Ho Chi Minh City and ‘The Namesake’

I could not wish another book to be by my side: The Namesake. I am about to leave Ho Chi Minh City; named after the national hero Uncle Ho.

The protagonist in the book; Gogol or Nikhil, I; Emel or Ema and the city; we all have names changed, fathers lost, became who we are through unforseen incidents, and now living once unimaginable lives. Hence the strong connection to the book and HCMC…

From the first moment in the city I felt ‘at home’ and this stay of 10 days was not planned but was forced upon us with unexpected extra paper work for our Thai visa application, a pleasant surprise…

We met old friends by surprise and new friends that we want to meet again.

We ate a lot! Our daily quest for vegetarian (chay) food became an adventure.

Had Lotssssss and lotttttsssss of coffee…

and even managed to did mandala drawing workshop!

Today I leave this city, leaving also the stuff that I don’t need anymore in the hotel room. In a way it feels as if we have packed only for a vacation, to come back one day.

Doing my morning routine for the last time ; having a banh mi from the lady in the corner and a coffee i will let ‘The Namesake” summarise how i feel for this farewell.

“…he feels the slight nostalgia it is sometimes possible to feel at the end of an extended stay in a foreign place, taking in the details that will soon evaporate from his mind

Another book catches his eye. The Short Stories of Nikolai Gogol. “For Gogol Ganguli” , it says in his father’s handwritimg. “The man who gave you his name, from the man who gave you your name”… The first thing his father has given him.”


Guiltfree Yoga for Book lovers

When i am not practicing a ‘normal’ yoga session that takes place on a yoga mat, leaves you sweaty after 90 minutes and feels like you’ve worked out and burned the bhan mi (vietnamese sandwich full of yum) that you had for breakfast , i can’t help feeling guilty. I feel like first i need to ‘work’ then i get the right to feel ok. I need to deserve that next bhan mi. Or maybe even better, first i need to pay my debts for all the days i had the bhan mi but didn’t practice yoga- so i close the gap.

Whereas , in fact, the greatest way of practicing yoga is to be compassionate with yourself, have patience and forgiveness. But l am a human-being with similar fears, shame, judgement as many other people and more than often i find myself thinking to myself ‘what kind of yoga teacher are you? You haven’t even practiced today…you are too lazy… too heavy… too weak… you can’t do this and that pose… you are not flexible… you’re not strong… ‘

Today again i noticed my heart squeezing with these uncomfortable, self-scolding restless feelings. Then I decided to remind myself that ‘it is ok.’

I do what i can, with what i have, where i am. And it happens to be i am in Vietnam, in my hotel room, with a book in my hand, rolling and tossing around in my bed in some yoga asana…. and THIS IS my yoga today. So be it !

Viparita Karani – legs up the wall : helps your heart rest and improves digestion

baddhakonasana -butterfly pose: opens up the hips, releases tension and accumulated emotions

Sphinx pose: strenghtens back and upper arms, brings flexibility into spine and youthfullness in your body

Heart opening inversion : opens up your chest area literally increasing breath and blood flow to your heart and lungs, and also lights up your psyche.

And finally reading a good book: reduces stress and opens up the doors to a brand new world. Books are indeed the yoga for your mind.

I hope everyone reading this finds a way to forgive him/herself and say ‘So be it! This is my yoga’ 🙏❤️🧘‍♀️



#yoga #bookyoga #bedyoga #hcmc #saigon #hotelroomyoga #vietnam #viparitakarani #baddhakonasana #sphinx #sphinxpose #backbend #heartopeners #asana


Sketchy Feelings doing Nothing

✍️ …

a little sketch for a sketchy feeling i am in right now.

We arrived to Kampot two nights ago,and we are stuck in this Riverside near Kampot center(somewhat voluntarily) doing NOTHING. Struck by the calmnes of the riverside chillout cafe, we are sitting and sitting and sitting…

m time to time a restless feeling rises to the surface of my mind thinking that we must be doing something or else we are missing out …should we walk to the town or rent a bike and go around, waterfalls, caves, people? … then we sit , order a coffee or a fruit shake, reach out to our book, journal, pen and colors and watch the day go by … my restless mind relaxes in between the lines and strokes and colors.

