Sending sweet post Autumn solstice (spring for those down under) love to all!
Reporting from my last days here in Chiang Mai, taking in the monsoon season in the bursting lush green that the rains have brought about. I'm wrapping up my life in the little sanctuary on the outskirts east of the old city, trying to make time amidst the teaching and packing to savour another steaming bowl of Kao Soy (northern Thai curry noodles), and saying goodbye to the good people here before I leave.
It's been 8 years since I left my home country Singapore. I nested in Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam… travelled through Europe, before anchoring in Thailand, and in a few weeks' time, I will be calling Australia home, together with my partner.
While I'm super excited about our new adventures in a beautiful new locale, it's also bittersweet to bid another farewell to a place I've called home for the past 15 months. My partner and I met on a beautiful hike here 2 years ago, and when we decided to build a life together, Chiang Mai has offered me nothing more than grounding and serenity after being on the road.
It was here that I followed an inner beckoning to slow down and turn inwards, to take a pause from the insatiable wanderlusting. I uncovered an endless stream of treasures through self-study and reflections, and realise that to be a better human being and teacher, it begins from within.
This is also where I've built deep bonds with a heart tribe of people who are shamelessly passionate in learning, teaching and sharing, so that we can help ourselves and others… I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
2016 has been a landmark year of professional growth for me as I decided to step up my game to offer continuing yoga studies under the Yoga Alliance registered program, Yoga with Daphne. This in turn manifested a structured platform for me to create on-going workshops, retreats, trainings and mentorship programs with more continuity for practitioners. I'm also delighted to have connected with Yogamour Seva, a non-profit organization that I'm supporting, who inspires yogis to take our yoga off our mat and into the world in the form of selfless service to foster health and wellness initiatives in India, Myanmar and Thailand. Please do click on this link and check out how you can help in terms of retreat, donations, or even teaching :)
So now it's upwards and onwards… I'll be entering the spring season in the Blue Mountains down under, to continue to create magic and wonders. May the universe keep throwing wonderful curveballs to propel our growth!
The world will keep spinning, so we can't take anything nor anyone for granted. What matters is to be kind, be humble, be tolerant, and to always walk the talk.
"Savasana (the corpse pose) is being without was, being without will be. It is being without anyone who is" ~ BKS Iyengar
In Buddhist teachings it is often said that we are born into this world to learn how to die (by learning how to live).
Fearlessness is not about being unafraid. It is the courage to show up even when we are terrified, so that even death is just another moment to come into.
Let the journey on our mat be an exploration of our shadows and how we can let go of our fears (or let "be" ~ tat tvam asi). Can we see through the play of light and shadow, let our minds slow down, and come into harmony with our hearts?
Most of us come into yoga practice seeking "bliss", a sense of well-being, connection and wholeness in mind, body and soul.
So we work our bodies, we breath more deeply, we "let go" of the drama that's going on in our lives...
What happens then when we step off the mat and into "real life"? What are we still carrying? Do we continue to feel disconnected? Have we left the bliss behind?
Ananda is not about chasing the "high" of the practice, it is learning how to come "down"... it isn't about holding on to a "feeling of completeness", once we cling onto something we suffer... And it certainly isn't about becoming "an enlightened being", because any identification with being "somebody" immediately separates one from others...
A spiritual practice of any form helps us cultivate the witness that sees all as phenomena - the unfolding of story lines, the identification of an "I". We learn to appreciate our own uniqueness without being better or worse than someone else. The witness sees the judge - the seat of our ego, and offers it compassion but not power.
The practice is on creating spacious awareness by being in the presence of clarity, the perfection of it all within this very moment, the essence of Ananda...
No one says it's easy ;)
*Rock & meme design by Dejalulu
Registered Yoga Therapist, Somatic Movement Educator, Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher Trainer