House of Love

Vinyasa Krama-rama-rama

Settledown in your conscious sequence

Years go by, step by step, breath after breath… You once stepped from one train into another. From childhood into youth. From youth into adolescence and right hop, hop… into maturity. From high school into university into your job into another job and hop on another train. The Vinyasa is the element that sews together the various moments in a sequence of (life) changes. It is like the string on which beads are strung for a Mala. The linking may be of two types: the conscious one or the unconscious. Do you ever stop yourself? Change is always occurring – even when you’re not running. Usually a sequence of changes is linked by unconsciousness; or in other words, the conscious mind doesn’t seem to perceive this. The yogi is able to perceive the moment-to-moment sequence of changes past, present, and future. When one perceives clearly both the instigation and the outcome of moment-to-moment changes, one can choose to undertake a sequence of actions that has a conscious end point and will have a particular effect.

This will be the first post in 2012. The first one in a series of monthly focus. In this first post. Tale a minute to stand still.

Listen: Click to Listen

Are you a reflective person? Did you think of what you did last year? Are you satisfied? What could you have done different? Did you help others ? Did you do the good things for the good reasons? Do you have regrets? Do you like the train you’re in? Enjoying the ride? Is your sequence of changes conscious? It’s time to still the mind to reflect and change. What are your new year resolutions? Did you really be honest thinking of those? Are these really changes you want to make? ‘You are the change that you like to see in this world!’

Happy New You! Anneke twitter: @Yoga_Amsterdam


Sunday’s Thoughts

Soon the driver will be here, to pick us up to teach yoga. Yes, we. I am not alone anymore another volunteer arrived. She will assist me in classes, which is nice. She arrived 5 days ago and her name is Erin. Then Jean (one of the three drivers from We-ActX that also drive us from and to classes) picked us up. This picture is Jean and his pregnant and pretty girl. She will give birth in a week and a half! one of the 3 drivers

Inhale – receive and accept, exhale – release and let go….

Today it was Sunday and taught the teens at the Mosque again. What changes from The House of Allah into The House of Love. It was very nice, as usual. The kids were much more calm than last week. One girl, a sweet one, she was so tired she fell asleep during class. I left her asleep. She probably needed it badly. I learned today that they are not all orphans. Some have a far away family member who is raising them or just lost one parent. Still they call them orphans then. The all are HIV+. All the children that gather around the mosque for activity on Sunday are HIV+. A few hundred. There might be a few exceptions, these are children who are living in a HIV+ system and undergo he same kind of stress and mental pain, since the close peer group is infected.

It’s sweet. Typical teenage behavior they show, also here i Rwanda. I lined up 4 mats in a row at the back of the classroom, and yes, 5 girls sat on it. They are best friends forever, sit together, don’t want to separate… I told them one should sit away from their little ‘group’, like, still very very close, but we cannot practice with 5 girls on 4 mats! But no, that was a too hard decision to make.. Who was going? Just when i was going to pick one, the girl that seemed to have a more ‘leading function’ in the group decided another one had to go. It seemed fine.
In class they were concentrated and tried to do their best. They count the breaths with me, it’s so sweet!

Also they help each other when needed. I really like that. What i also see, is that are really copying. Actually also the adults do that here. I guess people do copy the teacher in general, but here in Rwanda it happens i think even more. If we put our hands up for example and i point out a body part i want say something about, they all point out that body part instead of keeping their hands up… Funny. Then we did some teamwork postures. They loved it! Like Navasana (Boat Pose) with touching each-others feet, and holding hands. It was a playful and sweet class. Also concentration came back all the time. Then after class… The want to play with the iPhone. Play music, make pictures and look at those pictures and giggle!
After class we stopped at a store in the neighborhood there, the Muslim area, and it’s Sunday and still the stores were open.. many of them. Small stores, to buy little convenient things i guess.

Damescene, our ‘i-do-it-all guard’ made many pictures today and yesterday. He’s pretty addicted of making photo’s now he knows how the camera works i gave him for the ‘True Eyes’ project.

