Wa Yo Yogi

Leanne Kitteridge's adventures in Yoga

Have Internet Will Travel October 25, 2007

Filed under: travel yoga — shibuiyoga @ 2:00 am
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I really have no idea how people traveled before the Internet. Seriously- I think I have googled about 200 things related to my upcoming trip. I seem to have a vague memory from pre-Internet days of a book called Lonely Planet… I think that is how I used to get around.

I thought I would share with you some of my links I use when traveling to Japan. The first one is the Japanese Inn Group. I am usually very selfish of this link because it really is fantastic- you must have caught me on a good day. This website lists bed and breakfast style accommodation throughout Japan. They usually consist of a house that has been cut up into little rooms- both western and Japanese style- a pay TV ( literately 100yen per hour) a hot water kettle and shared use bath. The range is really vast of what you might find- from very basic to quite posh. The average price for one person is about 6000 Yen a night- equivalent to just over $50 Canadian right now. I have stayed at two different inns in Kyoto and will stay in one in Tokyo for the first time this year. One inn in Kyoto has the best old fashioned hinoki tub- I just made sure I was the first one in at 6pm. ( Hi-no-moto Inn pictured above) . My poor girlfriend had heeby-jeebies about sharing bathwater ( you are supposed to be clean before you go in…) and stuck to the shower during our stay.

For train information try this link. It has connection info and all sorts of handy things- like walking times- to get you where you need to go. Remember that traveling in the mornings in Osaka and Tokyo can be crazy so leave extra time to make it to your destination. And get ready to be pushed….Word of advice- face FORWARD to the door when being pushed so your rear end is going into someone rather than your front. You never know when someone will go for a grab so if you are female and traveling late at night or at commuter times look for the pink cars marked for women only. If you plan on seeing Tokyo and Kyoto during a stay in Japan check the Japan Rail Pass. It is offered to foreigners on a travel stay at a discounted rate. You must apply for it before you leave for Japan- it is not available in the country.

If you are bringing your computer along and need wireless access try this link. It lists lots of cafes, computer friendly areas, and Internet places. It will also tell you whether power is available there or not.

As for cheap flights to Japan you are on your own there- I use my benefits as a flight attendant. If you find something though let me know and I will happily add it!

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Denshi-jisho- Electronic Dictionary October 20, 2007

Filed under: yoga — shibuiyoga @ 8:26 pm
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Well -I went I did it. I invested an extraordinary sum in a little, tiny computer that will fit in your coat pocket. My little toy is the latest in Japanese technology- a dictionary which literally contains a hundred Japanese and English dictionaries. Denshi- jisho’s have been around for a while but they never seemed very useful to me- being geared more to the Japanese consumer learning English.

A few months ago I remember seeing the Nintendo -DS game console. It had this little pen you could write with on the screen. I thought ” if only someone could make a Japanese dictionary like that- one you could write the character and it would give you the English”. You see reading in Japanese for a non-native is roughly equivalent to a trip to the dentist….for a root canal. Every time you come across a character you cannot read you must:

1. Count how many brush strokes it takes to write the character 

2. Look it up in a brush stroke dictionary to get the readings or “sounds” that character can make

3. Pick one of the sounds and then see if it exists in the regular Japanese to English dictionary

4. If you cannot locate it you must pick the next sound and try again, and again, and again

This process takes roughly TEN MINUTES for every Kanji compound you do not know.

See what I mean…root canal.

Well I am happy to now say my drive to teach yoga in Japanese has lead to a whole resurgence in my wanting to actually sit down and read. Now with my expensive new toy I simply write the character with a stylus on a touch sensitive pad- hit a couple buttons and voila! or more appropriately “Yatta!”  I have the meaning in English- 25 seconds flat.

John Friend Japanese teacher training manual…here I come!

Here she is..

