Yoga For Scuba Divers Azores

A perfect way to compliment your day of scuba diving is with a yoga practice. If you are on the island of Santa Maria Azores, contact Yogini Tiff for yoga.. flowingyogini@gmail.com

Screenshot_20180612-120040

Advertisements

The Great Transition

Tuesday was moving day. It was a day full of tears, saying goodbye to so many people we love. It was also the beginning of three days of flying. The start of a great transition.

Looking Forward
Looking Forward Together

Back to Tuesday, we packed and cleaned and cried all day. Leaving a place you love, and people you love, is never easy. We had a house full of friends who came to say goodbye, and even at the airport, many of our closest friends came to see us off. The day and our situation could be described as the perfect Fado song. Fado is beautiful and mournful Portuguese music with lyrics of longing and sadness.. 

Back To Tuesday, after all the crying and goodbyes, we took an airplane to the island of Sao Miguel, where we spent the night. We stayed with a dear friend who lives there. Outside the door to her house was a welcome banner my friend’s son made, that read “Bem Viendos.” It was very sweet. We sat around, ate pizza, talked, and laughed, and cried.

We woke Wednesday morning and went to the park, I kept thinking that maybe we should move to Sao Miguel.. it is a big island, with a big modern city.Maybe someday. 

Sao Miguel fun
Sao Miguel fun

Before lunchtime, we were on a plane to Germany. A 1 day layover in Dusseldorf, felt like a mini vacation. We decided to take the train to our hotel. It was a good way to see the city and it was fun. Well, it was fun after we figured out which train to take. A very helpful couple from India, helped us figure out the train schedule and we rode the train with them into the city.

Train To Germany
Train To Germany
Old Dusseldorf
Old Dusseldorf

dinneringermany marliningermany

We stayed in a hotel right in the center of the city. Right next to the “Old Town”, the fashion district, the main train station. We walked around for hours.  We had a dinner at a restaurant that played Portuguese music (that dinner is quite a story, maybe next post). The night was fun, we wanted to keep exploring, but it was cold, it was late, and we had an early flight to catch the next morning.

We woke early yesterday morning and went to the airport, dreading our 11 hour flight to Miami. 11 hours is a VERY LONG TIME. Especially when traveling with a 22 month old. But we made it. And we made some new friends.

Our friend picked us up at the airport, and we drove up to West Palm Beach. I felt exhausted. I felt culture shock. I needed to sleep. But sleep wasn’t an option. We dropped off our suitcases, and I took my son straight to rehearsal. My son did a video audition to be in a musical, and he was cast, and last night was his first rehearsal. 

My daughter and I watched the end of rehearsal.   I felt so much joy watching my son onstage. He was shining, back in his element, performing. When he left the stage, smiling from ear to ear, he skipped over to his sister, picked her up and said “that was the funnest rehearsal of my life.”

I am awake early. I miss my sweetheart. But I am strong. I know why we are here. Life is always in transition. And great big transitions can offer beauty, growth, and possibilities. 

Have a beautiful day. I am going to the beach. 🙂 ~Tiff

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”  ~Maya Angelou 

Manta Magic

Yesterday I had an experience many people dream of. I swam with 17 giant Manta Rays.

Blessed by the Manta Magic
Blessed by the Manta Magic

One of my closest friends on this island is a dive master from the mainland of Portugal. She knew it was a dream of mine to see the Manta Rays, so she invited me to join their dive group and go explore under the sea.

I had no idea what to expect, or where we were going. I knew it was possible we wouldn’t see any Manta Rays at all. But if we didn’t see any, it would be fine. I was along for the ride. Which was beyond beautiful. 

We left the harbor at about 9:30am and headed out to our first dive spot, a place called ‘Joao Lopes’. There were 3 of us snorkeling (I took a dive certification course years ago, but because of ear problems, I cannot dive), the rest of the group was diving. This spot, about a mile offshore, was deep but we could still see the bottom. I swam around, looking at fish and trying to stay close to the boat, when I spotted my first Manta Ray. It was really incredible. She was huge! She swam near me, then past me. I swam as fast as I could, trying to follow as the graceful giant flew through the water.

