Wa Yo Yogi

Leanne Kitteridge's adventures in Yoga

The Road to Paradise…. September 23, 2009

Maui flora

Maui flora

Well I am back in Maui for the John Friend/Ram Dass workshop on the Bhagavad Gita with my yoga sister  Sjanie McInnis.  We arrived after a long day/night/day to our little cottage in Haiku and spent the afternoon exploring the wonders of Mana foods in Paia and having an evening swim at a local beach as we watched the sun go down. Not bad for day one. Day two started off with the most amazing oatmeal-coconut porridge from Sjanie- inspired by this months Yoga Journal (Oct/09) and taken to a new level of scrumptious by adding cardamom and fresh young ginger.

The deal is Sjanie cooks and I drive- which if you know us is the wisest split of duties you can get. Today I got off light though as Sjanie still cooked but Geordie Milne drove- another friend and yoga teacher from Vancouver. He has been here two weeks already and was desperate to show us all his discoverys on the South-east side of Maui aka the road to Hana.

We began our journey by driving up to Kula and then followed the road- sometimes lack of it- all the way to Hana. I knew some people drove that way but I thought the road had been damaged during the earthquake a few years ago but it was actually in pretty good shape. I recommend a sturdy vehicle and a driver with a sense of mountain driving though. It is not for the faint of heart. Flatlanders be warned!

Our guide and driver Geordie

Our guide and driver Geordie

Laulima Farm om the South-East side of Maui near Hana

Laulima Farm om the South-East side of Maui near Hana

Our first stop was the Laulima Farms. this place was incredible. For all of you that are interested in sustainable farming and organic  food this will be an inspiration. We were cheerily greeted by Beth and quickly ordered fresh coffee with coconut milk. The coffee beans are grown and roasted right there along with the coconut milk. It was delicious!! Sjanie bought a key lime popsicle ( $2) which was raw, creamy from coconut milk and to die for. Geordie’s banana bread was pretty darn good too. We wandered through the farm a little but if you meet at the fruit stand at 2pm on Saturdays you can take a guided tour of the kitchen and upper gardens. We stopped to talk to Jenn who worked in the kitchen and she told us about the community lunch she was preparing and it sounded heavenly. It is a kabutz of sorts and everyone there seemed pretty happy to be there. It was inspiring to say the least.

Beth serving us inside the Laulima Farm Fruit stand- awesome food

Beth serving us inside the Laulima Farm Fruit stand- awesome food

Sjanie and her raw key lime popsicle~yum

Sjanie and her raw key lime popsicle~yum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was hot on the hill and we needed a little moisture so our next stop was the O’heo Gulch waterfall pools- known more commonly as the 7 sacred pools. Sjanie and I were in the water so fast. So many people came to see them but we were some of the only ones in the water. Of course the scenery begged for some yoga poses on rocks etc so I have a few here and the ones of Sjanie you will have to look for on her blog.

O'heo Gulch aka 7 sacred pools

O'heo Gulch aka 7 sacred pools

Wild thing at the 7 sacred pools

Wild thing at the 7 sacred pools

Geordie rockin' Mayurasana

Geordie rockin' Mayurasana

Sjanie and I cooling off- 7 sacred pools

Sjanie and I cooling off- 7 sacred pools

From there we drove a little further down the road and hiked into the Venus pool. Now that was really crazy~ it was salty and buoyant and had a little island in the center.  The rock was so hot I burnt my feet and I couldn’t get into the water fast enough. I could spend the whole day there floating around. Some guys were jumping off cliffs but frankly I am not that brave …or stupid. Great when you are 20 not so great at 40……

The Venus Pool~ amazing swimming area

The Venus Pool~ amazing swimming area

We had our lunch at the Hana Hotel but missed actual lunch and had pupu’s- snacks and stuff. Expensive but tasty. Sjanie had a great wheat beer with lilikoi in it and I think we may have to go search it out. We drove the rest of the windy road back with a stop in a bamboo forest that reminded me of Crouching Tiger and then set foot right back to our little cottage on the beginning of the Hana Highway. We started at 8:30 that morning and got back at 5:30 so it was a full day but not rushed.

It was so great to see this part of Maui that we had never ventured to. Now that my kids are a little older they can maybe handle the drive and there are some spots that are really unique and worth the effort so I plan to get out there again~ especially for the Laulima Farm coffee and popsicles!

