Yoga Training New York Style Part 1

日本語は英語の次です。

On August 1st, I embarked on the next step in my path as a yogi. I started a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher Training at the Joschi Yoga Institute in NYC. That means, after my training I can become a registered Yoga Alliance teacher. I am thrilled at the chance to be able to teach here in the US.

The truth is, I have been teaching yoga at yoga studios and other places in Japan for 2 years now, but teaching in the US tends to require a Yoga Alliance, or a well recognized Yoga school’s certification to teach. Yoga Alliance has kind of become a monopoly in the yoga world. Even in Japan, increasingly Yoga Alliance certification is becoming necessary to teach yoga in a variety of settings.

At first I thought, Why do I need to go through an EXTRA training, even though I already know how to teach yoga? Then, I remembered a great lesson from Yoga:

Every obstacle is an opportunity.

This training is a chance for me to deepen my practice, to experience new teachers and ways of teaching, to meet other practitioners, and perhaps even help them on their path. How awesome is that?

So far, me and four other ladies have been learning, practicing, and getting to know each other for 2 weeks. We are in class Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, so this is the most intense study experience I have had since High School!! The intensity is just what I needed, helping me piece together and deepen my understanding of many of the concepts I have learned over the years.

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Every day, I feel like I have learned something new, from my three amazing and honest teachers, and from the other trainees. The most unfamiliar material has been the Anatomy study, which is just what I needed!! We also have a lot of time to practice teach, create our own sequences and think about how to teach poses, which is so helpful.

I chose this studio because I joined their Naked Yoga class a year ago, and was totally impressed by the experience; the teaching, the atmosphere, the philosophy.  I thought that I would like to be like the teacher,  confident and energetic, who connects with her students and creates a friendly and fun atmosphere.

In the past two weeks, I have been humbled and wowed, felt tired and grateful. All opportunities to learn are truly gifts that we can transform into tools to use in our lives. As my teacher Joschi says, Yoga is a tool of transformation, so this learning is particularly useful for life. Change is certain and constant. Therefore, by learning how to understand and deal with change in ourselves, we can better deal with it in the world around us.

That’s why I am thrilled to be a yoga teacher and share these teachings with others.

Thank you for reading about my experience! I hope to share more in the next two weeks. For now, please wish me good luck for my training.

Please take a look at my comments about the Yoga Sutras in Inspirational Books and Words. If you have read them and are interested in discussing, please feel free to email me at ali.tanuki@gmail.com.

With love and light,

Ali Rose

 

8月1日に米ヨガアライアンスの200時間ヨガ・インストラクター・トレーニングを Joschi Yoga Institute NYC で始めました。このトレーニングはヨーギとしての道の次の歩みで、とてもワクワクしています!これを修了してから、アメリカでヨガの先生としてはば広く活躍します!

本当は、日本んですでに2年間ヨガのインストラクターとして活躍してきました。しかし、アメリカのほうでは、やや厳しくてアライアンスの資格がないと活動が制限せれます。その結果、このトレーニングを受けることにしました。

最初は、残念に思って、もうすでにヨガを教えられるのに、なんで時間とお金を使って、またヨガのトレーニングをしないと行けないか?と。それで、ヨガの教えを思い出し:すべての障害は機会である。

このトレーニングでは、自分のプラクティスを深めて、新しい先生と教え方と出会い、ほかのヨーギと交流ができ、そしてその人たちと一緒にヨガの道を歩んで、お互いに助け合いができます。

今までは2週間、4人のほかの女の人と一緒に勉強、練習、交流しています。クラスは、月から金まで、毎日8時から17時までです。高校以来の一番きつい日程ですね!!でも、これぐらいのきつさは今まで学んだヨガのことを頭に中で整理ができて、さらに深めます。

5人の生徒の中は、3人が外国人で、2人はアジア人です。日本人はいないけど、母国語が英語ではない方が半分以上で、自分が日本でヨガを勉強し始めた時の気持ちを思い出し、勉強の手伝いをして、その時サポートしてくれた人の恩返しが少しでもできると思っています。もちろん、相手の勉強を手伝うと、自分の勉強にもなります。

