse at receiving compliments, but I am also humble about it. One must receive in order to truly give. It is a balance I learned many years ago. While the Buddha emphasized that we should give, western conceptualization of Buddhism forget that in the core of giving, is also receiving. Which is why the story of how the Buddha died is so incredible. He accepted a meal of rotten meat, even though he knew the meat was rotten (the woman giving his the meal did not).
It is Monday morning, and I had just taught my Bikyasa Hot Yoga class at a local Yoga studio in the village of Alaro, on the island of Mallorca. The studio by no means had any external heat in it, nor the ability to turn it on, as I do in most yoga studios that are not set up for a Hot Yoga classes.
You don’t need external heat to benefit, enjoy, and be inspired by this incredible fusion of Hot and Vinyasa Yoga practice. Ideally it is practiced in a room with high heat and mirrors, but I know that heat is built through the flow and the community. My goal is that every person has a chance to practice a yoga class that is not only balanced physically, it is inspirational mentally, and transformational in it’s experience.
After teaching Bikyasa across the Midwest states of America, I am now in Europe sharing Bikyasa, Thai Yoga, Yin Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga across multiple countries.
Earth Yoga Studio in Palma City, Mallorca was the first stop for my Bikyasa workshop. Hot Yoga is non-existent on this island, and most people have never practiced it. The few who have, enjoyed Hot yoga in limited fashion (less than a dozen classes) perhaps in America, or in their home country. However, the yoga practice that changed both Asia and America’s Yoga scene has yet to take over Europe. And from the look of it, Yoga has found a voice through a global popularity, as opposed to the transformational experience of being in a Hot Room.
Hot Yoga arrived to Hong Kong about 10 years ago, and has exploded ever since, from Thailand to Taiwan. Funded by large businesses, it was Pure Yoga Company that opened the first large Hot Studio in Hong Kong and paying Western teachers large sums to teach almost 50 classes a week.
For the first 4 years the yoga market in Asia was primarily Hot Yoga, with studios opening every 6 months, inspiring hundreds of students per day. As Hot Yoga became an establishment, that opened the door for the Vinyasa style popularized by Ashtanga and Power, and today you can experience the same diversity of teachers and classes in Asia as in America.
Such a fast growth suffers the same consequences as the growth in America. Teachers with limited experience, and a push toward standing or arm balancing yoga classes.
The balance offered by Ashtanga or Hot seems to have been lost to most teachers and students who do not have the patience or the dedication to practice these two styles regularly.
Hot Choudhury has a sentence he likes sharing at the middle of his class, when the students lies down in their first active “savasana”. At about 45 minutes into the “torture chamber” as he often calls his yoga room, after students have been led through 13 standing poses, his dialogue says: “everything up until now was a warm up. The real Yoga begins now.”
Ashtanga Yoga is composed of 3 large portions, each to be completed sequentially, as practitioners develop a memorization and physical strength and flexibility. The first portion is composed of almost 30 poses and is called: ‘Yoga Chikitsa’ which means ‘detoxifying.’ The ancient order of these poses follows a hip and spine opening experience. The second portion is known as ‘Nadi Shodhona’ which means ‘expanding the nadis.’ The word ‘nadi’ means energy channels. In this portion students rely on the flexibility and strength learned in the first portion exploring full range of motion in the spinal column, as well as discovering how to tap into internal strength. The third portion is known as ‘Sthira Bhaga’ loosely translated into ‘expanded freedom.’ Once the first two portions have been mastered, the student is now invited to explore their body in showmanship patterns.
The third portion is basically the first two portions, only now the practitioner goes to extreme dimensions. There are no health or energetic benefits to be gained any more.
Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, who was instructed by his teacher, Trimuali Krishnamacharya to take this style of Spiritual awakening to the world, constantly illuminated his students saying: ‘Yoga Chikitsa – very important, every person can do. Nadi Shodhona – more complicated, ok to practice. Sthira Bhaga – just for show.’
An interesting aspect of Ashntaga lies in the sequences themselves.
All three portion have the same beginning and closing – Sun Salutation, standing, and a sequence of inversions.
When David Williams, the first Westerner to complete all three portions, faced a  dilemma about practicing in the morning and making it in time to catch his flight, Pattabhi Jois shared with him the ‘daily minimum’ – 3 Sun Salutation A, 3 Sun Salutations B, and the last 3 seated poses of the practice.
I had a truly interesting experience when studying with David Williams. A revelation occurred when he shared how he learned the practice. In all foreward bend poses the chin was tucked in, activating the glands in the throat, which is exactly how Hot teaches his poses.  More over the very last pose in the Ashtanga practice, a seated lotus pose, where we raise our bodies off the floor and breathe, was done utilizing Bhastrika breath. Bhastrika translated as ‘breath of fire,’ is a fast breath in and out of the nose, designed to fill the body with heat.