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A Summer of Transformation August 31, 2009

I laughed when I read Sjanie McInnis’ blog because I know exactly how she feels. What a crazy, outrageous, glorious summer!  Like the wild fires that burned through the mountains of B.C. all summer, a fire blew through the Anusara Yoga community of B.C. as well.  The fire that raged through the kula was like Shiva’s hand of flame- everything became clear in that light and the fire transformed and tempered what was there before.  We now have 4 teachers in the certification process and over 100 students that have completed an Anusara Immersion. Elissa Gumushel kept the embers burning, Sjanie McInnis and Christine Price Clark  stoked the fire to a warm brilliance,  Todd Inouye  brought our teacher to see our light and I just made sure everyone helds hands and sang Kumbaya…or something like that.  Our Inspired teacher community  now includes Lauren Hanna , Shelley Tomczyk, Brent Kuecker, Trisha Wilson , Bree Greig, Carol Wray, Lara Luer, and  Josie Houpt who is joining us from Toronto. If I neglected to mention someone I apologize~ we are getting so numerous now and new Inspired teachers will be stepping into the light with rapid speed over the next few months.

Sjanie is prepared

Sjanie is prepared

 

The event that topped the whole summer off was John Friend’s visit to Vancouver during his Ultimate Freedom Tour. Vancouver hosted a two day weekend workshop and a 3 day therapy training.  To be quite honest I remember very little of the training because I was too busy running around helping. ( warning to those of you that host….) I am not saying that was a bad thing- it was actually the BEST thing. There is a time and place for everything and this training was not about the studying of the technical aspects of the method but of studying the dynamics of the greater community, the kula, and seva. I was especially happy to see so many of my students and friends having such amazing awakenings in the method. My favorite was running in at the last minute to see John drop back my husband into full wheel! Seeing those you love enjoy themselves is better than doing it yourself I swear! We had quite a few emails after the event saying how well it was run and how warm and supportive the Vancouver Kula was. It was good to hear.

Cp and Sjanie

Cp and Sjanie

We had a few surprises, twists and turns during the week- the biggest one being Todd’s ruptured appendix! Poor guy!  Christine stepped up to MC  and her sincerity and warmth could be felt by all.  We were all a little worried about the location of the event as John likes lots of natural light . The venue was the performance hall of the Roundhouse Community Center and basically it is a big black void ( I kept calling it the heart of Kali…). If that wasn’t worrisome enough, poor John came in to preview the venue and found a technician with a head wound lying on the floor and an ambulance on the way! Let’s just say… not a good start. 

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The Vancouver Puja

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Ganesha rockin it out

Thanks to Carol Wray, her husband Lori, and many other hands and feet , the room was transformed a few hours later into a radiant  Indian tent of gold, orange and red with dozens of murtis watching over our practice. It was quite funny to hear Christy Nones- certified teacher from Miami and one of the Anusara tour staff-  come in on Monday and say it was one of the loveliest venues she had seen. Amazing what a little shakti can do!

Carol's magic

Carol's magic

 

The training was also my first opportunity to meet Chris Chavez and his wife Ozlem who have been in Vancouver teaching workshops and Immersions at YYoga. Originally from LA, they are now traveling and teaching all over the world. I was immediately struck by Chris’ openness and warmth- he has a soul of extreme generosity and Ozlem is no less beautiful inside and out.  We celebrated Chris’ 39th birthday during the workshop and John did a big spiel about the significance of 39 and I listened with great attention as it is my 39th year as well. Seems like a good year to start certification…..

And on that note Robin Golt will be my mentor teacher for my video during the certification process. Yes folks- I sent in my paperwork. I am hopeful that I will be accepted into the process but I will not assume. There may be areas that John wants me to work on before I go forward and I totally respect that.  Many people have emailed me and asked me, “How do you know when you are ready?” I can now see me asking that question to Christina Sell a few years ago. Her response was,  “Have you ever thought that the process will make you ready?”  I have the hours, I have all the requirements, I have read all the books, but I had that months ago~ what changed? Somehow a sense of natural progression brought me to apply- it was just the next step in the journey. I look at the process as a way to become an even more dedicated student and to learn even more- to go DEEPER. I think that is what Christina was trying to explain to me. It also helps that Sjanie and CP are swimming in the current and yelling “JUMP IN! THE WATER IS GREAT!”

…so here I go ….”SPLOOSH!”