毎日、新しいことや考え方を3人の正直で素晴らしい先生とほかの生徒からから学べます。一番親しみのないものは解剖学で、一番勉強するべきと思ったもので、ラッキです。毎日、テーチングの練習と自分でシークエンスを作る時間もあるし、やくに立てます。

このスタジオを選んだのは、一年前のNakedヨガの区クラスに参加して、感動しました。このような自信のあり、エネルギーがあり、いい雰囲気を作れる先生になりたい、と思って、入学しました。

この2週間で、感動や謙遜、疲れと感謝の気持ちが波のように感じています。勉強をするすべての機会は貴重で、人生を変革することができます。ヨガは、変革のツルなので、とても大事な教えです。この世では、変わることが必ずあります。自分の中の変化を理解して受け入れることができるようになると、周りの変化も処することができます。

だから、ヨガの先生としてこの教えを伝えるのは心が躍る!!

ヨガスートラにかんしての感想文を Inspirational Books and Words でアップしていますので、英語ですが、興味のあるかたはぜひどうぞ!それについて話したいかたは ali.tanuki@gmail.com までメールでお願いします!

アリ・ローズ

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad Sat Gur Prasad Ek Ong Kar

I found it!! The beautiful and enchanting version of the mantra we have been practicing in my Kundalini class.  Listen, sing along, and be transformed.

Let the beauty of the melody and the purity of the words uplift you, expanding your own intuition, allowing you to become your most powerful and true you.

Recently, I have been practicing Kundalini yoga at Decatur Yoga and Pilates Studio. I found the studio online, and they offered lots of classes, and a really good starting deal, $35 for 30 days, so I decided to check it out.

My first class was a hot yoga class, which I haven’t practiced in years, taught by a lovely teacher named Cheryl Crawford. It was a nice work out, with some spiritual concepts lightly added in. After the class, I chatted with the teacher and she told me about her Kundalini class. Lucky me!

I have found this class environment, the enthusiasm of the teacher, and the teachings to be just what I needed right now, to inspire me towards my goals.

Thank you, Cheryl, and to all the teachers before her who passed down this truly transformative practice.

Summer Solstice Yoga in Times Square  ニューヨークのタイムズ・スクエアでの夏至ヨガ

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day. Always good to remember that we are only HALF of the globe.)

夏至というのは、北半球での一番長く太陽が昇っているいちにちである。(南半球では、一番短く太陽が昇っている一日である。)

It is the day each year when we get the most sunlight, so for millennia, it has symbolically been connected with the power of Light winning over Darkness. This year, it also happened to be on the same day as the Full Moon, an event that has not happened since 1967. That means, this day was packed with energy for all of humanity to tap into. More on that here: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/june-solstice-full-moon-in-2016

この日では一年中の一番多い太陽の光がある日なので、何千前からこの日は光が暗闇を象徴的に乗り越えることと繋がっている。2016年の夏至は珍しく、満月と重なるので、特に強いエネルギーのある日と思われる。

This year, I had the great pleasure of sharing the day with thousands of yogis and many other on-lookers, in the center of my hometown, one of the busiest and most distracting places on Earth, Times Square.

今年は、運良くたくさんのヨギたちと一緒に祝って、地元のタイムズ・スクエアのヨガイベントに参加することでできた。

The Mind Over Madness Yoga event is in its 14th year celebrating the solstice in Times Square with charity yoga.IMG_1647 As the co-founder of this charity focused event, Douglass Stewart, stated, it started as a class full of yogis getting together to find peace on the pavement, and blossomed year by year, attracting
more and more people to find tranquility amongst the traffic.

