There were a few more reasons to celebrate this year. One of them is a new job contract which I signed the day after my birthday - I will start working as a freelance physiotherapist in a nice practice in the 9th disctrict, close to Votivkirche. A friend of mine, who embarks on his Master Studies to Adelaide/Australia very soon, suggested me as his replacement, and this came as the right opportunity at just the right time. I will start working there this fall, on October 1. For those of you who are interested to know more, or would like to recommend our practice, please have a look at our website: http://www.vsmc.at/.
Another thing to look forward to is my upcoming "voyage fou" to Algeria in August, which I am approaching with a mixed bag of emotions: 30% yearning, 30% curiosity, 30% excitement and 10% fear (sounds like the perfect recipe for a holiday to me...)! I will stay for 10 days, am blessed to have a local person for company and guide expertise, and expect to see a little bit of everything: the capital Algiers, the Mediterranean coastline with its beaches and ancient ruins, and even a little bit of the Sahara desert. What more can you ask for?
Finally, the last reason for celebrating came about during my party - at about 9:30 pm, just when my friend Mike Regan had started playing some live music in the garden, I slipped on the floor in my appartment, crushing onto the heating radiator with my right orbita. I ended up with 2 cuts below the eyebrow (and a big shiner for a couple of days) but I think I was lucky that I didn't crack my head open!
I had already been promised that I'd feel "somewhat reborn" after a 30-day Yoga Challenge, but this incident gave a whole new meaning to that promise...
Oh yeah, I promised to write a few words about the Challenge itself. Well, simply put, it was a great experience. It wasn't easy, and took dedication & time management, but in the end it was all the more rewarding. Besides whipping myself back into shape, losing 4 kilograms in just 4 weeks, i noticed the big effects the daily practice had on my eating & sleeping habits, mental attitude, and general well-being. After all, Yoga is a holistic practice that affects the entire body (including the brain!), starting on a cellular level, and changing it from inside out. And that's what happens (I guess Obama saw it coming): You change. I know it might sound weird, but as soon as you start practising Yoga, you're somehow not the same person anymore.
Of course there were highs and lows during the challenge, but I hardly ever had a day where I didn't feel like going, because I knew I would always feel better afterwards (which I did). I admit I broke the alcohol rule 3 times (to have a beer for dinner), but on the other hand I imposed a few more "rules" upon myself - no fastfood, no TV, 1 warm meal each day, and lots of fruits & vegetables (I never had so many in 1 month!). Through that, my whole digestion seemed to change as well, which was nothing less than miraculous - my stomach suddenly reacted very sensible to certain (unhealthy) things that I could have eaten without a problem before.
What this challenge also proved to me is that you really can (and should) do your Hatha Yoga on a daily basis, more or less. The challenge naturally makes you implement Yoga into your daily routine, just as brushing your teeth or taking your daily shower. And since your body tells you that it's good for you, you wanna keep on doing it. So I am hoping for my eye to heal quickly, because I can't wait to get back into the Hotroom again! Namaste.