I didn’t write a few days. Let me see, what happened this week i want to share? Well, of course i could tell something about the Holland – Brasil game! Everybody knows what happened. We were the winners! I watched the game at the Mille Collines hotel. That’s Hotel Rwanda. It’s not the same one as i the film, i heard it was filmed outside of Rwanda! It was big fun! It did feel also a bit weird. Even-though it looks different than in the movie, this hotel was the one where the hotel owner was hiding many many ‘Ts’ during the Genocide. And that way saved their lives. (Did i mention before that the words for the two groups of people here are forbidden words now? I am used to use the letters T and H if there is any reason to talk about this differentiation.) A movie worth watching to see what shouldn’t happen ever again. So, in that hotel i watched a Dutch football game! Strange. Everyone was super excited. Especially after we won 2-1! There were many Dutch people, some Rwandans in Orange and some other foreigners dressed in Orange. Then there was in the middle of that, one Brazilian family watching. Beer, orange Fanta and finger-food was .. free! Wow, nice.. the Dutch way! Let’s change our stereotype! It was a good time.. met nice people and will go back this Tuesday when Holland does it again! Cross fingers!
Also Saturday i taught at the Serena hotel, which was very nice, the class went smooth and the rest of the day as well. I used the pool until the sun disappeared behind the hotel and then laid myself down in the sauna, sat in the steam-room and chatted with nice people while enjoying some fresh squeezed juices. This membership is sweet! It’s a Saturn’s day Yoga turns out to be the recharge day from now on i believe… Monday night i will start teaching Wazungu (the white people) in our house here and Tuesday night i will teach the people at the USA embassy. More info about classes is on a new page on my website, see ‘news’ on the homepage.

Sweetest dreams, Anneke

Practice, Practice, Practice….

Ashtanga Yoga – I Love it!

There is so much to say about this practice. For some it means to ‘practice, practice, practice and all will come’. I wonder if everyone understands what this ‘all’ means.

1. the whole of (used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration): all the cake; all the way; all year.
2. the whole number of (used in referring to individuals or particulars, taken collectively): all students.
3. the greatest possible (used in referring to quality or degree): with all due respect; with all speed.
4. every: all kinds; all sorts.
5. any; any whatever: beyond all doubt.
6. nothing but; only: The coat is all wool.

‘All’ is pretty much. Why do i have the suspicion that many Yogi friends think that only the ‘good’ will come after practice? I personally don’t like the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and i think ‘All just is’. All really means everything. I believe that if you practice, practice, practice.. many great things will happen in your body, mind and spirit. But also less pleasant effect can occur. I am sure any Ashtangi who reads this, knows what i am talking about. I think we need to be mindful about our practice. On and off the mat. See, feel, experience what happens. Embrace it ‘all’ with Love. All is needed to balance and to grow. We all know that Yoga is non judgmental, remember that. Don’t judge yourself, because there simply is really no reason. If all will come… than trust that. All will come. Don’t rush and enjoy the ride!

Today i start teaching the ‘Wazungu’ (white people) at the Serena Hotel. I am teaching every day except Saturnus day (which is today) but start to teach this day as well. All the other days it’s teaching for Project Air, but on Saturday i will be teaching for Project Anneke. Hotel Serena is a very luxurious hotel with luxurious facilities i am able to use freely by being a teacher here. And you know, Rwanda is very beautiful but pretty hot and dusty this time of the year… so how nice will it be to jump into a swimming pool after teaching?
Also today is the second day..home alone! This mansion here is only inhabited by me right now. Thank Lord Shiva there is a guard! Damescene is his name and he’s a very nice man. Besides his guard duties, he does much more… well, almost ALL actually (and we just learned that all means a lot!) He cleanse, wash clothes, makes every-day-fresh-fruit salads, hangs up mosquito nets, makes up the bed, does the dishes, does groceries and even picks fresh flowers every day to cheer up the rooms. He’s a humble nice man, i wish i could speak Swahili and/or Kenyarwandan a bit more.. would make conversation with him much more easy.
Deirdre left for America. She will come back before i leave. It’s quite without her. Soon, in a few days, a new volunteer is arriving.

I will to get ready to teach now… more to come!
Oh yeah… easily bored (or creative restless in my head) as i can be sometimes, i was putting on my website, a new jacket…
check it out: You like it?

Love, Anneke