Extended update (perfect for reading on a lazy Saturday or Sunday 😀😇)

‼⚠ Warning: long update ⚠

17/1 – 19/1/20: British invasion (trying to escape Brexit 😉)
A big group (9 people and 1 guide) checked in, 8 were British, 1 was Irish. Remon told me that they were here for hiking, so probably no yoga. Uhuh… let’s see! I talked with them after dinner, 3 people said immediately yes, 4 said maybe for the Yin Yoga for the next evening. And I also had 1 Dutch man. Could be 8 people in the class… and I got them all! 8 people, 6 were completely beginners for yoga, but they all loved it. And for me it was a great pleasure to teach these lovely group! That’s the thing in here, sometimes I have no one and then I have 8. That’s my maximum until now, and that’s enough cause I don’t have enough props yet whehehe 😜😅.

On the 19th all British people got Brexit😜, Nell and I went to Kandy by bus. Well, the first part by car, so we didn’t have to hike back (it’s a high slope from the bus to here). Kandy is a city, about 15 kms way from Digana. She just needed underwear, I just needed chewing gum and if there was a good bar of chocolate, then chocolate as well 😉. Well… we bought a lot more whehehe 😂. I bought clothes (I have to send back other ones, ones I don’t like wearing, because they don’t fit well), bought chocolate with 70% cacao (afterwards still too sweet for me) and I bought a bottle for hot water. I immediately tried the bottle when we came back; the bottle got hot on the inside and outside! The water kept warm for less than 2 hours instead of 12. The bottle came with a free pouch, to carry to bottle with you. Or was it to protect your hands for burning 🤔?? Anyway, I will try to return or swap this bottle soon, hopefully it works without a receipt (while writing this, I have another one, Nell went to Kandy with her son and swapped the bottle, this one is ok yeah 😃)  

Oh and, we had an Indian lunch, which is so nice, something different than the curries with rice 😊😇. I already asked to make chapati, but unfortunately, they can’t do it (probably they can but they don’t want to do it😉). So another type of lunch once a while is really lovely.

20/1 – 23/1/2020: Showers echoing on the roofs ☔💦😉
It is raining, paths are slippery, clothes are feeling moist, it is cold. I realised once again I don’t like rain, especially when you can’t get outside to do the things you want to do. So I turned inwards, I wrote about it in a previous blog, if you haven’t read it, herewith the link:

Luckily, I had good company, Bas, from the Netherlands and Gisene, a German lady. They took some yoga classes, both had such a nice energy, it was so uplifting for me. Still grateful for that 🙏🏻💚. I learned a lot from Bas about Pranic Healing and the combination with chakras. I love to share my knowledge about chakras in my classes and connect asanas to it, especially in the Yin-classes. I am still learning more about the chakras, it is so interesting. New plans about this topic are already in my head 😊.

23/1/2020 – 27/1/2020 Norwegian invasion, 3rd yoga retreat  
The first Norwegian I met in Sri Lanka, Vilde, checked in for 3 nights. A powerful, strong lady, with a lot of energy and she loved yoga, so she joined my classes. Allisa checked in a day later for the yoga retreat. We had such a good connection together, that we did most things together. Vilde told crazy stories about her travels (put in jail in Morocco due to overstay, got out the jail by just asking the right person, discovered she had still marihuana in her bag so she couldn’t get to Spain, smoked the whole pack and entered Spain still stoned, we laughed are asses off 😂😂😂, ). She was also the one who told me that they are looking for another yoga teacher at Rugkala Resort, about 30 minutes away from here. I sent them an email, had an application interview on Jan 29, and will have a try out lesson on Feb 2. They are looking for a teacher for at least 1 year, let’s see after the class if I like it, if I am the one they are looking for. This resort is super-duper luxe! It is almost the opposite of where I am now 😅😎. If you are curious, here is the link to the website: https://rukgalaretreat.com/.

The retreat with Allisa (and partly Vilde) was lovely. This time I didn’t join the cooking class, so Charles, the master-cook 👨🏾‍🍳, could use garlic in all the dishes 😊. Allisa loved the classes, especially the Vinyasas in the morning, some were really challenging, even for me sometimes 😜😅. Always good to challenge yourself 😉.

It is nice to have people here for a yoga retreat, it is also quite challenging, because I have to host them more or less. So, I am quite busy all the days. But at the end, it is really worth it, to give them a good experience, to give them a really nice yoga class, to see that they enjoy their stay here. There were a few guests during the retreat, one came from Poland, he joined all classes during his stay here 😊. And, I got 1 Dutch guest, he took his first yoga class, a Yin class, he really liked it. His mom was a yoga teacher when he was young, but he never practiced any yoga. Well, who knows, he will start practicing yoga when he is back in the Netherlands 😉.

28-1-2020 until 31-1-2020: Dutch/Belgium invasion and the 4th retreat
We had a few couples/families from The Netherlands the last days. And also some Belgian people. And 3 persons for the 4th retreat, 1 was from… The Netherlands, the other 2 were a couple, now living in Australia. She was mixed Sri Lankan/Aussie, he was from Brazil, moved to Australia when he was 12. I think this group had the most dynamic, positive vibe! They left together on Jan 31, they became close friends😊. I think this retreat was the best one; we did crazy stuff during class (I did my malasana – bakasana – headstand, at least I tried it while I was explaining… I fell super hard on my chin, result: bruised, now it’s blue/purple, it will turn green and yellow soon I think 😅, welcome to the world of being a yoga teacher 😉), we were laughing during Yin classes (normally these are quite serious), we even did a photo shoot before the Yin class and I took some pictures during class (it was ok for them… new privacy policies 😅).

Ok, that’s it for now, you are all updated, today (1-2-2020) is a relaxing and recharging day, tonight I will teach Yin to 2 French people 😊. Today I will get ready for the class at Rukgala, maybe my new place to work as a yoga teacher 🙏🏻🧘🏻‍♀. Next update will follow, this will be a more personal one 😊.