Mind Over Madness Yoga というイベントは今年、第14回のヨガイベントが夏至にタイムズ・スクエアで開催されていた。最初に、ヨガクラスぐらいの参加者が集まっていたが、少しずつこのイベントが咲き、現在は何千人も魅力されるチャリティー・ヨガイベントとなった。

The event celebrates the idea of peace as a state of mind that can and should be cultivated, regardless of the state of the outside world. In a city like New York, in a time like 2016, amidst all the terror, violence,  aggression, stress, and pressures of daily life, this movement is more meaningful than ever.

このイベントでは、外の状況にもかかわらず平和という心の状態が培うべきことであるという理念を謳っている。

I was lucky enough to take two classes, taught by the cheerful and warm Sarah Bell and the author of ‘The Art of Attention’ Elena Brower.

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In between, I was asked to be a part of a Huffington Post Live video about the event, which you can see here: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=The%20Huffington%20Post%20sum
mer%20solstice

私は二つの素敵な先生のクラスを受けることもでき、そして間に、イベントのビデオにも出た。そのビデオは上にリンクを通じて見える。

The whole day was really magical. I felt inspired, energized, and balanced. Looking over all the people resting peacefully in Savasana, as cars honked, people screamed, as the chaos of the city moved along, I felt the true power of developing a mindful practice, like yoga. Through it,  we are all capable of being active members, co-creators, in a movement towards peace and compassion, simply by cultivating those qualities in ourselves.

この一日はとても幻想的な日で、インスパイアされて、リフレッシュされて、そしてバランス感を得た。まわりにうるさい都会が流れながら、サバサナで安静していた方たちを見てヨガのようなマインドフルな修行をするパワーを感じた。その修行を通じて、自分の中の平和と慈悲を培うことによって、平和と慈悲のある、自分よりも何倍大きな運動を一緒に生み出すことができる。

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Thank you for reading. Namaste.

 

 

I am a Teacher because they are my Students

July 13th, 2016

The daily read of 禅(ぜん)のことば seems to always bring me the words I need that day.

Today’s phrase 啐啄同時. 

 -This is a sound that a baby bird makes when trying to get out of the shell.

啄 – Looks like the 卒 in 卒業, graduation, but it refers to the sound that a mama bird makes when cracking the baby bird’s shell.

同時 – at the same time.

This phrase reminds me of how important my students are to me, how much I have learned from them, and how much I appreciate them.

I am a teacher because they are my students.

Thank you students!! I look forward to seeing  you again.

生徒さんがいるから先生になります。ありがとう、生徒様!!また会うの楽しみです。

Taming my Transition 転換期をそぐ

I am writing this from my sanctuary space, a lovely light filled room in my partner’s house, just outside of Atlanta. It has been about 5 weeks since I left my long time home in Nagoya, taking all of my belongings to make a new life, in a new state, but an old country.

I traded in lots of friends and students, a budding yoga teaching career, and convenient transport for life with my partner, closer to my family, and the chance to reinvent my career.

I am filled with gratitude to have this chance. And I remind myself of this everyday, since sometimes I do forget how lucky I am…

For the past month, I have been living the life of a housewife – who can’t drive in a small town with no public transportation. Totally dependent on my partner to get around, and therefore most of my social interactions, I am experiencing something totally new. I am learning just how to maintain the essence of myself that I have developed, while also becoming one with my partner and living peacefully and joyfully together. This process has been painful at times – I realised just how much I rely on friends and social interactions to create my sense of self. At times, it feels lonely. Literally, all day with just me and the cats.

So, I went back to what I know works for me – yoga. That includes studying the philosophy, doing the poses, and meditating. All parts are important, at varying times in our lives one part plays a bigger role than others.

Recently I have been reading and meditating on the Yoga Sutras, a book that I have been meaning to read for years. It is one of the seminal books about yoga, explaining the purpose, the practice and the benefits of a complete yoga practice. For anyone interested in tackling this 1600 year text, I recommend the Sri Swami Satchidananda version, as it is much easier to read than other versions.

Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Sutras-Patanjali-Swami-Satchidananda/dp/1938477073

Not teaching yoga for the past month, I have had the chance to focus on my practice, a treat! I have been reflecting on what yoga is for me.

What is your yoga practice for you?

Reset time – to come back to the emotional set point that I desire. That feeling of doing a familiar pose or breathing technique, and instantly feeling the way you do in yoga class.

Self-healing/compassion time – to be kind to yourself, to be honest and accepting of all parts of me

Re-nergizing time – when I feel sluggish or tired, I need a pick me up, some poses, breathing, and meditation can refresh me.

Self-study time – Feel my body as it is right now, be aware of areas that are being neglected, need more strength or flexibility.

A way of life – a set of principles and values that help me understand the world and my place in it.

In yoga, especially Astanga yoga, we do vinyasa, which is a flowing series of poses that connect other poses. They are the transitions between poses. And any good teacher will tell you, they are as important as the main poses. If you rush through the vinyasa, or skip them, or stop breathing in them, your whole practice is compromised.

As I transition in my relationship, my career, my yoga practice, I remember to do so with grace, and keep breathing.

 

Endings to Appreciate

Hello Yogis!!

It has been too long since I last wrote, almost 2 months. I guess it has been a fast and busy and life changing 2 months, but I do apologise for the absence. I will briefly return to February to end one story, before I begin the next one.

Though my last 2 months in Japan were relatively free, as I had far fewer classes than usual, I was so busy mentally. I could not seem to find any mental space to plan for my new life in Atlanta, and at first this made me feel really inefficient. I wanted to hit the ground running in Atlanta, already have things figured out, yoga studios to go to, maybe even a job.  Then my good friend Mandy told me a very appropriate story about campfires.

She does a lot of camping, and so she knows all about camping. When you go camping, you have to build up a campfire. You collect wood, use fuel, prepare the area, and then make a fire that will last through the night. Then, when you leave a campsite, you put the fire out.  At the next site you visit, you have to start making a campfire from scratch, all over again. You can’t just carry a campfire from one site to the next; that would be ridiculous! And dangerous.

I also kept remembering the Japanese saying, 終わりがよければ、すべて良し (All’s well that end’s well). Ending things properly is very valuable, and it became my sole focus.

So I spent February and March putting out the fire that I had worked for 1 year, and in some cases 12 years to build. I tried to maintain presence in all occasions, to make those last hours with each person, in each place special and memorable. Those goodbyes brought back so many great memories that we had shared. Thinking that those times would be over did make me feel nostalgic, but more importantly made me realize how much I appreciate all those people.

Then I realized that every goodbye was just another moment together, that I need not worry about making it the best, but merely appreciating it. As they say, 一期一会 (One time, one meeting)

Thank you to all of my dear friends and students for making out time together so sweet. Looking forward to the next time! じゃ、また!

 

Lessons Learned about Partnership from AcroYoga アクロからパートナーシップについて気ついたこと


1. Be present – if you aren’t you could drop your partner!
2. Communicate constantly – Feelings change quickly, keep the information current
3. Trust – that the other is doing what they need to be doing
4. Some things are harder with a partner, but the challenge is more interesting
5. Some things are easier with a partner’s support, so appreciate your partner!
6. Something magical occurs when people interact
7. Individual partners need to be strong enough to hold themselves up – the poses will not work if one partner leans all their weight on the other
8. There is so much fun to be had with a partner!
9. There is no one way to interact – as each person’s body is different, you have to adjust

1. 今、ここにいることを意識するーしないと相手を落とすかも!

2. 常にコミュニケーションするー気持ちや状態はしばしば変わるから情報を定期的にアップデートす

3. 信頼するー相手が自分のやらないといけないことをちゃんとやっていることを

4. ものによって、パートナーと一緒にやる方が難しいけど、それほど面白い

5.  ものによって、パートナーと一緒にやる方が楽なので、パートナーに感謝を!

