Lily Lotus

DAY TWO - Spread The Aloha Tour in Chino, Nagano

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Aloha Everyone!

Angela Makiと私の"Spread The Aloha Tour" もいよいよ残りわずか。。先日は都会から離れて長野の茅野市へと行ってきました。Angela Makiの友人でありヨガのインストラクターの千早さんが駅で私達を出迎えてくれ駅のすぐ横で開催されていたヨガ&トレーニングイベントへと連れて行ってくれました。the BIRTH&days 5周年祝いのこのイベント、Angela Makiは気持ちの良い芝生の上でヨガのクラスを2つ行いました。芝生の周りには3階建ての大きな窓の近代的な建物があり、周りには幾つものテントが張ってありヨガウェアーや手作りの美味しいパンなどが販売されていました。

外でヨガをするには最高のお天気!でも私の身体はヨガ疲れ。。笑 先日のAngela Makiのヨガのクラスであちらこちらが筋肉痛だったので午前のクラスはちょっと受けてその後は木の下でお昼寝。午後のクラスはお休みしました。今月は旅をしたり、色々あってとっても忙しい月だったので木の下でのお昼寝かパーフェクトでした。芝生の上でし横になりながら、Angela Makiのクラスを観察。生徒さん達はみんな楽しみながら集中をして自分の健康の為にヨガを頑張っていました。ここ茅野市にはヨガスタジオが2つしかないと聞きました。都内みたいでは無いけれど、the BIRTH&daysに通っている人は多くみんな真剣にヨガに取り組んでいるそうです。こうしてゲスト先生を迎えて大きなイベントをするという事は珍しく、でもこうして一回目を行うことでも次に繋がり、又次にとこのイベントがどんどん成長して行くのでしょう。

So far, our Japan trip has been going great! Angela Maki and I took a trip to the country side in Chino, Nagano this week to continue our Spread The Aloha Tour in Japan. Chihaya-San, a friend of Angela Maki's and yoga instructor, greeted us at the train station and walked us over to the Yoga and Training Festival in Chino, Nagano presented by The Birth & Days. This was the first time for this festival to launch and they had invited Angela Maki to lead two yoga classes outside on their lush green grass lawn. A modern looking building with large windows about three stories high surrounded us. There were a variety of vendors selling yoga merchandise, freshly baked goods, and home made crafts. 

It was a perfect sunny day for a yoga class. Yet, my body was exhausted from yoga the other day, so I decided to participate in half of the class and then take a cat nap under a near by tree and sit out of the second class completely. Especially after a full month of activities and travel, it was nice to take a break and also to observe the participants in her yoga class. They were focused and excited to work on their health with the guidance of Angela Maki. I heard there are only two yoga studios in this town. And they are pretty filled on a regular basis. And to have an event like this, bringing yoga instructors from outside of Nagano, is a rare thing. So, I could see how this festival has potential to grow. 

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夕方になり気温が下がり始め、夏が終わりを告げているのを肌で感じました。ヨガのクラスが終わりイベント会場を後にして山側へと千早さんの新しい淡いブルーカラーのSUBARUを走らせ約15分したら千早さんのお家に到着。途中で鹿に遭遇したり、美しいお米やそば畑を横に走りながら昔この辺は王様、天皇が住んでいて、山から流れてくるこの土地のお水、そしてそのお水が作り出すスペシャルなお米をこよなく愛していたと聞きました。今でもこのスペシャルなお水で作ったお米がローカルの農家の方々によってキープされていて茅野市では手に入るそうです。今回のトリップではそのスペシャルなお米を試すことができなかったので、必ず次のトリップでは試したいと思います!

Evening hit and the weather began to get a bit chilly. I could feel the shift from summer to fall as the chilled wind brushed against my skin. Yoga class was over and it was time to go. As we headed up the windy road up the mountain to Chihaya-San's house in her brand new baby blue Subaru, we watched deer crossing and passed by fields of rice and buckwheat (what soba noodles are made from). I was told that this area was where the King or Emperor resided long ago. He loved the water from the mountains here and the rice here is special because of the water. And til this very day, there is still a good amount of rice fields kept up by local farmers, but they only sell this special rice here in Chino. I didn't have the opportunity to try the rice out on this trip, but my goal is to have some on our next stay here.