While Hot is not a true breath coordinated practice, the first pose, a breath pose, is all about coordinating breath and movement, and the last pose is a seated breath pose, where practitioners breath quickly out of the mouth, and is called ‘Kapalabhati’ breath. This breath cools the extremities, and helps the heat flush remaining toxins from the body.
Hot Choudhury’s 26 pose practice, known as Hot Yoga, is for all levels, beginners and advanced. Where he has an 84 pose sequence practice, for advanced Yogis and teachers, he shares that the 26 poses have been sequenced by his teacher Bishnu Gosh to help heal society.
And healing magic it has.
Hot and his teacher took the practice to hospitals in Calcutta where patients healed, this inspired Bishnu Gosh to send Hot to America so that he could heal that part of the world. Celebrities from Kareem Abdul Jabar to Madonna all sward by the practice, and helped push yoga into the popular mainstream culture in the early 1990, which up until then was seen as a hippy version of sitting and chanting weird sounds, with no real physical benefits, especially not in the face of the popular aerobics revolutions of the 1970s.
Hot Yoga indeed changed the popularity and the financial success of yoga, though to its credit, hundreds if not thousands of people attribute their yoga practice to a reduction of physical problems, and the spending on pharmaceutical pills to sustain their life in modern society. Hot’s dialogue happily states: ‘if yoga was a pill, people would take it every day.’
I discovered yoga through reading Patanjai’s Yoga Sutras, an ancient manuscript detailing the benefits and reasons for yoga practice. By the time I started to teach, I knew that outside the Spiritual value, Yoga sequences have preventative maintenance abilities. Much like brushing your teeth. If you practice just Sun Salutations regularly, a sequence of ten or twelve movements coordinated with the breath, you will enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Based on the scientific theory that if your spine is flexible your body stays healthy and your emotional state remains content, sun salutations moves your body in a repetitive motion through spinal adulations. After discovering this meditation in motion at the age of 20 after (I had been practicing seated meditation for months, inspired by the writing of Patanjali), I set to test this theory.
“Concentration, meditation,” is a powerful use of the English language that helps the practitioner move beyond their mind and into their body.
This is one of the powerful aspects of Hot Yoga, that unlike Sun Salutation, is designed to be practiced under the guidance of a teacher.
“Bikyasa bridges between voice and silence,” I start my Saturday workshop connecting the subtle with the gross, the philosophical with the physical. “Hot Yoga has a powerful way of using language that helps students move beyond thought and into action. So often students are trying to figure out what the instructor was saying, needing to look around or at the teacher before they are able to act, where as you will find that I will speak in a very action oriented manner. Direct, yet compassionate.”
Today Hot Yoga simply means that a studio, recognizing the financial power in a hot room, simply offers a yoga class in a heated environment. Heat has transformational powers. It melts iron; reforms glass, moves the Earth, and can change both our bodies and our minds. This is a subconscious understanding, and once you practice in a hot room, you will notice a deep gravitation toward coming back.
This is true for both Hot and Ashtanga, and where the first heats the body from the outside, the latter uses the breath to ignite an internal fire. The first is more accessible, and financially more rewarding to the studio owner since there are more students in the room practicing in unison, while the latter is an individual practice, since it is your individual breath that creates the heat, and thus you must concentrate on your own breath and not the sound from the outside.
Where the heat can remold glass and iron, it is the skill of the artist that actually forms the material into the shape that is needed, otherwise all we are left with is a glob of metal or glass.
Today’s yoga classes lack the artistic intelligence of re-shaping. Teachers offer heat and poses that enhance heat, yet are filled with standing poses, and very little floor action. Somewhere Hot’s words that the real yoga begins when we get on the floor, or Ashthanga’s intelligence that each portion is unique because of its floor poses. Much like cooking pasta, it takes time for the water to boil before we can add the pasta. Yet once cooked fully, we must rinse it to stop the cooking process before we can truly enjoy its flavor.
Both Hot and Ashtanga utilize this alchemical knowledge, ancient wisdom translated into modern information.
Somewhere the information has been lost.
‘There is a way between voice and presence, where information flows,’ writes the ancient poet Rumi. ‘There is a way between voice and presence where information flows. In silent meditation that way opens, and in hurried conversation that way closes.’
Bikyasa balances voice and presence so that the student can discover how information flows for them. Combining modern music with silence students discover the emotional magic that music creates in us, but also to experience the challenge of being alone with our thoughts. The instructions are a scientific usage of language that goes through the Neo-Cortex, which is our modern brain responsible for words, and into our Limbic Brain, which is responsible for action and has no capacity for language or words.