I know there is something moving me in this staying here. A very still movement.

I trust the invisable wind. The more i trust the lighter i feel.

s drawing one can be used as a bookmark. It’s drawn on a lightbulb card box… making use of trash.


Following La Loba

Today is the first full moon of 2018. It is said that full moon represents things, projects or phases in life reaching to culmination, to completion, becoming full, to end and after this End there is space created for new, for a fresh beginning. Until the next new moon we prepare the field for new seeds to be planted.

However i had not experienced the synchronicity of moon phases aligned with the events in my own life as strong as today.

Today marks the day of our decision. Finally bringing our Cambodia experience to an end (at least for this year) to start a new journey. After 3,5 months here, we’re ready to move on.

While reflecting on my experience here, going through my stuff, trying to clear out some weight, i found a sketch i did a while ago. Three months ago before the season actually has started, the first place we held our Reiki and Mandala workshops in Otres was ‘Casa La Loba’ (house of the wild female wolf) and the owner of the place was not here, she let us use her ‘casa’. Later during my stay i read parts and pieces of the book ‘women who run with the wolfs’

And today right at the full moon, feeling still very empowered by the strong vibes of the ‘new year’ and my resolutions i found the sketch of ‘la loba’

I decided it deserves to be complete. And i know it’s only complete with two sides together, yin and yang, angel and evil, kind and strong, gentle and fierce.

I remember the old Cherokee teaching of two wolves. Here i share it , wishing all of us to find the courage and resources to let go of everything that doesn’t seve us anymore and to be able to take the new day with excitement.

It is said the hardest decision in life is to decide wether to try harder or to let go. I hope we all make the right choices this full moon.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”




Bu seneye başlarken kendi kendime tavsiyeler verdim, akıl verdim, gaz verdim… Eşime dostuma arkadaşlarıma verdiğim gibi cesaret verdim, izin verdim. Elim kaleme değince çala kalem yazdım, sabah uyanınca tekrar okudum da ‘Biri bana bunları söylese , böyle akıl verse bayaa hoşuma giderdi’ diye düşündüm. O yüzden paylaşıyorum. Belki birine O başka biri ben olurum. Ben sansürsüz yayınlıyorum. İsteyen istediği akılları kendi durumuna göre değiştirsin. Hepimize iyi seneler olsun!

When starting the new year , i gave myself some advise, some opinion and some encouragement. I gave permission and a pat on the shoulder – just like i do it for my friends and loved ones. I wrote things spontaneously and when i woke up to the new year and re-read these lines, i thought to myself ‘I’d really like it if somebody told me all these and gave me a little bit of confidence boost’. So i decided to share it here, hoping maybe i be that ‘somebody’ to somebody. I share my version but anybody reading this feel free to replace/change priorities according to your reality. I wish us all a good new year!