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家に着いたらすぐに荷物を降ろし私達が向かった場所は近くのホテル。この辺で1番良い温泉へ千早さんが連れて行ってくれました。入場料1000円とオシャレなホテルにしては良心的なお値段。お風呂場には、屋内と屋外があり外の温泉は、インフィニティプールの様になっていてお湯の先にうっすらと山脈の影が見えて、周りの木々はライトアップされ、まさに絶景!星に月、どちらも雲とかくれんぼをしていてなかなかずっと顔を出してくれなかったけれども、雲の隙間から放つ光がとても神秘的でした。

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1時間半程温泉の湯に浸かりリラックスしたら、千早さんの旦那さん、檀さんが待つお家へ帰りました。お家に着いたら、檀さんが大きな笑顔と温かいハグで私たちを迎えてくれました。家の中には、流木、カラフルなドライフラワー、ドリームキャッチャーに世界各地から二人が集めた工芸品にインテリアなど素敵な物ばかり!数々の素敵なインテリアの先には檀さんが作った長いリビングテーブルがあり、そこには彼が作った熱々の夕食が用意されていました。庭のガーデンから採れたお野菜を使ったメニューに飼っている鶏の卵を使った最高に美味しい玉子焼き。美味しい食事と共に檀さんと千早さんの素敵なお話を聞きながら2人のことをもっと知ることが出来、まさに夢を現実にしている素晴らしいカップルに私もインスパイアされた素敵な夜でした。

プロマウンテンバイカーでクリエイティブな檀さんとピースフルで明るいエネルギーを持っているヨガインストラクターの千早さんは、 Club 3719 というクラブのオーナーでもあり、年間を通して子供達や女性、企業向けにキャンプを行い美しい信州の大自然の中で自然を感じ、学び、共に過ごすという素晴らしい体験が出来る

場所を人々に提供しているのです。彼らの夢であったこのクラブ。Club 3719は、大人も子供も楽しめるアドベンチャーが盛り沢山!

We pulled up to the house and made a quick luggage drop off so we could head over to a near by hotel. Chihaya-San was excited to show us one of her favorite spas in the area. It was about $8 or so to go in to use the spa facilities. Pretty reasonable for a high end resort. This particular spa was special to me because of the indoor/outdoor onsen. Imagine soaking in a giant infinity pool filled with hot fresh water springs from the mountains and a panoramic view of the woods under the stars and moon shining bright. It was magical! After a few sessions of yoga this week and a 2 1/2 hour commute on the train, my tired muscles felt like jello melting in the pool. Our bodies totally needed this.

After an hour of relaxation, we headed to the house and met Chiya-San's husband, Dan-San. He welcomed us in with a friendly smile and warm hug. We followed him and the delicious smells through their gorgeous home, filled with colorful natural woods, dream catchers, and other artifacts from their world travels, to their dining area. Dan-San had prepared a beautiful hot dish for us, using fresh eggs and vegetables from their garden. We had great conversation and learned more about their story. It was nice getting to know such a beautiful and inspiring couple living their dream life in Japan.

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"Kitchen Garden."と言う名前のガーデニングの裏には山があり、そこにマウンテンバイクのコースやお散歩コースなどがあるのです。まるで私が大好きなハイキングコースのハワイのWaahila Ridgeにあるコースに似ていて涼しくてアクティブに身体を動かすには最高の場所。大きな芝生の庭では栄養たっぷりのふっくらとした鶏が二羽駆け回っています。きっと鶏もこんなに良い環境だからこそ毎日ヘルシーな卵を産むのでしょう。ワークショップでは、この健康的な鶏の卵を使ってふわふわのパンケーキをなんと参加者の皆さん分、19枚。プラス私達の分まで1人で作ったのです!!

Husband and wife duo, Dan-San and Chihaya-San, are the owners of Club 3719. They turned their dream home into a club, where they host year round camps for children, women and corporate team building. Club 3719 provides the perfect peaceful, adventurous and inspiring ambiance for adults and children to enjoy. They have a beautiful garden of herbs and vegetables they call "Kitchen Garden." Their backyard leads into the woods, a place where no one is allowed to build, a similar feeling to Waahila Ridge, one of my favorite hikes, over in Saint Louis Heights in Honolulu, Hawaii. The weather was a perfect cool temperature. Taylor and Ichiro, Dan-San's extra large chickens, run free and safe from roaming predators in the yard and happily lay eggs everyday. In fact after our workshop, Dan-San cooked up the largest and fluffiest pancakes, using their chicken's freshly laid eggs for our party of 19! That's a whole lot of pancakes! 

