Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday 04.04.2010 10.44 am
These last few hours are finally the first ones in days without any depressive symptoms (so far). I went to bed happy and got up happy. Yay! I decided to buy a flight for Wednesday to Germany though I already know that I will miss the sun and the beautiful countryside and last but not least the sea, of course. But I feel like this is what I need now!
Hari Om

10.04.2010 Saturday 9.12pm
Why am I writing this? Originally I started this whole blog thing to share my experiences with friends and whomever else wants to read about it. But lately I'm having a really tough time and it's really hard for me to stay positive. So why continuing with this?

I want to be inspiring for anybody who is reading this right now and maybe having a hard time with whatever. Whatever it is, it will pass and if one keeps the heart open life will not leave you alone, but take care of you, also in these times. Currently I don't have any money! Not even to take the bus into town. I'm staying at my old appartment in my grandma's house where I fortunately get some food, too:) I don't know how to move on from here. I don't really see a concrete goal that I want to reach. I feel a little bit like a sailing boat with a broken rudder. The sails are working, but I can't really do anything about the destination...I'm having some ideas, but nothing sure, yet. Tomorrow I'm going to Bad Meinberg into the Yoga Vidya Ashram where I'm gonna do some sort of trial week in their online marketing section. On the one hand I'm quite curious and looking forward to it as it's a spiritual community and in a beautiful countryside, too. On the other hand the job doesn't really sound too great and I would only get money after 2 months work, which really stinks most! I guess I'll find out...
Hari Om

Friday 16.04.2010 12.36pm
Well, it's funny how time passes and then to really experience what I just wrote down on the 10th, that it's really happening: Everything passes!
I feel much much better. I'm at a point where I can just admit to myself without feeling guilty (so much;) anymore that I'm not sure, which direction to go and that's OK. I also realized that the pressure that was put on me lately by my environment is not helping me at all. And so I managed to get some distance to all those statements that I have to hurry up and that my youth is passing faster than I realize and that there's no time to play etc.
I'm giving myself time to figure out what makes most sense and what to do first and second and so forth. I might even stay here for while to get a job, save some money and maybe do take classes to become a holistic health practioner, which is not that expensive here. Meanwhile I would teach Yoga as often as possible. I already have another job interview on Monday for an outdoor/adventure travel agent. Doesn't sound too bad. The job in Bad Meinberg at the Yoga Vidya Ashram turned out to be as thought: Not for me! Everybody was absolutely lovely and the Ashram itself is amazing, as there are so many interesting courses going on. And I'm really glad that I went there. Because now I know for sure that I can't do that anymore ever (at least for now). I can't work in an office and I can't work in these mircrofields where you have small responsibility, but you never really see the result of your work. In terms of that I must say that I do miss the work at the valley shepherd! My work there was so independent and free and I had such a variety of different responsibilities that it never got boring. Ideally I'll find a similiar job somewhere here in Europe as it's easier with Visa etc. and I'm trying to get into it, but I guess that needs some time, too.
For now I apllied for a job at the Cirque du soleil in Cologne, which would be absolutely awesome. Eventually it feels right to be here now and it seems like things are starting to slowly fall into their place. Also the fact of being able to help my grandmother a bit is making me feel very happy. She's been feeling very weak these days and keeps falling, so that being here with her now is very important.
It's very cold outside and besides yesterday it still doesn't feel like spring at all. But it's fun to ride my bike anyways. Time to cook some veggies for lunch:)
Hari Om

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

me and my 1st business card!

Wednesday, 24.03.2010 9.40pm
Our world is so full of millions and millions of little realities, some more little than others. I'm slipping like a freshly caught fish from hand to hand, from one environment into the other until I finally fall back into the sea again. Am I currently in water? Or am I hastily trying to breath in an environment in which there will never be air for me for it's simply not my element, water? Am trying to survive in a way that is not possible or am I aready back in the water and just dreaming of being caught? The world of maya sometimes plays games with us, but as long as we know that we are more than who we think we are as a person with all those social roles and our personality/characteristics, we are safe.
What scares me a bit at the moment is that I'm getting more and more used to this lifestyle here including all those amenities. I like it to have this lady at my aunt's place who daily cooks these delicious feasts for us, I like laughing about the goofy Tunisian "humour", I like the unresistable cakes and ice-creams from Salem (that's where as a kid already ate my cakes), I like strawling around in La Marsa and Sidi Bou Said and looking at those gorgeous white and blue houses in andalous style, I like my hair getting styled by a hairdresser (yesterday I went to a hairdresser for the first time in many years!) and I like sitting in the sun with a fresh mint tea with almonds. Is that a bad thing? Am I induldging? Is it bad to enjoy these things? But besides that it's just very interesting to see how relatively easily we are able to switch from one living situation or environment to another, which can't be more different than these two (Inida/Tunisia). Frankly, I think I'm just about to get a slight idea of what has been happening to me the last months including this one. The shift from being in India, in an Ashram environment where I hardly spent any money, where clothing, looks, possesions, prestige and social status were secondary! .. to Tunisia a society, which lives on show off, prestige, looks and where things that could be considered as superficial play the dominant role, is enormous! Not only the difference on the makro sociological level, but also on the mikro level are huge. I was living a life of an eagle, independent and free to fly with the wind whenever I want without the responsibility or bonds to anyone. Here I'm suddenly imbedded in a more or less traditional arabic family structure, where everybody sticks together, helps each other, but also with certain expectations to the personal behaviour. Besides our house in Nabeul, which is unfortunately about 1,5 hours away from the "main" area here, I don't have my own room either. I'm staying mostly at my aunt's, which is OK so far, but the energy here is very very different to what you would call a Yogic environment. Now, for example, I'm writing this while I'm lying on my aunt's bed next to my dad who is watching a soccer match. Before that I was meditating next door in another room while randomly people came in, looked at me totally irrittated and left again. It's a funny life situation I am in right now. It's almost too absurd to believe it sometimes. I'm learning loads and loads though, especially about staying connected with the Divine in yourself even in environments that are rather tough for that.

Friday 26.03.2010 1.30pm
I think I found one of the main problems in this society: Boredom! People don't know what to do with themselves. It seems to me that many are trying to "kill time" as they say themselves. "On channel x they're showing a match. Let's watch it and kill some time." Or "It doesn't make a difference if we stay at home or go out. Look, it's just boring like everything else." Then there's this general negativity that's in the air, which is kind of draining and annoying me. People are constantly! complaining about others and this in a very harsh tone. Especially in traffic you hear constant swearing.
Yesterday, I was in the car with my dad in La Marsa, and we passed an old man whom I'd seen before and already had thought that I would love to talk to him. He looks different, has a long white beard and wears different clothes. I'd say anywhereelse than here he'd probably wouldn't even be noticed, but here he's something special. Anyways, we passed him and both looked at him. The moment I wanted to ask my dad if he knew him he started already gossiping about that "clochard" as he called him. I said that he probably was an artist and that I want to meet him, but my dad was just shocked and looked at me full of dislike. He said that that would exactly be the man's problem and now his whole life would be over and a catastrophe, without house, car and money. Well, what can I say? I currently feel a bit lost in this mainstream of accumulationism. This whole "me in Tunisia teaching Yoga thing" turns out to be a lot more challenging than I initially hoped it would be. At the moment I don't feel like in my element at all, but much more very close to running out of breath in someones hand (if we stick to Wednesday's metaphore of a fish in the water). All these "friendly" little smalltalks without any content, and the smiling faces that are not really smiling go not only on my nerves, they totally irritate me. This way of competetive thinking especially among women makes me nuts! Hello? Somebody at home up there (brain) or in there (heart)?! Gosh, I'd like to meet some "normal" people and I really try not to be judgemental about all this, but I know I am with saying/thinking "normal". I'm just meaning some people who are just natural and a bit more open, loving, divers!
Yesterday I got my first business cards! That was nice. They have a pink lotus flower on them and my name in violet, as violet stands for spirituality and pink just looks nice;) I'm running a bit out of patience, but I hope that it'll get better. I think the living situation that I'm currently in doesn't necessarily help me to feel very much at peace either. We're mostly staying at my aunt's where it's constantly loud, especially in the nights as the boys usually stay up until about 4am and so it's not easy to keep any peace or spiritual routine. Then I'm never alone. There's hardly any possibility oh having some privacy as most of the time people hang out together either watching TV or chatting, which is fine, but not always and only, pleez! I don't want to sound to negative either. I just read the last sentences and thought, wow that sounds like hell. No, no it's not hell at all, but as I said before it's maybe not exactly my cup of tea for now.
Today we're spending our day in Nabeul and we're having a cleaning lady and some workers over who do some little things in the house that need to be done after the winter. I think we're staying over night and I'm really looking forward to sleeping a night in my bed in a peaceful, calm and beautiful environment.
Hari Om

Sunday 2.03.2010 10am
Want to leave leave leave!!! This just not where I belong and it'll never be! I feel totally isolated from everything that means something to me and instead surrounded with unimportant stuff. What the heck can I do?! I have no money, not even to leave this country, no income, nothing. I'm learning a very very good lesson right now: Never spend all your money to the last penny if you don't have a clue where and when to get more! This whole idea was not good at all. I hate it here.
Hari Om

