Category Archives: Australia

nose to the grindstone

Hey kids,

My attempt at a consistent blogging effort seem to have failed, at least moderately. BUT I just started a tumblr page on which I can share random bits of information (http://wizwohnson.tumblr.com/), if you’re tumblr-inclined, and I just wrote a blog for lululemon about my Australia trip! Read it here.

family breakfast

Life is good on the lululemon front – fall is such a transitional time, with people coming and going, and a new energy blows in on the wind. I’ve been making videos like it’s my job (oh wait…), and managing the online community efforts, like facebook and Twitter. (And really trying to enroll people into the Foursquare scene – it’s like a real-life game! Gahhh.) Tomorrow, I’m leading an EIT (Educator In-Store Training) for a few new hires with Sarah, which I’ve never done before. I remember how exciting my EIT was, though, so I’m looking forward to getting them all psyched up about this cool company.

enchanted forest

Windy, blustery Vata season – mind scattered and in need of grounding. That’s something I’ve certainly been conscious of in my yoga practice. Stay low, connect with the earth. Breathe deeply. I’m teaching my regular 3 classes at 108, and I’m so happy there. I see familiar faces often, which means that people are, in fact, returning to subsequent classes, and I’m feeling more confident every week.

new friends

Also… Shad Bay is a dream. That’s all I have to say about that. I’m so lucky. The universe is unfolding as it should.

my brothers are good-looking.

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photographic evidence

So… I’m now at home, and I haven’t quite figured out how to express it yet. Stay tuned.

Even if you’re not into facebookery, you can check my album of visual delights by clicking right here! Enjoy.

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sunrise on the beach

I’m still working out how to process this information, but we’re done here.

Kate

kookaburras

This week has been about wrapping up evaluations, enjoying each other’s company, and soaking up as much of this “yoga” as we can.

attempting mandalasana

We had one last super dynamic class with John, in which all sorts of extraordinary events took place, such as John working me through some crazy backbends – think Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel) to handstand to crow. Hilarious. He was doing 65% of the work, but it’s such a rush.

Kate, before audibly popping her sternum

Pip

Friday was our closing day, and some of us (ahem) had a few tears at the closing circle as we shared some snippets of love and gratitude.

closing circle

Jbone on the djembe

Stephan, our meditation teacher and in-house therapist (ha)

After our feast and some photos, one by one, people started leaving the pack and venturing out. Sad and exciting, all at once. Goodbyes feel different this time. Just let the emotions come, without attaching onto them.

beautiful Zoe

John - the bossman

Jess and Kate

Kate, Jannine, Sarah, Dariush, Belle and I stayed on at Tallows Beach Friday night – went out for dinner in town to celebrate birthdays (mine AND Sarah’s!), and the brave ones (i.e. everyone except me) left the house at 3am on Saturday to hike up Mt. Warning for the sunrise. I fancied a birthday sleep-in. I got up at 9 (which sounds ludicrous – I’m a 5:30 girl, now), and went down to the beach to meditate my way into a new year.

good morning, 24

Jannine took the plunge and got inked in town! I was there for emotional support, though she needed very little, and it was such a riot. Dariush was there to make me a purple weiner-dog balloon friend, and Tom, the tattoo artist, sang bass to the Beach Boys. So wonderful.

Tom

By some strange coincidence (though, really, what is a coincidence, anyway?), my birthday lined up with the end of this course, the beginning of a whole new adventure, and a lunar eclipse. So, naturally, we gathered up our crystals and drums and skipped down to the beach for a bonfire. (My FAVOURITE birthday delight – flashbacks to Madagascar.)

birthday eclipse farewell fire

To charge up crystals, you’re supposed to wash them in sea water and let them sit in the moonlight overnight, so we made a little ritual of it as we watched the progress of the moon. (I swear, I’m feeling some strong vibrations from them this morning.)

soaking crystals in the moonlight

bam bam bam

So blissed out. We had to say goodbye to Belle and Dariush – the most daunting of my goodbyes. Such beautiful people, I’ve met here. Hoping that our paths will cross again.

And now, a rainy Sunday morning is a fitting scene for our departure from Tallows and Byron. We’re packed and Coolum-bound, where we’ll detox (an intense cleanse is in the works – details to come) and sauna and beach before flying back to Sydney on Friday. Jannine likens it to having a week off between war and heading home to your family – give it all time to sink in.

A bientot!

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here and now

Another week gone, another tonne of rice eaten, another hot Saturday night drinking hot water with lemon and shooting for a 9pm bedtime. Ah, life.

We’re into assessments now, so we’re teaching in pairs instead of fours, and it’s GAME ON. Jannine rocked hers on Friday, and I’ve got mine coming up on Monday! Eep. The best part is that you don’t know which half – first or second – you’re teaching until you arrive at the studio.

Today, while half of the crowd was in the pre-natal yoga course, Kate and I hitched a ride with Sherry and Nisha out to Mullumbimby – it’s maybe half an hour away, and I MAY need to move there. It’s gorgeous rolling hills with farms and cows all over, and little pockets of rainforest with the sea in the distance. Such incredible energy.

Crystal Castle

We were headed to Crystal Castle, which is a park of sorts, full of beautiful gardens with statues of gods and goddesses, fountains, and, of course, crystals all over the place. It’s supposed to be full of healing energy, and I definitely felt strong vibes.

lemons!

world's biggest hunk of rose quartz

I actually know almost nothing about crystals, but I learned a bit about different stones and what they can do for you, if you keep them nearby. Rose Quartz, for example, is supposed to bring love into your life – thus Kate’s fascination. And, it’s just soooo pretty.

beautiful Kate

We wandered around for a few hours and soaked up all sorts of ideas and energy, and I even bought a few different little stones to try under my pillow. Reports to follow.

