Friday, October 06, 2017

Photoshoot as a yogic practice

September in China was rich in crazy fun photoshoots, like this one with amazing Zoe @BieJieBieJie. Photographers love to click a lot those days! I sometimes thought of it as a nuisance, a wasteful by-product of the digital over-information age. Now as i scrutinize all the subtle variation to select the “best” shots, i find value in observing the minute details and angle variations in my body shape (and possibly my partner’s). So back to the yoga of self-study / svadyaya, and patient self-love … not to be confused hopefully with narcissism :P but using photos as tools to reflect & experiment which shape produces a more stable / fun / challenging / esthetic / relaxing.. effect. My main fields of study right now are: shoulder opening (in last years a huge progress and a revolutionary inner feeling, and yet as the photo shows there is still room for more angle & extension!), the effects of toe pointing (as @jasonnemer’s goading still echoes) especially during press-ups, and search for spaces of relaxation in the straight body extension. Thanks for reading, the practice of hardstanding is so rich i could keep filling pages! So, enough said, back to practicing, disconnecting the mind, feeling.

Thursday, June 08, 2017


Roll-ups are an interesting challenge for almost anyone, with lots of balancing, dialogue, negotiation, tuning-up, messing-up,... laughing-out!

Prepping it for workshops with fellow monkey Manja Köstel was tons of fun.. we couldn't find a video so me made one, enjoy, try it, spot it, find variations... come roll with us! (Leipzig workshop 25-June)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Thai Massage in Chiang Mai

I have been to Chiang Mai many times since my first time after joining the Thai Massage Circus in 2010.   So i often get questions on Thai massage trainings and treatments you can get there, and i used to answer with an email that i kept updating.  Now, i will just give a link to this post :D

Disclaimer #1:  i am not an official guidebook and haven't tested all the options, so this is just my little narrow report of what i experienced & what i have been told firsthand.
Disclaimer #2:  change is the only constant in this world and i haven't been back since 2015, so please let me know of any updates this post needs.

First things first, if you have time only for one school go to Sunshine Schoolin my view (and that of many) it is the most professional and reliable school, clear technique and spirituality is not fake.  It's great for beginners, and they also have advanced courses.

If you go to Sunshine School (or anyway) check out this amazing guesthouse nearby  (for the price you can't get such a swimming pool and park anywhere else in town)

Finally about the Sunshine network, a couple hours away, if you want more like an intensive there are the famous Lahu Village retreats.  I didn't do it myself but knowing some of the teachers and many of the participants... it's really an amazing experience.

Another famous school there is ITM, i have heard good things from some people, and not-so-good things from others.. well it's on the basic side, possibly a starting point on Thai massage and learning about Thai teaching styles, but i wouldn't rely on it to become a professional practitioner.

No Chiang Mai report would be complete without legendary master
 Ajahn Pitchet,...  Usually departure by Songtao is around 8am at Chiang Mai Gate, or you go there by your own means...  first time you gotta bring offerings, put money in envelope, there are more details on the link above, and call him or ask around town for recent updates.   Do not expect a classic course, maybe it is the ancient way or just Pitchet's way... morning is dedicated to prayers, chanting, offerings, Dharma talk, maybe a demo, then veg lunch is included, then people drift to practice in pairs, you give one round, you receive one round, possibly with Pitchet himself or one of his advanced followers and so the knowledge trickles down. It's a unique experience of technical and spiritual transmission.

Then there is the Mike Tan
Originally a student of legendary master Poo and others, he developed his unique style... I had several treatments which were some of the deepest in terms of pain and benefit,.. not for the faint of heart, but i definitely recommend! I also heard from several friend that he is a great teacher, so definitely check out his schedule.

Mr Nat and Sin Chai, are two of the blind masters, ask around, definitely a must, they teach too sometimes.

My #1 recommendation of treatment to receive = the Chi Nei Tsang (deep abdominal massage) from Khun Ni, the amazing lady and funny shaman... she's ~25-45 minutes drive away (depending on traffic), call his driver who pick u up at Taipeh Gate or elsewhere and drives u back: 0818830781 or her daughter 09797464697.
Other alternatives for great Chi/Kar Nei Tsang:  Om is really good, i experienced her Chi Nei Tsang, she really is in the foot-steps of Khun Ni.. Her Thai Massage is also one of the finest.  She also teaches, though i have heard mixed reviews on that. superstar Mantak Chia's center...  he gave a degree to Khun Ni to validate her, though the story goes that he mostly learned Chi Nei Tsang from her.  Anyway his center looks amazing in many ways, i still have to go there some day... would be happy to hear your report if you venture there!
- the Loi Kroh massage school, where Khun Ni's former pupil Kooki teaches and gives treatments. Some people say she's even better than Khun Ni, other people told me less favorable things about her... i haven't had a treatment with her, so please add your feedback here if you go.

At the Lek Shaiya center, now her son's, Jack Shaiya, combines nerve touch with hot herbal compresses... powerful and yummy, definitely get one if u can!

More tip on receiving treatments (which i always recommend to get a sense of the diversity of Thai massage)... there are plenty of good (and less good) parlors in town.  the blind massage are great value, pretty deep and safe.  some temples also offer interesting variations, like the Tok Sen (with a wooden hammer, but i wouldn't trust anyone) in general if i go to a new one, i get the foot massage first, safe and easy to interact, or escape :) then if i like i go back for shoulder, or right away i ask as extra, etc.. 

Finally there is even an Indian healing antenna, the Ayurvedic clinic, where you can get a wide range of treatments including yummy shirodhara, colonics, etc,..  I had amazing treatments there at very reasonable rate... Ayurveda's finest with the Thai touch.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Dolphin - an acroyoga washing machine

Discovered in 2014 with flyer Jamie Lee, and tuned up with many others since then.
Possible variation, without bow, go straight from bird on hands to seated pike, by opening legs in a quick straddle, supported by bases knees and toes.

Play with it, use spotters (or surround yourself with magic soft sand:) ... enjoy & share any variation you discover!

Link to Acropedia 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Oldie but goodie... back in the days, already some funky "acroyoga" with Krishnamacharya and his daughter. I can't help but wonder if at some time in India they were doing it with adults sometimes, even if "just for adjusting" as i saw it done in an ashtanga shala a few years ago... In this video i love about the gentle & firm care of the base, he's not just tossing the kid around, but really giving the yogic experience... and i love the dismount, gotta try it with kids & adults! 

i am excited to go back to India this Spring with 2 immersions in 2 different regions of the north, 2 different types of immersions.. so they can be taken as combo:

25-29 March: Rishikesh Lunar, back to our favorite ashram, on the high Ganges shores:
15-19 April: Dharamsala Elemental, the Dalai Lama will be our neighbor in this land or pristine mountains & rivers: