Posts Tagged With: India

Spreading the love through: Liebster Award


I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Claire from Cupcakes and Asanas! The Liebster award is focused on supporting upcoming bloggers. Liebster is a German word, meaning love or beloved. Since other small bloggers nominate fellow bloggers and they on their turn nominate another 11 bloggers, love is spread and new inspiring blogs discovered. As a nominee I will share 11 interesting facts about me and answer 11 questions Claire has given me. I’ll nominate 11 small blogs and provide them with 11 questions as well.

11 Facts

  1. The first time I went fishing in New Zealand (and at all); I caught an enormous Kingfish – most fishermen are pretty stoked if they catch a fish as big as mine. Though, I’m still not a fan of fishing. But keen to hop along on a boat to increase my chances to meet dolphins!
  2. My nails are most of the time pretty short – no I don’t bite my nails. I just prefer them short, so they can’t break or tear easily.
  3. My partner calls me a ‘stress chicken’ – I can appear timid and quiet, but my true friends and family know better. I can worry and stress about almost anything.
  4. My weakness: cutting bread in slices. I always end up with uneven bread. Even after quite a lot of practice and advice from my love, it is still not one of my top skills.
  5. I received countless proposals while living in Africa – like most white ladies have. 😉 I didn’t say ‘yes’ to any, instead I promised them to find them a nice future wife in Europe/ New Zealand. So let me know if you’re keen!
  6. My parents told me that I kicked my twin sister out of my mum’s womb, since she came first into the world. I followed 2 seconds later and believed for a long time that I was the dominant aggressive one who violently kicked my twin sister out of the womb.
  7. Apparently my first name ‘Jacinta’ is more common in Africa and New Zealand, then it is in The Netherlands. So I guess It was meant to be  that I left Holland.
  8. My life goals when I just graduated from High School were:” Free Tibet, meet the Dalai Lama and brave the Himalaya.” I haven’t been able to meet any of my goals yet.
  9. If you look carefully you can see a scar on my forehead, as a toddler I didn’t dare to go down the slide, instead I jumped. Resulting in a trip to hospital.
  10. As a child I loved climbing trees and lampposts. Later in life, as an adult, I discovered rock climbing. A great adventurous and enjoyable sport and also a great way to meet new partners, as a woman.
  11. In Auckland, I fell in love with my favourite hot drink:  Chai Latte. An addiction is starting to develop.
A delicious chai latte

A delicious chai latte

11 Answers

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Inspiring others and connecting with like-minded people.

2. What do you do when you need a pick-me-up?

Put on my favourite music and dance in my living room or go for a walk in nature.

3. What is your favorite movie?

The Intouchables

4. What is the best book you have read recently?

The Woman’s Book of Yoga & Health – Linda Sparrowe & Patricia Walden

5. What is the happiest piece of art in your home?

Two wooden carved Maasai people given to me by my dad – reminding me of my dad and the special and strong people I met in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal and The Gambia.

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?


7. What is your favorite decade in American history?

This decade. Since I’m living Now.

8. What is the best vacation you have taken?

My first time in New Zealand; spending 6 weeks with my partner (only the weekends though, he was working during the week) after we haven’t seen each other for 3 months. The weather was amazing! We went to two weddings and did lots of fun stuff together.

9. What makes a meal “good”?

A meal made with love and attention and consumed with gratitude by your loved ones and/or friends.

10. What is your favorite workout?

Vinyasa Yoga

11. What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?

My mum gave me the following quote of the Dalai Lama to help me deal with my ‘worrisome character’.

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”