  • Get lighter!
  • Get rid of everything that’s excess. Do not try to give it away or re-purpose! You can not! They are not re-value-able! For example the plastic honey bottles that you’ve been keeping to store salt/sugar/oil etc. No! Don’t! Throw them away! The best you can do is hope these plastic finds its way to recycling! The rest is not your responsibility. Get rid of everything that’s excess. Plastik bags are included…Pens and paper trash also included…
  • Don’t save your best pens for beautiful paintings. Use your most beautiful pens to the last bit!
  • Cloths! Wear only the cloths that make you feel good! There is no such thing as ‘home-clothes’ , going out cloths.
  • Eat good! Live in good houses! Travel in beautiful places! Have the best experiences! Join good courses. Anyway Is it not payable with money? Pay and take it! Live. Do not postpone to another time when it’s a special occasion.
  • Keep a journal. Write, draw, doodle… it doesn’t matter what it is but let pen and paper meet and kiss.
  • Walk more, swim, ride a bicycle, do yoga, dance , move more…
  • Sit more. Sit and stay still. Be calm
  • Laugh more! Forcefully laugh. Laugh! Laugh! Don’t be shy laugh!
  • Dance! Learn a dance, salsa or something and tgen dance it. And also something that you don’t learn.
  • Paint! Draw! Color! Color small, color big! It doesn’t matter what, but draw! Draw your memories. Capture moments. Have a drawing journal
  • Ayyyyy sing! You sing well anyway, sing more. Even on stage…
  • Learn to play an instrument. There is a guitar and a guitar teacher available, so why not starting here?!
  • Give presents to friends and family. Postcards, paintings, small gifts, messages, surprises. Spend time with them. Care for their special days. Because you know it’s special to them and they are special to you.
  • Work, progress, money, success… do it all without ‘worrying’ just do it! Don’t hesitate! Don’t doubt yourself! Come on what idiots do so many things, what’s there to hesitate… gather your thoughts and you can do everything! Start with the yoga holidays you had in mind. And then start writing that book! WTF! Same thing with the 3-5 days workshops. Come on! Ready! Set! Go! I’m looking forward to it!
  • CALLLLLLL your loved ones. Ask them how they are doing. Remember them and show them you remember them. Tell them you love them.
  • Drink water. Seriously! you’re not drinking at all. I mean it, drink water!
  • Reduce coffee, drink green tea:/ they say it’s good
  • Eat a clove of garlic everyday as a medicine… you can skip some days…
  • Don’t ignore your blog. Update your website and blog regularly.
  • Read more books. No, seriously! READ MORE BOOKS.
  • Write stories, write poems.
  • This list doesn’t have and end (i mean the end is open) Come back once in a while. Add, edit, update, make it fresh like green . Let it remain green!

Ok now let 2018 come in! I am ready! Ah and also…

  • Live healthy.
  • Think healthy. Have life-affirming toughts.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get lighter. Be as light as a feather.

I know You!…

I love this view and everything in it. This is the view from where i am staying in Otres. The cute little house there, is something that i could imagine myself living in, but it’s not mine. Still, i love it… i love the sunsets here…

Osho says “If you love a flower don’t pick it. Because If you pick it, it ceases to be the thing you once loved. Love is not about possession, it’s about appreciation” I remembered those words of Osho while watching sun going down over and behind this house near the lake…i watched it take away the light and put the blanket of the night over us. I watched it with appreciation, with love … knowing that tomorrow the sun will rise again and will bring back the light. And only if i allow myself to just watch this flow of day and night -with appreciation- will i be able to enjoy the “unburdening” of myself with the setting sun and “opening” space for what is yet to come.

“Namaste!” As they say in India .- the light and love in me, greets the light and love in you-

Or as they say in the movie Avatar “i know you”

With such knowing, with such love and appreciation i release this day. Looking forward to tomorrow to greet the sun, to receive whatever the day brings, to our first morning #yoga session at #Oasis in #Otres

Namaste Otres Village!

I know you!


Beach Yoga in Cambodia

The season is about to start here in Otres. All the businesses are full on preparing, constructing, renovating… so am i … getting ready to meet some yoga fans here in Otres. I prepared a poster , and here it is. If you’re around pass by to say Om! Or pass it forward – there might be some other people interested

Art, Inspiration, Traveling

Cambodia! Here we come…

After a summer break back home i am quite ready to head down south again. This time Cambodia, for the first time ever

I find that traveling in general creates this feeling of “greater possibility” as if “now! finally now! you have time for whatever project you want to work on and it will happen this time”. It gives a clear starting point, a clear frame or deadline… and for some reason it seems more possible than ever.

Picking up an instrument, learning a new language, starting a yoga practice, picking up blogging again, A new skill … anything and everything seems more possible to happen while traveling, than ever.

