Sitting on my own rooftop taking in the day, my eyes finally allow me to see the tringles in the sky, even now as I sit here on my california king looking out my big open windows I see them flying high. If you ever come to India you will soon fall in love with the rooftops, it's probably the only place you can feel the spaciousness of the world around you,it will soon become your biggest escape from the chaos on the ground. These rooftops are the windows to India, they allow you to take in from a distance the beauty and depth of the life that moves so fast when your walking or tuk tuking amounst it.
I was follwing the kitelines to the children holding on to them. They stare up at the simple triangle as it flys higher and higher almost touching the eagles that fly around it. I imagine the childs eyes as it guides this beloved simple invention, wide with the wonderment of how high will it go. My heart feels joy that simple pleasures are still being found in the world today, I imagine the sense of freedom that flying a kite gives to the holder, as the energy of the wind carries the kite to higher heights so does the soul fly with it, for an instance escaping the trials and tribulations that being human brings to us.
Sometimes its so easy to forget that it actually is the small things that give us the most pleasure. Smiling at a stranger and watching their face open, first their eyes start to glitter, then their cheekbones slide up the face as the mouth widens revealing a thousand thank yous! The other day I was having my lunch and this adorable two year old boy took a liking to me, to be honest at first i was annoyed I wanted to eat in solitude, but then as I gazed into those big brown eyes I found the deep need for connection my soul was actually searching for. We spent a good hour together he sat next to me and we talked about what things were, I was so engrossed in the education of teaching him how to say cup and table in English the whole world melted away, I havent felt that in a long time and this two year old little man opened it back up for me, it was so simple.
I had one of the best chair workouts with the wonderful lady that brought me to India the other day. During that workout the completion of 25 namaskaras was a warm up before we hit the chair, i found a belly to leg connection in that hour that I have not been able to find in awhile, it was a simple change to find it but the pleasure that amounted was ecstacy.
If all else fails go buy a kite and fly it to its highest heights!!
Hippocrates said that.
I love walking dont you? I love being up close and personal with my surroundings, here in India I always am aware more. I find it to be one of the most interesting times of my day, when my body walks. I live in a part of town where there are no persons of my color, and if there are my eyes havent seen them and their ceratainly not walking. Sometimes the looks I get are very curious, some are lustful, some create a sense that I must have two heads, and others create the sense that I am a demon or something. Even the street dogs and cows stare at me as if I'm from another planet and I suppose I cant blame them afterall I am giving it right back to em.
Its not only the animals, rubbish, smells,and peope I am so close to , VEHICLES are no joke here! Not only is the driving crazy, but walking in the midst of that chaos is like living in a real time video game and your trying with all your might to get to the next level. My walk to work is about ten minutes and in that ten minutes I must expereince about ten close calls, you do the math. Don't get me wrong I love the challenge and the risk, its a game I have created to get me there and back, and I am winning! There are a few different routes I tested out, a loud route and a quiter route. Unfortunatly, the quiet route puts me right in the path of some very big cows trash ,grazing pile and the people who live amoungst it, thats really hard to see and stomach sometimes, my heart leaps and I want to help, but i know I cannot. These paths lead me to the ROAD, a very busy road, where rickshaws, motorcycles, cars, and huge trucks are flying around trying to find the space that fits their rides. The one and only thing these vehicles will stop for are cows, that makes me simply a bump in the road, eeeek! So, I approach this crossing that I do sometimes four times a day as a lesson in life. My eyes see a brief opening there is time and space for me, I leap for it without hesitation or keep waiting for a bigger space, one that is more comfortable and less fearful hmmmm what am I to do? Depending on how confident my head space is I always take the leap, by the time I cross my heart is pounding but I am smiling , laughing at times. Then there are those times where I might be more tired,less hydrated, or hungry and I dont feel like I have the strength to stand up to the fear of crossing, in those moments I slow down and take my time, afterall I love my life and am not ready to leave just yet. Yes, its that level there is no slowing down to avoid the human, im serious that shit is real.
I was thinkning about writing about this today on my walk and it turned into how much this can symbolze our lives. How often we can wait around for the perfect time ( doesn't exist the time is now) or we can gather our strength and move without looking back, for if we do we will be the bump in the road, we will be the ony thing that stands on our way. My mind was turning this around , how important it is to tune into yourself, if it feels right if you feel strong and confident what are you waiting for? If there is doubt and fear what do you need to nourish yourself to take that next step? The path you choose will always twist and turn, and introduce you to things you may not want to see or provide hidden treasure, but it will always bring you to the ROAD,
In Love and Light my readers!
