After 11 years and some 40 hrs of traveling I am finally here, South Africa! The birthplace of Ishta Yoga, the style of Yoga I have been teaching and inspired by ever since I met Alan Finger in NYC in June of 2000. But it’s not just 11 years that I have been wanting to come to Africa, it’s been a dream of mine ever since I read the Secret Garden when I was a little girl. In the book the heroine grew up in Africa before both her parents died and she was sent to live with her Uncle in England. I was fascinated by tales of wide open plains and wild animals and flowers that struck themselves against the sky so as to take your breath away. So far Africa has not disappointed. I am in Cape Town which is basically one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Mountains that cascade to the sea, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Baboons and Italian Burrata, a kind of cheese that oozes cream when you eat it, are all on tap. Each day I have visited a place which literally takes my breath away. I am here for the next month so stay tuned for a bit of an open diary about my adventures!
and….I just finished a fantastic week in California at Esalen with Mark Whitwell, who I feel is the Doyen of Yoga and a must experience. I first studied with Mark in NYC but being young and a “know it all” I never really felt inclined to take up his practice. But times they are a changing and spending a week with Mark was more than healing for me. Highlights for me were learning that retention after exhalation in practice is excellent for purification and grounding, that a practice can be very simple, last about 7 minutes and really rock your world and that creativity and inclusiveness as a teacher make all the difference. He invited me to share my passion for Yantras with his group and together we created the Ganesha Yantra out of the flowers in the garden. If you haven’t already check out his website, his app- I promise and find out why Mark is poised to change the way we view Yoga in the west!