|Delamay Devi A journey with yoga & movement...||
Each time i visit Asia it seems to penetrate a little deeper into my heart. I was only there for 1 month teaching this time and for some reason i really embraced the use of chopsticks more then ever before. No longer did my fingers feel uncoordinated and flimsy, i had it all under control and managed to eat a full bowl of noodle soup in a relatively normal amount of time with no cheating. So i was feeling very liberated about this. And another revelation i had was i couldnt get over the incredible satisfaction i felt when sitting down to eat a roti (with a fork and spoon) and drink a fresh juice after yet another sweaty yoga workshop. What is it about roti's that gave me this much satisfaction? Was it the salt? was it the way it was cooked? was it the little dish of dahl it came with? or just the simple fact that this dish was all i needed to power me up for the next few hours of teaching? I dont think i will ever know the answer to this one... Having landed in London a few days ago and surrendering to jet lag my spirits are still high but my skin is so flaky! From a humid and sweaty climate to a dry cold one, my goodness i am wishing for my own secluded bathroom right now for some daily abhyanga oiling. This is one of the negatives about traveling across different time zones and seasons, the impact it has on your over all well being is pretty intense. It is full moon on saturday and apparently a pretty potent one especially as there is a lunar eclipse too so write down your wishes, create your altars, clear your intentions and get ready to raise your sail to flow off into the cosmic realm of making your dreams come true.
There comes a time in everyone's life when we must face the facts, regardless of where to travel too, what we believe or who we pretend we think we are, we can not hide from the truth. I am now in my 6th year of teaching yoga which to me doesnt seem like a lot considering how much more i am looking to learn, absorb and experience. But the title of "teacher" has been with me ever since i began teaching dance at the age of 15. So fast forward a couple of decades, a include a number of teacher trainings, retreats, workshops and on the mat experiences and here you will find me, still teaching a embodied practice but the content has changed slightly. Having the title of "yoga teacher" may seem glamorous to some especially when you engage in conversations with comments such as "Wow! You must be so relaxed all the time" and "Oh my, you must be so flexible". But as teachers of this sacred union we have our own challenges, desires and downfalls, while we try our best to practice non attachment or vairagya being the sanskrit word we are only human and are constantly faced with how we are suppose to look, behave, what we should have masted by now and how much sanskrit words we can fit into one sentence. To be honest we yoginis are not all flexible, we do get stressed and we do have the occasional glass of wine, devour chocolate and have cynical and or sarcastic thoughts. Now please keep in mind i am sharing this from my own perspective and i deeply bow to any enlightened, non attached being who may be reading this and totally disagree but i have a confession. Even after many years and countless hours of teaching, practice, sweat, tears, and ecstatic joy i have not done a full chaturanga in almost 2 years. This also includes no handstands or bakasana variation asanas, yes 2-years is a long time! Why? How come? You may be thinking... Well in the beginning, i have not had any problems with injuries and if i did feel a tweak it would only last for a day or two and then go, no problem and nothing lingering. Which is why this confession is coming to you now. I am waiting for a specialist diagnosis next week but the doctor thinks i have a ganglion cyst on my wrist which is the reason for the shooting pains i feel in my wrist every time i go into any type of weight-bearing pose. This puts me in a awkward position telling you this and makes me wonder what your thinking but up until now it has not stopped me from taking people into handstand or bakassana or any other arm balance pose, in Prana Flow® we are so blessed to work with Kramas (different stages of evolution in a pose) which are fantastic learning tools. I have had numerous treatments on my wrist over the past 2 years and some have worked while others have not. Now just because i can not physically do these asanas right now, does that make me a good or a bad teacher? I do have faith and confidence in myself that i can safely guide others into these positions with support and assistance but i am not about to do myself harm by demonstrating it. By doing so i would not be honouring my body and where i am at in my own practice. When i teach, i constantly remind others to honour their own bodies and to let the yoga be a healing experience rather then a jarring hurtful one. So as much as my mind may be telling me the opposite, i am doing my best to walk my talk, being a teacher we really are role models and mentors, people ask us for guidance and look to us for inspiration which is why i am humbly sharing this with you now. We all want to strive to something we are not but ultimately each of our journeys are so unique and i wish you all the best reaching your goal but the more honest we are about this the more supportive we can be towards ourselves and one day when the moon, sun and stars are all aligned you may wake up and find yourself exactly where you were dreaming of being.
