Who makes out your reality?

Today early morning, as part of my small self-love challenge, where I post one motivation affirmation on social media everyday, I was not vigilant enough and slipped into mindless scrolling. How easily that happens!

I came across an Australian supermodel’s profile. Because the topic of external image and appearance have not been part of my social bubble for some years now (especially the last year and a half of the pandemic dressing up in outfits numbered 1,2 or 3), I have completely forgotten about how much pressure for appearance there is in the Western world and remembered with delight my first years of life in India and the feelings of relief.

After having spent my teenage years in the booming post communist capital city of Prague and my college years in 3 different Western countries, I was unconsciously influenced by the latest trends: Not to follow, but to rebel against them. Either way, it meant that I was hooked…

When I moved to India in 2009 I was relieved to see that people cared more about the hygiene and cleanliness than about cosmetics. Gradually, I replaced creams and lotions with coconut and sesame oil, started alternating between toothpaste and tooth powder, reduced the use of natural shampoo to monthly once. Stopped using spray deodorant and started to take shower twice daily instead. 😉 Stopped using perfume and became an essential oil addict.

However, the biggest advantage was the dress assortment. Except for the colour of the skin (the lighter the better and that you cannot change anyways), people in India didn’t care much about one single trend in appearance. Fashion trends were there, but without the pressure to follow. I didn’t have to spend many minutes of confusion in front of the wardrobe in the morning wondering what to wear and how to combine all.

Currently I have 4 pairs single coloured pants that I combine with 8 kurtas (longer top with a slit on the sides) of different colours and materials for different occasions. One thing I have ditched completely over the years is the shawl worn across the shoulders, except when visiting temples, ashrams or attending weddings (there are many in India). After so many years, I finally feel competent enough to know when and how and not having to adjust. 🙂

And what about the ideal image of body shape and beauty? My answer: You can hide everything under a sari and still look like a goddess.

By living in a traditional culture such as the Indian, that does not take in the globalised trends fully, I realised that my reality up to then, was not the only one and that the creator of the reality is myself only (this does not apply to clothes and appearance only). And so the self-quest journey began…

Be the creator of your own reality!

Adjust, adopt, accommodate OR what is MY yoga all about?

Yesterday, in an internet discussion about vegetarianism, where I was its advocate, I was called “a stupid cow” by the objector. I can only agree that with the word “cow”, that he was not far from the truth.

Today morning, in midst of my daily duties of making the Kerala breakfast, giving water to cow, feeding the chickens and waking up Gayatri (sometimes a task requiring high concentration and stamina), we received a call that the milking man is not coming today. Why? He’s not well. Can happen, right?!

I swallowed heavily and thoughts started swirling through my head: “Let Krishna (our calf) drink it all, let him enjoy the milk today. But, he’s already 6 months old, and he doesn’t need milk anymore. And if he drinks all milk, we won’t have any milk for tea and mainly my COFFEE!” I was not ready to give in. I saw my husband in slight distress as he was in the middle of the preparation for his online class starting 1 hour later. “I will milk Paru,” I uttered suddenly, thinking, if I really said that?!!!

Having observed the milkman a few times, I was determined to perform my milking duty. However, while taking the milk pot, Paru, our cow, already noticed that something was different. She became restless. I was determined to perform my milking duty. I released Krishna to drink a little milk, to be able to milk. I tried to sing while milking, such as the milkman usually did, for Paru not to get too suspicious. First kick. I was determined to perform my milking duty. Second kick. Paru starts moving around with me following her trying to jump on Krishna. While my determination is slowly diminishing, I hear the sweet voice of my husband through my left ear: “Do you need any help? You know, animals listen more to men.” “Yeah, right”, I thought to myself. However, my opinion changed in a split of a second, when I saw Paru standing motionless like a statue with her eyes squinting blissfully.

This might sound like a funny story, but it was not fun for me earlier. Earlier, I would not come up with the idea of taking on any unprecedented task (which makes it almost impossible to live in India). I would blame my husband for not having arranged otherwise. My mind would be ruminating about how much I had to do, would fall into the victim’s role.

With today’s morning story, I just want to point out what yoga means for me: to go about daily duties and responsibilities happily. To be able to adopt to change with less friction or resistance. To be compassionate and patient. To be there for my family.

AND at the end of the day, I am grateful, that I am going to sleep in my girlie room and that I might  even wake up the next morning! Although I am not doing any “yoga” these days in the form of asanas, pranayama or meditation, I feel that I am doing more yoga than ever before and that truly warms my heart.

Happy May 1st tomorrow, which is “lásky čas” (in Czech the time of love)

with love and a moo from India


Happy New Year!