I also have a list of things i want to do/start/pick up/learn/engage/enhance while in Cambodia…

One of those things is to start blogging . Another one is to paint/sketch more …

And here comes a post to kick start these two (of many others in mind) projects and a glimps into my first week in Cambodia… and it is time of #FullMoon so i guess this in fact might be a very good time to leave the old behind, and let what’s been cooking for some time to come to a completion.

Full Moon, Cambodia, hungry free spirit… it’s all on my side! High Five!!!

So here we go…

1st Stop : Queen Alia Airport, Jordan.

While waiting for my next flight, i noticed a man praying between the seats. I personally wouldn’t pray there. I’d hold it until i reach home or a private place. Maybe it’s because of my fear of being judged (judged not for praying but being judged for showing off) But then again for him it looked like he was in his private spot, as if no one was around. He didn’t seem to mind… Maybe it’s really more of a spiritual growth issue, to feel comfortable to do what you do without ‘thinking further’ . . So i felt the urge to try and sketch him and searched for a quote which reflected my toughts (usually better than i do) .

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” Søren Kierkegaard

Next: Bangkok – Charging Point

Next: Kuala Lumpur

Right after i watched #Avatar on the flight, i land in KL Airport to find myself in the magical lands of #pandora. (Where wheelchairs, women with babies, girls and “lost souls with melting shadows” go this way to toilet-see last photo)

Finally: Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

In my country we believe rain brings abundance. We got plenty as soon as we arrived 🙂

Abundance in tuctuc rides…

Abundance in rice dishes …

Abundance in creative inspirations… making art and being part of art )

Next: Heading down South to Sihanoukville, Otres

It’s all shades of green

Then comes our home for the next few monts

Our Workaway Home…

Our hosts are two travellers , Canadian and Palestinian couple , ex-Dubaian … our times in Dubai were overlapping. I guess we were meant to meet , just not there but here.

this is what it feels like home – the art piece on the wall is a whirling dervish and the writing on the skirt says “Allah” in Arabic letters…

First job we got was gardening. We got our hands dirty, mixed compost and rich black soil for the plants.

I got an insect bite and it got swollen overnight. No pain, no itching… i swallowed a clove of garlic and another one cut in half and put around the eyelid(not inside) it’s getting better already.

But i take it as part of my initiation into Cambodia.


Next post will come hopefully very soon

As for now, i am very happy for this new beginning!

Looking forward to what’s next


Yogada baş dönmesi ve baş ağrısı

Yoga ve başka egzersizleri yaparken sıkça rastladığımız rahatsızlıklardan biri baş dönmesi ve baş ağrısı. Hem egzersiz esnasında hem de egzersizden sonra ortaya çıkabiliyorlar. Bazen baş dönmesi soğuk ter döktürüp, gözleri karartıp düşmeye kadar varabiliyor. Bazen de baş ağrıları başın içine ve arkasına, sinüslerden gözlerin arkasına, kulak arkasından boyuna doğru geniş bir alanı etkileyebiliyor.  Aşağıda olası sebeplerini ve uygulayabileceğiniz ufak tefek değişikliklerden bahsedeceğim.Keyifli okumalar.


“Her şeyin de sebebi susuzluk mu ya?!” diyebilirsiniz ama vücuttaki kimyasal denge açısından su en etkin belirleyici. Özellikle terleyerek su kaybettiğinizde yorgunluk ve egzersiz esnasında performans düşüklüğü yaşamanızın en büyük sebeplerinden biri susuzluk.Vücudunuz susuz kaldığında hücrelere besin taşınması ve vücuttan toksinlerin atılması yavaşlar. Yani yeterli enerji alamazsınız, bir yandan da ufak ufak kanınızda zehirli madde yoğunluğu artar. Vücudunuzun ısı değerlerini dengede tutmak zorlaşır, esneklik azaldığından sakatlanma riski artar.

Ne yapmalı? Güldür güldür kovayla suyu kafaya bir dikişte içmek yerine gün boyunca yudum yudum aralıklarla sürekli su tüketmek gerekir. 