11 Blogs

  1. Amanda is a yogini, single mum, financial journalist and author. Her blog is a fusion of her interest, passions and skills. Her kind heart and warm character shines through her blog: Amanda Morrall
  2. An interesting blog about anything to do with a vegan life style. Although, not a vegan myself, I find her blog inspiring and enjoyable to read: Honk if you’re vegan
  3. Looking for inspiration, a laugh or motivation? Have a look at this easy to read blog full of short movies, quotes and images: Every day power blog
  4. This blog is simple, inspirational and peaceful. Her life goal is to live local and create a life that is as simple, peaceful and in tune with nature as possible. This definitely sparkles my interest: Drops of magic
  5. Sara is a young woman who has been through a lot already. She lives life to the fullest and motivates you to do the same: Sarafry
  6. Sophie is a beautiful woman and a great yoga teacher! She has done extensive study in terms of stress management, dance, pilates, yoga and ayurveda. In her blog she shares her yoga wisdom and experience and her beautiful presence –  inside and out: Body poised
  7. Looking for more simplicity and inspiration in your life. This blog is worth looking at: Simple strive
  8. This amazing woman is full of energy and loves power yoga. Besides she also a mum, life coach and health food fanatic. Her blog is full of photos and videos; interesting and funny for every yogi & yogini. Live Love Yoga
  9. This yoga blog is easy to read and beautifully to see as well. You’ll learn more about yoga as a lifestyle – so not only on the mat, but off the mat as well: Omlinkblog
  10. Another beautiful yoga blog from a yogini based in Melbourne. She loves to write about her yoga addiction and is not afraid to show herself: Andrea Leber
  11. Knowledge. Inspiration. Chakras. Spirituality. Healing. Tarot. And more is what you find on this blog: Sacred Gaze


11 Questions

  1. How does your perfect Sunday look like?
  2. What is one of your most embarrassing moments in your life?
  3. What are you the most proud of in your life?
  4. What are your goals for the next 10 years?
  5. Please finish the following sentence: I couldn’t live without……
  6. What is your favourite item of clothing at the moment?
  7. What would you like to receive for your next birthday?
  8. What is your favourite quote?
  9. If money was no issue, what would you do with your life?
  10. What is the craziest thing you ever did?
  11. What does religion mean to you?



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To the right or the left?


Often during a yoga class, the instructor tells you to roll to your right-hand side after relaxation or savasana. Most asanas are also performed from the right to the left and not the other way around. Have you ever wondered why?


First of all, rolling to the right or the right side has a symbolic reason. In India, it is considered more auspicious to enter a holy place with the right foot and in many parts of the world we extend our right hand in greeting. The right side also represents the east or the rising sun. Therefore rolling toward the east can symbolize asking for blessings, grace and bliss.


The right side rolling can also be explained by using the yogic subtle anatomy teachings. According to yoga teachings you also have a subtle or energy body, besides the physical body. This energy body comprises of chakras and nadis, making up many thousands of energy lines or channels. The main energy line runs along the length of your spine and is called shusumna. Spiralling either side of shusumna are pingala and ida, which end at the tip of the right and left nostrils respectively. Pingala on the right side represents the masculine forces of heat, activity and alertness or the sympathetic nervous system. Ida on the left is more feminine, cooling, passive and restful, referring to the parasympathetic nervous system. Rolling to the right side after savasana can help us to wake up by stimulating pingala nadi. In this way, we prepare ourselves to become more active again after a deep relaxation state.


There is also a physical explanation (from the perspective of the Western anatomical model) to roll to the right side rather than the left. Since the heart is on the left, rolling to the right brings the heart on top and therefore puts less pressure on the heart and helps allow the blood pressure reach homeostasis.

So right?!

So right it is? It depends really. For example, pregnant women should lie on their left because it makes the heart’s job easier as it keeps the baby’s weight from applying pressure to the large vein (inferior vena cava) that carries blood from the lower part of the body back to the heart. Lying on the left improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus and kidneys. Since the liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on the left side, will keep the uterus off that large organ.

A state of ease

Personally, I don’t think it matters so much to which side you roll from relaxation. If you do a strong yoga practice in the evening rolling to the left side, could for example assist with preparing you for a good night sleep. It is good to know the reasoning behind right or left rolling, so you can make an informed decision yourself based on your personal constitution and your plans after your yoga practice. Most importantly, take your time to come out of savasana, since your nervous system has ideally shifted to a state of ease (lower heart rate and blood pressure, stimulation of digestive processes, lower body temperature and release of endorphins). Therefore savasana can be considered as the most important pose of your practice. And above all, don’t overthink, but feel. Good luck!