Honesty, Open-Mindedness & Willingness fb page
So here we are, 2013 year of the Yin Water Snake! But what does this actually mean? If you did not grow up in a country where snakes were a natural occurrence may be you have some fear towards them or because their daily habits are alienating to you your not one to stick around if you come across a snake. After a little soul searching and googling i managed to string together some Snake traits which may help when navigating through this years journey. The energy of the Snake brings with it a fresh wave of energy for everybody, a need for attention to detail still prevails, focus and discipline will be necessary to achieve what was set out to do. Transformation is big this year and there will be an increased desire to be true to one's ideals, it will bring a new awareness of what is important in our world and it will feel like the shedding of the skin, letting go of the old and bringing in the new. One website made reference to the Snake as being a 'Traveling Star' which made me smile, i thought last year was a huge year of travel for me so i am curious as to where this year will lead me with my new 'frequent traveler passport.' As the Snake is seen as representing the fire element and the governing element being water in accordance with the cycles of the five elements, water controls and can destroy the fire element. However, the Yin Water that forms part of 2013 carries the characteristics of 'morning dew' - much more moderate and flexible than the Yang Water of 2012 yet far more deceptive. I am not going to post anything negative about the year of the Snake because its not what i am wanting to put energy towards, of course its good to be aware of it but as always follow your heart brain and you will know what to do with what arises for you. And to end this post Mercury has gone into retrograde yesterday so for the next 3 weeks slow down and take refuge in some down time. This month i am excited to be sharing 2 workshops at the 2nd annual Byron Spirit Festival in my home town plus i have 2 weekend intensives in Sydney coming up! Smooth sailing to all of you and see you on the mat soon!
picture from Hippie Peace Freaks facebook page.
A new year, a new time and may be a new you? After working at more festivals in the past week then i have in a long time i was happy to be back in my bed again! No more camping, no more road trips and no more festival showers. The joys of being at home was a welcome change from the long extended new year celebrations. A new year can spark so many questions with new and old ambitions coming to the fore front of our minds but at the same time finding ways to maintain and healthy relationship with technology. When it comes to chasing dreams i am one to jump right into the middle and spin so ecstatically fast its easy to lose sight of the actual dream itself! There are always tangents along the way too which makes it more challenging, such as opportunities which seem clear but they are actually a disguised as something they are not or rather i see them for what i want them to be or perhaps i will call it "falling off the hearts desire wagon". Now, this is a job for friends, but before they can come and help direct you back to your heart path they need to hear from you. I experienced this recently and it never really occurred to me to get a second opinion until my heart was contracting each time i thought about the opportunity or event which was about to embark on So after i briefly mentioned it once, twice then a third time to friends i had a light bulb moment and once the world stopped spinning and i realised the contraction in my heart i finally acted. Now being back on the hearts desire wagon i am feeling more empowered then before and more determined to not stray off my hearts path regardless of how sugar coated, gluten free and tempting it may be. These tangents and sugar coated opportunities are there to test our ability to stay true to our hearts desires but saying this of course we can experiment and see if that sugar coated path is where we are wanting to go but please take time out, check in and see what your heart has to say. Thank you to my friends who recently put me back in touch with what my hearts calling really is, you know who you are :)
Image from www.facebook.com/threedaysoflove
2012 is coming to an end and so is the sacred Mayan calendar. There are so many speculations flying around about the end of the world, people stocking up on their supplies for impending catastrophes and basically preparing for the worst. Catastrophes happen everyday, people die every day and why cant we live each day as if its going to be our last to ensure we squeeze the sweetest of juice out of every moment? If we look back into 2012 there has been many incredible events such as eclipses, alignments and special dates which were celebrated, so with this is mind i am choosing to see this 21/12/12 as an opportunity to embrace what is and expect more goodness and positivity to come my way. Keeping my energetic vibration high with my daily yoga and meditation practice, only surrounding myself with like minded beings and completely trusting that everything is PERFECT and i am provided with everything i need right here, right now. Each day we have a choice to begin again, wipe the slate clean and build the life we want. We have the power to change what we dont like, into something we are totally in LOVE with! I encourage you to not be a victim of circumstance and media hype but to be in charge of your own destiny and enjoy the journey. When there is an end, there is always a beginning which follows, like the tides in the ocean, its a continuous ebb and flow which peaks and retreats. Throughout 2012 we have had many many opportunities to set intentions on new moons, make wishes during eclipses, offer ourselves to the divine and clear our energetic body in order to be a clear channel to live a joyous filled and ecstatic life. I am not saying there wont be any challenges because of course there will be, thats how we grow, change and discover more about ourselves and what we want but ultimately what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, right? So during these unknown times of change, upheavals and uncertainty lets focus on the ultimate positive outcome for ourselves, community, city, country and planet. Lets use these sacred and special moments to our advantage instead of disadvantage and BE the ones we have been waiting for! Omshanti and see you on the other side of our new dawn....
