6447 km so far.
Jane and I have lived in several different countries, both of us have worked in fields that have taken us on journeys far and wide, and we have an array of incredible friends in most corners of the world. Some of them have settled in beautiful country farm houses in rural France, some of them own yoga studios in Japan, and some travel the world in the name of rock and roll.
We may not get to see our friends very often, but the great thing about true friends is you are able to pick up where you left off, no matter how much time has passed.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. Anais Nin
A Brave New World
On this trip, we are expanding our world and making great new friends. Yoga has been an amazing addition to our journey, and has given us lots of opportunities to learn, grow, and connect.
My first yoga class in Berlin was this morning at the new lululemon athletica showroom in Mitte. There was an absolutely amazing surprise waiting for me when we got to the store: Lewis, one of my students from Los Angeles, was there. He is a musician and is in Berlin for a few days playing some shows. He brought one of his fellow band members along as well.
It is always great to have friends in class, but to be so far away from home and still have that connection is priceless.
We moved class from the store to the park nearby because the weather was so fantastic. I love a park practice for many reasons, but the chance to insert yoga into the unsuspecting souls who just went to the park to hang out is high on the list. Even without realising it, seeing a group practice yoga seeps into the mind of everyone who witnesses it.
This is especially noticeable in small children. I told the group we would almost certainly have children join in today, and, sure enough, not long into class a girl who must have been about two started trying to do Down Dog nearby. Her parents got a kick out of it, and I invited them to join in. They declined today, but maybe it will inspire them to try it out some time.
We had a fun class, talking about goal setting and using yoga to help us learn that things which once seemed impossible become possible with hard work, focus, patience, and practice. My friends at Lululemon have helped me with my own goal setting and it was nice to get to share those lessons with the students here.
After yoga, Jane and I discovered one of the reasons Jesse likes Kreuzberg so much. When we went for lunch in Mitte we realised this is the expensive this side of town! Lunch was about twice the price of last night’s dinner, and it was not nearly twice as good. Lesson learned!
Old World Underground
Tonight our cycling trip coincides with another great trip that two friends are on: the My Bloody Valentine tour. Our dear friend Jen is the Fifth Beatle of MBV, adding her flare to their sonic squall. Another friend, Magali, makes sure the band have great onstage sound while performing.
When we found out about 4 months ago that we would all likely be in Berlin at the same time, a dream was set in motion that we would be able to hang out together and catch up on the past few years.
It was incredible to watch Jen up on stage with such legends. So many bands I have loved were inspired by the music of MBV, and to see her up there with them, elevating their sound, was so inspiring to me. To see thousands of people soaking it up was even more amazing.
Jane’s note: I’ve always been in awe of Jen’s talent. I was just a pretender in our rock ‘n’ roll days, but Jen’s the real deal, and it’s great to see her being appreciated by all those people. Stop reading our blog and go listen to her gorgeous band Something Beginning With L instead.
After the swirling, multi-layered, sonic dreamscape that is MBV, we went over to catch some of Bjork’s set on the main stage. I was reminded how incredible her voice is, and how much I love her use of odd time signatures and unique rhythms. She had reworked many of her songs into long (sometimes too long) stretches of ballad mixed with short bursts of electronic dance beats. Interesting, but perhaps not completely festival-appropriate.
We met up with Jen after Bjork and she brought us backstage. Playing hostess, she sorted us out with drinks and introduced us to a few of her new friends. We hung out for a while, chatting with Jen and Magali about what it’s like to tour with My Bloody Valentine. By all accounts, it’s awesome.
Hanging out backstage with the band, crew, and friends is a luxury that we don’t often get to experience anymore. It was great to dip our toes into what our life was like back when we lived in London. A night or two of it every once in a while is fun, and getting to see friends is a brilliant bonus.
The reconnection brings those old worlds back to life, and reminds me of how important they were, and how important each connection, old or new, really is. This is what keeps our personal universe growing, it is what keeps the whole universe expanding. ♥
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Hi, I’m Stephen. I travel the world leading Adventure Yoga workshops and trainings. Plus I run My Five Acres with Jane. I’ve taught yoga in 25 countries and we’ve had adventures in more than 50! My goal is to empower you to decide who you want to be and what you want from life — and to help you cultivate the courage you need to to go get it.