Good morning from Budapest! For those of you that have been keeping up you are used to reading the Sutra line and then hearing my ramblings and thoughts on the matter as I travel. For those just tuning in, that will start again so you know what you will be getting. Today I have to take a bit of a detour from the format to bring it back on track.
I have done a pretty horrific job of blogging on this particular journey. Each day I sit down to write and I do. Pages and pages of thoughts. The problem is I have been in a particularly tender emotional space that is both raw and beautiful. I am swirling about in the sea of vast internal growth and riding the magnificent waves of emotional exploration. I am not shy about sharing publicly when I belive that sharing will be of use of that the story is unique. In the last two weeks I have decided to sit with my thoughts rather than exercise my mental gymnastics publically. It has been good to keep my attentions more internal and is stiring some wildly wonderful parts of the creative process. More to come soon....
What I can share at the moment is some updates and highlights from the last few weeks. This trip began with some tight turnaround with our New studio space getting ready to open, the sale of 2 rental properties and the death of Brian's Brother Derek (My brother-in-law). Getting on a plane to head to New Zealand I was feeling nervous with so much work left behind unfinished. From the very start of this trip it has been an exercise in trust and letting go. I am filled with grattitude beyond belief for all those tht stepped forward to make this continued journey possible for me. It is because of family, friends, community and a very loving husband that I can do all of the things her now and ahead of me. I am learning to lean into the support around me and get comfortable with the scary word in my life, VULNERABILIY. I will admit it outloud that I can not do it all alone. I am no superhero that can withstan the pressures of the everyday and what looks like all glam and glitz in the momentary shots of a facebook page are possible because of the beautiful people I am surrounded with who so deeply believe in me and help me at every turn to step into my personal drive and feminine power.
Stop #1: Auckland, New Zealand
I arrived in the land of the Kiwis on my 43rd Birthday. Greated by my sweet friend Tash, she wisked me off to a little spa date. There is no better way to exit 18 hours of flight time that to get a fabulous hot stone massage. I stayed with Tash and her husband Sam at her mother's little farm on the outsirts of Auckland. Due to the time difference I was often up before the rooster and got a kick out of surprising him in the mornings.
The event here was a 5 day AcroYoga Lunar Immersion (therapeutic flights and thia massage) held at Raw Yoga run by fellow AY teachers Carolyn Russel and Nicole Moyes. If you have never experienced an immersion all I can say about this one is that the nature of the work done in such closeness in time duration and physical proximity leads to close bonds and cultivates and instant container for compassionate exploration. Through the art of sacred touch and deep support of one another you cannot help but feel moved and crack open any guarded heart space. We laughed and shared joy with love and respect for everyone there. Truly an amazing group of humans to be present with.
Stop # 2: Sydney, Australia
May 14th-May 23rd
Oh OZ, you are a special place. This was my second time here. I am always amazed by the wildlife. Especially the birds and there prehistoric cackels and calls. The nature of Australia and the people here is much more edgy and at the same time very sensitive and delicate under the tough and tumble first glance at its exterior.
The event here was a 5 day AcroYoga Solar Immersion. Full on acrobatic training for 6 hours a day. One of the beautiful parts of this event for me was coming into it having just experienced the Lunar side and having eight students at the solar that were also at the Lunar. This translated into so much softness, trust and full on excellent communication that it allowed the whole group to sink into eachother right away in ways that genrally take groups a few additional days to begin the process of trusting and learning to ask for what they need in compassionate ways. Teaching with my friend Kadri Kurgan made it extra special as he is both a strong Acrobat and a full on open hearted kind man. When you have such a balance of the strong and the soft anything is possible. (Photos Below)
Travel Time: Bangkok (9 hours from Sydney with a 7.5 hour layover)
Didn't get to explore any of Thailand. I spent the time in the heat of the airport catching up on Business and answering emails before crashing on a set of chairs for a few hours of sleep before the next flight out to Vienna (8.5hrs)
Stop # 3 Vienna
One night in Vienna since it was much cheaper than flying into Budapest. Brian and I had a delightful reunion. A simple walk, a good meal and a full nights sleep. We had every intention of big plans here, but jet lag had laid out a different path for us. Don't be jealous of our party on nature.
Stop #4 Budapest
May-25 and still going
It is lovely to be in a space of my heritage. My great grandmother came over from Hungry when she was 16 and I only had her influence and stories to off of until now. I never really thought much about having a strong cultural identity since I had so many different spheres of influence growing up. Apparently being Hungarian has sat with me deeper that I could've imagined and being here in many ways feels like I have come home. The architecture and the instant feel of old history is somehow very comforting. Brian and I will be exploring over the next few days.
As you roll out your Yoga mat and sit down to clear your mind; what do you ponder? Are you searching for a deeper meaning within your life, or within yourself? Is the practice of Yoga a way of stress release or does it energize you? Are you asking the big questions? We are searching, learning, discovering, and challenging our minds and bodies in ways we never thought possible. Your answers may be a combination of different reasons, but nonetheless the pursuit is all the same. The challenge is to turn off the inner dialogue.
The very practice of Yoga is like expressing a poem through physical movement. Poetry in motion; which is the best way to describe a yoga class with Katie McHugh Connolly.
It's all in
the sound. A song.
Seldom a song. It should
be a song—made of
scissors, a lady's
By William Carlos Williams
Katie’s Saturday morning classes are anything but typical, be prepared not only to practice Yoga but to challenge your mind, not a single class will be exactly the same. Katie’s signature is her love for poetry, she gifts her students at the end of each class with a poem or sometimes a short story. She usually finds something that marks the trend of the week, a poem which marks the end of winter or a poem which represents in some small way the sequences of movements she teaches in class. Katie has a talent for challenging both the mind and the body and she ties everything together so eloquently. She loves the practice and her students which is evident in manner in which she knows each and every student by name.
Katie’s 8AM Saturday class is a great beginner sequence, she warms you up and gets you ready to start the day. During her 9:15 Open Level class she breaks down each posture into a series of variations yet somehow she manages to never repeat a single sequence twice in a row. In the words of Robert Frost; “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Katie has a passion for life which is expressed through her Yoga practice, she is multi-talented and extremely humble at the same time. She started practicing Yoga in 2005 and moved from Buffalo, NY PA in 2007, when her husband Tim completed his PH.D. Katie worked in housing and homelessness policy for ten years; a career which she had aspired to make big changes yet she became rapidly disheartened by the politics of her career, so she decided to make a life change. Shortly after moving to East Stroudsburg, she started practicing Yoga with Jenn Allen and Chris Loebsack at Sundari. In 2008 she became a mom and now has two beautiful daughters, with whom Katie spends her days home and teaching them that the best things in life are found in books and outside in nature. Ironically, Katie finds that they are the ones teaching her about life, she calls them “her wise little teachers”. In 2010 Katie took her 200 hour training under the instruction of Jenn Allen and Chris Loebsack. She completed her training in 2011 and started teaching at Boundless Yoga.
Katie describes Yoga as “A divorce of the ego.” In other words, she strives to teach her Students to safely practice Yoga in their own way without enforcing self-inflicted expectations on themselves . The practice of yoga is about accepting your body and mind in the present moment. There is no one way to practice Yoga and this is why Katie has created her “Cultivating A Home Practice.” She wants to teach her students how to use some fundamentals to establish a strong home practice. Her work shop takes place on May 17th from 1:30PM to 5:30 PM. Join Katie as she guides her students through a four hour sequences and ideals which will help set fire to your own home practice.
Article By Teri Barton
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.