Glad Midsommar


"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine."    

It's that time of year again. One of the biggest holidays in Sweden, if not the biggest. Ode to Mother Earth! Glad Midsommar! (Happy Midsummer) To everyone!

Morning Pages


Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

(Steve Jobs)

My blog posts have been few far and between. Now I'm feeling back up to speed. I've been writing, but not on my blog, obviously. Inspired by Ursual, from My Yoga Blog, I took up the practice of morning pages. Ever heard of it? Basically it's a writing exercise where you write first thing in the morning, by hand, stream of conscious. No censoring. Whatever comes to mind, you write. That's it. Taken from Julia Cameron in, The Artist's Way, she states that 3 pages, at least, should be written. I tried this years back in my early 20s, but didn't have the stamina for it. Now I do, and it's proved to be invaluable. I like to think of it as mental cleansing, and lately I've really needed it. Maneuvering through emotional states and subconscious garbage is an undertaking; one I'm willing to dive into, and writing unedited, is liberating. Damn, it feels good afterward to let it all out.

Another reason the exercise attracted me again is uncovering my creativity. I was so imaginative as a child. I loved the arts. Practically all mediums. However, during the course of my early adulthood it withered away. Suffocated. Now I feel the urge to reinvigorate this part of myself again.

It's interesting when we are really young and untainted by societal expectations we know who we are. It's that simple. We know what we like. When I look back on it I was very decisive as a child. Maybe frighteningly so. Then through certain life experiences, that I won't go into now, much of that died. Over the last several years I'm on the quest to reclaiming my inherent creativity. I've been starving for it, in a matter of speaking.

On another topic. I sliced up my finger pretty bad yesterday. Yeah. I hacked my finger with an immersion blender. Ha. Don't ask. Got stitches. I was told to hold off on practicing, or at the very least, not put undue pressure on my hand.  I cringe at the thought of what I did. A total dumb ass move on my part, lol. I'll never look at an immersion blender the same for as long as I live. But hey, I had my first taste of the Swedish health care system. Ummmm, yeah. National health care is a good thing damn it! At least here it is. Right, I know, it was only one experience. The nurse said I had a high threshold for pain. Ha! I thought I was a total baby, but I did alright. Glad that's over, and looking forward to steady healing.

So, I'm reading, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Naturally. With much of the story set in Stockholm, which I get a big kick out of, I had to give it a go. I love the fact I actually know many of the places the author mentions in the story. Great read, though a bit dark. I've been due for a good thriller/mystery in a long while.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo    The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [ARTISTS WAY 10/E -OS]

The movie has received rave reviews worldwide even with subtitles. It's in Swedish, of course. I'm holding out till I finish the book. From what I've heard it's a rather graphic film. You've been warned!

Words of Tagore


If no one responds to your call, go forward alone.
If no one talks to you, oh luckless one,
If everyone turns away from you in fear,
Reveal your thoughts and express your ideas to yourself.
If everyone leaves you while you are traveling a dangerous road,
If no one wants to look after you,
Walk on alone, on the road strewn with thorns, trampling on them with bleeding feet.
If no one shows a light, if in the dark stormy night everyone shuts their doors,
Use your rib as a torch, lit from the fire of thunder.

(Rabindranath Tagore)

World Cup


Unless you are living under a rock the Word Cup is going on. Well, I take that back. It depends on where you live. Now living in Europe I'm totally into it, and left wondering why soccer, er, I mean fotball, isn't more popular in the States? Well, I have a few ideas as to why, but no matter. What an amazing sport! What an amazing event! In the past few weeks I've totally changed my perception on it. Love it.

Yoga Explosion


"Success comes to him who is engaged in the practice. How can one get success without practice; for by merely reading books on Yoga, one can never get success."

(Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Verse 67)

"Whether young, old or very old, sick or debilitated, one who is vigilant attains success in all the yogas, by means of practice."

(Hatha Yoga Pradipika i : 64)

Yoga has exploded all over the world. Just about everyone has heard and/or have tried it at least once. No longer on the fringe, yoga has become a common word in many circles. Fashionable even. A popularity spread wide is a good thing to some extent. Giving those a small taste of yoga has a way of sparking something deeply held inside, which comes unexpected. Many times I've heard, "I only wanted to become more flexible. I didn't know I was gonna get all this." Good or bad, ultimately moving us forward, the internal breakthroughs prove to be invaluable, and challenging. The steps toward authenticity come with many bumps and triumphs. Whether people come to the yoga practice for a better body or to simply relax doesn't seem to matter and shouldn't. For yoga is as simple and complex as they come.

Before delving deeply into the practice, in my mind, I thought I knew what yoga was, especially after immersing myself into various Eastern philosophy classes in college. Now, when I look back on it, I don't even think my college professor knew what it was. Maybe theoretically. But let's get real, the practice of yoga goes beyond theory, and the collecting of information.

The entire process of yoga is experiential. It must be experienced. I love to read just as much as the next person, especially on yoga related topics, but in the end, I know that it will only take me so far in realizing union. And lets be honest, there are many days on the mat where I feel far from union. Sometimes in hell. Nonetheless, showing up to allow whatever will take place, to take place, has given a sense of freedom to simply be. In this moment I can be me, pure and simple, with the good, the bad, the ugly, or indifferent. Embracing all of it is where the learning comes in.

Often, I find myself telling new students you'll never regret taking on the practice of yoga. However, your life won't necessarily become more comfortable or easy. When pushed up against our true self, the external has a way of shifting. Even drastically. This is what I mean about signing up for something, more. We tap into our essential make up. Our vast inner knowing. We taste what we've been craving, sitting in the truth of who we are, in this moment, feeling something real for once in our life.