💜💚 With love 💜💚               
         littlemissyoga


P.s.: I found cacao powder in the kitchen, I finished this update while sipping some of my cacao milk (well, basically cacao powder and boiled water, next time I will try it with coconut milk 😋😋)

P.p.s: You can leave comments below, if you want to keep updated, subscribe yourself. I heard that sometimes it doesn’t work the first time, please try again 😊 (I can’t figure out where the bug is 🤔)                         



3 Very good yoga poses to survive the winter🥶❄🧘‍♀🙏🏻

Are you struggling with the winter time right now? Your body feels stiff and cold in the morning, it is hard to get out of your bed, because it is so nice, cosy and warm after 6 up to 8 hours of sleep 😊. Still, you have to get out one moment (yes, even on your day off 😉)

I have 3 quite easy yoga asanas (Sanskrit word for poses) to warm you up in the morning, to awaken your energy, so you can survive the winter time 😊. It just takes 5 minutes, so roll out your mat (or blanket/towel) and let’s start!

1. Chakravasana – Balanced cat/cow pose (5 – 10 breathes each side)

😊😊 Benefits: Focus, equilibrium, balance, core strength

Step 1: Come on to all fours, hands underneath shoulders, hands shoulder
width distance. Knees and hips stacked, knees hip width distance.
Spread your fingers, relax the toes (picture 1).
Step 2: Tuck the belly, core is working. Neck is long.
Step 3: Lift up the right leg back, keep the hips, knee and toes rotated
down.
Step 4: Lift the left arm in front, bicep along the ear, reach the fingers far
away. Press firmly into the standing hand (picture 2).
Step 5: Hold for 5-10 breathes then do the other side.

Picture 3: To light the fire a little more: add on knee to elbow (3 to 5 times each side, or whatever feels good 😉😇)

2. Utkatasana – Chair pose (5 – 10 breathes)

😊😊 Benefits: Heat up the body, (focus on the core, fire- element), especially with ujjayi breath (like your fogging a mirror, the breath comes from the back of the throat).

Step 1:  Feet together, big toes touching, heels slightly apart.
Step 2: Sink your hips low, knees not over toes (if you look down you can
still see your toes).
Step 3: Squeeze your upper thighs together, shift weight a bit towards to
your heels, toes are light.
Step 4: Spine is long, tuck the belly in (activate your core).
Step 5: Reach arms overhead, biceps along the ears (picture 1) or reach the
arms in front, less tension in the shoulders (picture 2). Shoulders
are relaxed.
Step 6: Breathe towards the belly and hold for 5 up to 10 breathes (or
longer if you like).

3. Balasana – Child’s pose (10 – 15 breathes)
One of my favorite poses and so easy and so effective for your body mind and soul 😊!

😊 😊Benefits: Helps to improve your digestion, calming down the body and mind.

Step 1: Sit on your knees, your bottom on your heels
Step 2: Slowly fold forward, your forehead is touching the floor (or your
cheek if you have compression in the neck).
Step 3:  Hands can be overhead, touching the floor or next to your ankles.
Step 4:  Surrender, and follow your breath, relax completely, hold for 10-15
breathes.

Note: If your chest needs more space, open your legs wide so your chest can
relax more.

This pose can also be done before you go to bed, because it is a calming down, relaxing pose as well. You will definitely have a good sleep 😊. If you do it before you go to bed, you better practice this pose in your bed, so you can go to sleep directly when you’re finished 😊😊.

If you repeat these asanas daily, you will definitely feel the difference. The good news is: time passes by automatically, spring is almost there. If you still have a hard time with the winter, then I have another advice:  escape the winter!! Book a ticket to a warm place and come back when summer starts (like I do 😉, but nevertheless, I practice these asanas every day, because they are good for my body, mind and soul😊).

Soon I will pose an article for 3 good poses for spring time.

💜💚 With love 💜💚             
      littlemissyoga                                  

  ** Inspirational  source: yoga magazine/yoga online, unfortunately I can’t find the link to this article anymore**

Inspirational thoughts thanks to the rain (unfortunately, it’s not raining men 😂😅)

Finally, wearing my rain coat :)

This whole week is rain the main ingredient of the weather. And as many of you know, I don’t like rain. At night it makes a lot of noise on the roof (a metal roof, made of plates), especially the leaves and all other things or maybe even animals that fall on it. In the jungle there are a lot of trees, there’s a good thing about them: when it is raining, they give you shelter. But when it doesn’t rain anymore, they start dripping, so you get wet anyway. Happy I brought my raincoat, for 2,5 months useless in my backpack, but now I wear it daily.