Yes I suppose that got your attention or atleast piqued your interest:)
Feeling the need to pamper, I set out on a Sunday pamper mission and found myself in the best threesome of my life. Every choice I made up until that moment was completly on a whim, I love days like that, when you just go with whatever it is that calls to you, not stopping to think or ask yourself all those annoying questions that could pull you back down from the clouds. In that state I found an amzing new jumpsuit that looks to die on me, and a brand new bright yellow bath towel, bath room essentials are so important!
Thats when I climbed the three flights of stairs to a my next spontaneuos choice. The woman led me to the a plush leather chair where fingers started to knead my head, my shoes were slipped off and hands started to oil my legs and feet. How did I find myself here I wondered before my mind gave in to the two hands that were working me from top and bottom. It didn't matter how I got here, here I am.. It was like both sets of hands were in sync with the music and each other, as one thumb dug in so did the other and the musics tempo matched. As I was drifting into a state of complete and utter bliss , my body paralzed from feeling so much intoxicating pleasure, I heard a "ma'am", I looked up and there was a beautiful saffron tea, I broke out into goosebumps, you know the kind:)
They worked diligently on me for an hour together. I never thought I would have such an amazing experience from two very fragile looking felines but they knew what they were doing and my bliss was proof. It is important to take this time for ourselves. Why would anyone deprive themselves of a threesome experience, in my case it was a moroccan oil hair treatment and foot massage, its the greatest bliss ive known..well the transversus throracis squeeze might be top it but its pretty damn close!
It has been about one month since my body has stepped foot in the mystical land of India. As with anything there is a transition period, and thank the divine for it! My head thinks back to when i first arrived here, feelings of excitement, and wonderment soon turned into feelings of lonliness and scared, now i find myself back in wonderment and a new sense of peace.
My being is settling into this place. Yes it is still hard because going to live in such a different place such as India is hard, but yay for me that I get to experience this when so many will not have the chance. No matter where you are or what your doing if you can take out the resistance to whatever is happening around you and remember that nothing happens to you, it happens through you, you can experience that state of wonderment and perhaps settle into peace.
I really love India it is my third trip here and each time it humbles me and wakes me up. I get to really notice the walls I throw up in order to "protect" myself. How sad that is for me, because I take all the wonderment out of my existance trying hard to protect myself from what? from a new way of thinking? a new world? a different way to eat or pray or even move? I often reflect back on life in my home country while im away,comparing and contrasting notes. In that relfection my body almost becomes ill. So many of us are so shutoff from the world and stay stuck in the same repetative mind sets that there is no adventure, there is nothing left to explore.We think we know everything and were stuck in the limiting belief that were right and the rest of the world is wrong. When in truth our souls want the same thing, we are all after the same thing. Yes, we have different history books telling a story about how we came to be but if you read closely and keep an open mind and explore all options and stay curious, you will find there is not much a difference in the message.
I have started to really study and be curious about why there are so many hindi gods and goddess...do you know? I wish I could explain better but my mind is just starting to expand on this topic so i will save it for a later time. What my thoughts can share with you is this, its beautiful. Religious beliefs will probably always remain a point of contention in the world, and thats sad. Learning about why there are so many Hindi Gods/Goddesess has really put into perspective to me how close minded so many of us are, we use our judgements to create stories about other cultures without first hand learning anything about them. In these judgements and stories we keep ourselves locked in the cage of limiting beliefs, in return taking away again that childhood wonderment of "oh wow thats so cool!"
This is not only true for religious beliefs but it happens everywhere! You might have read how to deal with a relationship in a book or took a friends advice, does that make it solid gold in your book? for the rest of your life will you try only that way? Is what we learn in school or teacher trainings the end all? I sure hope not. There is million different ways to open the fridge doo well maybe not a million but atleast two that ive tried that works:) Point being there is always a new way, there is not one way to do anything, but its up to us to stay curious and that place of wonderment so that we dont get stuck on point one and completly miss points 2-7. Even now how many of you are stuck on something I might have wrote a few sentences back?Maybe you it didnt make sense to you or maybe you didnt agree? Its okay but there is more and if you stay stuck on that one thing you will miss out on so much.
When your in that state of wonderment the world is with in your grasp and guess what your it , you are the entire universe so stay curious , its you, you seek.
This is a picture of my littlest sister Faith and my sudo little sister(her best friend) Megan. I believe they are holding two dead fish! Wonderment... seeing two dead fish and picking them up proud of what you found or curious about "wow a fish!" dead or not. Unconcerned about germs or whatever our adult minds tell us is gross, the smiles tell us all what we need to know.. Knowledge although is good dont let it hinder you from living a curious WONDERful life!
