Is there such a thing as Karmic Irony?

OprahO’ Oprah’s Magazine – February 2014

I was once taught that life deals its cards in mysterious ways. Sometimes you are dealt an ACE and sometimes you are dealt a JOKER.

Well since I have been following my passion teaching yoga, I have been dealt ACE after ACE. A part of my deck of dreams was to create some of the most beautiful tours I could possibly conjure in order to pass on the wonderful teachings and ‘truths’ of yoga, mindfulness and meditation.

The criteria? Well it had to be a feast of the senses. To be surrounded by beauty; to dine in the company of generous souls; to experience copious quantities of laughter; to live in comfort and style; to indulge, explore, connect, and bathe in the warmth of the sun, the lands and its people. …a nurturing experience of pure ease and tranquility.

Thus one of the places we visit on my ‘Rubies & Roses’ Tour to Northern India is Ananda Spa. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, it is simply a breath of heaven!

Enchanting, graceful, beautiful and very, very peaceful, one’s Ananda sojourn combines the teachings of Ayurveda (5000-year-old healing system), Yoga (spiritual and ascetic discipline of wellbeing) and Vedanta (philosophy and science of the spirit). Ananda has created a private haven for those who are seeking true peace and wholeness (not to mention gorgeous cuisine and stunning treatments).

Part of the allure of Ananda is that it honours each individual, treating them on a completely equal basis and is completely respectful of anonymity and personal space.

Enter Oprah!

So here we are one morning taking a yoga class alongside Oprah. Well of course we know who Oprah is but she doesn’t know who we are. Over breakfast, munching on exotic, organic grains, our group discussed how important it was for us to respect Oprah’s privacy….she too deserves a rest, we said!

We decided not to ask her if we could pose in a photo nor put our arm around her and pretend we had become bosom buddies. The most we would do would be to say ‘hello’. Yes, if we had these photos would it impress others? Maybe! Would it be good for our businesses? Maybe! But nevertheless imposition was out. Respect was in.

What was interesting for me was how I observed people doing exactly what we decided not to do. And Oprah was so obliging and charming…….I guess that is her karma. And often we were dressed in Ananda Kurta Pyjamas, covered in oil and not exactly in our most flattering photographic element. Though I guess Oprah wouldn’t care that much. Next to Marilyn she must be the most photographed female idol in the world.

But as the universe unfolds, the pendulum swings and the dealer deals a new hand, another ACE was laid on the table. Four months after our tour, ‘O’, Oprah’s magazine hit the stands. And here we are. Our group. Yes, that’s me in the middle in black and white, flanked by the ‘Rubies & Roses’ team.

Enter Ananda’s website, and here we are again…..’What Oprah knows for sure about stillness”.  Another ACE!

Thank you Oprah. Even though you may never see this and never know who we are!
www.anandaspa.com

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‘A Noble Heart’ Tour – Bali

What is a “A Noble Heart”? 

I have adored Bali from the very first time I stepped onto its shores some 30 years or so ago…….

Bali has always been a part of my dream.  That is to create the most beautiful, nuturing, calming tours possible.   So I thought you may be interested in exploring a little of what I have designed.  Just by viewing the pictures, you will want to ‘take a deep breath’ and probably lie down!

Even if I say so myself.  The tour is absolutely gorgeous.

And….you don’t have to be a ‘yogi’.

Everyone is welcome!  All ages, body types, walks of life, and dispositions.  As we say in our world – you can do yoga from the cradle to the grave and take it up at any time.

‘A Noble Heart’ tour fully embraces the beauty and hospitality of its beautiful people.  Awash with magical environments; stylish hotels; yogalicious cuisine, alluring massage and reflexology; gallery upon gallery; mystical moments; and the most wonderful ‘healing’ centres and treatments.  Culturally exquisite and ideal for yoga.  Absolutely ideal.

And the name?

This expression was used several times during a conversation I was having with a lovely young woman with whom I work in Bali. I realised as soon as I heard Komang say these words that they would become the very essence of this tour.

The definition from her perspective and in her own words:

“A Noble Heart for me means : someone who has a good heart; who is always thinking of the good side of everything; who never has a negative thought about others; who always sees the world in a positive way. Even if somebody has treated him badly or with no respect, he will never do the same to them, he will face it wisely with his gentle smile and wise words and explain nicely. He will come to us whenever he knows that we have a problem , he will listen to our problem and give us a good advice, helping us to find a solution. He always thinking of helping people who is not lucky”.

Very yogic I thought!

Take a peek:

xAnnemareex

Pictures speak a thousand words…

and……so do smiles!

‘Land of 1000 Smiles’ Tour – Kerala, India by Cool, Calm & Collected.

I thought I would share some of the smiles I experience whenever I visit Kerala, as seen through my eyes and those of my fellow travellers.

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I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.  ~Author Unknown

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Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

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A laugh is a smile that bursts  ~Mary H. Waldrip

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Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.  ~Charles Reade

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Everyone smiles in the same language.  ~Author Unknown

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“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” – Joseph Addison

Enjoy!

http://www.coolcalmandcollected.com.au/courses/land_1000_smiles_india.html