It is of no wonder then that the ancient Tao Master Lao-Tzu said: ‘The way to be is to do.’
It is through action that we discover our true being.
Bikyasa creates a sense of action that follows the intelligence of Hot and Ashtanga, a balance between standing and floor poses, a scientific combination of poses designed to heal the physical form and enhance the subtle domain, allowing information to flow.
‘There is a balance between voice and presence where information flows.’
Bikyasa sets information free.
The greatest of all information – that we are being of joy, happiness and peace.
No wonder Clive left the class feeling like he was on ecstasy.

Gabriel is the founder of Bikyasa yoga and is the creator of H3 Yoga, a revolutionary teaching program. He has been teaching since 1996 and has developed Hot Yoga Programs for studios around the world, from Absolute Yoga in Thailand to Intentional Yoga in the USA. He believes in the transformation of the individual to reshape society. His teaching, writing and privates experiences merge humor, philosophy and physical knowledge formed from decades of practice and study. You can contact Gabriel at www.gabeyoga.com

Irish Yoga in Mallorca

Due to a friendly person siting next to me on my flight from NYC to Barcelona, a young unemployed pharmaceutical rep from chicago, I did not sleep for almost 40 hours. Thus after an ‘Irish yoga’ class taught by my friend Howard, and a late night bread-toast with olive oil and tomato, I crashed like a meteor on its way to the milky stars.
You might be wondering more about the ‘Irish yoga’ than the consequences of my crash, so I will fill you in.
‘Irish yoga’ is an hour long yoga class which used to be taught by an Irish pro soccer player who found yoga after an injury to his hip. Apparently he was popular in the little village where my friend Howard has set up his home. When he left, Howard, who basically got the class organized, picked up the class so the experience could continue, however, since he is not a yoga teacher, and was more interested in the community, it became a practice class with everyone heading to the down town center to drink beer and eat potato chips and local olives.
As most of the sailors were back from their journey, we had a rather large class, forcing us to move from the roof top of a local student and into the yoga studio of a different friend.
The practice was an interesting experience. I have taken a few classes per the last few months, and most of the time I leave feeling a bit off balanced, primarily because classes are predominately focused on standing postures, and most of them are the same repetitive movement over and over. They gets stamped with the word ‘vinyasa’ which means ‘flow’ and thus what you tend to get is a yoga class that simply moves through the same combination of postures for about 50 minutes, then they do a back bend, a seated pose and relaxation.
Howard led a class that was unorthodox in my book, yet balanced far better than most. After 3 sets of an interesting adaptation of sun salutation we went to the floor and worked with various poses that positioned the hip in all three planes of movement, then worked the shoulder girdle in a similar plane manipulation.
The planes of the body are the three dimension movement we can go through, forward, backward and side to side.
We then stood back up and used a rubber strap to create more movement in the shoulders (considering that the class was balanced between its male and female population this was a cool observation of what really benefits practitioners who really do yoga every once in a while, or once a week if they live on the island).
I appreciated the fact that each pose was actually held for a period of almost 8 breaths, something which again is very rare in the bare skin, tight fit wear, ego filled yoga classes of the USA.
Howard says of his class that he put it together to work the agonist and antagonist of each muscle group, creating a compete body experience, which ultimately is the point of any good sequence.
We headed to the ‘piaza’ after class for beer, olives and potato chips. It was a fun relaxing way to get to know the various students, and after 3 beers, conversation about Thai Massage, a mix of jokes which was provoked by Howard, who was recalling our Croatia dinners which were always filled with jokes, laughter and social mix, we came back to the house.
Howard had a friend stay over, and we had a nice late snack, before we all retired.
I honestly am unsure how I survived.
When Howard went to work with his clients in the afternoon, I was online cleaning emails and reading a book about Osho, written by his former body guard, and fighting my body’s desire to crash. My eyes like a pair of heavy weights threatening to fall on my toes.
I knew I was going to the Irish Yoga class, and though I thought of doing my ashtanga practice, I could also feel that my traveling soul needed a respite. I did do my daily minimum which proved to offer a bit more energy, yet also showed me that had I attempted to do any more I would have enjoyed an inner rebellion, my cells rising to the aristocracy of my ego and putting it to the gulliotine. I chose to be part of the socialistic movement and settled for 3 sun salutation A, 3 sun salutations B, and the 3 closing poses, what my teacher Patabhi Jois told my other teacher David Williams was the daily minimum required to be an ashtanga yoga practitioner.