The rain makes me always a bit sad. It is always changing my plans, e.g. going for a walk and take pictures changes into relaxing in the hammock, read a book, type something and listen to the raindrops on the leaves and roofs. The rain is slowing me down, making me accepting the current situation and forcing the things to do I am postponing for days, or even months. Working on my plans, catching up with online studies, read about yoga, practice yoga, dive deeper into my ideas about my future. And because I didn’t sleep well due to (or because of) the rain, it is good to slow down. To turn more inwards. The same as Yin Yoga doing with my body, mind and soul. I don’t practice Yin a lot, but during teaching these classes, sometimes I practice the poses during the class, I feel such a massive calmness, stillness and peace entering my body, my mind and my soul. It is telling me that I am ok as I am, that the present moment is so beautiful and powerful, that I should enjoy every little bit of it. And that the past and future shouldn’t take away this moment. The focus on my breath helps me to stay present as does the sensation in my body when the pose sets deeper into it. This wonderful stretch, the opening, the power of gravity, the capacity of my body, the power of the breath, the power of the now. Eventhough I am quite a Yang-person myself (a lot of masculine energy), I am slowly opening my softer side, my Yin-side, the feminine side. Gentleness, kindness, softness, self-love and self-care, acceptance of what I am, all of myself, the good things and the bad things, all these things make me the way I am. Like Christina Aguilera sings: “You are beautiful in every single way”. Or Lady Gaga: “I am on the right track baby, I am born this way”. As a teenager I was always inspired by female singers, especially gothic singers. Not only the beauty of their voices, but the way they perform, they act, the power they have to show the world their qualities and after all: their message in their songs. I wasn’t jealous, I saw these people as an inspiration, an example; I told myself: one day I will also stand on stages and show people (without showing off) my qualities, my power, my enthusiasm for that one special thing. Maybe I don’t have 1 thing to focus on, because I like a few things very much, but there is 1 thing in common: I love to share my passion and enthusiasm about it with you, to inspire you to follow your path, to do what you really like. And I do this in the way of teaching. I teach yoga, I teach students (helping them with difficulties they have with some subjects at school) and I write blogs and articles and put them online, so everyone can read it. By sharing my knowledge, my vision (I try not to judge, which is hard, cause it is planted in our instinct) I hope to inspire others – direct and indirect – to take a look at their lives and give them the courage to change if they need a change to find their way to happiness. Happiness should be the journey, not the destination. And to discover, explore and experience happiness you will go through rough times, periods in which you feel unhappy, even more disconnected with yourself than before, this is part of the journey. Sometimes the best chance to happiness comes in disguise, e.g. as a blockage, an obstacle, a disease. So even when you are on your lowest point (as far as you can tell at the moment), keep on breathing, surrender to it, open your heart, listen to it and remember: you have all the answers inside you, you just need to ask the right questions. And hell yeah, you will ask yourself questions which aren’t the right ones immediately, but they teach you a lesson, they give you the knowledge you need at that particular moment, before you can carry on. It’s that simple 😊. Although the experience at the moment doesn’t feel that way…hold on, you’re closer to your goal than you think. So don’t give up! Lift up your head, look up, then you can see where you are going to, which direction you have to go. Every little tiny step forward is a step forward. Even standing still is a good thing. Time for contemplation, reconsideration, reconnection, gathering your powers back together, recharge yourself. Only then you can continue your journey. And soon enough you will discover that you have reached your goal, the summit, the peak, and you realise: you made it! Look around you, look down, see the long way you have been taking, maybe it looks like you just finished a trail run of 85kms, and you have reached the finish line! Imagine how that feels! Can you feel it already? How does It feel? Feels like you want more, doesn’t it? Enjoy that feeling, embrace it, inhale it, put it in your body, mind and soul, feel the power of it and let that power flow through your entire body, let it enlighten your soul, let it fill up your mind with bright new ideas, new goals. Even small goals, small ideas are perfect; never underestimate the power of the little things, e.g. doing the laundry, or washing up, or finish your last push up of your 3rd set of 15 push ups. Feel this victory, celebrate it with every cell in your body (and you got millions of them, what a big party it will be!!). And keep this in mind; it will give you the will power to continue, to keep on climbing that (maybe difficult) road; once again if you have reached that top, you will even feel better than the first time.

These words are not only for you, they also are really empowering for me. Some people told me that they are so surprised of how much energy and positivity I have, time after time. Believe me, I can be the complete opposite… a real grumpy, angry and negative person. Sometimes I am afraid of myself when I feel that way; then I realise that I do need these emotions. To find the balance for my over-enthustiastic and over-energetic moods, I need to be low, it is my way to restore, to slow down, to recharge. The more aware I am of both sides, the more I find my balance, the less mood-swings I have and the happier I am. This process will never end, I will only become a better master when I observe it (hence sit back and let it happen), accept it and let it go. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, sometimes it takes a day, but as long as I am aware of it, I can make a decision, I am fully in charge to change it.

And during this writing I feel that I feel way more energized, not that tired anymore due to my lack of sleep. For me, writing this kind of inspirational words (based on my own experiences) helps me to get back my energy, my flow. I hope it also works for you, so that’s why I share my words, my thoughts with you. Let me know what these words did to you and maybe you want to share your experience with me, I would love to learn from you! In this life we are all students and teachers, no matter how old you are😊.

💜💚 With love & happiness 💚 💜    
                    littlemissyoga                  

P.s. I had the intention to post is right away, but as always unexpected things… 😇 The good thing is: the sun is shining again 😎 ☀🙏🏻!

My first week@Polwaththa Eco-Lodges, Sri Lanka

I got here on January 3, by train from Colombo to Kandy, with the bus from Kandy to Digana and then with a tuktuk to Polwaththa. The sign says ‘steep climb’ when you got to the road and definitely, it is a steep climb! The tuktuk had a hard time to concur the steep climb, but he managed it! A few days later I walked that path, man, it was a hard climb. I think it is just 1 kilometer, it took me 15 minutes! I was even sweating, and I just walked, didn’t even run! A good workout, let’s say that.

I got a bit upset when I heard that I was finally about to teach at the 11th. But now, writing this, I am quite happy with this. I got some more days off, practiced yoga, explored the environment a bit, prepared a bit for the retreat, joined Silvia’s classes, relaxed a bit as well 😉. We first had to share a room, but that didn’t work out. I am an early bird, she slept until late (well… until 6.25am, then she had to hurry up to be in time for the class, 6.45am 😉). The first night in that room was strange, I woke up (actually I had a lucid dream); someone sat on me and was trying to choke me (sleep paralyses, black entities, had it before). It is always a struggle to wake up from that ‘dream’ cause you can’t move, that entity is taking over your body. I finally managed to wake up, fell back asleep after half an hour. Silvia hadn’t noticed a thing, luckily, but I had to tell her. She cleansed the room the next day; I slept like a baby, but she couldn’t sleep anymore. Also the next night. We asked for separate rooms, luckily they had rooms left. She slept better, I slept worse the first night in the new room. But now, everything is ok. I got used to all the sounds and dropping twigs, leaves ore jumping squirrels on the roof 😊.

