2017-02-21

"Relax, because nothing is under control". has been my lesson lately. I've learnt that relax, because anything, really anything, can happen! It's better try to live with no expectations and without too rigid plans:) My plan was to stay in India for a couple of months longer, but as I randomly got an interesting job offer in Finland, I booked a flight to Helsinki. I found it sad to say goodbye to my teacher and the yoga family, but felt also excited about the new phase of life ahead. At the airport however I found out I couldn't board on the flight. I had overstayed beyond my visa in India!
As a Finnish passport holder I am entitled to a six months tourist visa in India. For my previous trips to India I have applied for the visa from Finland, but this time I applied from Spain. Spanish passport holders apparently only get three months, but it did not even cross my mind they would only grant three months to my Finnish passport (their mistake). I was just blindly looking at the expiry date, which is April 9th -totally ignoring the tiny print stating: "each stay not to exceed 90 days"...


So from Mangalore airport, where I was about to board on my intended flight (which would have taken me to Helsinki on time to start at the new job...) began an epic, if not even kafkaesque adventure... Super kind and generous, totally random Indian people trying to help me, police officer shouting at me for 'violating the visa', 8-hour bus ride from Mangalore to Bangalore, applying for the 'exit permit' from the Indian immigration authorities (spending a day at the immigration office), booking and catching a new flight and finally arriving to Finland, catching a cab from the airport directly to the new work place 1, 5 days late!


Fortunately the people at the new job were very sweet and understanding. 
This crazy adventure taught me so much! I was humbled to the core by random and not so random people's help and support. I'm sooooo inspired now to try to do my best being generous and helping others whatever way I can. I don't wanna become too cynical and lose my hope in humanity, in fellow human beings. And: generosity is beautiful and makes anyone look good:) 



























I am in front of something new again. New job, new challenges... I am still "arriving" to Finland, getting settled and used to everything here. It's a huge change to mind, body and soul so I wanna take it one breath at a time, slowly adjusting to my new life here. Big thanks to you lovely readers! It's been a pleasure sharing this journey with you! Love and shanti forever!
I have a feeling that a new trip is already getting ready to call my name so maybe I get back here soon again:)

2017-01-29

"Be responsible towards your self. Instead of blaming others try to see what role you have in the situation. With compassion.
Compassion is the doorway to work with your self, a doorway for transformation."
This is what my teacher said during a yoga philosophy class. I think compassion is a beautiful word, but it's not always an easy one to put into practice.



























Compassion towards oneself or one's self as they put it in yoga philosophy... A big lesson maybe for many of us...
The most fascinating thing in yoga for me is that you're working on a very demanding physical practice (at least in ashtanga yoga:) just to get deep into your mind; behavior; self.







































"One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you."
-Gregory David Roberts: Shantaram

Maybe it's the love we need to find within ourselves to reach for the compassion too. Once we learn to love ourselves and be compassionate towards ourselves, we'll truly be able to love others too and be compassionate towards them.


2016-12-31

Happy New Year to each and every living being! Be healthy and happy in 2017!
I've been busy with studying and traveling. I'm back to the regular routine now after a lovely mini-holiday in Gokarna.












For Hindus Gokarna is a destination for pilgrimage. It's the Varanasi of South India maybe.. The beautiful beaches have attracted Western tourists in the past few years though. Most of the visitors are still Indians anyway. I consider my trip there as a sort of a pilgrimage too since I have quite a religious relationship with the Ocean:)

                                       Bulls soaking it up at Main beach, Gokarna


India is such a beautiful country. It's pretty magical to just sit on a train enjoying the scenery. Green, lush nature (coconut palm trees everywhere here in the south) and gorgeous beaches, so much shore line!
And I just love Indian temples and the fact that the gods are everywhere. Religion really is an interwoven part of life here.























I'm getting excited about the new year, new beginnings, new energy! It's time to say thanks and goodbye to the past year and warmly welcome the new one! I feel happy and grateful being able to begin the year here, at a place that is so meaningful to me, doing something I am so passionate about. Bring it on 2017 - I know you'll be good! 
Love+shanti!

2016-12-11

I'm swimming in the deep waters of yoga; deep waters of self-discovery. At the moment I don't even find words to describe this journey. Big processes are taking place on many levels. Conscious and subconscious ones.



And because I'm Scorpio and love getting deep into stuff, I also need to make sure I balance it out:) On a lucky day off here I go for a surf. Or I go to the cinema at a nearby town. Being a huge fan of Bollywood movies I'm in the right country:) Hindi sounds so beautiful to my ear and I really love the dance scenes.
This weekend I watched Befikre, "Carefree", which despite of being pretty superficial was such a lovely feel good -movie and a fun break from the depth of the yoga world.


















