Dear Friends and Students

Greetings from Eftalou where Spring has spread a carpet of flowers across the valley and birds are busy finishing their nests while the people of Molivos are painting and preparing their homes and shops for the Summer!

As many of you know this winter for us was a time to catch up on hospital life! First me with surgery on my leg veins and then Victor for Prostate cancer. In all we made three visits back and forth to Munich, where were fortunate to have excellent care, wonderful doctors and a place to stay as well.
Victor is recovering well and plans to visit his children and their families in April and I shall be in San Francisco to teach the Pre-conference Workshop on April 12th/13th and give a presentation class on Sunday morning of the Conference April 20th.
I am not originally planned the Key Note on Friday evening. CIIS and the organiser Mariana Caplan decided instead to have a renowned Academic for the evening presentation.

I shall follow this with a short meditation.

I am sure it will be a wonderful event with many experts offering their experience and we shall see how entwined and important are Soma and Psyche are in our lives.

I am so looking forward to seeing new and old friends again and hear that several of you have already signed up for the weekend workshop.

here is the latest arrival on our land in Eftalou!

With love and appreciation

Nature has a plan and a purpose, just be there and watch

While I was lying in the hospital in Munich, after the Doctor successfully removed my prostate,
I watched the trees under the spring sun, day by day. I watched the pigeon, the crow, waiting and receiving,
in their ways not very different from the trees they visited. And me, I was waiting too as nature was moving the Spring Energy from deep within....erasing and opening up my independence into a more complete world.

A bucket full of sunshine

It has been a warm "summer like" spring and we had little rain so far.
Some fell yesterday and nature rejoices . It feels like sunshine to the
trees and grasses . To-day, the 24th of February, it is cloudy again,
but dry. Nature is happy and flowers are coming out everywhere.

Albuquerque, New Mexico...........High Desert Yoga

Once again we traveled back from the East coast, west across the continent to New Mexico and the beautiful home of Charlie and Zoreh where we had one day to rest and receive an Ayurvedic massage from Melissa Spammer before starting the four day teaching event with Rama Joti Vernon.

Photo of the entrance to High Desert Yoga

The entrance to High Desert Yoga

Photo of Rama Joti Vernon


Photo of Angela Farmer, Victor van Kooten and Rama Joti Vernon
Picture of Cotton-wood tree outside Zoreh and Charlie's house.

Cotton-wood tree outside Zoreh and Charlie's house.


Photo of the apple trees.

Here at Kripalu there is so much beauty to be found in Nature, rolling hills, mountains in the distance, forests and a shimmering lake in the sunlight. The last apples had almost all fallen, just a few still clung to their branches reminding me how I still cling to some old ideas, expectations and fears. In America what we Europeans call Autumn is for them "the Fall'..... a perfect word for this time of year when Nature lets fall her fruits and we can shed the clutter of old emotions and memories allowing them to compost into the soil and become food for new inspiration and creation!

Photo of the fallen apples.

Some of the fallen apples were still edible, juicy and delicious. There is always so much more taste and freshness in what we pick or gather than what we buy at the Supermarket and has been sitting in a box or plastic bag for some days!
I believe that the same is with Yoga practice and has to be fresh and what we find in the moment to feel deeply satisfying, not a repetition of something we did before or remember a teacher giving out in a class no matter how good it felt then.
Letting go the role of 'teacher' and simply meeting these wonderful souls who have chosen, saved their money, made arrangements at home or work and taken the time and energy to get here is indeed a miracle and a meeting.
The rest follows and emerges, revealing itself in surprising ways that push us to the edge and flood over the gates of resistance.....a happening, a discovery and each day a sense of immense gratitude and understanding.

Photo of Ganesha

Kripalu is huge with several workshops and retreats running at the same time. Hundreds of people taking yoga, meditation, self-help and other classes, eating organic meals and staying in rooms or dorms.
It sometimes feels like an enormous ship at sea and I wonder how it all seems to work, the coming and goings of groups and teachers, all the schedules and meals, sleeping arrangements and finances not to mention the problems that arise with maintaining and old building....the chaos that could happen but doesn't!
Perhaps it is the seed of Swami Kripalu's legacy, his being and teaching that somehow invisibly permeate and touch all those of us who pass through its doors.
I was so lucky to have Ilana and Liza as assistants for both retreats as the numbers reached 82 at the weekend and 45 for the Womens' three day event. Ganesha was very present as we worked with the base Chakra to feel more grounded and energised, opening to the earth and then to our inner power. Several animals and birds appeared as helpful images to open and move, to deepen and uncover 'our inner creature'! We stretched and danced, spreading our Heron wings. We found our snake, the spine winding and unwinding memories and tears through the body. As layers fell away we laughed and dared to be outrageous at last!!

Krishna the Indian God of Love

Krishna the Indian God of Love was not far away as I sat cross-legged in a corridor to talk on Skype with Victor who was teaching in Rochester. Even in a Yoga Institute we can be grateful for the Internet to keep the threads of life and love alive, no matter if people are stepping over you and the sound or image keeps fading!

Yellow Springs, Ohio

The first day was for women only... a warm and beautiful experience with sharing and deepening into practice as well as some lively movement. There are no photographs of the class as it would have been disruptive to the intimate atmosphere when people are in their own personal process of unwinding and healing.

Photo of the little Maple tree was outside Patricia and Andrew's living-room.

Our visit to Yellow Springs coincided with the glorious colours of 'Fall". This little Maple tree was at its best and just outside Patricia and Andrew's living-room.

Photo of the altar that some of the students added to each day with colourful leaves and other treasures.

Here is the altar that some of the students added to each day with colourful leaves and other treasures.

In this photo almost everyone had left on the last day but a few were left and here you can see Patricia..front left... and Andrew standing in a pink shirt. Victor might be saluting or perhaps a fly landed on his forehead!

In this photo almost everyone had left on the last day but a few were left and here you can see Patricia..front left... and Andrew standing in a pink shirt. Victor might be saluting or perhaps a fly landed on his forehead!

Photo of the sky as we left the Yoga Hall on the final day of teaching there.

This was the sky as we left the Yoga Hall on the final day of teaching there.

Barbara Voiner, Berkeley

When we first came to the USA many many years ago the teaching was mostly about technique and training but now most students have found their own practice and we are more concerned with the 'energy body' and an internal exploration. This is both exciting and challenging and the classes are deeply rewarding. We loved our time with old and new friends at Namaste!

This is Barbara Voiner in her home, our beloved friend who begged us to return to Berkeley and helped to organise a wonderful weekend hosted by the Namaste Yoga studio. The light effect may be a fault of the camera but I like it as she is a person filled with light and love!


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