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料理のマジシャン檀さんは、いつもエネルギーでいっぱい!世界をプロのマウンテンバイカーとして旅をし、数々の試合に勝ち、今でも一日に約20kmバイクに乗るというスーパーアスリート!アーティストでもあり、常に社会にどう貢献出来るか?人々の暮らしが更に楽しくなる様に、人々が自然と深く繋がれるようにと考えていて常に新しく更に大きな夢へと向かっているのです。檀さんのコンセプトは、"一緒に料理をして、一緒に食べる"。料理を一緒にして、一緒に食べる事で会話も増え、自然と繋がりも深くなる。そのコンセプトを元に今新たなことをスタートしようと動いているのです。常に前へ前へと走っている檀さん。

今回は一緒に料理は出来なかったですが、お互いのビジョンをシェアーし、夢を語り、笑いながら檀さんの作った美味しい料理を頂き深く繋がることが出来ました。

近所の方や千早さんの友人にヨガの生徒さん達、参加者の皆さんは10:45分ぐらいに集まり大きなテントの下、蕎麦畑の可愛らしい小花と美しい八ヶ岳を眺めながら長野初のドリームボードワークショップスタート!

A true magician in the kitchen, Dan-san is always full of energy. He's traveled the world as a professional mountain biker. He's a natural artist, philanthropist, incredible chef, and the ultimate dreamer! His concept is "Cook together, Eat together." Dan-San is passionate about connecting with people through interacting in nature, with nature, and through great conversation. Which is what lead him and his wife to create Club 3719. And although we didn't cook together during this specific workshop, we were able to connect through sharing our visions and dreams, laugh and eat together.

As the sun rose the next day, Angela Maki and I stepped out to watch the sky glow with it's stunning golden morning light. Chihaya-San and Angela Maki decided to enjoy a private yoga session on the lawn, while Dan-San gave me a grand tour of their home, Club 3719. Soon after that, Dan-San brought out a tent for us to set up to shade our class. Around 10:00am, we had a nice light breakfast, which included fresh eggs of course.

Participants for our workshop began trickling in around 10:45am. Many of them neighbors, friends and clients of Chihaya-San. We gathered together in the shade under the large tent in the front yard, over looking a breath taking view of Chino's beautiful mountain range.

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まさにこれが私の夢だったのです!アウトドアでフレッシュな空気の中、美味しい料理を食べて、笑顔でお互いの夢をシェアー!まさに私のドリームボードに貼ってある雑誌の切り抜きが現実となったのです!!テントをセットアップしている時も、ランチを食べながら会話をしている時も、皆さんがシェアーをして下さった夢の話を聞いている時も、この素晴らしい夢の様な時間、一瞬一瞬を大切に大事に過ごしました。また一つ私の夢が叶った!と歓びと達成感で胸がいっぱいになりました。
夢を叶えてくれた千早さん、檀さん、そして参加をして下さった皆さん、心から感謝しています!

It was like a dream come true! Connecting with other women, out doors, in fresh air, sharing our dreams and eating a delicious and stylish home cooked meal! Seriously, I have photos of a similar looking location and people enjoying a colorful healthy meal together, making a toast, in an outdoor setting on both my Lifeboard and Business Dreamboard. So, during various times throughout the day, as we set up the tent, conversed at lunch, and ended our time with an intimate dream share, focusing on what new came up and what they enjoyed about the workshop, in the front yard, I would take a look around to soak it all in. Each moment, I felt a sense of accomplishment and joy. And I thought to myself, WOW, IT'S ALL HAPPENING! Another dream come true!

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Shedding the Layers (part 1 of 2)

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Some people are already well off without a formal meditation practice - and some of us are already spontaneously in meditative states if we practice such things as the arts, music, or absorb ourselves in nature or other healthy, peaceful activities.