Wish you all a happy new year from Kerala! Today, is Vishu and according to the Malayalam calendar a new year starts. On this day, the most significant event is the sighting of the Vishukkani during dawn, which is believed to bring luck throughout the year. In Malayalam, the word ‘kani’ means ‘that which is seen first’, hence, ‘Vishukkani’ means ‘that which is seen first on Vishu.’ It is believed the first thing that children see on the day should represent abundance. For this, the Vishukkan is prepared and children are blindfolded and brought to the altar to see the decorations and start the new year on an auspicious note. In general in the Indian tradition and spirituality it is believed what you see or think first in the morning will decide the course of your whole day. Every sleep is a small death and every waking up is a new birth.

Self-love and Nudity

Perhaps I am growing older and more free and unbound… I am not sure. I have reached a level of comfort in the Indian culture, where I am ready to expose my “sinful parts” like shoulders, ankles and oh, dear! my calfs… 🙂 I am absolutely not trying to revolutionise the traditional Indian culture. I simply feel a deep rooted need. And what is my need? Let me tell you the truth. I just enjoy being naked.

The more I connect to my body as a woman, I feel the need for nudity. I feel it is the most pure, sacred and natural state of being. I see my body as a temple. And let me tell you, living in India, naked moments are not easy to get. Security check: all curtains closed, doors locked, lights off… Yes, sometimes I am having a lot of fun. Read more

Chipmunk’s Butterfly Effect

Do you know the mythological story about how the chipmunk got the three stripes on its’ back?
This story dates back to the 7th – 5th century BCE, when the ancient epic of India, Rāmāyana, was written down. In one of the subplots, the demon Rāvana kidnapped Sīta, lord Rāma’s wife, and brought her to his palace on Lanka (today’s Sri Lanka). Rāma called upon the monkey army led by the great monkey warrior Hanumān. The army had to build a bridge in the sea between India and Sri Lanka, which is known as Ram Setu. Up to today, there are coral formations and fossils in the shape of a bridge and a new study is being conducted into its’ origins: https://indianexpress.com/…/explained-this-underwater…/.

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Good-bye Perfectionism!

I was inspired to write this article by a short chat with Sarka Vojackova. She posted a live video clip from behind the scenes of her online yoga class. Guess what? Microphone is not working, picture is not clear….

This sounds very familiar to my own class set up in India. Sometimes electricity doesn’t work for a whole day, so that all back ups are empty. At times, visitors come without prior notice and you have to welcome them and make tea. At times, workers whom you called three times, suddenly walk into the middle of your class and start repairing the AC while you try to keep your focus on the womb energies. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? And finally it is, if you don’t take life too seriously. Read more

Sakti Sadhana – The Woman’s Path

At some point in July last year or the year before (due to corona times I have lost the track of time), I felt the urge to start sharing THAT, what I have practiced and found useful for keeping or restoring 🙂 my own balance as a wife of an Indian guru, mother, yogīnī, cow caretaker, since 1 year a home schooler for both Indian and Czech schools, occasional cook of the South Indian cuisine, ashram administrator and occasional member of the ashram police squad. 🙂 No really, sometimes it goes overboard and the more I longed for a practice tailored to my needs mainly as a WOMAN juggling between Indian present and European samskāras. Read more

Today is Sivaratri!

You can dance, sing, pray or chant om namah śivāya. Connect with the energy of śiva, who is the compassionate destroyer of old and dysfunctional.🔥
Śiva represents the male linear energy which exists in us women also. We need this energy to reach goals and to clearly set our limits.

This is what Sadhguru  of  Isha Foundation  says about Sivaratri:
In the Indian culture, at one time, there used to be 365 festivals in a year. In other words, they just needed an excuse to celebrate every day of the year. These 365 festivals were ascribed to different reasons, and for different purposes of life. They were to celebrate various historical events, victories, or certain situations in life like sowing, planting, and harvesting. For every situation there was a festival. But Mahashivratri is of a different significance. Read more

Newspaper Tradition

Morning rāga alias newspaper reading. 📄

When I moved to Kerala, a small state in South India in 2009 – due to a huge cultural and religious diversity in India 🇮🇳 I feel entitled to write only about this state ( not mentioning the religious and caste differences) – I was amazed by the fact that even small children were encouraged to read the daily newspaper. No wonder that Kerala, unlike other Indian states, achieved 100% literacy. Read more

Nevertheless, I kept going…

Under normal circumstances, we have a cook at our ashram. When the lockdown in India started in March, from one day to another, our staff was not allowed to come including our cook. My worst nightmare came true. I had to cook local Kerala food which involves cooking from a scratch, cooking on fire and gas, warm breakfasts… sounds yummy? It it, but then it is a full time job – hours in the kitchen and piles of dishes. Homeschooling, garden work and taking care of cow and hen were meant for relaxation. Many days I felt despair and helplessness. Many days I blamed India and Indian cooking: “I am not a housewife! I am not a servant! I am from the West! I am a yoga teacher!” Nevertheless, I kept going…

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