Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Anatomy of a World Leader - Alex Grey

"After hearing Barack Obama's speech in BerIin, and noting the degree of excitement and hope that he generated throughout many countries besides the US, I started to see him as one of the first true "world leaders." This may be partly because of his extraordinary childhood and political life that has bridged many cultures. Obama's restraint and intelligence, exhibited as foes were bating him throughout the campaign, his heartful clarity coming through in his talks are all qualities of a highly evolved person.

We need to consider our planetary citizenship, because solving the world's ecological and economic problems, and creating a culture of peace and reconciliation will require the co-operation of all nations." (Alex Grey)

Friday, 9 January 2009

Ramakrishna zingt

Onthoud dit o geest, niemand is van jou,
vergeefs dool je rond in de wereld.
Verstrikt in het listige net van maya,
vergeet niet je Moeders naam.

Slechts een dag of twee wordt je hier geeerd
als meester en heer; al te gauw,
moet deze gestalte, nu zo geacht,
wanneer Meester Dood er de hand op legt,
noodzakelijk worden geloosd.

Je geliefde vrouw zelfs, om wie, nu je nog leeft,
je voortdurend zit te tobben,
kan niet met je meegaan, ook zij zegt vaarwel
en mijdt als een kwaad ding je lijk.

(uit Ramakrishna; gesprekken)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Goed en Kwaad

Volledig ontwaakte zielen zijn verheven boven deugd en ondeugd. Zij realiseren zich, dat het God is die alles doet.

Er was eens ergens een klooster. De monniken die daar woonden gingen dagelijks uit om hun voedsel bijeen te bedelen. Op een dag zag een monnik, terwijl hij uit was voor zijn aalmoezen, een pachtheer die een man onmeedogenloos sloeg. De barmhartige monnik kwam tussen beide en verzocht de pachtheer om ermee op te houden.
Maar de pachtheer werd woedend en zijn toorn keerde zich naar de onschuldige monnik. Hij sloeg de monnik totdat hij bewusteloos op de grond viel. Iemand meldde de zaak bij het klooster. De monniken liepen snel naar de plek en vonden hun broeder die daar lag. Vier of vijf van hen droegen hem terug en legden hem op een bed. Hij was nog steeds bewusteloos. De andere monniken zaten bedroefd om hem heen; sommigen wuifden hem koelte toe.
Eindelijk stelde iemand voor om hem wat melk te drinken te geven. Toen het in zijn mond werd gegoten kwam hij bij. Een van de monniken zei: "Laten we eens kijken of hij geheel bij bewustzijn is en ons kan herkennen". Hij zei luid in zijn oor: "Eerwaarde, wie geeft u melk?" "Broeder", antwoordde de man Gods met zachte stem: "Hij die mij sloeg is het, die mij nu melk geeft."

(uit Ramakrishna - gesprekken)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Monday, 9 June 2008

Final Breathing and Relax in Savasana

Today we arrived back at our 10 Euro per night Hotel in downtown Acapulco, training is over and the rainingseason here has just started. Yesterday we even couldn't take a taxi cause the roads were all fludded. No better way to end the 9 weeks of enlightening yoga vibrations in the highly luxureous Fairmont Princes Hotel then to come down and chill a little in the 'normal world'. After all we've been in quite a bubble for a while i realize now, slowly opening my eyes in a totally different country here, strange but true. I've even seen some animals i' didn't see before here now my eyes are off the dialog ;-)
Eventhough the whole training had this double sided experience of time; of endlessly painfull and hard times and at the same time all just being one big, fast momentum, the last couple of weeks were like speeding through a bottle neck even more. I'll just look back on some of the things that happened here before our graduation.

So about two weeks ago Tinus arrived here, causing even more confusion under our fellow yogi's; because all three of us are tall and have little to no hair on the head, people were wondering if they we breeding us somewhere in the hotel. Anyway really nice to have him visiting us, giving the encouragements for the final weeks, and spreading the word of not drinking water during class as we did (some people really were amazed and inspired about it) All in all he was quite proud of all the Dutchies, you could tell. Below you'll find us all in a taxi with Susan after having dinner at ... the 100% natural restaurant, of course.