HI There!! Since the last time we saw each other much has been happening! Working deep in more ways then one peace has started to settle in my human existance. More on that later, today I want to talk about PILATES!!
Pilates for Wellbeing has really started to take off and my mind is thankful, and also challenged. Although a newish teacher to Pilates I have had the privilage to teach abroad many times and with the knowledge that everybody that moves beneath my gaze is different, culterally speaking its a whole new different. It has been one of the most interesting journeys through my young career as a Pilates Teacher. Teaching in France last summer I was amazed at how my clients really found Pilates to be just another epression of the pleasure they found living on the Cote' Azur. In my homeland of the US of A I have found that people take themselves very seriously, almost too much so. Its like if we could combine the south of france pleasure with the intent seriousness of the North Americans we might just fall into a state of grace and fluidity. My experience in the states is that something is always wrong, there is always something that needs to be fixed and movement sometimes is emabarressing not worth a giggle like the South of France culture. Pros and Cons to all things but I found it to be quite a distinct difference, I think its more the head space of those two that are different and now I am in India.
The Indian culture has been practiving yoga and meditation for as long as the gods have manifested themselves in human form...a long time. I have found in just my short time working with the people in this beautiful, magical land their mind space is open and unattached so much that sometimes they have forgotten they have a body they are living in. My teacher in me is still gathering data on this and as time goes by I am sure I will have more to write about later. My head is full of wonderment on how in different lands we struggle with such different things. We see things on the tube and read things on the internet so im pretty sure that last statment comes to no surprise, like duh Hannah, but when you see it up close, when you talk to someone face to face and hear their words , it makes it real. There are certain things that our upbringing /enviroment changes in our physique and evolution as the human form and the ever changing computer brains we have.
My teacher training program one of the best in world, provided me with excellant skills on observing human movement and speaking in way that provides a new way of thinking for my client, thus creating new movement patterns. What I am learning being out here in this big wide world, is that yes you can speak to the body in front of you and hope your cues get met with a shift or "ah ha" moment, but what happens when speaking to the body isnt enough. We are energy,pure and simple, how do as teachers get out of our own heads and into our hearts, so that we can really connect into the body before us? The answer is in the question.
I know so many people who would describe me as fearless and independant, and up until two minutes ago i would have agreed with them. Even now as I sit here and type these words I feel I am distracting myself from myself trying desperatly to connect with you. I was really trying to sit there on my couch and do nothing but drink my sweet rose tea and be with me, but here I am typing trying to find a friend instead on this blank screen.
I was thinking to myself how easy it is to think one is fearlessly independant when you are in comfortable surroundings, your work is steady, your friends are right there to pick you up , your family is a phone call away, you know what your doing and when your going to do it, how your going to get there and what you might expect on the journey, its so easy. What happens when you take all that security away and you are, "alone"? What is this feeling of "alone" anyway?
I am in a era of my life where I am craving connection, lets be honest aren't we all? Im craving it so bad it hurts, literally it is painful. Im craving the deepest form of love you can imagine and then go beyond that and there is still more craving, I dont even crave ice cream this much! Yet here I am fearfully independant,scared to sit for two minutes without distraction on my couch with a magical cup of sweet rose. What am i scared of? you might be asking. Have you tried to sit somewhere unknown to you, without the tv on, your computer in front of you, your phone, without a book or music...just you? If you are a disiplined medititator than you most likely have and I salute you, I am not, although I do think it is in my best interest. I have found myself crying myself to sleep every night because how "alone" i feel. I have found myself trying to force interactions so I might be seen and heard. I have found myself in India, during the the celebartion of the divine feminine on my period, feeling so much. I am not fearlessly independant. I am frightened to death of being abanded and forgotten. I so often tell people when they first meet me that they will never forget me ,thats how scared I am of vanishing. For those of you reading this that may come as a shock to you, for those of you who really know me it probably wont or it may, I dont know.
Now, the above story or situation is not to invoke some sort of poor Hannah domino effect, but merely to put into perspective the next chapter of this post. I can not have a flip side without first reckonizing the painful of experience of being "alone". If you are a detailed reader you might have noticed everytime I used the word "alone", i used quotations. Why? We are never "alone", we are somebody therefore it is impossible for one to be "alone." Being in a different place, with different people, feeling all these emotions, and the energy of connection soaring through my blood, i have realized this is why I am here. This is my challenge that i gave myself when i chose this body, my family, my loves, my career, this my purpose. If I can get over the reactionary emotion of feeling "alone" and instead settle into a sort of oneness with me, I will be capable of so much more. I will not only be able to give my love away but I will be able to accept it and see it when it comes a knocking. Fearlessly I step into the challange of learning the true meaning of independance.