6. 人と人が触れ合うと魔法のような効果を生み出す

7. パートナーが個人的に自分をしっかりと支える必要があるー 一人が体重を相手に乗せちゃうとポーズができなくなる

8. パートナーと一緒に過ごすことで楽しさはたくさんある!

9. 決まった触れ合い方はないーみなさんの身体が違うから、調整しないといけない

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Yoga for Charity Events* チャリティーヨガ・イベントの知らせ

Charity Yoga

日本語は下記に記載されます。

The Walkathon has been a big part of my life in Nagoya. For the past 5 years, I have been a volunteer, interacted with many different people, taken on a variety of different roles, and even met my darling partner at the event!

I love what the Walkathon does – supporting and bringing awareness to local charities while also bringing people together, foreigners and Japanese alike, for a day of fun and fitness. It has contributed so much to this area over the past 25 years!

This year, in honour of the 25th anniversary, I would like to dedicate my time to raise some money for and awareness of the event the best way I know how – through yoga! I hope you can make it to one or all of the upcoming events. I promise they will be fun and accessible to all ages and yoga experience. Bring a friend, your mom, or your child!

More information about the Walkathon International Charity Event here

*Yoga Photo Exhibit and Acroyoga Demo @ Harmonium Parlor*                                 Date and Time  Sunday, February 28th 6:30pm~11:30  2月28日(日)18時半から空いている                  Place  場所  Plastic Factory Live House  プラスチックファクトリー                                                            32-13 Kanda-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya                                                                                       Website and access map                                                                                                                           This exhibit will feature photos and art inspired by the yoga, from a variety of practitioners. There will also be acroyoga demonstrations throughout the night, so come and enjoy the exhibit and perhaps a little flying, and get your photo taken up in the air! I will also be doing a yoga performance set to music, so please come and cheer me on!

この展示会ではヨガにインスパイアされた写真やアートが展示されます。そして、アクロヨガの実演で自分もフライングを試して、その写真を撮ってもらえます!アリが音楽に合わせたヨガのパーフォマンスもしますので、ぜひ応援の来てください!

 

*Ali’s Farewell Yoga Party and Picnic*                                                                                          Date and Time Sunday, March 27th 3月26日(土)午前10時〜                                            Place 場所  Tsurumai Park  鶴舞公園

More information to come. Please keep the date!  詳細は後で。日を空けておいてください!

 

 

walkathon-header

ワォーカソンというチャリティーイベントは私の名古屋生活に大きな役割を果たしています。5年間、ボランティアとして参加して、たくさんの方と交流ができて、様々な役割を果たして、そしてイベントで彼氏と出会いもしました!

ワォーカソンの目標が大好きです〜中部地区のチャリティー団体のための募金と啓発、そして国際的な交流場で健康活動と文化的な活動を楽しめます。

今年は、自分の一番好きな方法で募金活動をしたいと思っていますーそれはヨガです!とりあえず三つのイベントを予定していて、一つで参加できたらと願っています!すべてのイベントは楽しくて、だれでも参加できるものです。友達、お母さん、子供でも連れてきてください!

ワォーカソン国際チャリティーイベントの情報はこちら

 

*Senior Yoga Class*                                                                                                             Date and Time  Sunday, January 31st  2pm – 3:15      1月31日(日)14時〜15時15分      Place  場所 Shonan Shy’z Yoga Studio   湘南シャイズヨガスタジオ                                     〒460-0013 Kamimaezu 1-12-28 1F, Naka-ku, Nagoya                                                     Website and access map                                                                                                                                                        Yoga is for everybody! This class will be a fun and easy yoga class, perfect for beginners and designed for older yogis. We’ll practice poses you can do at home or in the office, by yourself and with friends. All ages are welcome!

だれでもヨガができます!このクラスは楽しくて簡単なヨガのクラスで、お年寄りや初心者に最適です。お家でも職場でも一人でも友達と一緒でもできるポーズを練習します。年齢関係なく参加OK!

