kudos!

I want to acknowledge the two yogini bloggers who awarded me the MeMe Award. I am in good company with all of these blog award winners!

Thanks to girlwarrior of it’s all yoga, baby who said that I am “sassy, opinionated and sincere in her practice”, and thanks to Brooks at Yoga, the Mind and Culture who said “she’s really doing her yoga, and shares inspiration and road bumps along the way.” Thank you, thank you, thank you! I especially want to thank the yoga bloggers who supported me during the Troll Event — you know who you are!

I’m not really into rules but the rules to this award are that I should (1) share 7 tidbits about myself and (2) share this MeMe Blog Award with 7 blogger friends. As for those tidbits about me, I think if you read LYJ from the beginning you will certainly glean more than 7 tidbits about me (!!), but here goes:

1. My first OM was with Beat Poet and Buddhist Allen Ginsberg in 1973 when he came to my junior college for a poetry reading.

2. I’ve been green since the first Earth Day in 1970, many years before being green became the thing to do. I helped organize my high school’s Earth Day celebration and I ordered the Earth Day flag decals (they were cool!). I’ve never seen decals like that again.

3. I am also a garden designer. My business is Loba Landscapes…Gardens With a Touch of the Wild. My niche is native plants in the home landscape and eco-gardening.

Yes, that’s my backyard.

4. I was in a riot in 1970. Sly and the Family Stone were supposed to play a concert in Grant Park in Chicago and in those days Sly was known to show up late or not at all for concerts. People got upset and a riot broke out. I ran from the police just as they started to tear gas us. Ah….those were the days…the smell of tear gas and major doobage in the air, flowers in our hair….

I still loves me some Sly!

I am sure 1970 must sound like the olden days to many of you but throw the peace sign up, it will do you no harm!

5. I was named one of Illinois’ best high school poets when I was a junior.

6. Besides being an activist for the environment, I’ve always been an activist for women’s issues. I know some of you don’t remember the days before Roe v. Wade, but at that time when I was in junior college abortions were legal in New York City. As a member of a women’s liberation group at that time, I helped a few women get to New York City.

7. I am clairsentient and clairaudient.

I give this award to:

Shelley, for caring so much about India’s children;

Svasti, for being so real and open and honest and brave (we are both survivors);

Nadine, for being a fellow KYM-er, for being sweet enough to consider me her “yoga mother”, and for becoming a friend;

Amanda for supporting me and also becoming a friend;

Flowergirl, because I love her stories about India as much as I love India and because she has become my thankachi;

Fernanda, because she is as passionate about our Mother India as I am, and for becoming mi amiga (and who is trying to get me to teach in Brazil, YAY!);

YogaDawg, for obvious reasons!

Blog on!


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my brother from a different mother

While I was at my final retreat for the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training at Spirit Rock in California, YogaDawg sent me this video saying “this one’s for you, couldn’t help but think about ya….”

Thanks, Y Dawg, I LOVED IT!

I also received another blog award from Grace over at Graceful Yoga, a lovely and gentle yoga blog — she lists her favorite yoga blogs so check them out. Thanks for the blog love, Grace!

As for my final retreat, I will write about it soon. I will say that the retreat and the entire training was amazing. It truly was a groundbreaking training in the western yoga world. It was a never before offered training that combined Buddhism and yoga, the twins separated at birth, so to speak. If you think Buddhism can be separated from hatha yoga, think again.

There were 88 retreatants from around the world, but my “dharma buddy” and I were the only two yoga teachers from Illinois (there were only four teachers from Midwest America.) Out of all the yoga studios in Chicagoland, both of us came from the same studio in Chicago. We think that says a lot.

Enjoy the video and dance to the music — I will give you a little preview about my Spirit Rock retreat post….we ended the retreat (after a solemn graduation ceremony) with a yoga rave dance….Shiva Rea doesn’t have anything on the Spirit Rockers, believe me.

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this and that

I’ve been writing this blog since 2005. Blogging is the new journaling and I started this blog as a way of recording my thoughts, first, about my initial trip to India in 2005 — and at that time I never expected to be planning my fourth trip to India at the end of this year — and second, as a means of chronicling my own personal yoga journey. As the Grateful Dead sang, what a long, strange trip it’s been.

The blogosphere, and indeed the internet itself, is still a strange place to me — you make “friends” whom you never expect to meet, but if you really meet them, it’s a beautiful thing.

I used to be a moderator of an India travel website, through which the Universe has granted me two dear friends who I love to death — one is a woman in Chennai who calls me her older sister, akka in Tamil, and another woman in California with whom I will travel to the Kumbh Mela next year. A faithful reader who I have never met but consider a yoga friend has paid for my deposit at the ashram where I will study yoga therapy next year. Another reader has thrown it out into the Universe that maybe I should come teach at his holistic center in Taiwan that he is planning for some time in the future. If it happens, it happens, I am not attached. It’s all good, that’s the wonder of this thing we call the blogosphere.

And it always amazes how many people read this yoga blog. I post something and I can see on my sitemeter who logs on almost immediately to read my words, always the same cities. Y’all must not be too busy at work, so stop lurking and leave some comments! I also want to thank all the readers who have left comments of support regarding the trials and tribulations I’ve had with the yoga studios where I’ve taught in the past two years. I received more support from people in the global yoga community who don’t know me and will probably never meet me than from yoga peeps in my yoga world. Astounding.

I’ve received my share of blog awards from people who I consider my blog buddies. I’ve just received another one from Fernanda Lima who writes her blog All of Om or Tudo de Om from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Call me a simpleton, but I’m impressed that someone from Brazil loves my blog. A 17 year old girl from Uganda loves my other blog. It just amazes me.