Tuesday 30.03.2010 9pm
Got a massage today, which was awesome and very necessary as my shoulder were hard like rocks. Then I told her abbout my lower backpain, which I have since about 1-2 months (it started in Neyyar Dham). And she showed me that I'm starting to develop a curve in my spinal column, which pushes the lower vertebreas inside. I'm almost sure that this micro-inflammation comes from the backbending during Surya Namaskar, because I developed the pain as soon as I started doing it that way. And stubborn as I am, instead of stopping it, I pushed myself even more! Gosh, when will I learn my lesson finally? But it's so hard to slow down when you already have injuries somewhere else that stop you from going to the limits(my hips/knees).
My mental state is so so. I'm losing more and more motivation with each day that passes. I'm trying to keep myself busy by getting things done (like ID, flyers etc.) and family stuff, but the fact that I'm not teaching, yet, stinks! And I think my attitute of not being totally convinced/motivated/enthusistic doesn't make it better, as I believe in the law of attraction. But what can I do? It is what it is. I probably had way to high expectations of what would happen here. I thought I'd come and start teaching right away and that I would find tons of interested people waiting to get some Yoga from me. Hm, obviously it's not like that at all!
The weather is quickly getting warmer and warmer and it feels so nice to sit in the sun and to watch the Meditarrenean. God help me to stay open and courageous.
Hari Om
P.S.: The show-off-culture here is still irritating me. Practice still going well every morning, though I wish I had a teacher myself to work on some things.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The last days in a nutshell

I just came back from a meeting with a man who offered me too teach in his fitness center. Eventhough it's kinda faresh and small I think it's good to start with. Besides that my uncle organized me two open spaces in his center in La Marsa. I also met some lovely lovely people on Friday at that beautiful "espace Zmorda". They told me about another center where apparently a guy from Rishikesh is giving workshops this months. That's really unbelievable! Then I met a lovely Yoga teacher from Morocco who also just settled here. It seems like things are starting to get moving, which gives me some motivation to move on and signs that I'm on the right way. Especially meeting other Yoga people who share the same interests and have a great energy feels awesome. Other than that I just got my dad from the airport. He's gonna stay 2 weeks with me. I have to be careful with all the delicious little cakes they sell here. It's so tempting...
I'm so thankful for all this, which surrounds me and gives me feeling of beeing secure. Especially my family here is just being so sweet, loving and helpful with so many things. Thanks to them I feel better and more like home.
Hari Om
P.S. On the pic you see my sweet little Babyfriend, who is also my cousin's daughter.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesday 17.02.2010 8pm
Today was a very nice, but also sad day. Nice, because I felt very balanced and joyfull. Sad, because Aki left today:( Actually we became very very close the last days here. I love her so much! She gave me some her clothes and I gave her some of mine, so that we can think of each other when we are apart. She even left me a little toe ring with a cute little message on my bed and she has the other one. We just immediately clicked and had so much fun together. After my encounter with Aki I'm sure now: I was Asian in my former life! So sure! And I know that I really really wanna go to Japan for a while. Ideally I want to work there a bit and see Aki again. She said she wants to come to Germany and Tunisia on her next travel. Oh, that would be so nice! When I brought her to the bus today she had to cry and hugged me with all her heart and I hugged her back. She's just so real, so natural, so balanced. I learned so much from her. I wish more people were like her, then our world would be much better. The vibe here is constantly changing as so many people are always coming and going. Much more coming than going actually. I think we're at least 400 people now. I'm here now for 8 days and my practise is getting better and better from day to day. Today in my afternoon class I did the best Dhanurasana ever. It's really amazing to see how quickly one can actually improve with a good and regular practise. Also, I must say compared to the first days I feel so much healthier. Just being here makes me feel very good. The getting up early, all the chanting in the morning and in the evening I love so much, then the sattvic food and the Asanas are just so beneficial for body and mind. Our lectures are pretty cool, too. We got a new lecturer, who is a young Canadian woman who lives in the Sivananda Ashram in Toronto. She is so awesome! First of all she knows a lot is great at explaining it and she has an amazing energy. This stay here is showing me one more time where I'm heading or better to say it's pointing out my way: There's no other way for me (now) than to seek a serious spiritual way. I want to find "my" Ashram where I can seriously study more Yoga. Somewhere where they have similar schedule like here, with a good balance between Bhakti, Raja and Karma Yoga. Maybe with a little more Jnana. But I'm so gratefull already for the chance to be here. I was thinking that today during the lecture, which was on a thatched roof with a view over the Keralan mountains and then around all these great people from all over the world. My energy level here is sometimes as high as during my Vipassana. For example the day before yesterday night I felt so much Prana flowing though my body that I just couldn't sleep until about 1 am. I still got up at 5.30 for Stsang and participated in all the activities with full power. I still get so impressed by the power of Yoga. God I can't say how thankful I am for having the chance to experience Yoga. From the first time I've done Asanas it totally changed my life. I remember when I was first practising and I just totally overwhelmed and thought "oh gosh, this feels like sex, is it supposed to be like that? is anybody else feeling like that? this is AMAZING!" And it's getting deeper and better and more intense and more amazing and has an impact on every sngle part of my life. Nothing stays untouched, nothing is the same anymore. One interesting development happened on the level of desires or sexual energy. When I compare it to the last years I can see a huge shift: There's no more craving for sexual adventures, no more uncontrolable energy. Now my sexual energy feels much more under my control, much more like a potential energy that I can use and not the other way around. At least for the moment I don't have any any interest. And there are various opportunities here. I was just thinking the other day a Spanish fellow arrived here who usually couls have totally been my type and we immediately got along well. But, no. No interest. I don't know if it is because I'm still connected to Marty or if it's something different. Fact is though that I could not imagine to have any physical contact with somebody right now. My intuition tells me that the next man I sleep with will be the father of my children. I don't know if that'll be true or not, but that is what a very strong voice is telling me now. And there's another thing I know: The next man I'll be with will be my Guru, too. And I don't mean this literally. But it's gonna be somebody that I can learn from spiritually from. I think that's why I loved Marty so much and still do. Because our energies were just vibrating on very similar, very high level and that was what always inspired me so much.
I'm looking forward to see my family, Sonja, maybe Ada and Charly. I'm looking forward to Tunisia, to teaching Yoga, to having my own space, to staying at a place for a while. I'm looking forward to taking a big risk, to having faith, to creating my own world, to give something back to the wonderful world out there, to give the people in Tunisia the chance to learn more about Yoga! I hope that I'll find a way to keep my energy there on a similar high level as here. Everybody went on the silent walk tonight (besides the new lady here and her little cute daughter), which means that I finally have some time for myself and for my book. So, I'm gonna read for little while.
Hari Om
P.S.: I also met a very interesting German man from Berlin who's also into Tantra. It was just extremely interesting to talk to him, because we immediately were able to switch from small talk level to much deeper levels. I hope we stay in touch, too.

Friday 19.02.2010 5.25pm
Ouch, my poor legs. We, Shannon (she sleeps right next to me in the dorm) and Thomas (a German fellow I met here), went for a nice little hike up on one of the mountains around the Ashram. It was real fun walk actually and unexpectedly leading though very different countrysides. We even had to climb a bit and then cross a river in the middle of a gorgeous jungle area. The place was so secluded and so wild that we were seriously concerned about crocodiles whenever we saw something dark in the water. It's a crocodile area here and also famous for some yellow water-snakes. Anyways we survived and after a rough hike up we finally reached the top totally soaked. I think I've never sweated as much as here. It's just so hot and humid, you make a step and you sweat. Average showers per day are 3-4. There were no apparent paths that led up but we were very very lucky or blessed as we met two men in the middle of nowhere exactly when we needed them and they guided us until we could continue by ourselves. Today is our day off, which means that there's no lecture and Satsang and Asana classes are optional. Most of us went with the Ashram to Kanyakumari, which is the southmost point of India. The trip sounded absolutely amazing and I'd already signed up for it when I had to find out that when you're menstruating you're not allowed to enter any temples. And that's what the entire trip is mainly about. So, I unfortunately had to cancel. but nevermind, it's just not meant to be and as I know now it was much better to stay. Otherwise I would have missed this beautiful hike. Besides that it feels very nice to just have some time to read, write the blog, talk to people or just to relax on my bed. Time, which usually don't have the time for. I still haven't booked my train ticket to Mumbai-somehow I'm very hesitant to buy the ticket. I don't know why though. Maybe it is because I've already bought the flight ticket and cancelled it already once. Sometimes it's really not easy to plan here, as everyday something might happen that totally changes your plans. I wish I had normal legs! My hips and knees are being kind of really bad these days. This Ashram really becomes more and more comfi; the longer I stay, the more I appreciate it. I was even thinking about taking the TTC and ATTC with Sivananda. I mean that doesn't mean that this is my next goal, but I would definitevely take it into considaration. Well, one thing I know is: I totally want to take another teacher training as soon as possible. This can be in India, but could also be somewhere else. i want to get more information about the 3 months course at the Yoga school of Bihar. I want to go more into depths and do some serious studies. I wonder if they have some sort of daily schedule that they could show me to get a better idea. Then there's that Yogoda Satsanga Society that was founded by Yogananda Pramahansa, which sounds quite interesting, too. They have their headquaters in California. That would be a wonderful chance to finally check the west coast out, too. The other idea that always keeps coming up is to get in contact with that Yoga center at the Canadian westcoast in B.C. But that's all for later. Now I have to concentrate on Tunisia. Everyday I'm meeting more inspiring people who are just beautiful living examples of what is possible to realise in life if you really want it. There's this very young Canadian girl who already runs her own Yoga studio since 1 year and she's very happy with it. I know I can do it and I will if it's meant to be! Full POWER!
Hari Om