To draw conclusion to what may already be confusing to my readers as a good friend told me last night...
"Slow down smile, love yourself and express it by slowing down and allowing yourself to feel yourself. Just sensation." Dawnie
"I decided to walk to commercial today. Hungry and dusty I found myself at a window seat in a restaurant called Moriz. Not sure what I was reading on the menu, I went with two words i knew mushrooms paneer with 2 roti. I am a solo diner in a place filled with only one gender type...I am the stranger. I have to pee and not sure where to do that. It's very hard to breathe here dust is flying up my nose, my eyes burn and my ears sting listening to Enrique Englasius on repeat. It seems to be a business joint, all the men are in suits and shiny shoes. I found a bathroom, but i wish i hadn't. Guess i need to get used to my underwear being wet while dining out, no TP ever but a hose to clean up with, it could be worse. At least my now wet underwear provides some cooling factor:)"
That was an excerpt from a notebook entry, Its a pretty typical scene...me dining alone, needing always to pea,with my notebook jotting down my experience, how can one be alone with a notebook and head full of thoughts!
This being my third trip to India but my first to the south, I must say the food here far surpasses the north. The spices are so delicate yet hit you in the mouth like a wave to the face. Upon one outing to a market on MG ROAD I walked down some dusty stairs to the most incredible chicken birayani I have ever had. My nose was running, my eyes were teary, and my belly felt like it had a whole burning through it, but oh my god it was so YUMMY! ( photo above)
I had the man I exchanged currency with guide me to a local thali place, he told me what to ask for and so I did. " can I have the mini south Indian Thali please?" I asked the guy behind the counter, 60 rupees was all he said and handed me a ticket. I followed the other ticket holders to a counter where I handed it off and watched as my thali plate was filled. He was sloshing different colored items out of buckets onto little dishes filling my platter with some rice and some sort of fried bread, I was scared. Side note in case your wondering what Thali is...Thali is like a variety plate of different types of gravies and curries, its usually big so glad i ordered a mini. In this particular place you stood at long tables and took your feed. I had no idea what I was eating, so I started out tenatively sticking my spoon in taking little tongue licks, letting my taste buds decide for me. I ate all but one of the dishes.
My favorite Hannah's in an emergency she needs food or else snack are called 50/50 so not nutritious at all but its a cracker thats both sweet and salty, so yummy in a pinch. My next snack is a kind of puffed rice snack that you find on the street. The stall operator takes some puffed rice, mixes it with tomatoes, chilis,onion, some spices, and then some sort of dressing wraps it up in a burger king brochure and hands it to you like an ice cream cone, oh it is so tasty.
Now, its not always easy leaving your home and sometimes you want to stay in and try to copy those great delicate spice pairings, so thats what I did, I made. My first Vegatable Birayani. I had the pleasure of going to my hosts house in the country where her cook shared some secrets with me, success was mine. Thank god because its been my dinner the last four nights:) Time, Love, and Creativity are the true ingrediants to any great meal and I love it when its yummy so i made sure I had all the ingrediants! A cha cha:)
The indian culture has this saying that I quite llike..."What am I to do?" its a retorical question of course and not meant to be answered. To me its meaning extends the offer of letting go of that which is not in your control, how beautiful. I first really paid this statement much mind this morning as my driver was taking me to the studio. I had shared with him some of my adventures from the previous days so he was now sharing with me. He shared that he was trying to sell his motorcycle and that he had some friends cheat him at which point he stated "what am i to do?". As I sat there mulling this over answering the question in my head a hundred times over with things like "umm you get it back" "you ask them why they cheated you and ask them to make it right" "you stand up for yourself" I realized he was at peace with whatever came out of that situation and therefore free from the pain of holding on to being a victim of his friends wily ways, again how beautiful.
I continued to sit there thinking of how many times I cried in the past couple of days because things weren't working out for me the way I hoped....trying to find peace in a garden only to be followed by men in return feeling scared instead of peace, being driven around in circles by a tuk-tuk so he could get paid more, not finding a ride home at dusk without being asked to pay crazy rates, and crying in the streets because of how helpless I felt. In all fairness to myself I was tired, hungry, and feeling quite alone under the circumstances it makes for a recipe of tears. I couldnt help but think in the back of the car what if I had just said to myself "what am I to do?". Something happens to your energy after you say those five words, the vibration they leave resonating your body is freeing, its not like you give up, its simply you freeing yourself, letting go, trying another way.
