How to Make Matcha !!!


I've been on my matcha kick so here is another how to video on preparing it. Like I've said before this unbeatable beverage touts many health benefits! I'm still loving it and thankfully has curbed my appetite for coffee. This video is from the matcha company, PANATEA. They are catching the green wave. I'm telling you it is the best ever!

ORAC Scale

Thank you, Sarajevo


Last weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina for the second time teaching and sharing the practice of Ashtanga yoga. Here yoga is new and on the fringe but nonetheless there are those that are offering it to the people. A country hit hard by war in years past still leaves its mark. Recently, floods have also ravaged the areas outside Sarajevo in and around the countryside.

It is a beautiful thing when the practice offers healing to those who have realized challenge on every level. Quite honestly I can't truly identify with how one deals with such tragedy and at the same time I have learned how resilient the human spirit is, that yes, life moves on no matter what.

I extend my gratitude to the budding Ashtangis of Sarajevo. Thank you for your hospitality. A big thanks to Mike and Aida for paving the way where it may not be the most popular of pursuits, but no doubt one of priceless value to their students. 

I Rise

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
(Maya Angelou)

Love Liberates

Maya Angelou


"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."  
(Maya Angelou)
Today this planet lost one of its greats, Maya Angelou. A woman of beauty, grace and wisdom. A woman of faith and knowing. I never had the opportunity to meet Maya but there is a part of me that feels as if I had. Her warmth and strength of character had a way of emanating beyond time and space. There is no doubt she has left her mark on this world and has made us better people for it. Thank you, Maya Angelou. You are my hero in so many ways. Thank you. 

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois


Photo taken in 2007
"Yoga is showing where to look for the soul -- that is all. Man is taking a human body -- this is a very rare opportunity. Don't waste it. We are given a hundred years to live; one day you have the possibility to see God. if you think in this way, it is giving you good body, good nature, and health."  
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Guruji. In Loving Memory.


Dear Guruji,

Where do I even begin to express my gratitude to you. We who practice Ashtanga yoga are blessed because of you. If it wasn't for your passion for yoga the world might not have been touched by the power and beauty of the practice you spread to almost every corner of the world. We are also doubly blessed by how you lived, being the example and embodiment of yoga exemplified through your daily living and commitment to the practical application of it even though your scholarly knowledge went far beyond what we could imagine. You touched people no matter what level of understanding they had and worked with what was tangible. Through that you have reached multitudes of practitioners around the world who ride on the energy and enthusiasm you ignited. Thank you. May your light continue to burn bright in all of us.

July 2007

Ashtanga Yoga Demonstration, Part 2


Here is the last video we produced while in Mysore, India last winter. We decided to have a little fun and use music that was more up beat in tempo and rhythm. Unexpected. Yes, the practice is an internal often silent quest but here I simply express the celebratory nature of practice. Enjoy. 

Workshop in Belgrade, Serbia


This past weekend I was teaching in Belgrade, Serbia which was part of what was formerly known as Yugoslavia. Ashtanga yoga is making waves especially in Eastern Europe in that there is much growth in these areas and a new found interest in things such as yoga. Still on the fringe it is slowly gaining momentum especially with Vairagya Ranko being the main teacher in the city. He has unparalleled energy, discipline and focus for the practice and it is truly inspiring.

The city of Belgrade itself has charm and a bit of grit and I have to say I enjoy being there. With the Springtime weather everyone is out milling around the city and/or leisurely sitting at one of the many outdoor cafes. The one thing I can't get over is the smoking! They still allow smoking in most restaurants which is reminiscent of my childhood days when that was still allowed in designated areas inside. Here it is a free for all and the percentage of smokers is the highest in the world. With that being said, with things such as yoga becoming popular a contrasting consciousness is taking shape. I think the best part of Serbia is the people. Warm, welcoming, and affectionate, it is definitely the country's treasure.

Workshop in Cologne, Germany

As usual I'm late with my posts. Life keeps moving yet the rate at which I upload my photos and collect my thoughts seem to move much slower lately. In April, I traveled to Cologne, Germany in that I was invited to teach a weekend workshop there. It was my fourth trip sharing the practice of Ashtanga yoga. I will return this September as well. Cologne is a lovely city. My first trip I took the obligatory photo of Cologne's Cathedral, otherwise known as the High Cathedral of St. Peter. Let me tell you it is an awesome sight. Now, I take more intimate photos of the city. Such as this much smaller church above that remains nameless. Cologne is very quaint, green, bicycle friendly, city that has a welcoming rhythm to it. Everywhere I go it is a such a privilege to share this practice with others. Thank you, Cologne!

The next time I'll be teaching in Cologne is 12 - 14 September 2014 at Ashtanga Yoga Mitte. 

Friday Quote: This Stranger


Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our ‘biography,’ our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are? 

Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?
Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own? 
(Sogyal Rinpoche)

Matcha! Where Have You Been All My Life?



Matcha green tea has been a revelation. How or why hadn't I been introduced to it before is beyond me. Already I have a plethora of green tea in my kitchen, and well with all my research on health and nutrition matcha somehow escaped my field of recognition. How did this happen? At any rate I owe this all to the world of social media. Flipping through my Instagram feed I became inspired by one of the various healthy food gurus I follow. They were using it in their smoothies praising a long list of it's health benefits and also highlighting how it makes for an excellent replacement for coffee. The timing couldn't have been better because over the past month, finally with some resignation, I have come to the conclusion that coffee is simply not good for me.

I know, I know,  the famous ashtangi saying, "no coffee, no prana," has been touted with pride around the community. But seriously, for me longterm coffee consumption meant a big time depletion of prana. Through other research I have also found this to be true from other resources in regards to yoga practice. Not only does coffee deplete our adrenal glands but it is dehydrating as well as depleting for the body of valuable minerals and taxing on the nervous system. Now, I'm not saying every once in a while having a cup of joe is a bad thing I just came to the conclusion that for myself drinking it daily was doing more harm than good overall. And let's face it, it's a drug! One that once you quit will leave you with withdrawal headaches lasting for a number of days. Now, I don't mean to badger coffee because sure it gives a nice kick in the morning. The smell. Well, that is what always got me. Oh that smell! There is nothing quite like it. But let's look at an alternative that garners even more benefits and brings a state of alert and calm centered wellbeing at the same time. No jitters.


My newfound favorite beverage of choice. It adds to, instead of takes away. One important note in regards to what we choose to consume daily. Does it add to our overall longterm health and wellbeing? Or does it simply give the illusion that it's whats needed to get through the day. Remember, if there is one thing yoga practice teaches is what we do today will effect our tomorrow.

A Background ... 

Match has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East starting with Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and Chinese Daoist who recognized the benefit of matcha supporting a calm energy in the body while remaining alert for meditation practice. This comes from the compound L-Theanine which promotes the production of alpha waves which in turn induces relaxation without drowsiness. Also, L-Theanine activates concentration, memory and boosts one's energy and endurance. Samuri warriors would also drink matcha before their battles.


Matcha gives a high does. Topping the ORAC scale you can rest assure along with a healthy diet that making room for more antioxidants is a good thing while also containing a few components that play a key role in cancer prevention. It fortifies the immune system providing abundant quantities of Vitamin A and C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium.

Is that all?

NO! Not only does matcha give a high dose of antioxidants, improves concentration and endurance it boosts metabolism and detoxifies as well. High in chlorophyll drinking matcha plays a hand in removing heavy metals and chemicals from the body. Because the tea leaves are stone ground and you are essentially drinking the ground tea leaves themselves you receive a more effective bang for the buck when it comes to obtaining these essential nutrients versus steeping the tea leaves.

Give it a Try!

One of these days I'll make a video on how to make it. That's a promise. However, in the meantime if you are curious, the below video with give some insight on how to prepare it. There are also other creative ways to consume matcha by making lattes as well as adding it to smoothies. I'm sure the possibilities are endless. However, the best way to drink it is straight up!

First of May

Now May, already, it is hard to believe, and as spring slowly begins to awaken, you know it's a slow process here in Sweden, you must have patience, once again, I find myself in a reflective mood. I enjoy the transitions of the seasons. I like change. There is something dynamic and hopeful in regards to change that I feel comfortable with. Granted not all change feels all that great but it is my feeling that more times than not change brings opportunity to more deeply understand ourselves and the world we live in.

When I think back to a year ago, which in reality doesn't feel that long ago, I can't say I've experienced any radical changes, only the fact that somehow I feel even more comfortable in my own skin. A settling in. A strength that radiates deep within my core. My gut. A connection to center. It's a good feeling. Going back to last year I felt more of an unraveling. Tiredness and exhaustion. Now instead of feeling low or high I see value in steadiness.

Steadiness of mind is the true fruit of yoga practice. Valuable beyond anything else once the thought waves subside and fade in the background the voice of our soul can finally speak. It will not yell over the mindless chatter of the mind. Sometimes I feel close to this space of awareness and other times seems more elusive. Whenever I step away to then come back inside to center I ultimately realize how deeply it has been missed. There is nothing more tranquil. There is nothing that can fulfill it from the outside. A lesson that takes constant reminding. However, the more it is experienced to be true the more it reaffirms in our state of being.

The remembering, it is the most challenging part. It is so easy to default to old patterns and comfort zones. Why? Thankfully, the practice of yoga gives space to watch and observe. To strengthen our resolve to what really charges our spirit. It is no easy task but one that once you get the smallest of tastes one will never yearn for anything less. 

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