At the end of that week on friday we had the talent show. This started some years ago spontaneously, and has now made it to a real tradition in the teacher training. Basically the people doing the training are of all ages, background/nationalities and profession. A lot of them sing, dance or play an instrument, and not all that bad either ! The evening totally blew everyone's head off i could say, it was just so wonderful and fun to see all the qualities of the people you've seen half naked, sweating and reciting dialog only for the last 2 months. There was a ballet performed by Claudia en Johannes in which some of the yoga postures we do were woven in, so beautiful and funny to watch i wished there was a video to show. Also Kasper is such an amazingly good singer, that i suggest the students in Amsterdam to ask him to sing for you after class some day, you'll be surprised. (his first class is next wednesday ;'))
By the time the last act was performed, a Bollywood song 'Ohm Shanti Ohm', everyone on stage was dancing, all people singing, Bikram sitting in his chair in the centre with a bat circling over his head ! seriously ! Hard to discribe; magical for sure.

The last week, coming close to finishing the training, the sense of completion was in the air. Although for me, monday took off with something like an emotional throw'up in class, the rest of the week was real nice, intens though but strong. We had classes from Emmy (who came back for graduation), Jason Winn, Craig, Rajashree and Bikram of course; all not the leastest of yoga teachers around ! Also the week before, 22 people for the graduation demonstration were picked out of the 290 around. I happened to be one of them, together with Huub, Ruben, Claudia and Kasper. We made quite an impression i guess, as 4 of the 5 male demonstraters were Dutch. Thumbs up for Bikram Yoga in the Netherlands ! Some people even came up to us, asking what exactly they put in our water over there. To think of it, the Dutch water is pretty good, too much chloride over here.
The slightly minor thing as demonstrators was the fact that we even had to do some more yoga as a training for graduation day, (getting us all in alignment and synchronic order) but it actually was real fun to do! On wednesday we had the chance to get inspired by the advanced series demonstration which was nice to see. The postures i´m allowed to teach right now are the beginners series. There's also the advanced series of postures which look somewhat like this...

Bikram himself also joined the advanced demonstration so we got a chance to see his practice. It was rather funny to see as has style is quite agressive and his postures not outstandingly good, but what can you say; the man has been practicing yoga since the age of four, sleeps 2 hours a day, can live on 1 sandwich for 3 days and still has energy like a newborn child, at the age of 62. Nothing but respect in that sense.
On thursday some pictures were taken with the demontration group as promotion material for the teacher training. Doing yoga underneath the palmtrees with some fresh oceanbreeze in your face, there's nothing like it!
Below you'll see Kasper doing his standing bow on a little stone wall, he got an award for best anatomy test at graduation day; as you might notice in the pictures, his own anatomy is quite good too, no musclefibre left unattended in that body.

Friday the final day was really there !!! The demonstration went well, we listened to some speeches, received our certificate from Bikram and got a chance to take a picture with him, all that formal stuff. Everyone looked beautiful, all dressed up and shining like stars. Only to get wasted that same night at the graduation party. After 9 weeks of intens yoga, 'no kissy kissy, no huggy huggy, no fucky fucky', no alcohol, no drugs, you can image some people just let everything go for a change. It was a great party, sharing the happiness of fulfilling the teacher training with the fellow 290 yogi's who've become close friends during the past 2 months.
The last couple of days we finally had some time to just hang around, eat whenever we're hungry, catch some sleep, enjoying the wonderful surroundings of the hotel we've stayed in.
With a little pain in the heart. Throughout the weeks, the intensity of the program, the yoga and our teachers, slowly allowed everyone to open up, and create this wonderful little loving caring community in a heavenly environnement i've only known from travelagancy's magazines. It's hard too see it disintegrating again this rapidly, as everyone is leaving to teach this yoga all over the world, wherever they came from. I guess at the same time it's one of the most valuable things to take home and share with the rest of the world.