Monday 22.02.2010 11.10am
Time passes fast. More and more people are leaving the Ashram for different destinations and also my departure date is coming closer. I finally booked a train ticket. I'm leaving this Sunday in the morning at 8 am and will only arrive in Mumbai the day after at 5pm! Then I have to wait until 2am when my flight will leave for Frankfurt. From Frankfurt I gotta take another train to Essen. I wish I had enough money to buy at least a domestic flight from here to Mumbai, but that's unfortunately not possible. Time here at the Ashram is still as beautiful as ever. Yesterday mroning we got a nice surprise: We walked up the temple hill again and watched the sunrise all together. It was breathtaking! In the evening we had our talent show and I must say we have some absolutely amazing talents here. Some people sang and had just gorgeous voices and two Indian guys did some dancing, which was incredible. The funny thing was that during the dance the whole atmosphere in the room became totally sexual. It was almost like if all the supressed sexual desire once had a chance to come out. I also got very excited and found myself smiling from one ear to the other and giggling and shouting, clapping etc. Oh, boy I would have loved to dance, too. So, that was a fun day. My practice is getting a little bit better from day to day. Yesterday I could manage to get into the scorpion and stay for a while. then I could even come from the headstand into the scorpion, which is an amazing progress actually.On the other hand I have to admit also that my body is really sore. All the Asana practice and the hiking is quite a lot for this body. Yesterday I had the chance to talk a little bit more to the other Akiko in my room and it was quite interesting as she is a Macrobiotic teacher and so two food nerds finally found each other and could exchange thoughts and infos for a while. But that made me want to go to Japan even more. Today I was wondering about how it'll be for me in Tunisia from the perspective of being a single woman there. And then I had to remember a couple of horror stories that I was told, where some single women got killed and robbed in their own houses. Of course, that won't stop me from doing my thing, but frankly it leaves some worries back in my belly. Though I try to have faith in life and just to trust. I guess these doubts are just part of my way, which I chose. Then I thought for a moment "wow, I'm gonna be the Vivekananda (he was the first one who brought the science of Yoga to America) of Tunisa";) Yeah, the ego always finds a way to get fed...I spoke with Joanna, the lady who has her studio in Canada and it is very impressive what she's doing. Her studio is very very successfull and she has a Karma Yoga system and does a lot of charity, too. I'm absolutely convinced that this is the only way. Only if you give and share your success you will always get even more back than would have ever thought you could get. Actually yesterday I was so full of joy, energy and love that it at times really was like feeling the Divine right in me. When I'm doing my Asanas these days I can feel each Chakra strongly vibrating and the energy powerfully extending throughout my entire body. Yesterday when I released the Jalandhar Bandha it almost was like having rays of light coming out of my throat. Thank you for letting me be here, for giving me these incredible insights into life into my real self!
Hari Om

Saturday, 27.02.2010 3.35pm
What a day already! Today was supposed to be my last day here at the Ashram as my train to Mumbai leaves tomorrow at 8am from Trivandrum. But as we all know by now: Nothing, but really NOTHING is set in stone in Inida. So, when I went to confrim my Taxi for tomorrow morning I had to find out that there's thas huge huge festival going on tomorrow and that no vehicles will be able to enter the city. My first thught was, of course, to leave today then instead of tomorrow and to stay overnight in Trivandrum...but EVERYTHING is booked out as there will be 10 thousands of people! What to do? The only possibility I saw was to get a flight on Monday, but how with an empty card? I started sweating, panicking, running around, calling hotels, checking the internet for a miraculous cheap flight. Then I finally decided to ask for help from two sides: First from my parents and from Ganesha. To make it short, after some phonecalls and more sweating and praying I was able to book a flight with my parents' card. Thank you so much for this my dears, you saved me here and thank you Ganesha for helping me again. The other day you helped me also when I needed you so much. Besides this whole little drama I'm very good and I also had an absolutely awesome day yesterday. We went on an excursion to Kanyakumari, where we visited many temples, swam in the see and (my favourite) went to Vivekanda's meditating cave on a rock at the southmost point of India, where the 3 Oceans meet. The energy was very strong there. Oh gosh I just feel so relieved from that pressure today and I think also that was meant to fly to Mumbai and not to take the train. Why? Because my very strong aversion about taking the train, which normally don't have that much and also because I've already booked a flight to Mumbai and cancelled it. So, I should've just gone with my initial feeling! Another opportunity to learn:) I'm so thankful for this experience and so thankful that it all worked out so well in the end. Thank you!
Hari Om

Sunday 28.02.2010 3.30pm
Well, this is the day before I'll leave this wonderful and in the same time terrible country that taught me so much about myself and others. And I'm not sad at all, because I know now. I know what I found here I can have everywhere and if I want this here again I can always come back, whenever I want. Because life loves me and takes care of me. Always. I'm safe. Right now I'm considering an Ashram life as a real alternative to whatever else we want to call the outside world. Because this life makes me feel so good! So, I'll see what Tunisia will bring, but in case that it will not carry the fruits that I'm hoping for, I think I might I will commit for at least for one year at an Ashram, maybe even a Sivananda Ashram. I've spent here three weeks now and I really love it in all its aspects. The reason why I can appreciate it so much is probably especially because of its openness for so many different kinds of people and backgrounds. Yesterday we had our talentshow again and even those people who got up on stage without a particular talent and who in a another environment would have gotten booed at, got a beautiful feedback from a very loving audience. It was again an awesome evening with a lot of energy, astonishment, emotions and a lot of laughter. I'm so so happy that I came here for my last 3 weeks, that was the best decision that I possibly could've made. I met so many beautiful people here, too. Today Akiko and me had a very interesting conversation with a lady from Thailand who is a Nature Cure practitioner. She knows a lot about health and nutrition and has herself a very interesting biography. It's funny how often I got in contact with this Nature Cure Therapy since I'm in India. This is now the 3rd concrete time that I met people from that field who had themselves amazing results. Next time I defenitevely want to stay at a Nature Cure hospital for a while. Until then I'll try to stick to their nutritional approach, which recommends only 1 cooked meal per day between 10am and 2pm, because it's the time of the day when our digestive system works best. Then one has two fruit meals, one in the morning and one in the evening. This system is supposed to keep your system pure and apparently protects it from any kind of disease. Important is that the food that one takes in is alive! So, any cooked item, like rice, should be accompanied by some raw veggies. Also they advise to stay away from any dairy, so pretty much like in a traditional Yogic diet. Actually Naturepathy claims to be the way of life that the old Yogis used to live. I'm very much looking forward to my journey tomorrow, eventhough it's gonna be a long one, I don't mind. I quite enjoy being at airports, they give me the feeling to be outside of the reality bubble. No duties, no time, nobody you know. You are just there. Today I'm skipping the afternoon Asana class after I learned my lesson this morning. I participated eventhough I felt very weak and sore and so the whole class was like torture. Now I'm having the whole dorm to myself, which is the first time in ages that I'm actually alone. So nice. Listening to Regina Spektor...
Hari Om