When i arrive in India the most important thing I like to suss out close to my accomodation is the nearest, best Chai!
The first place I found my driver took me too, and it was good but a little further than I wanted to walk first thing in the morning:) It's a commitment to leave your home and walk along the street, you must be absolutly prepared for the dust, and noise that will engulf you, so the closer the better. I did however like the size and taste of this Chai though and was hopeful I could find something like it. Now, you might be thinking to yourself arent all the chais the same ? The answer to that is , NO. Some make their chais with more water than milk, some make their chais with more added spice, some with more added sugar. I like my chai more on the milky, less sweet side of chais:)
I found a great cafe near my studio that makes a delicious Chai but charges 16 rupees i mean we are only talking about 25cents here but chais are commonly 10rupees thats what I feel good about paying like the locals. The food here is amazing , their gravies are so beautifully spiced its almost absurd, so good!! The perfect Chai hunt continues...
The other day I decided to make a left instead of taking my usual right. I walked down this unknown street making turns that interested me, nodding and smiling at the locals, the weather was perfection. The sky was bright blue, the breeze was nice and cool, with a temperature of about 77. I decided on another left. I wasnt a few steps down this road when the cutest littlest older woman called out "what country you from?" I walked over and stated I was from the The states. She then preceded to tell me about her years living in Australia, how her husband died years ago and she had no children. Her in laws lived a couple houses down so that was good to hear she wasnt all alone. She had the same spunk and mannerisms of my late Mom-Mom and I found great pleasure in the twenty minutes I spent talking with her. She stood there in her scarlet sari, hair in a messy bun, bare feet, and no teeth sharing her world with me, her name was Helen.
I continued on down the road and finally reached some hustle and bustle, "surely there is a chai stall near by", i thought to myself. "YES" I found it...You know you found it because thats where everyone has gathered. I stepped up ordered one chai, we made the exchange one small plastic cup of chai for one 10rupee note. Just the smell and I knew i found my chai, after the first sip I was certain. Standing there in front of a dusty old street, with a huge pile of garbage, and beautiful flower ladden trees I felt %100 percent happy!
I bought a bunch of bananas from a street cart and made my way home, the bananas and the chai are one street away...perfect!
"My favorite thing to do is to go where ive never been." Diane Arbus
On September 28th @ 1:30pm I boarded a plane for Bangalore, India to go live out my dream of becoming a world traveling Pilates Teacher. After 13.5 hours I landed in Hong Kong and after a quick dim-sum snack i found a quiet bench to sprawl out on. I awoke to the final boarding call for my flight to Bangalore, holy shit I almost missed my connection, good thing i wasnt listening to my books on tape! All well and good at about 1:00am on the morning of September 30th I landed in my new home. Expecting the raw bitter sweet smells I found in New Delhi, Bangalore's air had a very sweet almost plumeria smell to it, hmm how nice for my tired mind and body. The Lovely Kavita Prakesh and the driver Rekash swooped me up and carried me home to my sweet little bungaloo, in the neighborhood called Cook Town. At about 3am I put my head on a pillow and did not lift it until 6pm the next day, Yes that would be about 16 hours I slept!!! Transferring time zones coming west is pretty damn rough.
I spent my first couple of days helping at the studio un packing brand new reformers and chairs,organzing the studio, working out,and getting my nails done...tough life! Kavita and my now new friend Keela treated to me the most amazing tasting indian food ive ever had, the spices had my nose running and temperture turned up... I wanted more! We even went out dancing one night and shut the place down, India in the south knows how to throw moves to the floor, let me tell you. Of course, being out numbered ten to one male to female ratio, limits your ability to roam freely around the dance floor, unless you like being groped from all angles which is just not my thing, so tightly bound to my ladies I stayed.
For those of you who know how chaotic India is, you know how important being to able to come home to a sanctuary is, and if you've never been you now know...its important. Which is why I am thrilled on my space. I have a morning ritual where i sit out on my terrace listening to the worship from a temple in the distance, I watch the eagles fly over head and wave to my neighbor as he cares for his tomatoe plants. In the evening I go to the roof top and watch literally hundreds of dragon flys whizzing around on the flower ladden trees, its miraculous! It is a truly inspiring place this India, I feel more creative and alive here then in most places in the world...which seems odd to me because in some ways it lacks so many of the elements that I need, but maybe thats the lesson you dont need much, and there is a greater depth in challenge then in easement.