We passed a fishing boat on our way to Ambrosio
We passed a fishing boat on our way to Ambrosio

I was smiling, feeling happy and peaceful when we headed to the next spot. A famous dive spot called ‘Ambrosio’. This spot is three miles offshore and in very deep water. Very deep, very blue.  At 45 meters deep (about 150 feet) even the divers did not go to the bottom.

The Beautiful Island of Santa Maria at a Distance
The Beautiful Island of Santa Maria at a Distance

The captain of the boat spotted them first, he stopped the boat and said quietly “Tiffany, get in the water right now, nice and slow” and as soon as I did, I was surrounded  by Manta Rays. They were swimming in a beautiful spiral formation. I was literally inside their magical circle.

Manta Rays in The Azores
Manta Rays in The Azores
A friendship blessed by the Mantas
A friendship blessed by the Mantas
Snorkeling with Mantas Azores
Snorkeling with Mantas Azores

I was quiet on the boat ride back to the harbor. I felt a little seasick, but mostly I was just in awe, speechless. Nature.  So much magnificence.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ” – Albert Einstein

Adventure ~Tiff

Take a Hike

I woke up this morning, slowly stretched my body awake, and realized I had a large twig tangled in my hair. My legs are all scratched up and my feet are sore. But I feel good. Two days of pretty intense hiking, snorkeling, and blackberry picking.

On Saturday, we woke early, headed to the other side of the island, ready to rough it and climb down a very steep mountain, to some old abandoned vineyards, situated right next to the beautiful Azorean sea. It was apparent right away, that we were the first people in a very long time to make the hike. What used to be a small trail was now heavily overgrown with cane and blackberries.. but we continued.

The old abandoned Vineyard, we hiked all the way from the top of the mountain!
The old abandoned Vineyard

After what felt like a very long time of really rough and steep hiking, we made it to the vineyards, and peaked inside a small and long abandoned home. Part of the roof had collapsed, but there was one room that still had a roof. We went inside and checked it out. It still had some old furnishings, a reminder of how life used to be. Inside a little drawer, I saw a magazine from 1959 perfectly in tact,  It was a “dirty” magazine.. so I didn’t take any photos.. HA!

Inside the old abandoned Azorean home
Inside the old abandoned Azorean home

The ocean was rough, wild, and beautiful. We had a relaxing picnic.. but I kept looking up at the top of the mountain and DREADING our return hike.  It was steep, it was exhausting, it was hot. But it was fun. ADVENTURE! I found a lot of wild oregano.. and of course we stuffed ourselves with blackberries.

Happy with My Wild Oregano
Happy with My Wild Oregano
My teenage son, happy hiker
My teenage son, happy hiker

Yesterday we headed to a different side of the island, hiked down to some deep and beautiful tide pools and enjoyed some really good snorkeling.

Exploring the tide pools with my daughter... so much life.
Exploring the tide pools with my daughter… so much life.
Blackberries
Blackberry picking 

There were so many blackberries on the hike, so on the way back up the mountain, we filled up my daughters beach bucket with berries. I also picked some wild mint.. And last night we enjoyed blackberry cobbler, drank mint tea, and put aloe vera all over our scratched up legs..

Take a Hike, and I mean that in a good way! HA! ~Tiff

Blackberries! Mmmmm
Blackberries! Mmmmm

Cheers, For All Of It

Lately my feelings about life here, have been changing as quickly as the Azorean Weather. The Azores are known to have unpredictable, changeable weather, often experiencing all four seasons in one day.. Dress accordingly.

A couple of weeks ago, I told my partner, I needed someone to knock on the door and offer me a part-time job. Late that same evening, we had a knock on the door. It was an older man, offering me a job… It was the first time in my life I accepted a job with an avocado mask all over my face. Talk about the power of manifestation. Weird.

The job is at a local dance club, I am bartending. And while I would much rather be serving shots of wheatgrass than vodka, I am grateful for the job. Unemployment is very high on this island of 5000. One of the reasons we are planning to move. Opportunities, there are few here.