07/01/2020 Trekking: Dotalugala – 1407meters – leeches!
This day I went on a trekking with Shylo, a lady from the US, she was here with her close friend, who was sick unfortunately, so she couldn’t join us. We left at 9am, lunch box (noodles and veggies) in our rucksack. Namal was our guide, he is a good guide and knows so much about birds, he is more or less a bird spotter! If I had do the tour it would be something like: ‘this is a big tree and this a small tree. This tree has bi leaves, that one has no leaves. And this is a plant with pink flowers, that plant smells good. And there is a big bird, and over there… sat a bird, but now it had flown away…. A terrible guide I would be 😉. Next to birds, plants, trees and mosquitos we saw salamanders, lizards and a big iguana crossing the road on our way back. The tuktuk drive towards this spot took about 45 minutes, good moment to talk. The walk itself was 12 km’s, 4,5km to the top of the mountain and 4,5 back, 3km to see another viewpoint (all over the Knuckels area, a group of mountains more or less in central Sri Lanka). The trekking was a medium one, Shylo and I (and Namal as well) found it very easy. Namal was just wearing flipflops, we had our hiking boots and sexy socks, to prevent us from the leeches (for the Dutchies: bloedzuigertjes). And also a spray with a mixture of water and Dettol to scare these little creepy worms away (it really worked). The funniest thing is the way these little creatures are moving themselves. Like a guenon (stokstaartje), looking up to this victim, then throws himself on your shoe (or herself, I couldn’t see any difference between the sexes 😉) and then it tries to make its way to your leg or feet, to suck your blood. Luckily for us, no leeches had reached our feet or legs, thanks to the sexy socks. The lunch we had was noodles and vegetables and some fresh water from above…it started to rain quite hard just at the moment we were starting our lunch. Another nice experience 😊. The rain lasted for 15 minutes, the sun started to shine afterwards, we dried quickly and continued our trip. On the last part there was a whole crew to shoot some kind of movie, we asked them to join them but they were not amused… so, no 15 minutes of fame for me 😉. On the way back I did some shoppings (local snacks and incense sticks), I took a shower and sat back and relaxed.

08/01/2020: Another day off
A good day to walk around and explore the area. Well, yeah, I got lost. I walked a long way up, not to steep and after almost 1 hour I discovered that there was no T-junction or intersection where I could go left or right to create a loop. I checked Google maps, and it says: 7.3 kms… 1 hour and 45 minutes… that means: uphill and downhill roads. Ok… well, challenge accepted! It was a nice walk! I saw a lot of the beautiful environment.  Walking in the jungle is nice as well, but you see only trees,  plants and spiderwebs (do you know that feeling that you got them in your face all the time? Welcome to the jungle😉). The view of the rice paddies, hills and some small villages was therefore extra nice. Sometimes Google is not really reliable… I almost got to my ‘home’ and suddenly it says: 3 kms, go back. Go back? No way, I was almost there, just another 1 km… but I didn’t know wether I had to left or right at that T-junction. And suddenly I heard: Hi hi, you need tuktuk? Oh no, another tuktuk driver… the man repeated: you need tuktuk? You yogateacher Polwaththa. What?? Yes, that’s me! It was VJ, one of the employees who was on his way to Polwaththa! My life saver! Also because that last part is so steep to climb up! Man, I felt so happy! I was also lucky that I wore my hiking boots, if I had to do this all on flipflops… I would have taken a tuktuk from the moment Google said: 7.3kms 😉

09/01/2020: A short trip to civilisation!?
Today, after my self-practice Nella asked us to join her to walk to Digana, the small city close by. Silvia, Nella and I, we walked down through the jungle (short cut) to the bus station. We had plans to walk all the way, but time was ticking, so we decided to take the bus. I asked to buy some candles and also some muesli, to put over the fruits. Even though the breakfast is great, it is a bit boring already. The pancakes and milk rice are too sweet (which I like sometimes, but not all the time), the typical Sri Lankan breakfast is not my type of breakfast (it is a curry with stringhoppers (a kind of noodles), quite savory, I prefer a bit sweet in the morning), I don’t want to eat eggs (but I think I have to, because I feel less energized, because there are barely vegan replacements here such as legumes, tofu, nuts), so I thought: muesli on top of my fruit gives me some fibres and stuffing. I didn’t expect that muesli and rolled oats were that expensive and it is not even the real muesli, it looks more like cornflakes. Anyway, it is a bit more bite in the morning 😊. Silvia and I didn’t want to go in the first place, but there was no electricity, so no Wifi. We both needed Wifi to work on our laptops… then shopping is a good alternative. Normally, the powercut is just a few hours, this one lasted the whole day. It was because they were cutting the branches of the trees and it is a policy to switch off the electricity so no one gets electrocuted. The power was back around 6pm, the time that it becomes dark here.

Before we jumped on the bus to Digana, we went to the weaving ladies. They are making sarongs and saris, completely handwoven. 3,300 rupees for a sari (circa €16,50) and 1,600 rupees for a sarong (almost € 8). Really cheap it you think about how many hours it takes to makes these clothes. If someone is interested, I can take some pictues of the sarongs and saris and send it to you (my backpack is too full to take it with me all the time).

The shopping in Digana was just for 1 hour, it was enough, this trip to civilisation (I don’t know if it is more civilised than the life in the jungle 😉). We found what we needed, and we were just waiting in the bus back home, when Nella called her son; he was in Digana by car, he picked us up and we drove back altogether. Yeah, no uphill climb for us (woohoo!!).