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Most yoga practitioners and/or India-lovers have come across the greeting or prayer: Namaste. I love to end my yoga sessions with ‘Namaste’ while bringing my hands together in front of my heart and bowing my head. In India it is used as an everyday greeting such as ‘Hello, How’re you?’ So what does it mean precisely? It is a Sanskrit word with Nama meaning ‘bow’, as meaning ‘I’ and te meaning ‘you’. Therefore the literal translation is ‘I bow to you’. The deeper spiritual significance refers to the belief that the life force or the divinity in me and in you is the same in all. If you use the Namaste to greet another person, you acknowledge this oneness or union with the meeting of the palms for the chest and you indirectly express:

  • The best and highest part in me greets the best and highest parts in you.
  • Your spirit and my spirit are ONE.
  • The light within me honors the light within you.

The bowing down of your head can be considered as a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.

 Ram Dass states it beautifully: “I honor the place in you where the entire Universe resides. I honor the place of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

For me, this one word brings together the true meaning and purpose of yoga. It implies letting go of all our identification layers or ego patterns, instead we connect with each other on a more authentic level. We see and meet the very best in ourselves and in others. We acknowledge that we all look different and act differently, but we are the same deep inside or on a spiritual level. This realization brings me to a peaceful state; we are all humans and all connected and all having the same love inside us. We all would like to love and to be loved.

As a human, I make mistake and I not always act like I would like to act afterwards. I judge people from the outside and forget about our oneness. It can be challenging to see the good in everyone, especially if others are confronting and challenging you. Yoga can bring you back to that place of peace and bliss, time after time. You receive a second chance to start fresh, again and again. At the same time remember to acknowledge your own light and divinity.




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Sanskrit – the yoga and ancient language from India

If your yoga practice starts to deepen, for sure you will come across Sanskrit: the oldest language known to man. During my regular yoga classes I have learned several Sanskrit names for commonly practised asanas (poses). For example: Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Utkatasana (Chair Pose), Garudasana (Eagle Pose). With my Yoga Teacher’s Training coming up, I’m keen to explore the Sanskrit language more and expand my knowledge.

A dead language

The connection between Sanskrit and yoga has existed since yoga’s beginnings in India. The language has remained crucial in the practice of Buddhism and Hinduism for thousands years. Patanjali’s foundational texts, the Yoga Sutras, were written in Sanskrit, as well as the Vedas, the universally accepted first scriptures of humanity. Nowadays, Sanskrit is considered to be a ‘dead’ language to many, since it has ceased evolving. Although, it is still spoken by many people all over the world and is acknowledged as one of the 22 official languages of India.

The Devas

Sanskrit is even considered to be the origin of language itself. All languages have in some way arisen or evolved from this ancient language. In addition, numerous important works including classic literature and historical texts in the great sciences of astrology, astronomy, medicine, architecture and the physical sciences were written in this ancient language. In India it is believed that Sanskrit is the language of the Devas (Gods). In the 17th century the Western world began to take intellectual interest in Sanskrit and many scholars started to translate classical texts into English and other Western languages.

The perfect language

It is believed that the language of Sanskrit itself arises from the ‘root sounds’ or vibrations of the Universe. The various vowels and consonants of the Sanskrit language represent these root vibrations, also know as bijas. A Sanskrit word is not merely a word chosen to name something, but an actual reflection of the inherent ‘sound’ of that object, concept or phenomena. Therefore, the perfect pronunciation of a Sanskrit word can replicate the essence of that which it is referring too. The Quantum physics clarifies and confirms this, because it has revealed that everything consists of vibration and the primary essence of any object or phenomena could be thought of as its own unique pattern of vibrations. Sanskrit is for this reason referred to as the ‘perfect language’.

Sanskrit Journeys

As a yoga student, I think it is helpful to have an understanding of the Sanskrit language. It is even essential to have knowledge of Sanskrit to study the ancient scriptures and thereby get to know the depth and profoundness of yoga. Since only a fraction of the ancient scriptures has been translated into our contemporary languages. For now, I keep on expanding my Sanskrit knowledge through yoga DVDs, books and yoga classes. During a yoga class I silently repeat the Sanskrit word after I’ve heard my yoga instructor say the name for the pose I am practising. As for learning any new language, repetition is important. You will also realize there are common words which are added at the beginning of poses like ardha (half) in for example Ardha Chandrasana (Balanced Half Moon), urdhva (upward) in Urdhava Makha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) and adho (downward) in Adho Mukha Svansana (Downward Facing Dog). I’m definitely keen to deepen my Sanskrit knowledge. Please feel invited to share you personal Sanskrit journeys.




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