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September 11th, 2009:

Me so far!

Entry by Chris

Sitting having breakfast in our balcony in Istanbul… my first free time to write in weeks!  We have been pretty much non-stop since we left LA, what a ride it’s been.  Ozlem wrote about Switzerland, so I will take you through our Paris adventures and bring you into the present.

As always,  the density of Paris is an explosion on the senses …. which are easily stimulated as you carry everything you own up 6 flights of steep narrow stairs! Our legs are still sore.

When I read the description of the apartment, I thought “perfect! top floor, lots of light…” I had no idea that you could build a staircase that climbs a 1,000 feet in a 5 or 6 story building – I say 5 or 6 because the ground floor  starts at 0 – and yes I know, they use meters!

Ozlem in chocolate heaven!

Ozlem in chocolate heaven!

Days were filled traversing the city by foot just checking things out and finding great places to have lunch, coffee, or just hot chocolate. Our nights were generally spent having dinners with friends, drinking a “little” wine (as one must do when one is in Paris), and watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night – yes, I finally made a tourist trip to the Eiffel Tower.

A night time visit

A night time visit

The highlight of the trip was BY FAR the workshops that we had at Rasa Yoga – THEY ROCKED!

Day 1 was packed out! Day 2 was PACKED OUT!!! We were wall to wall and mat to mat – literally – and we still had students coming in… we opened the studio doors to the lobby, cleared the furniture, and had students practicing in the lobby all the way to the entrance door – it was AMAZING!

A well deserved savasana

A well deserved savasana

The energy of so many people coming together just for the experience of it was truly heart filling, the light that filled the room was unbelievable. There was such a wide range of studentship present, from teachers to casual practitioners to students that had never stepped foot in a yoga studio before – the energy was so contagious and we all moved in harmony with one another and we all left feeling happy and full just for having had the opportunity to experience such a magical moment.

The next day we left for Istanbul, an even denser city and with even more explosive explosions on the senses – if that is even possible.

We caught a taxi right outside the airport. A taxi ride in Istanbul is always an exciting adventure… since you don’t understand what the taxi driver is yelling at all the cars… it kind of feels like you are just sitting back watching it all on TV, this gives you a false sense of security which allows you to just sit back and enjoy the views of the Bosphorus.

Day 2, practice on the edge of the water – it was good news and bad news! The good news was that my phone was dry and well.. as you can imagine, the bad news was that nothing else was. It’s never doing a handstand on the cement ledge over looking the water that gets you…. it’s the wind that blows your mat into the water while you are tying your shoes that does it!

As I satisfyingly finished my practice on my favorite two and half foot ledge, I heard my phone fall and hit the cement… but something was wrong with this picture… the mat my phone was sitting on was gone!!! It was just here… where did it go?! No… it couldn’t have…. yes, there was my mat floating on the current… pulsating in the mossy green water – very yogic actually – I had to laugh!

It’s weird how your first instinct is always to just reach out 15 feet and grab it with your hand our toes… it’s also weird how 18 + years of practicing and teaching yoga doesn’t prepare you for this – retrieving your mat without getting wet.

Yes, I thought about just leaving it out there… as I weighed the environmental impacts vs the me getting wet impact … I realized that my mat was drifting out… so in I go! Surprisingly warm… I laughed all the way home.

Last night was the first night of our Advanced Anatomy Teacher Training, it ROCKED!!! The practice was intense and the level of studentship is through the roof… it’s going to be a GREAT couple of weeks!!!!

Ok.. I am a little wired on coffee… I have tried to take a drink every time I hit “return”… I’m feeling the juice, I should probably walk it off!!! Actually, I think I will head down to my favorite ledge for a rematch!!!!