Oopsie… again quite a long blog. That’s my problem, once I start writing, I keep on going. Maybe I can start writing a book 😉. Or creating an E-book, you just have to listen while you continue your other things 😉. The next blog will be posted soon 😊. And feel free to comment on the blog, I really appreciate that 😊😊!

💜💚 With love 💜💚   
littlemissyoga

                                           

        

2020 – A beautiful new year has begun!

Hi all!

Finally, I am back with an update, but first of all best wishes for 2020. Have you set up a whole list of resolutions? Or maybe you already forgot about them? I have definitely resolutions, but I keep them simple and small, so I make sure I will keep them and make it happen 😊. One of my resolutions (or maybe I better call them goals) is to set up retreats. I have never done that, so I don’t know where to start yet. The first retreat I will teach is  at Polwaththa Eco-lodges in Sri Lanka and I saw that one of my yoga-teachers friends wants to set up retreats as well! So, that is good news. By the end of this year, I might have reached my goal! But that’s enough about serious business, let’s update you about my travels 😊.

Luang Prabang – Laos
After my 2 months teaching in Vang Vieng (VV) I went to Luang Prabang (LP) for 2 days. I got there on December 30, got a free pick up to my hotel, checked in and went for a walk. Luang Prabang is a cute little village, protected by Unesco. It feels like you are in a movie, it doesn’t feel like a real city. It is quite touristic, but despite of that it doesn’t feel like that. The food is amazing! And when I walked around, I met a couple which practiced yoga with us in VV 😊. It’s a small world after all!

In the evening I met Shara, another yoga student. We met in VV and there we found out we were both going to LP on the same day. So, that’s why we met each other there. We booked a tour on the 31st: Waterfall, Bear Sanctuary and The Butterfly Garden (this is run by Dutch people). The waterfall (Kuang Si) was beautiful and cold! I swam in it, the water was pretty chilly (like the pool in Silver Naga 😉), but after a few moments it was really nice. In the Butterfly Garden they had a pool with the Dr. Fish fishes, the ones that eat dead skin of your feet. It’s a funny feeling, especially when a big one becomes really greedy and tries to eat a big piece 😉. I have so much dead skin on my feet, that if I had to wait until all was done, I probably would have been there still 😉. And we just had 2,5 hours altogether to do these activities, then we headed back to LP. We walked through the city, went to a temple to chant with the monks. The chanting felt like a mental cleaning on the last day of 2019, releasing all my sins 😉. The swim in the waterfall was the physical cleaning for me. After the chant we had a nice vegan meal on the night market. Ready for a party, you all think. Well… we were sooo tired that we got back to the hotel. I packed my bag and went to bed at 10.30pm, because I had to wake up early the next day to go to the airport (7.30am take off to Vientiane, to continue to Colombo – Sri Lanka). So, no New Year Party for me. In Laos they don’t celebrate it, so I didn’t miss a thing. I had a good sleep and was ready for the next adventure: Sri Lanka.

Trip to Colombo – Welcome to Sri Lanka
5.45 am – the taxi picked me up to go to the airport. After my check in I called to Holland (oh, officially The Netherlands😉) cause is was New Year there. The flight from LP to Vientiane went well. But then… I booked my ticket from Vientiane (VTE) to Colombo via Kunming (China), baggage should go straight to Colombo, lay-over 1 hour 50 minutes, perfect! Well… at the airport of VTE I was being told that I had to check out and check in, get a China Visa (temporary one). Uhm… 1 hour and 50 minutes to have baggage, Immigration, check in, Immigration, security… Long story short, I made it. Together with another passenger we could get through the priority lane 😊. That was a big relieve! After landing in Colombo, I took a taxi to bring me to my hostel. Then I went with Yogya, she stayed in the same hostel, to have some dinner at the beach. Hard to find something vegan at the beach… all with fish, meat or eggs. After the dinner (something Sri Lankan vegetarian food, really good though, I was also really hungry)… straight to bed, tired of the whole trip.

Colombo – Another big city
The next day, I was awake early, getting ready for my visa extension at the Immigration department. Too lazy to get a bus, I took a tuktuk to get me there, handed in some papers, went from one room to the other, waited a little and within 2,5 hours it was done! Way faster than some websites mentioned 😊. While waiting I saw another person of the hostel, Thomas from Swiss; we went back to the center of Colombo by the public bus, walked around, acting as tourists 😊. It was good to spend that day together; we both agreed that Colombo was just another big, polluted and too crowded city. 2 Nights in this city was more than enough. We saw some beautiful spots though, like the Red Mosque, small allies, a big parc and a smaller parc, some temples and we went to the beach to get some snacks as dinner (we had a big Indian lunch). The next day we walked together to the Fort train station (little girl, too big backpack, I really need to ditch stuff). I bought a ticket to Kandy (250 RP is like $1,50 or so), he went to another place in Sri Lanka.  2nd class, not reserved, which means that you can get packed in the train. I was lucky, got a seat 😊. That’s the way it goes with traveling, you meet people, spend some time together and then you are going your own way again.

I was ready to teach, then I got a message from Polwaththa, the other teacher would stay here until January 10, so I should start teaching on the 10th instead of 5ht, as we had agreed. I already prepared everything for the trip to Digana (the name of the village where Polwaththa is), I didn’t want to stay in another city just for killing time. I told that I couldn’t change my program; the owner agreed on it, I could come this way and share the room with the other teacher. She didn’t know that I was coming… all was a big mess and miscommunication. Now I will start teaching on the 11th, until that day I am just doing nothing… like self-practice, joining the classes (if we have people), walking around in the jungle (we are almost in the middle of the jungle!), do some trekkings, writing a blog, reading a book, annoying the staff 😉 and enjoying the good food they cook here! Really amazing! Sorry for LP and Laos, but Sri Lankan (vegan) curries, vegetables and the breakfast are amazing!

We have 3 bookings for yoga retreats and regular bookings for the upcoming days, hopefully these regular people will join my yoga classes too😊.

