My Beijing and Singapore Journey 2011

It has already been a week since my return from three weeks solo travel in Asia. Seemed easy enough, since my last trip (2009) there was a surprise magical adventure that began with complete reluctance. So this time, I ignored the reluctance, promising myself I would love it all for the unknowing, and allow time to teach me. We’re such funny humans. Apparently, that was a set up for my secret whining. Dumb stuff like my techno challenges and no internet most of the time, and electrical problems that I likely caused in my beautiful little apartment first week. I did love the journey, and I did allow it to teach me, and it was different. In 2009 I stayed in ‘Old Beijing’ and this time, all New Beijing, which of course as you will see in my pictures, is quite ‘cluttered’ with old. Some of this trip was harder and most of it, delicious, and I could breathe in the quiet again. Not like I didn’t have precious friends for meals and students with the most open eyes ever, but the quiet in between is where the lessons happen. It’s different from choosing a night or three to stay home and be quiet. It’s that you know the phone won’t ring, and somehow, I get into it. No TV. No music. I want to hear my thoughts. I want to know what I think about, when I’m not trying to communicate, and when I’m only listening to me.

Ahemmmmm. I whine. Some of the time. The rest of the time, I’m blown away by people and cultural difference and cultural similarity, and the privilege of teaching anything precious enough to warrant such a journey. It began with my now, old friend, Robyn Wexler. The most unpretentious studio owner I have ever met, and bright eyed teacher and student, she invited me to come and teach more of the gait work I had begun in 2009 at Yoga Yard, Beijing, and she wanted me to teach the love of my current career life, yoga therapeutics which is really, everything I’ve ever learned, all intertwined. Then Tru Yoga Singapore’s Teacher Trainer, Jo Phee (who was here training with Annie Carpenter, and found my book at Exhale!) saw that I’d be in Asia and invited me to come and help teach Functional Anatomy at her first Teacher Training! Then, Robyn also invited me to finish my tour by returning to Beijing after Singapore, and teach at The Li Ning Yoga Conference. So suddenly, I was up to a three week tour with very little idea of what any of it would be. I loved it all, every class, every student, every quiet moment.

One quick story: Li Ning is the Nike of China. Their conference, unlike ours’, has 180 spots only, many more than that apply and only 180 get in. The room is set for all to attend, all day, every class. There is one teacher, all of the students, all yoga teachers, all in Li Ning attire. Did I mention that maybe three people in the entire place speak English, and my beautiful translator, Ronan Yang, made it a gift to dance with the words. At first, you (I) judge. And then it takes one session of being in the classroom, watching the learning seep in, watching hearts open, to remember, that yoga is yoga, worldwide. it does what it does, even if the structure seems …a little foreign. I watched groups create required skits, about what it takes to make a great yoga teacher, and what love means. Make no mistake that while the registered theme of the conference was, ‘Inner Shine’, it happened for real, to me and to everyone in the midst of that place. All love!

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