This thursday i'll be flying to San Francisco visiting Mary Jarvis' studio and hopefully teach my first class over there, exciting! I'll try to keep you posted about my experiences over there. During training they told us many times, the circle of teacher training is only to be completed the moment you teach your first class.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

happy brithday dear ruben

Yesterday was Rubens birthday, and as we do to all people, a couple every week, we sang for him with all the 300 of us. Friday evening we went out for dinner with a group to celebrate. But actually i just wanted to show the fantastic picture i made of him yesterday, look at that !

Countdown has already begun for us here in Acapulco... they said it would happen to us at the very start of the training. ''You're gonna miss this training so much as soon as you get back'' Everyone was like yeah yeah.... But indeed there's only two weeks to go and i believe we all have the feeling of not wanting to rush through it that fast, but enjoy it while it lasts, even when times are still going to get rough. As Bikram returned from his short trip to Calcutta to bury his friend last weekend, he's now totally committed to fire us up at the last part of training.

The posture clinics are almost finished; most of us only have to do the last final spine twist on monday, so there'll be much space to be filled in by Bikram lectures and Bollywood movies. Actually this week we watched ''Jodha Akbar'' a new production of Indian history about the formation of India, how the two main religions (Hindu and Islam) came together through love. It's quite a ride, highly recommendable to everyone interested. A lot of dansing and singing throughout the scenes which is quite spectacular.

Furthermore a lot of teachers were here last weekend for the recreticfication (a teacher has to come back to training after a while for check up) including Zefea from Amsterdam and Susan from Texas who taught some classes in the the Hague studio. This sunday also our friend Martinus arrived here for the last two weeks of training, we picked him up from the airport as a surprise with the three of us (Ruben, me and Susan)

Staying such long time in the hotel, makes the best friends out of the hotelstaff here; our maid brings us flowers every week for our little altar, the girl at the computer centre is trying to teach us some spanish, and the waitresses at the restaurants greet us with openhearted kindness as we visit them every single day, they know our names too. Some of them even take class with us. It's real fun, in general the Mexian people whome i met all are truely warm friendly people.

So some of the people here below Elaine, from Korea living in Vancouver, Canada who really shows passion and joy in teaching as you can see below
And Emly who was told by Bikram not to cut here hair anymore, later i found out that she did that because she likes to wear a wig sometimes; She's from Los Angeles.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


Next week the posture clinic wave is going to hit, and we'll probably finish it at end on friday. Because i still have a lot of studying to do before i'll just list some of the things that've being going on here.

- For me the toughest week so far, monday i was so sleepy i just nodded off with my eyes wide open, quite an experience. Then thuesday and wednesday i was justed totally cooked during classes, it's a challenge to do a Bikram yoga class when you feel like a soaking wet towel. I believe i prefer active participation over unconcious participation ;D. but at least the heat is getting all the bad stuff out for sure!

- The main thing happened this week was Rajashree lecturing us about the 26 postures, correct alingnment and their benefit. Actually the yoga set is built up in a way that is benefitial for all the systems in your body. Resperatory system (breathing, lungs), Circulatory (heart and lungs), Endocrine system (glands), Nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) etc.
Each posture has it particular focus on the different parts of the body. By compressing and streching, you cut of the blood and energy supply in a particalar part to let it flush through shortly after, taking away all the stuff that might have got rusted in there over to years. And it feels good too !

- A real funny contrasty situation here, this week the Botox company has landed in the hotel for some conventions or group injections i don't know. These sigar smoking surgeons/businessmen with the pumped up young women around them, some sweaty yogi's running around crossing each other, Inside Out. I only wished they invited Bikram to speak at their dinnerparties ;D

- The whole group is becoming like one family more and more. The yoga automatically creates a band beacuse of it's intensity, it's opening people up, major differences seem to be clearing out, like the really shy or popular person merge into the same equally minded group. It's a beautiful thing to be a part of.

- Still the same balcony view
- We're getting stonger and stronger, This is Kasper and Tori who are both in my group. So funny, i made this picture, they started standing like this, and it turned out to look like a power drink commercial or something like that. i guess it's the yoga...

- Below a peak of the yoga room, before class; doing class twice a day with so many people in one room still is a special thing. In the left back there's the podium where the teacher stands, and the comfi couch/chair only Bikram sits in, drinking his ginger tea out of an orange cup.