 

Om namah shivaya October 16, 2007

Filed under: Anusara,Japan,travel yoga,yoga — shibuiyoga @ 11:22 pm
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Leanne Kitteridge

I just received an email. I am beyond ecstatic.
I have been dreaming of training with John in Japan since I studied with him in Maui last year. I had actually tried to go as an assistant by offering to be a gopher and translator but my help was not needed.

I was a little disappointed but I was so interested in hearing the practice languaged in Japanese and meeting the Japanese kula so I applied for the teacher training component. Unfortunately, after the applications were in, they posted the training price- it was more than double the price of training in North America. I was floored. How was I going to afford this training?

I ended up swallowing my pride and doing something I have never done before- applying for a scholarship. I have always been able to pay for my training before, but now I realized that I needed some help. Off went the letters and my hours etc. and I left the rest up to the universe. Then during this whole period something else happened- I found a lump in my breast.

My mother is a breast cancer survivor. I assumed this was nothing more than a milk duct or something but after a mammogram things got very serious, very quickly. I had an ultrasound and was then booked for a biopsy. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so panicky but the radiologist said cancer so many times during the tests that it beat like a little drum in the back of my mind.

I sat for two weeks wondering if I had cancer. How would my family manage? How would it affect my yoga? Would I be disfigured? How would chemo affect my body? I wasn’t scared- as in the freaking out, pull your hair out kind of scared- but more scared in a heaviness in the pit of my stomach which would sometimes bubble to the surface in a little gasp. The bubble sometimes brought a tightening of the face and reigning in of tears that threatened to fall. I kept it together though- mostly. My kula and my family made me feel that I was not alone- no matter what I was supported.

I decided that if it was cancer I would go to Japan with or without a scholarship and deal with the disease when I returned. That is when I realized how important this was to me- to be able to bring the two passions in my life together- Japan and Yoga.

Last week I found out the lump was benign. Today I found out I received a scholarship.

Om namah shivaya

I am so blessed.

 

Live Yoga October 15, 2007

Filed under: yoga — shibuiyoga @ 1:02 am
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My studio that I teach at is called Live Yoga. It is located in White Rock, B.C. and has one of the best vibes of any place I practice. It’s really hard to make a living running a studio and the poor owner Lauren is trying so hard to make it work.

We often don’t appreciate what it means to have such a beautiful prana filled place in our own neighborhood. If the studio closed there would be such a void in the community. I hope that White Rock and Surrey realize what a jewel they have in this cozy community studio and come flocking. I feel blessed to have such a space to go to and teach in.

Check it out- www.liveyoga.ca

 

High Tech Yoga October 10, 2007

Filed under: Anusara,kula — shibuiyoga @ 12:51 am
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Ok- I have been playing with this blog for an hour and I still can’t change my categories to something else.  What on earth has the LA kula got me into!  

I am off to teach my third class of the day and I am hoping that some clarity will come to me so I can continue to work on this tonight. I am so behind on the tech thing.

On a good note- I loved the class I taught this morning on Grace. I think I was a little too full of myself though and the universe put me back into my place by dropping all the teacups on the floor….in savasana.

 

Irrashaimase! Welcome October 9, 2007

Filed under: yoga — shibuiyoga @ 10:33 pm
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Well, I went from wanting some business cards to a website and a blog all in a week. The shakti was having a regular rave this week compared to her normal dance of the divine.

This all started thanks to my my wonderful friend and mentor, certified Anusara teacher, Christina Sell  www.christinasell.com and her workshop in Vancouver a few weeks ago. I suddenly was being asked for information on what I teach and where I teach and so was born the business card…and then the web site …and now the blog. The blog idea you can blame on Hillary Rubin  www.hillaryrubin.com – apparently this is how people find me. So if you found me congratulations! I am so lost in cyber space now maybe you can guide me home. My current home on the web is www.shibuiyoga.com.

I am hoping to travel to Japan in the next few weeks to study with John Friend so I wanted to have the blog to keep you all up to date. I practice in some exotic places- Japan, London, China, but mostly it is in hotel rooms. I hope this blog will get me out and practicing in some more inspirational places in these amazing countries. Come join me on the journey!