 

 

 

 

The Beginner’s Mind: My First Pole Dance Class

日本語は下記に記載されます。

One of my new year’s resolutions is to try pole dancing, so on Wednesday I took a trial lesson at ANNJEWEL in Sakae. And entered the school that day!

Why pole dancing you ask? IMG_0606

  1. It’s a great workout
  2. It looks fun and challenging
  3. It makes me feel sexy
  4. It’s something completely new that I have never tried before

Years of doing yoga has made me proficient at yoga, but I felt it was time for a new challenge. I have been interested in dance for the past year, but didn’t have a chance to practice. So, this time, I took my chance and tried it – more because I believe it is good to try new things that attract me than for any other reason. The result – lots of fun and sore muscles!

As a rule for life, I like to try new things regularly. This helps me remain in a state of Beginner’s Mind as it is called in Zen Buddhism – a state of eagerness, acceptance, and lacking preconceptions.

When we get used to an activity, or a person or situation, we start to expect things, and we may become arrogant; we think we know it so well. We also may lose enthusiasm toward that activity or person because we think we know it so well; we assume there is nothing new or exciting about it anymore.

It’s valuable to keep the mind fresh, to remember that there is always something new to learn, because people, situations, and ourselves are constantly changing!

I am planning to join classes weekly, so look forward to hearing about my pole dancing adventures! And if you are interested, let’s go together someday ^v^

What new thing are you going to try this month? Don’t hesitate, just do it!

2016 年の新年抱負の一つは、ポールダンスを挑戦することなので、水曜日に栄のANNJEWELのスタジオで初のレッスンに参加しました。そのまま、入会しちゃった!なぜポールダンスというと、

  1. いい運動になる
  2. 楽しそうで面白そうに見える
  3. セクシーな気持ちになる
  4. 全く新しい、やったことのないもの

ずっとヨガをやってきて、できるようになったので、新しいチャレンジが必要と感じていました。一年前から、ダンスに興味を持っているんですけど、なかなか機会がなかったんです。今回は、チャンスを逃さないように、あまり深く考えずに試しに行ったー何の理由よりも、魅力的に感じる新しいことをやると何かいいことがあると信じているからです。結果は、めちゃくちゃ楽しくて、筋肉痛でした。

人生の方針で、定期的に新しいことを挑戦するのが好きです。この修行は、初心を保つための練習です。禅仏教では、初心というのは意気込み、受け入れること、と先入観のないことを表しています。

ある状況に慣れちゃうと、人やものでも、その場面において期待するがちになることがあります。あることの全部がわかっていると思ってしまい、傲慢になることもあります。全部がわかっていると思ってしまうと、楽しいことに対しても熱中がなくなることがあります。

心がプユアであることに価値があり、物事や人々や自分自信もすでに変わっているから、いつも新しい体験ができることをわすれずに。

あなたは今月中、何か新しいことを挑戦しませんか。遠慮しないで、やってみて!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 2016! Welcome to the Year of the Fire Monkey

Happy New Year 2016, Yogis, Yoginis, and all the rest of you beautiful readers!

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Letting Go of 2015

Thank you always for reading my blog! One of my major visions for 2016 is to make this blog more active, so that I can really connect with students, friends, and those who find their way here. I have a lot that I want to share, but procrastination and poor time management have gotten in the way of that. So, on New Year’s eve I did a small ritual with some friends. We wrote down the thing or behavior that we would like to let go of from 2015 on a piece of paper. I chose procrastination ^v^ We then discussed this with a partner. Then, we ripped the papers up in little pieces and our resident magician, Alberto, made them magically disappear! It was a fun and liberating way to end the year – recognizing a weakness and making a commitment to let go of it.

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How to Spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day… How does it affect your year?

The Japanese traditionally spend New Years very differently from us in the US (a detailed comparison on the two countries will be posted later). While Americans tend to go out to bars, clubs, or parties, and salute the New Year at midnight with a class of champagne and a kiss, Japanese typically spend the eve at home, watching TV and eating soba with family, then celebrating the stroke of 12 at temple to the sound of 108 rings of the temple bell. Americans spend New Years Day hung over, while Japanese think it’s good luck to see the sunrise on the first day and visit a shrine. Most people eat an elaborate meal and spend time with relatives.