So it may not be calling to you, this whole meditation thing, but if you were to do it, I think you’d find it to be very novel to sit there and do nothing and just be by yourself - it can seem useless or even ridiculous to some at first, but I guarantee that you will experience some changes, subtle or profound, if you were to sit silently alone for some part of your waking day on a regular basis. You may even see the “layers” of yourself start to peel away or open up through this process, revealing something deeper about yourself.

I’ve personally found that there is a magic to this sitting and just breathing and being with yourself, in a simple way that can lead to greater self discovery, greater alignment with the power that lies within, and greater contentment in life by beginning to and eventually realizing what truly matters. To get to the essence of what it is that makes you happy in your life that has nothing to do with outer circumstances - imagine that!

That would be a gem to realize! Talk about liberation and freedom.

photo courtesy  Aveda  by  Kate and Keith Photography  of   Tiare Thomas , wearing  Lily Lotus  & hair by  Liz  from Black Cat Salon

photo courtesy Aveda by Kate and Keith Photography of

Tiare Thomas, wearing Lily Lotus & hair by Liz fromBlack Cat Salon

How exactly do you think this kind of deep contentment may come about from just sitting there and doing nothing?!  All these realizations about your deeper truth and then living in ways that bring you more fulfillment and more love for yourself and others without trying to “get” something from the outside world...sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it!

"as you sit there and meditate an outer layer of yourself starts to spontaneously peel away, it may even fall away completely, to reveal a deeper layer of yourself."

Well, I like to think of it in terms of a few metaphors. First, imagine yourself as an onion - and as you sit there and meditate an outer layer of yourself starts to spontaneously peel away, it may even fall away completely, to reveal a deeper layer of yourself.

Or if you prefer, you can imagine yourself in terms of a lotus flower. As you sit quietly with openness, kindness and compassion towards yourself, it's as if a little pink outer lotus pedal begins to unfold and open, revealing the deeper inner blossoms of you, with thousands more petals waiting to bloom.

These may be useful metaphors for how sitting silently on a regular basis and just taking a little time out for yourself to relax and be still can lead to a deeper unveiling of your essential qualities beyond the surface of what you know of yourself now.

I’d suggest not to expect any revolutionary changes in yourself or your life overnight after your first meditation sitting. Instead, just be open to intuitive subtle shifts. Over time you may feel the falling away of certain tendencies that can result from developing a regular meditative practice.

What comes of it is more of a shedding of things, rather than a gaining of things, at least in my experience. And what shines through as these outer layers open up, is the light of your true Self that is always there and never changes. It’s that universal light that’s always been there at your core, awaiting it’s revelation through your simplification and an allowing of your true essence to flow through.

"Here’s the caveat - it’s not always easy and sometimes if you go deeper and longer into the practice it can reveals your shadow side."

Here’s the caveat - it’s not always easy and sometimes if you go deeper and longer into the practice it can reveals your shadow side. Simply put, all the things remaining in your psyche, mind or body that need to be healed and purged may come up as these superficial and deeper layers of yourself are opening up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s actually a great process for transformation-- but it may be quite confronting and uncomfortable to deal with repressed things we haven’t seen in a long long time.

It’s well worth it in the end to unearth them lest they continue to wreak havoc internally and externally in our lives. This is the juicy and true healing aspect of a more consistent meditation practice over some time.

Seek support from a dear friend or compassionate professional when the going gets tough in your meditative practice, and stick with it even through the unveiling of the uncomfortable things that need to come into the light of awareness. Because beyond those layers at your core is the freedom, ease and pure expression of your authentic self as you are, and ultimately, your true Self, or unconditioned Love itself. Your essence or true Self is kind of like the ocean that holds all of what is, in it’s huge infinite warm embrace.

So, it’s worth a go! Even for 5 minutes every morning to start. See what subtle changes happen with even a brief few minutes of conscious meditation a day, and know that it could take weeks or months to see any changes - so sticking to it is key.

It's always a wonderful mystery to see what gems this shedding of layers will reveal from within your beautiful self!

 

Namaste my friends!

May you be happy,
May you be at peace and
May you be healthy and strong in body, mind and spirit. 

Love and light,
Salina   

P.S. In part 2 of this blog post next week, we’ll go more in depth about the “layers” of self, and what those may be, and what could be revealed within as we go deeper into our core with our meditation practices.

Find out more about Salina and Flo Yoga Hawaii’s yoga class schedule at:
www.floyogahawaii.com

www.salinamaxine.com