Well, that’s is for now, it’s a bit longer than I had in mind. Next one will be shorter 😉.

💜💚 With love 💜💚   
     littlemissyoga              

P.s: I uploaded some new pictures, check the gallery :).                      

     

The Countdown has begun! And… Merry Xmas to everyone 🎄✨ ❤🎅 🙏🏻

As always, when you start something and you have 9 weeks to go you take things easy and slow, at least I do (but I think many more do as well 😉). And suddenly, you realise: shit, just one more week to go and I have to do so many things. Well, apparently, these things weren’t prior at that moment you could have done them. So, it’s a good moment to reconsider: do I really have to do it? I bet the answer will be: No, I don’t have to, but I would like to. I will use these week to set up a list: have to do, can be done and not important but fun to do (or maybe I don’t… depending on my mood 😉)

Even though the temperature at day time is really nice, at the beginning of the evening the temperature is dropping quickly, long trousers and a T-shirt are too cold already (5.45pm)! And little vampires are coming to live as well 😉. But they don’t like my body that much (yeah, one good thing about being a Dutchie, whoohoo!).

Anyway, the countdown! I don’t have many things I really have to do. Just write something for my blog (but that’s fun as well), create some new yoga classes and furthermore just enjoy the moments here. Arranging some practical things for my trip to Sri Lanka, the next destination. This time I already booked a hostel in Colombo, where I will be 2 nights, to extend my visa before I go to Digana. Normally I am more a last minute booker, but because I am travelling around New Year I thought: better safe than sorry. New Year Party won’t be much… Jan 1, 6am, I have to be at the airport… that’s New Year in the Netherlands 😊. For me, or an all night long party and sleep in the plane or just celebrate a little, sleep a little and… sleep in the plane… Well, I will make up my mind that evening. Depending on the company 😊.

And… because the weather is so good here and we are in a Buddhist country I almost forget:

✨❤ 🧘‍♀🎄 MERRY XMAS EVERYONE!! 🎄 🎅 💚
May it be a blissful, wonderful, lovely Xmas.

For me, not the first Xmas which I don’t celebrate with my close family. And that’s all fine. Of course, I will miss them (a little at least 😉), but I have good company in here 😊. We will have a goodbye dinner on Dec 25, Rebecca, one of the teachers, is leaving. And on Monday, Dec 30, I am leaving Vang Vieng, up to Luang Prabang. A new chapter of my Big Adventure 😊 😊.

This will be enough for now, I will update you soon, maybe in 2019 else in 2020 (from my new spot)

💜💚 With love 💜💚
   littlemissyoga               

      

Lazy Laos Life :)

Last update was quite long, so I will send more and shorter updates. Last week was a lazy week. I practiced yoga a lot, especially abdominals (a block in between my legs, navasana – boat pose, another block in my hands and then crunch up, legs still up); my abs are still telling me that is was a real good practice. Time for a repetition 😉. Abs are very important in yoga, though we don’t train them all the time in particular. In almost every asana (pose) you can engage your abs, so you are using them 95% of the lesson. Especially in balancing poses (feet, arms, inversions) you train them. Extra training is always good though 😊. I am also practicing chin stand, scorpion and handstand (I am not really into inversions, but I want to improve my own practice). On Sunday Dec 15, lazy Sunday, I taught the morning class and after breakfast I thought: Sitting and writing at the pool is a good thing to do, a new update 😊. I forgot that was Sunday, party…. So, sitting at the pool typing a new update, music coming from all sides… It’s weekend and Laos people like to celebrate it with really loud music.

Last weekend (13 & 14 December) it was Vang Vieng Music Festival; best to compare it with Concert at Sea, Zand or Pinkpop. Local and international artists (international = Thai and Singapore 😉) singing, performing, DJ-ing and hiphopping at 3 stages and 15,000 festive party poopers. 95% Laos/Asian, 5% Westerns. Loads of beer (festival is sponsored by BeerLao and Sommersby), food and most likely some marihuana, mushrooms, whiskey and wodka 😊. Sulo and I went before all had started to take some pictures (posted on social media and in the gallery); we could enter the terrain without any problems, no one asked us what we were doing. That’s a real difference compare to Holland. Everything is blocked, hard to sneak in, loads of security. For us it was nice, we took some pictures and went back. Heard someone trying to sing (one of the biggest names); the only thing I thought: stop it, it is awful! Luckily no glass around 😉. Vang Vieng is in the weekends busier, but this weekend… we had more traffic jams than on a rainy day in Holland (ok…. Exaggerating is a job an sich 😉). Even walking on the street wasn’t easy, cars parked on the pavement, motorbikes in between the open spaces, 2-way traffic on the road, with all the cars parked… it was a hard job, and you needed a lot of patience as a driver. Or.. maybe you need a charged phone, because, yeah, standing still means… What’s app, Line, Imo, Insta, Facebook, Twitter, SnappChat, watching another episode on NetFlix or YouTube.. why not? We don’t drive, do we? So, why should we bother about safety, don’t drive means you can use your phone!  Police? I have seen 1 police car in 7 weeks. And, eh, money can buy everything, can’t it 😉? Or, wait! The police are also on their phone… because they need to post on their social media how others are using their phones during driving… 😉. Welcome to Laos!

The hotel was almost fully booked thanks to the festival. The staff wasn’t so happy with that, now they needed to work a little harder, and that’s against their nature (isn’t that lovely, don’t rush, take it easy? A good thing to do in Holland, I can show you how it works 😉).

Classes this week were great, I had an amazing outdoor class! 10 people, all levels. 1 of them was an Indian man, Suresh, we went out for dinner at the only Indian restaurant in Vang Vieng 😊. Finally, something else than rice, noodles 😊 😊. Good conversations! He was practicing yoga for a long time, but due to lower back and knee problems he had to back off. He enjoyed the practice, even though he couldn’t do much. And a coincidence (I don’t believe in that, everything happens for a reason) Sulo (another yoga teacher) and Kimberly (a returning student) came in 😊.