I thought this day would never come, we landing back in Byron Bay last night after a epic 5000km road trip over the last 3 weeks in our Ford Laser up to Cape Tribulation and back again. I am happy to not see a long straight never ending road in a while! The main intention of this journey was to see the totality of the eclipse while working at the healing sanctuary at the 2012 Eclipse Festival at Palmer River, north west of Cairns. This was my 5th time viewing a total eclipse and each time the energy of the experience is so pristine, clear and sacred, the main thing i noticed this time was the full vibrancy of the experience actually lasted for about a week afterwards. The energy of an eclipse apparently totally clears your emotional body, this clarity holds strong for some time and i saw this to be true in the eyes of many. In my spare time (other then dancing) i attended a few other workshops and talks, catching up on all things universal. One speaker mentioned that everyone on this planet at this time is a complete manifestation of our ancestors, all the karmic happenings are very relevant to now and we basically have all the tools and knowledge we need in order to evolve onwards and upwards. Its so great to hear confirmation of this from different shamans, cultures and teachers. To break up the road trip I rolled out my mat in different locations and filmed some simple flows to help realign my physical body after many hours of driving, i will be sharing this video series soon. After the dryness and heat of the festival we headed to the moist and green lush rainforest of the Daintree, this place is magical! Apart from the crocs and stingers which meant no swimming in the ocean the nature of this natural wonder was breath taking. The only place i have seen similar rainforest is around the Byron hinterland and here we were 2500km north and i felt right at home :) So from the sticky heat of Malaysia to the dry barren lands of the Australian outback to the lush freshness of the oldest rainforest in the world, 2012 is wrapping up to be a magical unfolding of wholeness.
From the relaxing heat of Ibiza to the grey, cold night air of Glasgow... Apparently when i landed at 10pm it was the coldest night in Glasgow for the entire year! My bones were shaking and my goose bumps had goose bumps, i was so grateful when i saw my friend Cat in the car park ready to head off to her warm country home in Helensburgh. The following weekend was mostly followed by grey skies also but the group of yogis who came to my intensive weekend of workshops all bought their own inner sunshine and warmth which emanated into the Amethyst studio space. Heading back to the airport on the sunday the sun broke through the grey skies and i welcomed in the warmth. The joy of travel and experiencing such contrasting weather just a few hours of flying apart is pretty amazing. So i was getting back into the groove of living from a suitcase fairly easy and learning how to me a minimalistic again, only taking what i need and saying good bye to the things which have no use any more. One of my favorite places in England to teach is at the Aloka studio in Brighton and to my surprise they actually closed their doors for good at their East steet location a few hours after my Sunday workshop. Somethings have to close in order to be re born again, everyone was surprised and i hope they do pop up somewhere else in the near future! My next stop was France to assist Shiva and the Prana Flow tribe, one week of serving the flow and opening to a deeper understanding of our energy centres with the Chakra Vinyasa || module. A fabulous week of being re united with tribe members who i had not seen for at least 4 years, connecting with mentees and of course being immersed in Prana Flow :) The Autumn equinox was celebrated along with the Global Mala 108 Sun Salutations for world peace, if you have never experienced this before its a beautiful meditation and once you get into the flow its seriously hard to stop. Taking to the skies again with the destination Malaysia, my stomach was already grumbling, looking forward to the Malay delights and tastes of restaurants like Veggie Planet and Simple Life. Jet lag sneaks up on you like a fever, the uncontrollable urge to sleep is overwhelming and my eye lids felt like led, traveling forward in time is always the hardest! After 12 hours of sleep, a full body oil Thai style massage with my spine being cracked back into place, the knots in my shoulders melted and i was beginning to feel human again. My 2012 Flow Yoga tour in Malaysia began and my heart over flowed with gratitude from seeing familiar faces and bodies again, its been 16 months since i was a resident teacher here and it feels like coming home especially when i felt that first trickle of sweat run down my spine after a few breaths in our beginning meditation.