What is more?

Maybe a better word would be less. Living in liberation often leads to wanting less. Yoga has a way of stopping us in our tracks. The life of meaningless, which seemed to have been meaningful, does a complete 180°.  The quest is arduous, but nevertheless, rewarding. Not necessarily rewards of the external, but of the internal. Coming into a place of greater forgiveness and letting go, or even of greater expression and expansion. What I've found is what develops is as unique as the individual. Beautiful and profound. It can't be packaged to look or be a certain way. What blossoms may even seem strange to others. Imagine that.

With the ever growing popularity of Yoga, and all the jazzy marketing, ideals, and overnight teacher training certifications, going forth on the journey with discernment is crucial depending on what one is after. I guess you can say there is something out there for everyone, but if you want to go deep, what is offered isn't necessarily as readily available. You've got to dig down below the surface of all the flash and strip down to the bare bones. Yoga.

Obviously, I'm not talking about the "feel-good" yoga, and the surface opening that seem to take place in a workshop setting. I'm talking about the daily grind. Because in reality, it doesn't always feel good, and what I've concluded is that is not what it's about anyway. Yes. The by product of consistent practice lead us to access peace of mind, but often there is much to uncover in the process. Are you willing to do the work?

In the depth of contemplation I must continue to reexamine why I do what I do every morning. For what purpose? Why do I teach? Is my heart in the right place? Do I continue to stand in a place of truth? What does union represent for me? Yoga.

With the ever growing popularity of yoga in the western world it continually becomes a challenge to work my way through all the external smatterings that have surfaced around it. At the end of the day it's about more than the state of my body, or even my mind, but what am I connecting too? Can I ultimately surrender and align to the powerful force that connects us all? Can I trust to be guided from this place?

Yes. Yoga is becoming another product we can buy into in the west. However, don't be seduced by this mindset. Yoga is for everyone. We don't need to grasp for a conceptual ideal, or fit ourselves into another box. It wipes the mirror clean. That's it. We let go. We uncover. We look inside.

Then the journey begins.

Iceland Inspiration


Inspired by Iceland Video from Inspired By Iceland on Vimeo.

I couldn't resist. I had to post this. Once again more amazing scenery of Iceland and pretty funny too.

Planetary Energy of the Day


Sunday          Sun

Monday         Moon

Tuesday         Mars

Wednesday    Mercury

Thursday       Jupiter

Friday            Venus

Saturday        Saturn



Stockholm from Gino Maccanti on Vimeo.

I feel extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful city. Feels good to be back, especially at this time of year. Actually, anytime of year is good. Honestly, one of the most livable cities in the world. Even in the dead of winter.

Bless, Bless {Goodbye Iceland}

"Bless, bless." How Icelanders say goodbye.

Time moved by so quickly my last week in Iceland I didn't even get a chance to write all that I wanted to. Ahhh. It's crazy. The Midnight Sun! The financial crises! The recent election in Reykjavik! Pool etiquette. Baby carriages parked outside coffee shops with babies in them! Too much to write, too little time ... and most importantly, the wonderful students at Yoga Shala Reykjavik.

What a blur. Already back in Stockholm, I felt the past week pass at lightening speed. Lots to do. Getting settled. Cooking again. When the plane touched down in Arlanda International it honestly felt like coming home. A welcome surprise, for it's still a new place for me in many instances. Everything completely green and fresh. All the trees!!! It was like I had seen them for the first time in my life. Trees are the one thing Iceland does not have very much of. I was in sensory overload I tell you. Sensory overlooooad. The trees and greenery of Sweden during this time of year truly make it special.

I'll tell ya though, Iceland did a number on me in a good way. I don't even know how to explain it. Even my boyfriend has told me over and over again how it feels as if I've changed or shifted. It was a combination of many things. This is my sense. There's a current of energy that courses through Iceland like no other place I've been. I felt it then. I feel it now. One must step out of the environment to feel the affect. I know I'll go back. I'd love to see more of the country. Mystical. Mysterious. Alive with energy. There isn't quite anything like it. I know. I know. I've said this many times, but it's true! My experience there will continue to live in my heart for a long time to come.

The next day back in Stockholm I attended the very last day of the Peter Sanson Workshop at Yoga Shala, Stockholm. What a treat. Peter Sanson, certified by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and relatively unknown is many circles, and very known in others, is yoga teaching at it's very best. He doesn't seem to partake in marketing when it comes to teaching, and does it all in a sincere, quiet manner balanced with utmost attention and intensity. What a lovely human being. Truly humble, low-key, unassuming, and totally devoted. This is the energy I crave in a teacher.

Starting day one of his Ashtanga Yoga practice with Guruji, he has steadily continued keeping it real, by living it in his heart. You can't help but feel it. There's no sense of showiness. Nothing. I felt myself wishing I had more time to spend practicing under his guidance, however I was grateful to have the little bit of time I had. If you ever by chance hear his name, and he is hosted by a yoga studio nearby, run, don't walk, and register. This is authenticity at it's best. Nothing added. Nothing fancy. Real. Unprocessed. Totally pure. Absolutely lovely.

Somehow I've been inspired by the power and energy of Iceland. Subtle yet strong. Back home there is much to take in. Setting wheels into motion. Challenges are a foot, but it's all good. I am thankful for the offerings to learn and grow in every instance. It feels good to be in this place. It feels good to be back home with DF.

Bless, Bless.

Chakra Bandhāsana


I gotta give thanks to my girl, Tiff, Yogini's Quest. A while back she gave me tips for unassisted Chakra Bandhāsana, and they really helped! Next I'll post a video walking up the legs. I only allow myself one shot, lol.

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