Ranveer Singh, you had me at bonjour. ..

2016-11-20

"Yoga begins with listening. When we listen, we are giving space to what is.
We are allowing other people to be what they are, and we are sanctioning our own bodies and our own minds to fully manifest."
-Richard Freeman: The Mirror of Yoga

























There are so many layers to yoga and I couldn't be more grateful for having yet again this chance to fully immerse myself in the world of it. Because to me yoga essentially means life; learning how to perform (if I must use this verb) well in your life. Learning to treat yourself and others with love, learning to serve the world from joy (not martyrdom).

Asana practice in this tropical heat is pretty intense. I feel like my body is slowly beginning to open up (what a wonderful feeling not having to be crouched sitting on a computer 8 hours a day!)  It's interesting to observe what the practice does to your body and mind now that you have more time to dedicate to it.

Dedication; commitment enable growth. Committing to something (or maybe someone) helps you to reflect on your life, your direction. For me showing up on my yoga mat day in day out is coming in terms with my life; with what I'm going through. Growth begins in that vulnerability, that commitment.




































I love going to the village temple and to the beach nearby. The calmness these places transmit is something I've been missing. I wanna soak up this kind of energy now as much as I can, so that once s*it hits the fan again, I'm hopefully able to handle it better.

2016-11-06

And just like that I'm in a whole different reality, completely different world. 
In the tropical heat+humidity of South India.
On my way here I stopped by in Rome sweet Rome to visit my lovely friends Linda e Tommaso. I had the best time in cittá eterna -thanks to my generous hosts. Love you guys!
The morning I left, a strong earthquake shook the city. I took it as a sign to leave Europe;) Seriously though we were amongst the lucky ones since many people lost their homes that morning. Pray for Roma...
It feels good to be back to India although I'm down with a flu, so still slowly adjusting and getting used to the yoga reality. Getting back to the routine here: asana practice before dawn, yoga philosophy and chanting, puja at the temple etc. I've been also just resting, sleeping and reading Bhagavad Gita as the traveling and the flu have taken their toll on my body+mind. My teacher and his family are some of the kindest people I know so us students are being taken care of very well (e.g. we're getting the most delicious nurturing home made South Indian food). 

Gotta love the unique way in which India inspires and nourishes one's spirituality. Not exactly sure why, but it's just somehow easier here to turn your gaze within and focus on what's really important... Obviously this sattvic environment, teacher's guidance and conversations with fellow yogis help too.. Feeling grateful about being here! 
Oh well.. I better post this now as the internet connection isn't the best and even getting this far truly challenged my yogic patience (!)... Shanti...


2016-10-29

So it is happening!
I am going 'away to Asia' again:) This time it's probably only India and very much just yoga, the sweet love of my life. Needless to say I'm beyond excited! And I thought I'd be happy to share my journey again with anyone interested!
Since my farewell to Sydney, I've been living in Andalucia, Southern part of Spain. Ending up here after Asia+Australia as opposed to Finland was worth it!




Living by the sea in warm climate has been beautiful. There's something so magical, special and amazing to the sea. I just lovelovelove sea, ocean, water... I feel like that's where my heart+soul belong to.

"But in a way you can say that after leaving the sea, after all those millions of years of living inside of the sea, we took the ocean with us.
When a woman makes a baby, she gives it water, inside her body, to grow in. That water inside her body is almost exactly the same as the water of the sea. It is salty, by just the same amount. She makes a little ocean, in her body.
And not only this. Our blood and our sweating, they are both salty, almost exactly like water from the sea is salty. We carry oceans inside of us, in our blood and our sweat. And we are crying the oceans, in our tears."
-Gregory David Roberts: Shantaram

The past 2,5 years have been full of ups and downs, (long) working hours at a call center, studying Spanish, seeing beautiful places, meeting lovely people, eating delicious food, dancing (well trying to learn) sevillanas, surfing whenever there are waves (many trips to Portugal), hiking when there are no waves. I've grown to love mountains nearly as much as I love the sea.


I've been putting a lot of effort on my daily asana practice. Only to realize once again (through trial and error) that yoga is an internal practice...
I have also had the honor to assist my teacher in mysore classes and to teach some lovely yogis. It's been a privilege to share this beautiful tradition with others.























'The real' yoga however has again obviously taken place off the mat...  My job as well as countless other valuable life lessons here in Spain have humbled me so much and reminded me on a daily basis that I'm many lives away from enlightenment:)
Excited to see now where this journey called life takes me next!