You know what is so funny about teaching here, especially Koreans? Every time when I go out of the pose to check if everybody doing ok, they copy and paste. Now I finally understand why everything what’s made in China or Korea is so cheap, just copy and paste. We present them how it can be done, they duplicate it, cheaper because they don’t have to do all the research et voilà, off you go to Action  (well… in a nutshell, definitely there is more going on). Anyway, for teaching it is not really helpful, because I need to put them back in the pose 😊.

On my day off (Tuesday December 10) I went to the Kaeng Nyui (or Kaeng Yui) and Kaeng Lon waterfall. I walked the whole way, in total 15 kms, the road was rocky, dusty, quiet and the scenery was soooo beautiful. I took many pictures, it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there (normally 7 kms is a bit more than 1 hour). But this route… amazing! A nice small village, kids playing at the school yard, rice fields, bunches of cows, mountains. And all so quiet. The waterfall was beautiful; not big or breath taking or so, but the whole picture made it perfect. I sat there for at least 30 minutes, I was the only one. Then some Koreans came in, rushed to the waterfall, took some pictures and a selfie with me (the first selfie with unknown people, after 7 weeks, a new record! Normally it takes 5 minutes 😉). The lady put herself next to me, phone in her hand, made some gestures and spoke something in Korean English of what I understood as: selfie? I nodded and whoppa, there we go 😊. After they left, it was quiet again, just a few more visitors. I didn’t swim in the water (that was really tooooo cold) but yeah, I needed to feel the cold water, so I put my feet in it. That was bearable, for 2 minutes. Then I just sat there, meditating, enjoying the view, the nature, dragon flies, water spiders, ants, little birds, plants, trees… After almost 2 hours I walked back, spoke with a Swiss guy (he pulled over with his motorbike to check how far it was), had a little chat and continued my way back.

I am really happy that it isn’t freezing anymore. We don’t need blankets anymore during savasana, or towels at the outdoor class. Yeah! So happy about that! I was really looking for gloves last week, so cold, it turned out to be 6 degrees!! Christmas will be in bikini whehehehe. Way better than in Europe, at least, for me 😊.

We were so lucky last week; there was an American pastry chef, he made some vegan pastries, mango-cheesecake and they saved something for us. And this morning, when I said goodbye, they had another vegan pastry (something with caramalised peanuts, yummy!!). I got spoiled here hihi. Like I mentioned in my last blog: I am not complaining. For me, life may be like this forever 😊😊. Can I convince anyone to join me: work less, enjoy more 😊!

Short preview for the upcoming 2,5 weeks. Until Dec 29 I will be in Vang Vieng, teaching. December 30, 31 and January 1 I am in Luang Prabang (still Laos). On Jan 1, 6am (local time) I am at the airport, checking in to Vientiane, and if everything is according plan, transit to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The transit time is short and I need to check in again, immigration and security… but I will make it 😊. I have 2 hours (European, not Laos, Laos hours = 3 😉). I will start teaching at Polwaththa Ecolodges in Digana, close to the jungle, for 2 months (or maybe longer, depends on the tourists and also my visa). After Sri Lanka… I don’t know yet, maybe first visit India and head north to Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, to continue my trip in Asia (hopefully teaching yoga or else Workaway (which means free accommodation and food in exchange for some work)). I am trying to visit countries I haven’t visited yet, and there a lot of countries I haven’t visited yet 😊. But I will just go with the flow, because life it too short to plan everything ahead.

Well, this is it for this week! You can also keep me updated about your life. Don’t say it’s the same everyday, because it is not. Every day is a new day, every day is special, it’s a present, right here, right now, so let’s seize it today 😊.

With love,
littlemissyoga

P.S: New pictures will follow soon 🙂

Yoga butt?!

Yeah, it looks like I have a yoga butt! A what?? Is that a well-trained butt? Yes and no… over-trained, over-stretched, over-done and now it hurts. How is that possible? I was asking the same question. I trained a lot before, High Intensity Classes, Yoga, Body Balance. Nothing wrong with that. Now I am training every day, and teaching 7 classes a week. Still nothing wrong with that, I think. But I have probably done too much, too intense and not enough recovery and I already had a hamstring injury… What does it mean for now? Less forward folds, more glute-strengthening exercises instead of stretching and lengthening. It will take time, but it will be ok. I have to back off, because I will start teaching in Sri Lanka after I am finished in Laos, 3 days break only.

What asanas can I do? Inversions 😉, arm balances and even postures in which I use my glutes and hamstrings, but with modifications (this is also good for me, a different point of view of teaching the asanas). And more abs-training, but that’s for the students whehehe. And, a massage, which I had Monday, 90 minutes Lao-massage with some Lao Tigerbalm. A Lao-massage looks like a Thai massage, but less strong. I like it (well, when she is squeezing and bending me maybe a little less 😉).

Besides of my yoga butt, I still enjoy my stay in Vang Vieng. I discovered that I don’t want to go out to a restaurant for having (the same) dinner (mostly white rice and something, noodles, padthai), so I have a new addiction: sandwiches (take away or eat now is the standard question). The baguettes here are lovely and we have found our ‘Sandwich Street’. And they have avocado! Something we don’t get in the hotel, so that’s why it’s lovely to eat it now and then. A very warm welcome to the common things. Mango-sticky rice and sometimes a piece of the vegan hazelnut-chocolate pie are very good substitutes for dinner as well!