Wednesday 03.03.2010 16.15
After a beautiful morning Asana class I packed my stuff and headed off to the airport. To my surprise Janike, our lecturer, gave the class this morning and I loved her class so much! She's got such a strong and positive energy - I immediately felt that when I met her for the first time and I knew that I can learn a lot from her. After the class I went to her to say goodby and to thank her and I almost cried. It's funny how sometimes your emotions just come out without any announcement. Anyways, my journey went on quite smooth and nice. In Mumbai I had about 8 hours to kill before my flight to Frankfurth would leave and so I hung out in the waiting room, where I met Dinesh. He's an Indian fellow who leaves in Austin since 25 years now and who's a Sannyasin. It was quite interesting to talk to him and then to my surprise I met him again in Frankfurt, which was really nice, too. The other interesting sychronicity that day happened when I was on my way to check in. I walked, looked up and looked directly into these beautiful innocent familiar eyes that belonged to my friend Prashant. Prashant is one of my Yoga teacher from my TTC at Yogapoint. The poor guy was so excited and anxios as he was on his way to Bejing to his new job and he never left India before. It was even his first time at an airport I think. He was so happy to see me and me, too actually. So, that was nice.
Arriving in Germany was quite unspectacular as I had already prepared myself mentally the days before. So, the shock was not really bad, though the weather here was much colder than expected. It was just 2 degrees minus and I was wearing Birkenstocks and a T-shirt. Then when I got on the train from Frankfurt to Essen I immediately met another man, who funnily also is a Sannyasin. He's a Dutch guy who is into spirituality and travelling and it was quite fun to talk with him also. When I arrived in Essen my dad awaited me there with brightest smile and a very nice long hug. That was a good start. And to my surprise he didn't even say anything about my nosering, which pretty unusual for my dad. So, that was double-cool. From there went to my gramma who was already waiting with a homemade cake and some awesome lunch. I spend most of the day talking to her and then later to my mum and little brother, before I fell into my bed at around 10pm, which was already 2am Indian time.
According to what dad told me about the situation in Tunisia, Yoga is exploding at the moment. And apparently there are only a handful teachers yet. He even organised some contacts of fancy health clubs where I can start teaching immediately after I arrive. Everything sounds perfect and still I'm doubting. My inner voice is not sure about this step, there are still some imbalances about the whole project. But what can I do? I again will have to go and find out myself what's it gonna be and how it's gonna feel. Apparently there's another Yoga teacher from France who's already been teaching in NY and who spent some time in India as well. Is that threatening or more a chnace of making a new friend? I'd like to see it as a chnace to make a new friend, though first I heard it was a bit intimmidating. I'm just afraid of people's expactations and that I won't be able to meet them! Gosh. OK, think positive, because that's the only way.
If I had some money or some sort of income or so I would immediately go back to Ashram life and continue where I stopped. I was even thinking about renunciation lately more and more. Why? Because more and more sign keep coming up that kind of direct me that way and I'm wondering if that is maybe where I'm supposed to go eventually. Just as one example, but if I look at the fact of lust, for instant, I can frankly say that there's just none. Nothing at all, no interest in men at all! And this is a very new phenomena in my life. To abstinent without any effort? I never experienced such a thing before. So, this a very interesting new experience, which makes me think about many things like Sannyasin, for example. But I'm sure life will show me eventually where I'm supposed to be. Other than that I'm just very happy to be here, at my Gramma's, right now. I had to remember again how quiet and gorgeous it is here and how much peace there is. I'm gonna meet Sonja, Ada and Charlie later. they're coming here for a little visit and I'm really looking forward to seeing them after 6 months. I'm reading about "Integral Healing" by Aurobindo right now. It's quite interesting, so I'm gonna go back to it...
Hari Om

Friday 05.03.2010 2.50pm
Govinda Gopala Narajana....
On the road again or still? Or better to say in the air again! I'm sitting on our flight from Duesseldorf to Tunis and my dear mum is sitting right next to me. I.m listening to spiritual chants and am reading about different Yoga styles in the German Yoga Journal, while I'm dreaming about my Yogic destiny in Tunisia. I'm feeling a bit nervous, but after all there's also a very good feeling of connectedness deep underneath any kind of momentary excitement, which is great. When I look at all those Tunisians around me it's kind of hard to imagine that anybody would sincerely be interested in Yoga. But I should not even start to speculate or to allow my mind to be prejudgemental or judgemental at all. I wonder when I will finally learn my lesson that it is absolutely senseless to build an opinion aboout people without knowing them. Well, I hope I'm slowly getting there.
Life is so funny and so incredibly unpredictable! Four months ago I was picturing myself in NY at this point oof time and now I'm in a plane to Tunisia to teach Yoga and maybe start my own business. Dear gods, please give me the courage to always act from my heart and the courage to stay open. Please let me stay faithful even in difficult situations and please help me to make some money to support myself. Omnamashivaya.
Hari Om
P.S.: Something really important became clearer these last days: I'm spending to much energy on too many ideas instead of concentrating on merely one thing. Being creative and getting inspired is great, but I should try not get distracted and lose the focus.

Sunday 7.03.2010 8.44pm
It's pouring outside and it's a bit cloudy inside, too. After we arrived on Friday we went to my aunt's place and hung out for a while and then to my other aunt's place. Yesterday we took it easy and went to the local food market, cooked and walked along the beach, which was really nice. Today we were invited again for a family lunch and we were 14 people all together. It's kinda nice to see them again, especially my cousins who are a little bit like sibblings to me as I know them since they were born and they know me. But it's also strange as one of them has a little daughter already and one is pregnant now and many are either married or about to get married. When we were talking about my uncle who is the only one who is not married yet at an age of 48 I compared myself with him and said that I'm his female version. But nobody really found it funny and my aunt looked at me quite shocked and said that I was a woman and he a man and that I shouldn't talk like that. That I shouldn't be silly and that "they" will find a man for me. Holy cow! I feel like a superweirdo! I'm sitting in a country where many people don't even know what Yoga is. Of course, I'm trying to stay positive and cheerful, but frankly it's not easy. Especially, because there's no one supportive from a spiritual perspective. What a shift from India where I was surrounded by hundreds of more or less like-minded people to here, where I feel like trapped in a little bubble of matterialistic stuff. I don't know if I can handle this, if I'm strong enogh to start this Yoga all by myself. I think it is doable, but I don't know if this is the thing that I am supposed to do right now. Being here shows me also how indifferent I feel about any of this "stuff". I have this house that I can use, I have this brandnew car that I can use and have my well-off family here, too. But I don't care at all! I prefer my old bed in a dorm with the same simple food every day and the same schedule, but with a beautiful spiritual atmosphere and regular spiritual practice. Here though I get up early and do my Pranayama, short meditation and Asanas I have to push myself hard to do it. I feel like in a golden cage! I want to flee, but where? I can't see a way back into the regular working economy. But without a little amount of money not even a spiritual life in an Ashram seem to work. I'm really wondering about what the Divine wants me to do and where to go. Should I stay or should I go? I need spiritual company, I need Satsang! Jaya Ganesha Pahimam, Jaya Ganesha Rakshamam.
Hari Om

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, January 30th 2010 5.50pm
So, we're at Karuna in the green lush mountain jungle. We're staying in cute little huts with attached kitchen outside. Electricity comes from a solarpanel and water from the river nearby. When you sit on the little porch you have an amazing view facing a huge cliff and beautiful birds and monkeys passing by. That's where I had two of my Yogasana practices, which were both pretty nice as the energy is very strong here. The other two times I practised together with the girls on the kitchen porch next to a gorgeous waterfall. It was nice, especially because once it was Alicia who taught a Sivananda class and then Annemiek who gave a Kundalini class. Both were very different and actually pretty tough, I found. Yesterday, we went into town and did some shopping, coffee drinking, chocolate eating and internet. Yeah, we're in a coffee and choocolate area here and they make all the chocolate locally. They even had a sort of chocolate fountain at one place, where they serve you a cup of melted extraterrestrial yummy chocolate! Oh gosh, it tasted like heaven! The days before we hiked around in the area and today we decided to just stay here nad hang out and relax, read, sunbath and enjoy the nature. Oh, Shuli and yahan are here, too, so we happened to spend some time with them, also. One of the greatest things for me here is definitively having a kitchen. We already had some delicious meals here, like beetroot-carrot salat, mungdaal with chickpeas, aloo gobi, green beans, vegetable kitchery, coconut curry and much more. It's so nice to be able to cook whatever you want and whenever you want. I forgot how much I love cooking:) Altogether this trip, meaning Kodaikanal, is really awesome so far. I really like this area a lot. It's so quiet and peaceful, then the climate is also very agradable and especially now that we learned how to make a perfect fire in our little oven for the night it's so cozy. Also being together here with Alicia, Nalini and Shuli and Yahan is a lot of fun. Everybody gets along very well and it's very harmonious. Somehow it's a shame that we're leaving tomorrow, but I'm also looking forward to our next destinations, which are: First Madurai, where we'll stay just for half a day to see the big temple, before we take the overnight train to Kollam to go to Amma's Ashram. Wow, I just realised that I have only one more month here in India. It's a strange thought, as I'm here since quite a long time now and it's starting to feel homey here. On the other hand I can also feel a slight feeling of happiness when I think of what is waiting. It's a funny mix of excitement and a bit of fear, of course. Sometimes I think of me being in Tunisia without really having a "real" job, or security or so and then I get scared and worried. But I want to take that risk. I feel like it's time for me to try if my ideas of working independently is gonna be fruitful or not. But that's in a month, now I'm still here, so I shouldn't worry about things that are still far away. Actually Alicia is thinking of joining me as a business partner there. I kind of like the idea, as I was looking for a second person anyways.
Hari Om