I did have an interesting conversation about ahtanga with one of the students siting next to me. While she did not enjoy a beer because she was pregnant, the subject came up when Howard shared something I told him when we were teaching at the Thai Massage Gathering in Europe two years ago. If you can’t stay up drinking and eating and still get up the following day and practice, you should not be eating and drinking late.
It is super easy to be a “yogi” living an austere and secluded life style. Never participating in the fullness of living. I am not preaching over indulgence here, but if you over indulge AND get up and practice, in my opinion, you are just as committed and just as spiritual as the recluse yogi or yogini.
That’s why I also respect Osho, despite knowing that he led a community of people on a path of over indolence in sexuality, sensuality, money, and expensive toys. At least that is what the author of ‘The God that failed” was sharing in his personal account of his time with Osho.
Osho, also known as Rajneesh Resh, is enjoying a resurgence of awareness in these times, through his foundation publishing books based on his extensive talks, on virtually every subject imaginable, from religion to poetry, from art to architecture.
YouTube is also credited for helping this new movement where Osho’s lecture videos are now easily discovered through their search engine.
Howard’s point really was that here we wee on a beautiful island in coatia, eating and drinking and laughing until the late hours of the night, and yet every morning I would be out on the deck over looking the ocean, practicing with who ever wanted to do the practice.
Practice after all is just brushing your teeth, I shared with the Irish Yoga group.
But brushing the teeth takes 3 minutes, commented the student sitting in front of me.
True, I responded, and practice takes about an hour, which is why most people do not do it.
The student next to me was surprised at how long it took me, saying it takes her at least 2 hours to finish her mysore practice.
I shared that I do tend to be a bit lazy these days. Where I used to practice the first and second series together for many years, these days I apply principles I picked up from my teacher Anthony ‘Prem’ Carlisi that when you travel, you should only practice the Primary Series.
When I hung out with David Williams I learned that he took ‘vinyasa’ – the flowing coordination of the body through push up, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, and back to sitting – after both right and left side completed the pose, as opposed to taking ‘vinyasa’ after each seated pose, which is how I practice if I am in a traditional mysore room. I hardly get to practice with others in a mysore setting any more, and thus in the confine of my personal practice, I have found a liking to the original form of the practice, and thus it only takes me an hour to finish the practice.
‘do you take less breaths or practice faster’ I was asked, to which I only smiled and replied of course not.
The practice of ashtanga is not a physical practice after all. it is a breath practice.
After a brief exploration I had an intuition that the student sitting next to me was under the guidance of a teacher who has placed more emphasis on the body, as opposed to the breath, so I asked her: ‘you spend quite a bit of time trying to position your body in the pose, which is why it takes you almost 2 hours?’
She was shocked at my insight.
While it is perfectly fine to do that, I pointed out words that my teacher Tim Miller left me about 8 years ago when he was attempting to wrap my arm around my leg in a complicated pose called ‘Marichasana D’ dedicated to the sage Marichi who is considered to be the grandfather of Surya and the son of Braman, the creator. I had been with Tim about 4 months at that point, and while it would take me another 18 months before I would actually bind the pose by myself, I asked him ‘why is it taking me so long?’ Tim simply smiled at me and calmly said: ‘it’s not about the pose.’ I knew exactly what he meant immediately, and laughed with him at my own attachment, when the whole point is to find the joy that lies through connecting with the breath.
It is not about the pose, even though we are trying to achieve the posture.
It is about the breath, and the practice is to do the best we can, but with ‘vairagyam’ which means non-attachment.
At this point in my teaching career I am used to the fact that my perspective is very different than what most student are exposed to, or what most teachers offer. Since I feel my perspective is a result of my teachers, I simply feel grateful to them when it helps inspire others to embrace their practice once again.
Amelia, the student sitting next to me, looked at me and said: ‘I never thought of it that way, and that makes so much more sense.’
While we had planned to be on the beach by 8am for morning practice, Howard and his friend did not step out of their room till 8:30, and by the time we got to the beach the sun was well on it’s journey to heat the freezing mediterranean ocean.
Where I was hoping we would practice on solid ground, I found myself on a beach towel, on sandy plain, looking at the crystal blue ocean, in one of the bays of the western side of the island, guiding Howard through the primary series.
Yoga on sand proved to be harder than I expected, yet also surprisingly fun in it’s application of the same things I shared the night before.
We did have to adjust the towel every now and again, and it was super hard balancing in boat pose on the soft sand. I felt as if i was imprinting my tail bone on the coast of Mallorca.
After a stroll down the beach side, and a discovery that the ocean water is the temperature of my freezer, we headed back up the mountain to make lunch for Howard’s kids who are hanging out with us this afternoon.

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