I am here for about 6 weeks and everyday I explore something new. You know, toddlers or very young kids always see each day as a new one, everything for the first time. It looks like I am doing that as wel.l.. not always though. I realise how special everything is. That we should be grateful for every little thing. For all what Mother Nature gives to us, without any expectations to get something in return (except for destroying her…). Every day we have a beautiful sunrise, after a freaking cold night. 9 degrees, no heater, sometimes windows can’t be closed properly… but hey, I can feel the sensation of the cold wind, I become aware of it, I just put on extra clothes to protect myself from the cold. It brings people literarily closer to each other 😊.

People in Laos are amazing and they keep on surprising me. Sometimes they are so friendly, sometimes so lazy, and I think they are the worst salesmen I have ever seen. Every evening at 5pm the Night Market starts, clothes, gadgets, food, bags and so on. In my first week I looked into some shops and the men or mainly women didn’t pay any attention to me… watching something on their phone was more important. Once, I even got the look: don’t bother me, I am watching the last episode of my favourite series, you can come back tomorrow. Sounds crazy tho? They don’t want to sell things! And it’s their job, to make money, to feed their kids (who are always there, bunches of babies and toddlers, so cute btw 😊 ). Now, because it is more crowded, they are more pro-active in trying to sell their stuff, especially to Korean and Chinese people. I will buy a Laos-shirt later on, because it has my favourite flower on it (Frangipangi/Cempaka). And being a little bit of a tourist is good for the economy, isn’t it 😉.

We have a X-mas tree in our hotel! I think I will set up a X-mas class, X-mas Vrkasana (tree-pose), Reindeer pose in Virabadrasana 2 (Warrior 2). Deer pose in Yin becomes Reindeer pose, table top will be a side table which is needed for all the presents, and with Kapalabathi (breating exercise) we imagine the big belly of Santa Claus, expanding on the inhale and flatten on the exhale. Maybe we can even imitate the sounds of reindeers in some other breathing exercises 😉. Mmm.. all mentioned poses are good for strengthening the glutes as well 😊.

Ok… enough about yoga. What have I done so far, when I was not teaching? I hiked with Raul to Tham Poukham Cave and Viewpoint Nam Xay, we did kayaking and I visited him in Vientiane (capital of Laos) before he went off to Thailand. I hiked to the 2 viewpoints of Pha Ngern. My gosh, my legs ached a lot after each hike!! I did something for the website, created a new monthly schedule and together with the other teachers spread them out though Vang Vieng. I lay at the pool, had a little swim, read a book, listened to my listening books on my phone, went to the temples, just walked around in the nature, did a small hike with Fara (a volunteer from Spain, really good company), had 2 Lao-massages, prepared new classes and practiced them, I had some chit-chat with the staff here (most of them are really nice). I am always a bit crazy, the cleaning ladies work their ass off, they are always smiling! I once took over the mob and started to sing: I want to break free, I want to break free (for the youngsters: this is a famous song of Queen). They were all laughing at me. And another time, when they lay the tables for breakfast I grabbed a white table cloth, put it over my head and pretended I was a ghost. It resulted in a blue and a white ghost in the breakfast hall 😉. And two completely ruined table clothes, wrinkled all over 😉. But we had fun. And who cares, in the morning, all the guests are sleepy anyway. Oh, and the lady who is making the eggs and pancakes always looks so… serious, almost grumpy. But now, after 6 weeks, she is smiling when I come in. Once, I was the only one having breakfast (9.30am); I was in a singing mood, so I started to sing: you are the dancing queen (Abba 😉) including a dance. The staff thought one split second: she is really nuts, but then, suddenly, everyone smiled and looked happier (I know I can’t sing, but anyway, when I feel like it, I sing, no glass to break in here anyway 😉). Maybe I can start to set up a flash mob 😉! Sometimes I just do nothing, just sit and stare to the mountains, the hot air balloons, listen to the noise of the longtail boats and the karaoke-singing Koreans in their kayak. And I smile. Because it is lovely to see all of this.

Watching sunset during the outdoor class, sometimes watching sunrise during my outdoor practice. Watching people working hard for a bit money and thinking: my life is really good! Of course, I have struggles and some issues, but ain’t that just the way we learn? Really, if you have never been to Laos, I can highly recommend it (as a vegan it is harder to travel, but you will find your way, however also the bottom of your purse will appear quicker 😉). Ok, 2 months in Vang Vieng will be boring if you’re not working, but Laos is a large country, with beautiful nature everywhere and not yet many tourists. The visa on arrival costs $35 (European passports), available at all international airports. I thought Indonesia was my #1 country but Laos has beaten it! What I also noticed: Lao men are quite handsome and Lao kids and babies are really adorable. I am already thinking of adopting a baby 😉. For the party poopers: Free whiskey is available in many places, you can start your whisky tour at 5pm up to 10pm, in different hostels and bars. Alcohol is normal, abuse of the boose as well (people drown doing tubing…). And mushroom pizzas, weed, hash, all available. And for the Voices of Laos – Karaoke bars!

I think this post is long enough to get you through the long winter nights in Europe 😊. If you have any comments, you can post them. Or send me an email, What’s app message. I can’t promise I will reply soon, but I will read it anyway.  For the ones who are really curious, check http://yogainvangvieng.com/ (and you will find me there in some pictures 😊).

With love,
littlemissyoga

The Big Adventure – Kick off

Here I am, my first blog on my own website. Sharing my stories, adventures, advice about teaching yoga, travelling, yoga & travelling and how to eat vegan (or in some cases vegetarian) all over the world.

I am excited to share my stories, I hope you will also like my blogs and in the future I will write some articles about yoga, travelling and food (vegan/vegetarian). It’s my first time I am writing a public blog, please be gentle with your comments ;). Practice makes perfect, isn’t it :). Feel free to share your experiences and tips about setting up blogs and/or websites with me, together we can make the difference.

A note to everyone: if there is something in my post that upsets you or you feel discriminated/offended/humililated by, please let me know. By no means I have the intention to do so, so my apologies if that accidentallly happens.