Yoga Dance

Dance With Yoga Asana. I choreographed and performed this a couple of days ago. It was a lot of fun and very healing. Feeling that creative energy flowing. Excited to put on a show! I hope to write and dance more soon. ❤

Tiff

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Say I Do…..

A few nights ago, while we were in St Augustine, we witnessed, actually we were a part of something so sweet and beautiful. We were wandering around, enjoying the crisp weather of north Florida, the art galleries, and the old buildings..   when something so unexpected happened, something that still makes me smile. IMG_2607

Downtown St Augustine is old. The city is haunted, and has a very painful and dark history. But there is something there that I am drawn to, and always have been. In the center of the downtown, is a park. A park that was once the location of the slave market. Today, it is a well used and much loved park busy with tourists. Adding to the beauty, for the holidays, there are lights strung all around the park.

Anyways, my daughter was running around, laughing, enjoying her freedom, when I noticed a young attractive couple trying to prop their phone against a railing to take a photo. I offered to take their picture. I snapped some photos, we exchanged smiles, and then they offered to take our picture.

The sweet couple took our picture, we said thank you, I started to turn away, and then the young man said “Sorry, but will you take another photo of us? The photos turned out blurry.”  I was a little confused, because I knew at least a few of the photos turned out nice, but I happily agreed.

As soon as I positioned the camera, he got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked his beautiful girlfriend if she would marry him. I was smiling from ear to ear, snapping photos, shocked to be witnessing something so beautiful. LOVE. She was crying, in complete shock. She said “YES!!” They hugged and a huge crowd gathered around and started clapping and cheering. I was nearly crying. Everyone felt this strong, happy, magical energy of love.

I congratulated them, gave them back their camera, and we slowly walked away. My son had also snapped pictures of the couple, and he ran over to them, got their email address, and sent them their magical moment caught on camera.

So, to the beautiful couple, recently engaged, thank you. You made our night so special, full of the magic of love, and I wish you every happiness in the world.

Blessings~Tiff

The Beauty in The Sunrise and Sunset

A few weeks ago, I taught a beach yoga class that I will never forget. A beautiful strong class.We went into a very deep meditation.  We were all blanketed in this magical feeling, and for many minutes after class officially ended, we sat silently, softly smiling, everyone feeling that ‘Yoga high’.

Well, that high ended with an accident, a horrible accident, that shocked us all, and left me confused, frazzled, and ultimately feeling very guilty. 

The ocean was wild that day and the lifeguards had put up a red flag. It was warm out, blue skies, but very rough water.

One of my students (who is also a friend, healer, and a teacher),he walked to the shoreline, and decided to dive into the water. He unknowingly dove into very shallow water and his shoulder hit the sand very hard. He came up with his arm hanging several inches lower than it should have been, and his collar bone sticking out, it was grossly out of place. It felt like this weird nightmare, caught in between these two worlds,  and I  really didn’t know what to do.

The lifeguard came over and kind of knocked us back into reality. He was grounded in the situation, and he gave us firm instructions. He also said to my student, in his macho but caring lifeguard voice ” Dude, I know you are in a lot of pain, but we saw that dive and we all thought you broke your neck. You are very lucky.” I am sure he didn’t feel very lucky. And as reality sat in, so did my guilt.

My student was rushed to the hospital, and had to have surgery. And I  kept thinking, “if he hadn’t come to my yoga class, none of this would have happened.” 

I have tried to remind myself that I didn’t instruct him to dive into that shallow water, but the guilt is still there. The concern is there. The pain is there. The memory of this beautiful man, soaking wet with a horrible injury, is still is fresh in my mind. And I have to process and work through that feeling that somehow it was my fault..

I have tried to remind myself that although this has changed his life, it likely has put his life on a track that could only open up because of this accident.   It was the tragedy of my sons seriously broken arm, that forced me to homeschool him, and ultimately allowed us to take a trip to the Azores, a trip that changed our lives, and led to the birth of my daughter. A beautiful path opened out of a very painful situation.  There is a way to look at this situation (any situation) and someday understand the reason. Because there is a reason behind everything. But just because my student will get through this doesn’t mean it isn’t insanely painful. I know it is.

Recently, I have had two very close friends experience intense tragedies, both involving death, in nightmarish ways. My heart goes out to them.

 

We all experience misfortune. And right now, in this moment, my heart goes out to anyone and everyone experiencing grief, loss, sadness, guilt, pain, or fear. Experience it. Surrender to it. Pray. Love. Forgive.

Life and death are mysterious…We can be jolted out of our bliss at any moment. In an accident or even death. Samsara.  This life is impermanent. We only have so many breaths. Everything is in a constant state of transformation. Death included.

I have been doing a meditation about death, and it is surprisingly healing. When we realize our life is impermanent,  we try to make each moment count.We live each breath.  We see the beauty in the sunrise and the sunset. 

Namaste, Tiff12248193_10204499516517914_5042567486272250404_o

 

Strength Through Devotion

I woke up this morning to the sound of trees being chopped down. The land across the street is being clear cut to make way for a large Wellington mini Mansion. We have seen hawks and turtles, foxes and possums, owls and ospreys. Where will they go?

I don’t often write about all the sad and awful things that are happening in our world right now. Wars, mass shootings, environmental destruction,  anger, poverty, racism, and hate. But just because I don’t write about it doesn’t mean I don’t think about it, or feel it.. Because trust me, as an empath, I feel it. There is so much chaos right now that it is hard  not to feel crazy. I think we all do. How do we heal?

 

For me, even 10 minutes of yoga, deep breathing, a few juicy asanas, single pointed focus, can shift my mood and perspective, drastically!  I can transform from a place of hopelessness and fear, to a place of strength and healing. Through breathing and being mindful. This is why I practice yoga. This is why I teach yoga, even though truth be told, anyone who teaches yoga knows, you have to do it because you love it. And I do love it. It is through inner healing, realization,  and wisdom that we can create change. Sometimes while we are deep in the surrender of savasana, we truly feel and understand that all things connect.

IMG_2004
Putting down the shovel, for a little Asana Time

We are at a crossroads. Strange and intense times and energy. Times of transformation.  We can’t just talk about the problems, we have to start living the solution. How do we want to transform? What do we want to transform into?

My suggestion is that we tap into our higher wisdom, and transform through love, compassion, and forgiveness.

Wishing all of us a heart healing day. ~Tiff

 

 

 

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

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