Sunday 31st January 2010 4pmesh
We just arrived at Amritapuri (Amma's Ashram) about 3 hours ago. After a stop in Madurai we took the overnight train from there to Kollam. Madurai is totally awesome by the way. Unfortunately the temples were all closed, becuase of a Shiva festival, but we went to that festival, which took place at the tank. There was another temple in the middle of the temple on an island and on the water another temple, which was boat actually and going in circles. It was totally crowded and everybody would try to run in the same direction the temple-boat would go. As it was dark all the colorful lights would shine even more and the firework made it even more crazy. In the middle of the people there were varios elephants, food stalls and small ferris wheels, which were run manually, but very fast. It was funny, because I thought in Germany these things would never even be allowed. We took a bike-rikshaw and our driver came with us and showed us around, which was nice and a bit strange, too, as he took as by the hand and we felt a little like his children. Then he taught us not to talk to anybody, as it's bad. Well, that didn't help me to avoid to get grabbed at my boobes once again, but ths time I saw who it was and I could react on it. So, I automatically turned around and slamed my fist on the man's back. I immediately felt very irritated by my action and he also looked kinda surprised, but there was no more time to think about it as we immediately continued running through or with the crowd. Then we met Alicia at the train station just in time to get on the right coach, get our berths and sleep. It was a very pleasant train ride; actually the best one I've had since I'm here, I think. Not too many people, no noise and a nice temperature. Though I caught a little cold from the fan. then after a local breakfast - we had "appam", which is something like riceflour-pancakes - we took two buses to the Ashram. Wow, the Ashram is quite the thing! First of all it's in the middle of the Keralan backwaters, located in the midst of a lush jungle area, surounded by loads and loads of water. Behind us we have the sweet water canals and in front of us we see the Arabian sea. The Ashram buildings are very different to anything I've seen so far: They're all pink! And most of them pretty high, almost like little skyscrapers; maybe comparable to the old "Plattenbauten" in east Berlin. It has a slight ghetto-vibe, but not too much to feel uncomfortable. No, on the contrary. I actually felt very welcomed by all the devotees who work here. Everybody is very friendly and eventhough everything is very well organised there's some chilled flexible atmosphere around. Then there are so many interesting activities that you can take part in: From Yoga, over Ayurvedic cooking, meditation, healing, panchakarma etc. They also make their own ecological toiletries here including organic washing powder and so on. Besides that it's very affordable, as you pay 150 rupees per day, which includes 3 Indian style meals and you accomodation. There's also a western cantine, where you can get anything from soy-capuccino to vegan chocolate cake for little money. They even have a pool here. At five we'll have an Ashram tour, where they'll show us around a bit. After that we'll have our first Darshan, which means our first hug by Amma. Yay! I've already seen her after lunch, as she's giving Darshan through the whole day next to the dining area. There are people continously waiting to get the famous hug and Amma doesn't get tired of hugging hugging hugging. Her schedule is toatally crazy. When she's not her, she's touring the world. I'm so excited how it'll be to get her Darshan...
Hari Om

Thurday 04.01.2010 12.30pm
So, now after being here for some days I got a quite different view about this place here; actually all of us (us means here all those people I've met here and who I'm spending my time with here at the Ashram). Well, it's still kinda nice and interesting, no question, but I also had to find out that I'm definitively no Bhakti Yogi! All this partly blind devotion towards Amma here is just too much for me. Yesterday, I went to get another Darshan and this time I saw so much greed in people's faces, so much ego. Everybody kept pushing and pulling on others just to have a better view on Amma. Then her closest devotees who work with her on stage and who are there to push you in her arms and out of her arms are so not compassionate at all. And whatever conversation you randomly catch on your way it's always about what Amma said or did etc. It goes too far. People here - and with people I mean all those ones who are her devotees - totally lost themselves and their lives. And the other thing that I find even more annoying is that behind all this devotion there's no action! How can you devote yourself to somebody like Amma who stands for pure love and compassion if you yourself don't live it at all. Because during our Sevas, where we have to work with the devotees we all had some bad experiences, where people where either very bossy, moody, arrogant or so. I really like Amma and I think she's indeed enlightened, otherwise all these things she;s done so far would never've been possible. But I don;t like the people around her - it's become dogmatic, judgmental and fanatic. Nalini and me are taking the "Integrated Amrita Medtitation" course, which is supposed to be designed by Amma herself. Eventhough I knew that I would stick to my Vipassana-practice I was curious, so I signed up. Yesterday we studied the technique the whole day and today we continued. It's mainly what I expected it to be actually: A wild mix of some ancient Yogic techniques compressed in a 25 minutes session. It includes everything from some sort of Asanas, Pranayam, Trataka and Visualisation. Well, due to the fact that I don't feel very well today, I decided to go back to the room and rather rest, as I fell into sleep in the mroning anyways. Plus, I really don't want to practise the technique, either. I think it might be interesting for some people, especially, because there are so many different things going on during this meditation. So , it's ideal for the restless western mind. But it's not for me. Especially the visualizations I don't like at all. Nalini and me are most likely leaving by tomorrow. It just feels like enough for now. I'm geting some sort of Urinal Tract Infection and something else weired is going on in my body. It's hard to describe, but I got some light fever, feel very very tired and some parts feel slightly inflamed or so. I spoke to Zoe yesterday - she did the Vipassana course with me and I met her here, where we talked for the first time - and she once had the same problem like me. She lived here in Inida for one year and the longer she stayed the more ill she got. That's exactly how I would describe it, too. I'm normally almost always in an excellent health condition, but the longer I'm here, the more frequent I get sick. It's almost like my immune system is shutting down. Another girl here, also a Yoga teacher in a good health, felt similarly: Tired, strange random symptoms of stuff and she got a consultation in the Ayurvedic clinic here. They found out that she has Candida and a parasite in her system. I would totally be not surprised if I had something like that. It would explain a lot. If I had more time and more money I would go for a month long Panchakarma retreat to detox my system; it needs it badly! But speaking of money: Ha, I thought that I learned from my mistake in Guatemala last year, where I suddenly ran out of that "green stuff". But, well what can I say...nope. I really hope I'm gonna be fine till the end here and then find a way to really superquickly make some money once I'm on the other side again.
Hari Om

Sunday 07.01.2010 10.30pm
So, Nalini and me left Amma on Friday to go to Varkala for a while to relax on the beach, where we actually are right now. The journey here was pretty chilled and after some painful room searching we finally found some nice accomodation in the calmer area of Varkala. The whole guesthouse seems to be occupied by Germans, which first irritated me a bit, but our neighbours appeared to be pretty friendly dudes. Very helpful and nice so far. The good thing is also that they're here since 5 weeks and it's their 5th time here, so they know about almost everything around here. Yesterday was our first full day here and we mainly used the day to check out the area a bit and of course the beach. Unfortunately I still haven't learned my lesson that having a Tunisan father doesn't make me immune to sunburn during the hottest time of the day without any sunscreen. So, I got pretty burned the very first day at the beach. Good lesson I guess. Today we mainly walked and walked and walked. We tried to find the so-called "swimming pool", which is supposed to be a good ayurvedic clinic here. Herbie, my German neighbour recommended it to me. Unfortunately we had to find out that this place doesn't really exist anymore. The only thing that was still there was a very sad looking sort of swimming pool with brownesh water in it. Nevermind, eventhough it was a long walk in the middle of the heat it was also kinda good to move a little bit. And besides that we accidentially got into a little untouched Keralan village, which was awesome. Everybody was greeting us superfriendly and trying to speak to us. Tomorrow is our last day here, before we head off on Tuesday. Nalini is heading back to Pondy and I'm still indecicive. Well, originally I wanted to go to Sivananda, but my health is being so bad lately that I really don't think I can do any Asanans at the moment. I'm feeling extremely weak, but really extremely, then mucus in my sinusses and stomach ache after very meal I take in. I"m debating to go to a Naturopathic hospital in Hyderabad that was recommended to me by somebody who had really good experiences there. It sounds like the right place to be for me right now as I additionally feel very toxic in terms of blood sugar etc. and there I would be in a total sugar free diet. The only "but" is that Hyderabad is 30 (!) hours train ride away from here...I'll make the right decision I'm sure, until then I'm gonna enjoy my time here as much as possible.
Hari Om
P.S. We went to a Kathakali performance tonight. Quite impressive.

Wednesday 10.02.2010 1.40pm
We left Varkala yesterday and now finally our ways split again. Nalini went on her train to Pondy and I went on my bus to Neyyar Dam to go to the Sivananda Yoga-Ashram, where I am right now. The Ashram is set in a beautiful area surounded by lush jungle vegetation and close to a clean lake. I arrived yesterday afternoon and had a nice smooth start with a sattvic dinner and a nice Satsang in the evening, where we watched a short doc about water by that Japanese researcher who found out that water is sensitive to any kind of energy. Very interesting! After that we chanted various Bhajans, same this morning. It was quite nice. As my health is getting worse every day - I got a herpes blister from the fever - I decided to start gently with the Asana classes and went to the beginners instead of intermediate, which was not too bad, besides that horrible correcting by that assistant teacher. A pretty obese women in her 40s or 50s? came to me from behind during the sun salutations when I was in Cobra (we tuck the toes in they don't do it here) and just pulled me feet back without any warning. I was totally shocked. Then later when we were lying down in Makrasana she again came and tried to put my toes in without articulating anything in advance. This time I told her to leave me alone and she left me irritated. Gosh, I mean it's not that I don't want to adjust to their style here or so. No, on the contrary I am here to learn new things and to do it their way. But how can you "correct' people that way? I mean like that one must always be alert and can never really be in the posture without being scared to get pushed physically in random directions. I don't know why but she really made me mad! Other than that I'm OK. I'm planning on going to Hyderabad if I don't find another ayurvedic clinic in this area, where I can do some serious healing. I'm thinking of leaving around the 14th so that I can spend some 10 days in the clinic there. Today I went to the ayurvedic doctor here, who is a joke by the way. But at least I could get some medicine, which is supposed to keep the fever down and strenghthen my immune system. OK, bell is ringing. I gotta go to the lecture.
Hari Om