There are of course a myriad of ways that one can ring in the New Year, whether with a temple bell or the clinking of champagne glasses. For yogis and others who practice reflection and mindfulness, there are other ways to spend the New Year. Just one year ago, New Years Day 2015, I was sitting in a cave meditating with a small group at an ashram on an island in the Philippines. For some, that sounds weird, while others might think it’s cool. For me at that moment in my life, it was the ideal way to start the year – deep in reflection and stillness, allowing my inner voice to be heard clearly.

2015 proved to be a year of great reflection and practice, growth and change, self-care and acceptance, and finally gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Looking back over the year, I could see how from the start to the end, it was an organic process of coming home to myself, being honest and true to myself. Listening to my heart, and acting from those wise messages.  At the end of the year, I was overcome by gratitude, to all the people and forces surrounding me,  for having the chance, the luxury to have been able to do it in my way, at my own pace.

As the sun crept up into the sky on the first day of 2016,

I was sitting in meditation.

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Then I went back to bed for a few hours, as I had been out dancing and singing until 4am. 2015 dramatically changed the course of my life; so much happened in the course of 12 months, that I felt a completely new way to celebrate the new year was in order. I was surrounded by good friends, new and old, and my darling partner. We ate and drank, discussed things we wished to let go of in order to make room for all the gifts that 2016 would bring. Then we danced and sang into the early morning, played games and made new friends in a cozy club in Nagoya.

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If the way of starting the new year is any way to predict how the year will go, I am in for lots of joy, excitement, and fun with friends and my partner.
Creating My Vision for 2016
Continuing a practice I started last year, I will be making a Vision Board this month, on the New Moon day, January 10th in Japan. Luckily it is a Sunday, so a few friends will be getting together to share our energy and magazines to create our own individual visions for the year ahead.
For those of you who have never made one or seen one, I offer mine from 2015 as an example. I basically cut images from magazines, though in some cases used photographs or hand drawn images, to create my vision of how my life would be in 2015. I put specific images, for example yoga poses that I hoped to achieve or people who wanted to spend more time, teachers that I wanted to study with. As well, I added pictures of places I wanted to go, or more abstract images of how I wanted my life to feel; the atmosphere I wished to create.
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While the results do speak for themselves – I achieved the poses that I illustrated, studied with the teachers I included, found a partner who embodies all of the images that I used, and even wound up being hosted by a woman whose picture I added (totally unforeseen and WEIRD!!).
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2015 Challenge Pose Pincha Mayurasana- Achieved!

7 Realms of Your Vision for 2016

Here are some areas that can help you organize your vision for this year, that you could then illustrate in the vision board. It’s helpful to remember that all of these aspects are important to create a fulfilling and balanced life, so that we don’t get to stuck in only one or two areas. Just this step can be incredibly helpful for helping you clarify your vision, but I highly encourage you to illustrate your vision. It’s also just a lot of fun!
For each area, think of your:
1. goals, what you would like to achieve or maintain
2. how you will achieve these goals, what techniques, practices, steps you will take
A. Health and Body
B. Love and Relationship
C. Career and Work
D. Wealth
E. Family
F. Creative Pursuits
G. Quality of Life
Start collecting any images or words that you like NOW, that you find inspiring.
Looking back on last year’s list, I was not very specific. I encourage you to BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE – we are truly creating our vision, so there is no need to hold back. Make it as detailed and as great as you can imagine it.
Everything in our world, that humans have created, began as a thought, an idea in someone’s mind, before it was a material thing. If you cannot imagine it, you cannot create it. On the other hand, if you can imagine it, you can create it. Use the great energy of the New Year to create your best year yet. I am looking forward to sharing mine with you, and hearing about yours too.
Namaste,
Ali