Fernanda writes about India, yoga, ayurveda, and all things in between. Who knows? Maybe we’ll meet one day, either in Brazil or India. It’s obvious from her blog that Fernanda loves India as much as I do. How about it, Fernanda, mi hermana? Sorry, I know Spanish, not Portugues! Muchas gracias, Fernanda!

And then there are the phrases that people google and end up on this blog. According to my site meter, the most searched for phrases are:

Mark Whitwell

St. Theresa’s Prayer

and anything having to do with “hot yoga chicks”, “naked yoga”, “hot yoga babes”, “skinny yoga chicks”, etc. etc. etc.

Eeeeuuuuu.

But it’s all good. And I’m glad you like what you read.

I’m giving the Fabulous Blog award to non-yoga blogs:

my sister from a different mother, Utah Savage

another sister from a different mother, Liberality

new found sisters, Evil Slutopia

the woman formerly known as DCup

and one yoga/mind/body/spirit blog:

Svasti, for her courage.

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one more blog award goes to…

…Sindhu for her blog Flower Girl’s Rural India

I wrote about Sindhu’s blogs here so read all about them.

Here you go, thankachi, display this award proudly on your blog….”thankachi” is “younger sister” in Tamil, the language of the Indian state that I visit.

I won’t be back in Ma India for another year and I miss India everyday — whenever I want to re-visit My India I go to Sindhu’s blog.

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thanks to Liberality!

A humble thanks to Liberality who bestowed this award upon this little ol’ yoga blog. Lib said:

“I want to pass this award to that wonderful yoga teacher Linda Sama at Linda’s Yoga Journey for her wonderful work in bringing Yoga to the blog world. We need more people like you on the blogosphere is all I gotta say.”

Lib describes herself as a “wild hippy who has sworn off eating animals and who has reproduced a couple of times. I work with books which I love to read. I work with people and I try to be tolerant as much as possible. I spend way too much time reading other people’s blogs but hey, everyone has to has some sort of vice.”

Visit her blog because she has great links on people she admires like the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, Jr.; news links like Democracy Now and NPR; feminist links and health links, among many others.

Thanks, Lib! You’re a sister of a different mother and if you’re ever in my neck of the woods you get a free yoga class!

I’m passing this award on to bindifry’s itty bitty brain basket because she’s a true yogini and a passionate yoga teacher who also tells it like it is — hey, some of us have to do that in the yoga blogosphere. bindi writes about “yoga, travel, music, food, and often things asian.”

You can read about the karma yoga (volunteer work) that bindi wants to do in Rwanda here and she still needs donations — every little $1 helps.

shanti!

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nandri!



Nandri is “thank you” in Tamil and I’m thanking Sindhu for giving me these blog awards. nandri, nandri, nandri, Sindhu! hugs to you, my Indian sister! I think you know how I love Tamil Nadu!

Please check out Sindhu’s other blogs, especially Flower Girl’s Rural India and Flowergirl’s Recipes (for all you Indian food lovers.)

Sindhu honored me by asking if I would write something about my Indian adventures so mine was the first post in her Travelogue section of her blog. anytime I feel “homesick” for India (although I’ve only been to Tamil Nadu three times I consider it my second home), I go to Sindhu’s Rural India blog. my most wonderful experiences have been in rural Tamil Nadu, and I’ll tell you a secret: my dream is to open a yoga shala in Kumbakonam, teaching western visitors and helping the locals with therapeutic yoga. sigh…if only…hey, there’s a donation button in the sidebar, hint, hint…maybe I’ll get an anonymous benefactor…sigh….

People talk about wanting to go to India to see the “real India” — people think that the “real India” is all about naked sadhus, spirituality, yoga, and temple incense. but all of India is the “real India” — from the $200 a night hotel rooms to the rich Bollywood movie stars to the street beggars to the naked slum children using garbage for their toys. one of the things that I love about India is that nothing is hidden, everything is in your face 24/7, life and death on the streets. that can be very hard for westerners to get used to, if they ever do, but for me, it is liberation.

you either love or hate India, there is no in between. as soon as I put my feet down on Indian soil, I feel as if I have come home.

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spreading the love


I was overwhelmed when Vanessa of Vanessa:Unplugged! graced me with the “Spread the Love Award.” She said that I (among other bloggers) are “shining examples of bloggers who uplift and inform.” You are too kind, girlfriend!

Vanessa also received the award from another blogger and she writes about herself, “as one who started blogging without a plan or a niche or following any of the recommended steps and practices in the blogging process, I am honored when another blogger takes the time to recognize and appreciate what I post.”

I feel the same way. I started this blog in 2005 to write about my first trip to India and it’s morphed into something larger than that. I love that some of my posts have created lots of discussion about yoga, meditation, Buddhism, or social action, with no shortage of pithy comments from around the world. I just started a new blog where I will rant and muse about things other than yoga and India and time will tell how prolific I’ll be with that one. however, I guarantee that the posts will be just as pithy and passionate as they are here. now if only I can figure out how to get paid for my rants and musings I’d be set!

In keeping with the spirit of spreading the love, I am awarding the Spread the Love Award to Fran, Gartenfische, and Mike (who I wish would get back to writing, damn it!) I read many blogs but these bloggers were the first three who popped into my mind when I thought about bloggers who “uplift and inform.”

Once again, thanks to Vanessa, and thanks to all my readers. even though I have been miserable for the last 5 days with a vicious upper respiratory infection — two hospitals in two different countries in one month is too much for me, I’ve had my fill of doctors! — I think I will get up and dance to the Love Train…and check out Vanesa’s blog, y’all!