Friday 12.02.2010 3.50pm
I'm still here at the Sivananda Ashram and quite enjoying myself. It's just so good to have a regulated schedule with some healthy food and some exercise. And with exercise I'm talking about the Yoga that they teach here. Man, it's so athletic and so not spiritual at all. I mean it's a really good way to get fit and stuff, but to me it's not Yoga. Anyways, I'm still here and it''s hard to leave, too, cause I'm sick of travelling. But I'm alsi still sick meaning being ill. So, I'd better go to Hyderabad to that clinic. Don't know when and how though. We'll see...
Hari Om

Saturday 13.02.2010 09.35pm
So, after a very intense evening due to that Shiva festival I slept very long today - until 7.45am. The festival at the temple was really touristy and posh, but still fun though. Today I went to Trivandrum to see the Ayurvedic doctor and to check out the hospital. OK, I'm having a really hard time focussing right now as everybody is talking around me. So, the doctor was quite good actually and he told me that I shouldn't worry. He gave me some medication and apparently my digestive system is out of balance and that's why I'm so short tempered. He said that my bad health would impact my mind and that's why I feel so tense. I was recommended to stay there for 14 days, but I didn't like the clinic too much. I'm here for now, so let's see.
Hari Om

Monday 15.02.2010 11am
The longer I'm here the more I like it actually. I guess it always takes some time to adjust, especially when you go to Ashrams. Anyways, it's starting to get really awesome and I'm meeting really nice people, too. There's this wonderful girl from Japan, called Aki, who I really get along with very well. And then Christina, a young American mother who lives in south England now and runs two Yoga studios. Aki has her own vegan cafe near Osaka. Many of the women here run their own business and it's so good to talk to them to get some inspiration. Even the Germans that I've met so far were alomst all very nice and relaxed. One of them, Ralph from Duesseldorf, gave me a great tip actually. There's apparently a similar Naturecure clinic like Hyderabad in Cochin, which is just 3,5 hours from here. they offer accomodation, Yoga, massage, full board, mediatation etc. for 400Rupees, which is an amazing deal actually! So, I'm thinking about going there maybe Tuesday, but I'm not 100% sure, yet. I might also just stay longer, depends on how I feel then. Yesterday we went swimming in that beautiful lake across the little road here. There are supposed to be crocodiles and watersnakes in there, but we swam to the other side and back. I'm quite proud of myself. I started to go to the so-called gentle Yoga in the afternoon, which is a mix of Sivananda Yoga and Kundalini Yoga taught by a German woman who lives in Canada.
Hari Om

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuesday 12.01.2010 7.15pm
So, after a very lively night of a lot of toilet-time I decided to finally go to se a real doctor, which meant going all the way to Hospet. Luckily I ended up the Ayurvedic doctor's place right across my guesthouse. Isn't it funny how we sometimes don't see the things that are really right in front of us and instead try to reach for the far?
This doctor asked me many things about my physical state and about the last few days and so on, and after he checked my abdomen and I told him about the very funny and loud noises in my belly he diagnosed that i got "Amoebia". Apparently it's a sort of parasite that you can get either from food or water, which was infected. After that he went off to his clinic in another town, where he got us (for me and for Cyriac, too) some Ayurvedic medicine against it. Now I have a whole cocktail of different things that I have to take,but according to what he's said the medicine should make me feel better within the next two days. I really hope he's right. Though I must say that I already feel more energetic than this morning. This morning I was so so weak and exhausted, it was too much. He reckons that I can start teaching the day after tomorrow again. let's see how it goes. At the moment I still have diarrhea, but that hopefully is gonna stop very soon. I met Julien and Erika next door today. That was a nice surprise to see some familiar faces, and especially some who are not drunk or stoned all the time. Hampi, Hampi...keeps me sitting on the fence, between staying here and moving on. I guess this on-off-feeling will keep propping up as long as I'm here. Sometimes I just get an overload of all the ganja-atmosphere everywhere, where like a normal conversation is at times really not easy to find. But nevermind, this is not my business, so why bother, right? It's so nice to feel some traces of energy coming back to my body-it feels like too long ago that I've felt that before. I hope it stays like that!
Hari Om

Friday 15.01.2010 7.40pm
I'm feeling much much better, though I threw up my lunch from today. But altogether I think I'm getting healthy again, at least that's how it feels right now. I got back to teaching yesterday, too and it's going OK. Yesterday morning I was having my breakfast when suddenly Annie showed up, who's a friend of mine i met last year in Mexico. The world is really getting smaller and smaller. It's so good to see her again.
Concerning my travels I'm getting mad. I feel unable to make decision here. It feels ike this place is sucking my energy and in the same time kind of doesn't let me go. It's weired! But I want to leave. I'm being in contact with Alicia and we might meet up somewhere and move on together. That would be sweet actually. Otherwise I just move on south by myself, that's OK, too. I just feel like getting out of here! Even the Yoga teaching became kinda bad. I don't know what's going on, but my mind is not being very balanced the last days. I need some change of environment. This one is not being very good on me. And I'm not doing the massage course, either. I decided that it's too much money for me now and that it's just not the right time for it. Today I went with Shulamid, Jan, Anita and Marco (some friends from my guesthouse) to the other side to see the Vittala temple. It was a vert strange energy though throughout the day - it was sun eclipse, maybe it had to do with that. In the end we didn't enter, cause it was too expensive. But the I'm happy that I went anyways as the way to the temple is just absolutely gorgeous passing through some special rockformations and little caves and temples next to the river, which I all haven't seen before. So, that was nice. I'm gonna check out tomorrow! There must be a way to leave Hampi, no?!
Hari Om

Sunday 17.01.2010 10pm
Yay! I made it - I left Hampi;)
Yesterday morning I gave my last Yoga class at Shanti, which was really beautiful actually as the energy of my students was very nice. Then I had nice relaxed breakfast with them, packed my stuff, checked out and went with Anita and Marco on the side to meet up with Annie. After we all had lunch together I went with Annie and nother girl to finally visit Vittala and some other temples. It was a very relaxed and awesome day, especially talking to Annie was so much fun. I like her a lot, she's so full of positive energy and very inspiring to me. I hope to visit her this summer in Croatia. In the evening we ate dinner together in the Mango tree, which was a nice way to say goodbye to Hampi and then I went off to Hospet to take the overnight bus to Bangalore. Everything worked out very smoothly and without any complications. In Bangalore I caught the local bus to Pondicherry and got here by 3pm. What I didn't know though was that there's some local holiday here, which is the reason why all the guesthouses are fully booked out until February! But, of course, there's always a solution as long as you just trust. So, I met a nice young man on the street whom I had lunch with (and a REAL! croissant and Cappuccino!:) and there I met that girl who's staying in one of the many Ashram guesthouses. Though I didn't get a room in her one, after some more asking, talking and more "coincedences" I got a great room in another Ashram Guesthouse with private bathroom for 70 Rupees and I can eat at the Ashram for 20 Rupees per day! This is defenitevely the cheapest place I've stayed so far. Then it turned that I'm doubly lucky as they normally don't accept foreign guests and now I'm only here because the night guard is new and didn't know about that rule. Pondicherry I really like so far. It's very very different to all the other Indian cities I've seen. Especially the variety of restaurants is amazing. Hey, you get real french pastries here! hOW WILL i EVER BE ABLE TO LEAVE THIS PLACE AGAIN?! I was walking around with that German woman for a short while and that was enough to get reminded why I decided to leave that country. Thanks for reminding me universe, I almost forgot! It's hard to explain what it is, but I can only say that the whole time I felt very unnatural with her. She made me feel "different", but not in a good way...OK, I'll finally recharge my battery a bit and get some sleep after that long journey.
Hari Om
P.S.: Got a horrible diarrhea again yesterday. I wonder how long it's gonna take to be fine again. My cough is getting very bad, too. My whole chest hurts and is full of mucus.

Wednesday 20.01.2010 10.15pm
Yay yay. life liife I love youhouuuuuuuu!
I just came back from a Indian dance performance, which was just amazing! There's a festival going on here at the moment, which is called "Bonjour India" and organised by the French cultural Ministry or so. Anyways, it's free, awesome and goes on for 8 days. So, where can I start? Yesterday I met Alicia and Annemiek at Aurobeach and we spent the day in Auroville together. Walking around, visiting the Matrimandir (which is that famous big round golfball-esh object) eating delicious food and talking to nice people. Auroville actually impressed me a lot I must say. It's such a huge project, such a big vision and so much wonderful work has already been done and so many beautiful things are still in progress. I wish I had more time to get more into it. But I know, I really know that I will come back here. It's just too fascinating! And also I wanna see and seriously check if this might be my place...yeah, Auroville definitevely is on my list of those places that I consider as interesting for longer living. OK, that was yesterday. Then Alicia and Annemiek went off to some place not too far to visit some famous temple town. I wasn't in the mood and decided to stay here. We'll meet up later. So, I got up meditated, did my Yoga practise and had a nice breakfast at "your daily bread" with good coffee and croissant. Then I took it easy and used the internet (booked my flight to Germany for March 2nd) and cycled around Pondicherry eating this and that, sat on the beach and read my book. Then when I was looking for another festival performance I bumbed into Nalini, a girl from Brazil, who's here to visit her mum, who lives in an Ashram nearby. Actually from what I've heard so far that Ashram sounds veryvery interesting. It's still hard to put my finger on it, but altogether it sounds like a smaller version of Osho's. Well, I'm going to visit the Ananda Ashram (it's a Yogaashram that offers excellent TTCs) tomorrow anyways and as the Srivast-Ashram is closeby I'm gonna visit it, too. Nalini is looking for some company for her travels and as she's interested in going roughly into the same direction I offered her to come with us. For now we exchanged numbers and then we'll see. She's a very sweet girl, I think it would be nice to travel with her. What a nice day again. I love Pondicherry so much. It offers so many things that you just don't get in the rest of India. Though I feel like it's also so easy to gain weight here. I'm eating something all day long. And though I'm having the eating coupons for the dining hall I mostly eat other things. The food is just too good to resist and so cheap, too. I mean I can get 3 superdelicious Samosas for 10 Rupees, which is 7-10 Eurocents? Fresh watermelon juice for 15 Rupees, pommegranate juice for 30Rupees, real Capuccino with a real Croissant for 39 Rupees...etc. the list goes on and on and on. Whatever you want to eat, name it and you'll get it! I love yummytown!
Hari Om