I am feeling very water logged as i sit here waiting for my hair to dry again after my 3rd swim of the day in the pristine Mediterranean sea. Life in Ibiza the past year has been a journey of unexpected unfoldings, family time and a lot of sun :) I am sure i have said it before but time certainly does go fast when there is so much to see, do and share. My first warm winter in Europe and it was a good one, for sure. But when the world and open skies beckon its hard to ignore the calling plus its about time i share a christmas in Australia again at my favorite beach and eating mangos until my chin is permanently stained orange from the juice. Childhood memories are hard to forget! So my bags are almost packed, my car has been sold, my flat is looking empty and the lessons of non attachment begin to take place. Many people have asked, 'how do you move around and live in so many different places?' and the easiest reply i can give is 'how can i not'. The world is a big place and when there is a deep calling from my core to explore this magical planet full of diversity, language and culture it can get addictive and i just want more. I am lucky and feel very grateful to be able to offer Yoga as a way of earning a income which supports my lifestyle and when opportunities smoothly flow my way i graciously accept, smile and give thanks for the next cycle. To feel this way when things dont go my way is also challenging and something i am consciously working on. Knowing the universe has other plans for me can be a hard one to be thankful for especially when there is no sign of what it is! So the last week or two in Ibiza has been full of making the most out of this mythical place, visiting favorite beaches, watching sun rises from my terrace and walking in amongst the dry terrain which seems to be constantly praying for rain. I give heartfelt thanks to the spirit of this island, for the spontaneous moments of uncontrollable wisdom which spills forth over cheap wine and for teaching me how to surrender to the open flow of quiet wintery days. Namaste Ibiza xxx
With so many modalities, therapies and holistic ways to get healthy, there must be something for everyone, right? For me (most of the time) i love to move, flow, dance, spiral, express and shake myself into a ecstatic tizz of bliss in order to release tension, increase circulation and body awareness as i feel it strengthens my immune system and basically makes me feel A-MA-ZING! So being in Ibiza for the summer which apparently has the biggest club in the world and people fly in from all over the plant to party and dance here i am excited to check out the dance floors. My favorite so far has to be the Las Dalias Namaste night which happens every wednesday, with the indoor and outdoor areas, fresh juices, LOUD sound system and fabulous bright installations i was impressed as it bought me back to my full moon party days in the mid 90's. Growing up in the age of full moon parties on the beach, forest doofs and under ground electronic music (before it turned main stream, now i feel old having to write this!) i have had my fair share of crazy nights, hazy days and sunrises so i was excited to meet some of the tribe here who also get turned on by the reverberation of a base beat. In the process of searching for another night to get my groove on i was aware of the growing population of trendy and gorgeous people on the streets (this is Ibiza after all) but the energy and awareness of a majority of them felt actually quite aggressive which got me thinking.. How can these people dance, move, spin and jump around all night and still have a element of aggression about them? It made me wonder if all the ecstatic dancing they have been doing all night was not enough to melt the negative and increase the positive. Ultimately our body is a store house for our emotions, thoughts and experiences so the more we are able to move through them and with them the more clear and stress free we could be but when we mix some stimulants into the mix everything can get distorted or the reality of distortion could get enhanced (if you understand my meaning). So is all this dancing, jumping, shaking and having a wild night contributing to, and paving a way to enlightenment or is it just a distraction from whats really going on in the world and in our bodies? In one of Gabrielle Roth's books she writes something along the lines of music is medicine fundamental to the soul just like the beat of a tribal drum. And the idea of movement / free form expression being part of our existence for centuries so i guess this could mean the clubbing culture is part of this evolution. So what ever clears your aura, balances your meridians, spins your chakras or gets your mojo back on track make sure its worth the ride to your next destination.
For the last few weeks I have been contemplating this idea of dedication and how dedicated I am in different areas of my life from friends and family to students and strangers. Do I give the same amount of energy and time to someone who wants something from me compared to someone who wants to give me their time and energy? Each can be just as challenging and supportive. Then we have our cyber connections, how dedicated are you to replying to emails, responding to facebook notifications / messages and catching up on your administration? What do you do first thing in the morning, a Yoga practice or do you quickly check your emails, facebook or Tweet? Even if you do manage to roll out your mat for a practice are you completely present with each breath? Or are you wondering if anyone has 'liked' or replied to your latest status update from the day before? With technology being in the foreground of our life are you still able to maintain a healthy balance between your physical reality relationships and your cyber connections? Perhaps you have developed a knack for checking your emails on your mat with a special facebook-asana or while enjoying a few breaths in a forward bend you have your IPhone handy to send that quick reply to a student who had a transformational experience during your class? My question is how does this contribute to a balanced life while being present in mind and body? The reality of it is we are merging with the cyber world so fast we forget that the important email, facebook notification or sale query is not going anywhere, there is an abundant amount of time for attending to our needs, our work and our social life. I was assisting my teacher Shiva Rea in London a few weeks ago during a teacher training intensive and our days were long and full, with so much happening in the physical reality there was no time to tweet or post a pic on facebook and it actually felt quite liberating! And ever since this I have been trying to limit my time online and healing a wrist injury which means very little physical practice and a whole truck load of discipline to keep motivated and inspired to find other ways to feed my body and mind with the same amount of stimulation that the cyber world provides and a physical practice gives. Challenges like this never fade, there is always a new gadget, update or app to try out which could make our communication easier, smoother and more streamlined but why should we rely on technology for this ability when all it takes is awareness and dedication to the choices we make and of course a little flexibility goes a long way.