Time for another highlight reel!
Get Out, Get In(sight)
I bought a mini-pass for ten films at the Melbourne Film Festival, and spent the first two weeks of the month hopping into the city whenever I wasn’t teaching or taking class in order to catch some films. They varied widely, from documentary, animation, historical fiction, to semi-autobiography. I loved all of them, but in terms of yoga, I probably got the most out of The Grandmaster, which was about the history of kung fu and directed by the same folks who did Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (so, absolutely gorgeous cinematography and action sequences). So much inspiration for grace and focus. Whenever I learn about martial arts, I am reminded of how similar all these branches are to my own practice of yoga. The wisdom and the lessons are the same, even as the methods differ.
Blast from the Past
My friend Taylor visited Melbourne briefly after finishing up a stint working for National Geographic, travelling around Australia with a bunch of high school students and teaching them photography. We got to adventure about the city, and just generally catch up on each other’s lives. It was a wonderful little reminder of home, as we went to school together from elementary on and spent years in the same Girl Scout troop. We also got to reflect on how awesome our troop was, thanks in large part to our troop leader who instilled in all of us an appreciation as well as knowledge on how to travel. I think she spread the travel bug, which helps to explain how two of us could end up meeting one another half a world away!
My studio owner took Emily and I down to the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs, where we spent a lovely, lackadaisical afternoon hopping between various outdoor heated pools. The spa impressively built all of these pools to blend in to the natural flora, so you feel like you’re in the bush while luxuriating. The most impressive pool was at the top, where you could sit and get a 360 degree view of the Peninsula, including the Bay. The three of us spent the whole time talking about yoga, doing yoga postures in the pools (irresistable), and giggling our heads off. And of course, we ate out before and after so it expanded into a day of wonderful company, conversation, and relaxation.
Continuing my adventure into other styles of yoga, I practiced the Tony Sanchez class as taught by a fellow teacher training mate who happens to also be here in Melbourne. In some ways, it was comforting to recognize many of the postures, but it was also challenging to learn new postures. It revealed many areas of weakness for me: both mental (I don’t like being in new situations or feeling not good at things) and physical (not enough upper body or core strength). It was satisfying to really feel my way into some postures that I’m familiar with from the advanced series: because of the slower pace and longer holds, I had the time to truly do the posture in a way I often don’t have the opportunity to do yet in advanced. I am very grateful for the experience, and would definitely check it out again when it’s convenient (as it is, it was quite a trek out the studio that my schedule won’t often allow).
Home & Away (or rather Away & Then Home)
The last few weeks, I confess I have been a little absent-minded and occasionally stressed as I planned my future travel itinerary. My teaching contract here in Melbourne will end at the beginning of October, and as much as I know I would be more than welcome to stay much, much longer (in fact, there have been hints of potential kidnapping in order to compel me to stay), the truth is this: I love it here, but I miss my partner too much. He has been overwhelmingly supportive of my travels, knowing that it was something I needed to do, and he supported me even at the cost of his own happiness. So, my travels around Australia—because I can’t come all the way here finally and only see Melbourne—will be abbreviated. I will spend October travelling up the East Coast, then make my way home for November. It will be a whirlwind, action-packed four weeks, so stay tuned.