Vishnu on Garuda

offerings

rose quartz for love... get on it.

Kate with Buddha

labyrinth for walking meditation

It was a gorgeous day, so Kate and I spent some time on the beach this afternoon, though the breeze was juuuust chilly enough to keep me out of the water. It’s amazing to me that a Canadian (and one who LIKES the cold, for that matter) can be so finicky about swimming in a place where the average water temperature is like 20 degrees Celsius. Shad Bay, get ready.

Marjo having a conversation with the sea.

beach full of dogs... and babes.

One week left, and I’m in denial. Missing you all! (Well, most of you – I don’t know who’s reading this thing. Ha.)

oh, Byron.

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bend over backwards… literally.

Hello thrill-seekers,

Our days are numbered, now, but are still in the same format – 6am practice, breakfast at 8, seminars in the morning, seminars and practice after lunch, and then meditation after dinner. Beach time whenever we can fit it in, cups of tea on the hour, and sometimes we even shower!
Some more photos for your enjoyment.

Ashlee and Ronai at lunch on the deck

Dariush's meditation pyramid - you can sit under it... or put it next to your bed. Strange things can happen...

We’re in the thick of Level 2 training now, which is reminiscent of Level 1, but with some slightly more challenging postures and without the initial new-group-of-people-uncomfortable-about-touching-each-other awkwardness. In short, it’s a riot.

handstand workshop with John - Ronai rocking it out.

Last weekend, we lucked out and hitched a ride with the lovely Belle into town for the markets.

Belle!

It was a phenomenal sunny day, and the energy was beautiful. Families sitting in the grass, lots of wicked food stalls, incredible art, and, in typical Byron fashion, a high incidence of barefootedness. Ah, bliss.

Byron Market

visually delicious

Kimba - this one's for you.

We found some treasures – avocados, pretty dresses, some teeny cymbals that are used to delicately call people back from meditation, a japa mala and some feathers.

Jannine rocking out with her new cymbals in the back of Belle's van

We’re in such a routine here, and now that the end is in sight (though I try to look the other way), I’m wondering about my reintegration. Kate has been joking that, because we live in this bubble and spend so much time together, some social normalcies seem to have left us completely. Consider seeing an attractive fellow on the street in town and, rather than making that ever-so-effective brief eye contact as you pass by, you just can not stop staring, and the guy eventually looks away, clearly terrified, and walks quickly the other way. It’s happened.

adjustments and corrections class

Nadine

We’re teaching in town at the studio a few times per week, still in teams of four, though, starting this week, we’re now teaching in teams of two, so we each get 40 minutes. Better! My biggest work is learning to contain my excitement and speak at a slower, more comprehensible pace. I find that remembering to breathe helps a lot.

cabin 1 = win

Jannine practice-teaching at Tallows

Much love from us!

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jaya sita ram

Some photos, for your viewing pleasure!

Liz's side crow

goddess Jannine on our beach

our little home

yoga studio at Tallow Beach

Kate, demonstrating posture adaptations for pregnancy!

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a new home


Ad in The Echo, featuring our classes!

I promise it’s not laziness that keeps me from blogging. It’s mostly internet availability! But I have a slow connection here on Kate’s computer (thanks, Kate!), so although it took me two hours (yes, two hours) to load these few photos, here I am.


Feedback session after class

So, we’re teaching in town regularly now in teams of four – each of us takes a section of the class, and we share feedback at the end. It’s SO fun – I do get a bit nervous, but mostly excited. (I was told that I sounded like I was having SO much fun, but that I was maybe so excited that I spoke too quickly, which is challenging because – guess what? – I have an ACCENT.) Jannine and I are LOVING it. I’m actually teaching tomorrow morning! Yesssss.


LSD – from my understanding, it’s a dandelion soy latte (a coffee substitute, you might say), but here in Byron they decided to rearrange the letters to make it an LSD. Go figure.

In other news, we’ve moved! Trailer park no more. We’re now at Tallows Beach, which is stunning. the energy here is totally conducive to what we’re doing. It’s lush and green and inspiring, and the yoga shala looks out onto a courtyard with a Buddha statue in it. We are blissed.


The new homestead at Tallows


Buddha

Kate, Jannine, Ronai and I are still living together, which is fantastic. We have too too too much fun together.


Me in my element

Tallows Beach, just over the dune, is our new playground. The following photos may make you slightly jealous – consider yourselves warned. It’s literally 40 seconds from our door, so we can go down on all our breaks. It looks like our goal of swimming in the ocean every day can finally be realized!


Post-breakfast swim


Tallows Beach – our front yard.

This week marks the end of the Level 1 part of our 2-part course, which means we have evaluations and stuff coming up on Friday. And then Level 2 starts on Monday, which means all sorts of new postures to study and start teaching. Chaturanga, welcome back into my life!

My practice is getting better and better here, obviously. We practice a few times a day, which helps, but often it’s just self-practice, which means there’s no teacher, unless they’re there to just come around and assist you. You just do whatever postures you want, whatever your body needs. That used to be really intimidating to me, but now that I’m learning to put them all together, it’s becoming blissful.


Kate and J

Missing you all! (Jannine sends her love, too.) I hope these photos make you smile. That’s all I seem to do around here.


Jannine in her element

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