Friday 22.01.2010 9pm
Still in Yummytown and still yummy. So, I managed to visit both Ashrams yesterday, which was very interesting, because every single Ashram I've visited so far in India is completely different from the other, and so are Ananda and Srivast. First I went to the Ananda Ashram, which was fortunately in walking distance from the bus stand near Aurobeach. As I found it, I immediately got a very good impression, especially because I liked what it said a t the entrance: "Please enter only if you're happy". I found that very cute and welcoming. Inside I got the chance to meet Shaleela, who is a Check girl currently living at the Ashram. She'd taken the course already and was very knowledgable and friendly. She showed me the whole complex and explained to me where they have which class and with which teacher etc. Actually the Ashram is very beautiful. It has a good size and appears very welcoming. The course sounds extremely interesting as it goes very deep into each subject. Also the group is very small, as there are always only between 8 and 15 participants per course. OK, now to the "buts". It is relatively expensive. First one has to do a sort of preparatory course, where you buy a book and answer questions. The answers are send via email to Ammaji and get discussed. This takes about 3 to 4 months and costs already 600 euros! Then you can start the actual course, which is another 4000 euros. So, it comes down to about 1000 dollars for each month, which I find quite a lot. Or maybe it's actually not too much? I mean my course was 750 and we were 45 people in our batch and there we're about 10 and have a single room each. Well, I don't know, what I know is that it's a lot of money for me at the moment. It was good that I went though, as it gave me a good idea about the course. So, after that I took a rikshaw to the Srivast Ashram, which turned out to be so different. Man, that Ashram is so fancy! It's more like a resort or spa. The buildings are big and very beautiful and everything is arranged in a very nice way. But: It's so expensive! they charge you 1200 Rupees per day if you stay in a dorm. I can't afford that now, so I didn't stay. After that I went back to Pondy and did some shopping, got some shirts and books. Yesterday was Thursday, which means that the group meditation took place in the Playground instead of the Samadhi and I was really looking forward to it. But when I wanted to enter it turned out that my Lodging Pass was expired (the hotel guy forgot to extend it) and the man at the entrance refused to let me in. He was actually very rude, too and it totally ruined my evening. That situation was very crucial for me, as I had to realize how much it happened to affect me. I was angry and also surprised that it this could make so angry and that made me more angry. And eventhough I was aware of myself being so reactive I couldn't help it. It took me about an hour or two to get down again. Wow, that didn't happen to me in a very long time, that something had such a strong impact on my feelings. But today I thought about it again and then I wondered: Who did I think I am? I shouldn't have taken myself so seriously or better to say: I shouldn't have tried to react with such an aversion against my angry feelings. Because instead of judging myself and not accepting what is I didn't allow the moment to unfold naturally and so I missed the chance of simply observing the situation. I think I might have also been a little blinded by the beautiful time I've spent before, which led me to a sort of craving for more. I probably needed this little thing to happen, as it was a very helpful little reminder of anicca, the law of nature, which is change! A good lesson:) So far for yesterday.
Today I got up a little earlier than the days before, which was really nice. I've been kind of sleepy the last mornings and couldn't really tell why. Anyways, so I managed to get up at 6, meditated half an hour, did a short Yoga practice and went off for breakfast. I really love to take my meals at the dining hall. Though the food is very very simple it has a fantastic energy and the hall itself, which is an old colonial building, is just so beautiful. After that I quickly packed my stuff and moved to this other guesthouse. Here I decided to spend my last day at the beach and so I spontaneously packed my bikini and left for the bus. The journey in the bus was again very, let's say, intense. It's just so crowded that breathing becomes a challenge, but however I reached my destination, which was Aurobeach. There I hung out for a while and then I had an awesome lunch at Repos (that's the beach restaurant, which is part of Auroville). At Repos I met Masha, who is a lovely Russian woman. She also is into Vipassana and just spent 1 month in Pondy to study Aurobindo's Integral Yoga. We spent the rest of the day together at the beach, enjoying the sun and the ocean and talking about meditation, Yoga and why nobody likes Russians and Germans. I'm being really blessed that I'm lately meeting so many wonderful people here. This place, and here I'm meaning the whole area of Pondy/Auroville, is one of my favourites if not my favourite in Inida. It's so full of potential, opportunities, so full of life! I gotta come back. Soon!
Hari Om
P.S. Nalini decided to join us and so I'm going to Trichy tomorrow where I meet the girls and Nalini. From there we're going to Kodai.

Sunday 24.01.2010 9.30pm
Yes, on the road again. I left Pondicherry yesterday and went staright to Trichy, where I met Alicia and Annemiek in the late afternoon. Today in the morning we went to visit some temples around Trichy and then I met up with Nalini at the hotel. From there we took the bus to Tajune (or something like that?). Alicia suggested to go there to check out some more temples and so I said OK why not. In fact the temple is really nice from what I've seen so far. Tomorrow we have a long day: First we gonna visit the palace and then we'll go to Kodaikanal over Trichy, which means at least 8 hours bus ride plus waiting time at the different stations. It's interesting to see how different it is to travel in a group again. When you're alone or max with one other person everything happens much quicker and smoother. Now you gotta check if really everybody is coming and happy with the restaurant, the room, the timing etc.
I think it's time for me to do some vaman or some other technique to reduce my pitta a bit, as it's getting a little to strong. My patience is getting less and my anger stronger; I can especially feel that when I'm waiting for somebody. It makes me crazy and I know it shoulnd't, because it's nobody's fault. Anyways, now I'm sharing with Nalini a room and it's OK. I'm realising how much I like to do things my way and how much I'm used to it. But adjustement and change are good not to get stuck and to stay open and flexible, so I'm trying my best. I just had a late dinner and it feels aweful in my belly-so filthy and full. Actually I'm looking forward to have some healthy food again at Karuna farms. There everything is organic and veg. The last days I was eating a lot of not really yogic stuff and I feel how it's effecting me.
Hari Om

Monday, January 11, 2010

9pm Sunday 3rd January 2010
Here we go again: Again I'm having a cold and again I'm in Hampi and also gain I don't like it here. The place itsself is absolutely gorgeous, but I can't go with the people here. First of all the number of people is just too much and secondly the type of people, which is mainly some sort of pseudo/fashion hippie. And then there's a lot of drinking and smoking involved here, which is just very overwhelming for me at the moment, too, coming directly from the Vipassana environment. There's just no spirituality at all here and for me it just feels like sin city at the moment. Maybe it's not that bad and I'm just having a cultur-shock after all the Ashram life experiences, but right now I feel like leaving again. Though I found a dirt cheap room, which I can have from tomorrow on in a beautiful hotel, where I can teach also, I don't feel like staying. And I don't feel like teaching here either. I have the impression everything here is just so fake and I don't want to teach Yoga to fake people. Oh gosh I'm so prejudgemental and I'm so sorry about it, but that's just how I feel now. The other thing is that there are already 3 Yoga teachers here, which weren't there last time and that creates competition, greed, pressure etc...I don't want to be part of that and also I don't want to invest so much (money and energy) in advertising myself. Cyriac (the massage teacher who I'm gonna share the space with) said that it's absolutely necessary to print flyers and make a big banner. I don't know about that. I don't want to waste my time, but I don't want to give up on this challenging situation too fast. It's very hard for me to tell what would be the best way to go now. I mean, for sure it would be great to get some teaching experience here and to earn a couple of bugs wouldn't hurt me either. On the other hand I don't have much time left in India and there are countless of exciting and inspiring places that I still want to see. I probably will let the fate decide for me again. So far that was always the right way for me and a wonderful guidance. So, I might stay for a few days and see if I get some students just through word to mouth. If yes I might stay, if not I'd better move on. The other thing is that it's extra hard for me to keep on my meditation and Yoga practice here as the whole environment is so discouraging. Gosh, I really feel like going to the Vipassana centre. I almost stayed actually as I wanted to serve the next course, but then I decided to give it a try and come. I hope that decision was not stupid. The Vipassana course had a very profound impact on me. It started something very very important and I need to keep working. I feel how striking this is for me! Also the people I met there were all so inspiring and it just felt so natural to talk with them about my deepest spiritual thoughts and feelings. I already know that Vipassana is gonna play a very important role in my life.
Hari Om