Yoga Teacher By Day, Bartender By Night.. Happy some friends came to visit!
Yoga Teacher By Day, Bartender By Night.. Happy some friends came to visit!

But it is such a beautiful place. How do you leave an island so beautiful, so peaceful, so different from anywhere else??  Well, the truth is, it is hard to focus on the beauty when you can’t afford basic things. My family and I are facing a problem   many people all over the world know too well. Living in a country with a seriously struggling economy (Think about the current situation in Greece).

But I am grateful, for all of it. This experience, this time. These friendships. The stories. BUT, I also understand the need to say goodbye to one life, take a chance, and adventure into the unknown…

We can either come from a place of fear, or trust. Or both! Haha..

Though my feelings about life here are constantly changing, one thing has been constant lately. I want the beach!!!  The element of water. So soothing. So perfect. I have been spending hours everyday with my kids in the ocean. Snorkeling, swimming, yoga, tide pools, staring out at the horizon…

The Elements, Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Spirit
The Elements, Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Spirit
Yoga with Yogini Tiff, Praia Formosa, Santa Maria Açores
Yoga with Yogini Tiff, Praia Formosa, Santa Maria Açores Photo by Paula Boetlho

Last week, I had some beautiful people fly to the island and practice yoga with me. From Norway, Italy, and Greece. It was so lovely to connect with like-minded people. Playing the Tibetan Singing Bowls. exploring the island, exploring the breath, sharing delicious food.

Connecting
Connecting

With the powerful full moon, and the beginning of July, lets manifest joy, abundance, trust, prosperity, fun, shots of wheatgrass, and lots of time at the beach.

Remember, we are exactly where we need to be.

With a grateful heart, CHEERS!!! -Tiff

That Glorious Solar Return

Saturday morning, I woke up early, to a kiss on the cheek and fragrant wild flowers on top of my chest. Saturday was my 38th birthday. My solar return. And by 7am, the solar rays were already beaming, offering us the warmest day of the year.

We woke early, because we had to go up into the mountains and meet a friend of my sweetheart, a farmer, who was harvesting potatoes. He gifted us with 40 pounds of potatoes!!! That is a lot of potatoes. So fresh. So good. So nourishing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Malbusca, Santa Maria Açores
The Mountains of Malbusca, Santa Maria Açores
Enjoying the Morning Sun and Views, Malbusca
Enjoying the Morning Sun and Ocean Views, Malbusca

Since we were already on the other side of the island, we went to my favorite spot to collect water. Fonta Clara in Santo Espirito.This artesian well water is the most delicious tasting water I have ever had.  It is a bit of a hike, and much harder on the way back up, with full water jugs. But it is so peaceful and beautiful there. And that water, mmm refreshing. Well worth the effort.

On the Path To Fonta Clara
On the Path To Fonta Clara

After a nice lunch, we decided to go to the beach, and we went swimming. It was the first time this year that I was brave enough to go in the slightly FREEZING water. (I got spoiled living in South Florida and Hawaii). The water was refreshing, early afternoon, the sun was still getting warmer.

Goofing off with my teenage son...
Goofing off with my teenage son…

In the late afternoon, I taught a very special yoga class. The first of 6 special “Yoga At The Natural Park” yoga classes I will be teaching this summer. The classes are in partnership with the Azores Geoparque. Not only was this an outdoor yoga class in a beautiful, remote, peaceful location, but we also had a very knowledgable scientist from the Geoparque give a talk about the formation of the area and the history. We did some exploring, and then we did some more exploring, through YOGA.. It was so awesome. Beautiful. Wonderful. HOT! (My slightly sunburned nose is proof).

Azores Geosite Yoga Classes
Azores Geosite Yoga Classes

As if all that birthday magic wasnt enough, I came home surprised to find a house full of flowers, friends, and family. A sweet little birthday party, a really good ginger and cinnamon cake,and some ukulele playing.

With rays of LOVE, beams of GRATITUDE, and lots of potatoes.  -Tiff