9pm Wednesday January 6th 2010
Well, I'm still in Hampi, he? Yep! Interesting development. The day before yesterday night I thought that I definitively decided to leave. I slept in that cheap room, which turned out to be aweful, because mouldy, no mosquito-net and no fan and was looking forward to the next day, to book a train and leave. So, I got up in the morning went over to the guesthouse next door, where Aloka and Russel (two awesome dudes I met on the train ride from Pune to Hubli) stayed to have breakfast with them and to book the train together as they're supposed to return to Pune. I went, but they were not there. I had my breakfast and just on my way out I hear somebody calling me from the side:"Excuse me! Sorry, but I was wondering if you know if there are any Yoga classes around here." (I was carrying my mat;) I sat down with that guy, we started chatting and having another chai and it really felt like a sign to me. He was so happy that I'm a Yoga teacher and so looking forward to come to my class. Well, what can I say? After this I decided to give the whole thing another try. First of all I wanted to move again. I really didn't like the vibe at the hotel I was staying and so asked here at the Shanti guesthouse, which is the most beautiful place in Hampi. The view is just breathtaking. You look over the ricepaddies directly on the river and the huge boulders and the sunsets just leave you speechless. So, I asked for a room, chatted with the owner and he offered me that I can teach and therefore stay for free. Alright, I won't say no to that! I stayed and now I'm here in my modest little room, but with fan and mosquitonet and without mold.
Then printed flyers and put them up in the Hema guesthouse where Cyriacs gazebo is and here offering morning and afternoon classes. And yes, it worked:) Today I gave my first official Yogaclass in the mroning! I had two students, both bloody beginners. We practiced on the lawn, which pretty nice, besides the mosquito attack during sunrise. And then I decided to teach on a donation base, so that everybody can giive what he or she can give and feels like. I recommended 150-200 Rupees, cause that's what all the others here charge also. I got a total of 250 Rupees, which was enough for today's food!:) So nice. In the afternoon nobody showed up though, which surprised me a little bit I must say. But I was told that this is normal, as people prefer the mornings, cause in the afternoons they're either busy sightseeing or too lazy. Anyways, I will not complain. Tomorrow there are a few other people who showed interest in joining the class and I'm looking forward to it on the one hand being sceptical (and a bit nervous) about it on the other hand. I mean somehow I hopefully gonna handle it, but it's also more pressure, no? I'll try to take it easy. I mean I'm not really charging anybody and if I don't do a perfect job then it doesn't really matter. Of course, it's not nice and people will say not very nice things, but let's hope for the best and just see what happens. The two students I had this morning were very very inflexible and it was kind of challenging to shift mentally to that level. But that's exactly what I was hoping to get here: Experience! To really get to know how it is to teach people who are new to Yoga, which can be very difficult at times. That I can tell already. And I can also already see other little challenges, like: Keeping the classes interesting enough without making it too scattered and without overwhelming the people. Trying not to get bored of always saying the same things. Staying confident even if the students ask questions that you can't really answer...etc.
So, my "plan" now is that I don't really have one to be honest, which feels OK for the moment. I was and I'm still thinking of taking the Thai Yoga massage course with Cyriac, but I don't really have the money for it right now. Though I'm sure it's a wonderful thing to offer in Tunisia, especially in combination with the Yoga. I could imagine that many people would be interested in it, especially well off ladies. And the other good thing is that again it's something that you can offer anywhere without the need of any equipment. He offered me to work for him and practise here, but I'm not sure if I really want to stay in Hamppi for that much longer actually. Well, I will again just keep trusting in Dhamma and hoping that it'll take care of me in some way or the other. I'm so looking forward to Tunisia and I'm just so excited about how and if it's gonna work out there. I mean that's gonna be my first real attempt to an independent life-making without any boss, any superior person who's gonna tell me what to and how to do it. Finally! Of course, I'm also a bit nervous about it and my mind keeps annoying me with those typical doubts and anxiety thoughts. But I guess that's the mind's job, he? I have to accept that with the knowledge that these are just thoughts that are being offered, but that I don't have to buy them, right? So, I keep going and exploring and risking always with a deep faith in life, in the rule of nature, in Dhamma.
Hari Om

9.25pm, Friday January 8th
Very nice, very nice;)
This was a very pleasant day today, thanks for that! I had a lovely company of Manuel and Lettika, two people I've met here and we went together to see some really special rockformations on the other side of the river. Everything was shaped in a round way and washed out by the masses of water that were flowing over them. This time a year mostly underneath and during the monsoon even over the rocks. We even had a nice dip in one of the natural pools there. So, refreshing! Oh, on our little hike there, which took us through banana plantations and some beautiful fields with little ponds we've seen some small crocodiles. We were told they're living around the river area. It's really amazing how much wildlife they have around Hampi. There are supposed to be even bears in this area and I mean snakes, of course, I don't even have to mention.
From the rocks we found a local who took us back in his boat, which was a selfmade little round something that looked more like a nutshell and was leaking terribly. But it was so much fun to ride in it. Wow, my cold is not really getting better and now my throat is being sore and my ears start aching. Yoga class went very well today. I had two new students in the morning: One who never did any Yoga before and then another one who's been practising Bikram Yoga for a while. Both from London. And it was quite nice actually, eventhough it's really challeging to teach somebody who's really doing it for the very first time. Challenging in a very good way though, as it keeps you alert and aware of your teaching. Then after our excursion I gave a class to Lettika and that was absolutely nice, because we have a very nice energy between us already and that's always being enhanced when you practice together. So the exchange was very good. I'm wondering about tomorrow morning...about how many people are coming and about who is coming. And I really hope that my throat is gonna be better, as I can hardly do the Omkars like that. We'll hope for the best. Actually, it's funny the fact that I'm offering the classes twice a day now and some people are showing up gives me almost the feeling of being at work. I mean somehow I am working and it's fun, too, cause I'm doing what I love and I'm already getting paid for it. But it's also a little committment and have to be there, no matter how tired I am at 7am in the morning and no matter where I am at 4pm. It's a good thing - I like it:-)
Hari Om
P.S. I'm being meditating in the mronings from 5-6am since I'm here which is great, but can't find the time/discipline for the evening sittings so far.

sunday 4.20pm 10.01.2010
I feel so bad! I got sicck in the night from yesterday to today, but really really badly. I spent most of the night on the toilet with diarrhea and vomiting and then I even started bleeding, eventhough I finnished my period 2 days ago. I also got high fever, at least 39 or more and my whole chest is full with mucus. I have no idea what this is and where I have it from and what to do. The fever went down and now up again and my entire body is hurting. I just ate some plain porridge and took some Paracetamol against the fever. The German saying is so true:"A sick person has only one wish. To get better again!" Last night I was so weak that I fainted in the bathroom. So I was laying there for a while before I could get back to my room. That's the other thing. I don't have an attached bathroom here, which doesn't really help. I just hope that it will disappear as mysteriosly and as quickly as it came up. Then of course I couldn't teach my class and I feel a little bad about it as I couln't tell my students in advance that I won't be there. But what can I do. Yesterday morning I had about 8 or 10 students in my class. Wow, that was different. But I managed them OK I think. Nobody complained and everybody donated something. One person even gave me a banana...what ever that means?
Right now I kind of feel like leaving home and just being with my mum;) But I guess that's gonna change as soon as I'm cured again. I also have the desire to leave hampi, but I suppose that this also has to do with my current physical health state and a maybe subconscious aversioon against the location I got it from. At leat there are some people who take care of me. My neighbours here I know from Omkareshwa and they are very sweet. And then Cyriac came here and brought me some Paracetamol and was just there. So that's nice after all. Also Manuel offered to get me a doctor. I guess if I don't feel better by tomorrow I'm gonna see one, just to make sure it's not Malaria or anything dangerous. I hope that they're able to make a blood test here. Alright, back to sleep.
Hari Om

11.01.2010 Monday 5.50pm
I went to the doctor today with Cyriac, who also got sick. But we weren't really lucky as the doctor was not there and so we just talked to the nurse who gave us some medicine against our sypmtoms. The thing is now that I'm taking the Paracetamol, but I'm still having fever, which is strange. I mean according to what I've heard so far, I don't think that I have Malaria, but I kind of suspect that there's something wrong going on in me, because I just had too many times fever the last weeks. And also now it's very suspicios that it's hard to control. I might wanna go to Hospet tomorrow to get a blood test - here there's nothing around where I could get it tested. It's very rural. Also I'm getting a sort of bad conscious, because I'm not really able to teach and the people still keep showing up in the mornings. Then I'm staying here for free and I'm not able to teach right now, which leaves me feeling a bit guilty, too. The energy here in Hampi is really strong and keeps me very alert about being here. On the one hand I'm comfy and it's nice and so on, but on the other hand I have a strong urge to leave as soon as possible. I was talking to Shuli today about it and she has the same feeling about this place. Wow, I'm sweating so much! So, I'm not sure what to do about the teaching. I feel pretty much under pressure to do it, but I don't feel healthy enough to go for it. I think I won't. Health is much more important in the end.
Hari Om

12.01.2010 Tuesday 9am
Had the worst diarrhea in the night. Just water coming out of me, though I'm taking the medication. Feel so weak. I'm trying to see a real doctor in Hospet now. I hope he can help. I feel like leaving this place so much!