Düşük kan şekeri:

Yoga esnasında dolu bir mide önerilmez ama kan şekeri seviyesini dengelemeye yardımcı olması için, kolay sindirilebilen ve enerji içeriği ile egzersizde size destek olacak kompleks karbonhidratlardan ya da ceviz, fındık, badem,  kuru kayısı, kuru üzüm, kuru incir kuru yemişlerden oluşan atıştırmalıkları egzersizden önce tüketebilirsiniz. Yine en yararlı besinleri hüpletirken bile ölçülü olmakta fayda var. Burada ölçü olarak kendi avucumuzu alabiliriz  😉

Yoga Pozları :

Bazı yoga duruşları, özellikle ters duruşlar, öne eğilmeler, boyuna baskı uygulayan bazı pozlar vücudun baş bölgesindeki kan dolaşımını kısa süreli olarak engelleyebilir ve kan basıncını  aniden değiştirebilir. Bu ani pozisyon değişikliğine vücut ve kan dolaşımı aynı hızla cevap veremediği durumlarda baş dönmesi olabilir. Bu rahatsızlıkları azaltmak için en başta yapmamız gereken:

  1. Çok yavaş ve kontrollü şekilde yoga pozlarına girmek ve yavaş yavaş pozdan çıkmak 
  2. Başımızın tepesinden uzanarak özellikle boyun bölgesinde omurgayı düz tutmak. Bu şekilde boynumuzu uzun ve düz tutmak boyunda oluşabilecek baskıları ve kan dolaşımı aksaklıklarını azaltacaktır.
  3. Yoga her zaman rahat ve keyif verici olmalı. Aşırı zorlanma hissettiğimiz durumlarda baş ve boyun bölgesini destekleyerek alternatif pozlar ile çalışmaya devam etmeliyiz.
  4. Eğer alternatif pozlar da ivedi rahatsızlığa çözüm olmuyorsa , çocuk pozunda ve ya savasana pozunda dinlenmeliyiz.

Alternatif Yoga Pozları ve Uygulaması :


Yoga esnasında doğru nefes almak çok önemli. Nefesin azı da zarar bazen çoğu da zarar. Yetersiz sığ nefes almak egzersiz esnasında yeterli oksijeni sağlayamayacağı için baş ağrısı yapabilir. Ya da tam tersi derin nefes almayı unutmuş kronik stresli şehirli bünyelere bazı nefes çalışmaları fazla gelebilir, tabiri caizse nefesle kafamız güzel olabilir.Halbuki nefes yogada ve birçok doğu felsefesinde sadece soluk alıp vermek değil, aynı zamanda hayat enerjisini (prana, chi, qi) vücudumuza almamız için bir araç olarak görülür. Dolayısıyla hayat enerjimizi yüksek ve dengede tutmak , doğru ve yeterli nefes almamızla  ilgilidir.

Eğer yoga esnasında baş ağrısı ve baş dönmesi yaşıyorsanız, nefes kontrolünüzü geliştirene kadar Kapalbhati ve Bastrika gibi vücudu ısıtan ve uyandıran, uyarıcı nefes egzersizlerini azaltın ve ya tamamen kaldırın. Bunun yerine güvenli bir şekilde nefes farkındalığımızı arttıracak ve stres, kaygı, anksiyete  gibi zihinsel sorunlara da gevşeme yoluyla rahatlama sağlayacak nefes egzersizlerini kullanabilirsiniz.


Tam Yoga Nefesi

  1. İster yere uzanın , ister rahat bir şekilde omurganızı  dik tutarak oturun.
  2. Bir elinizi göğsünüze diğer elinizi karnınıza yerleştirin
  3. Burundan nefes alarak sırasıyla karnınız, ciğerlerinizi ve üst göğsünüzü nefesle doldurun.Nefesinizi tutun.Aynı sırayı takip ederek karnınızı, ciğerlerin alt kısmını ve en son göğsünüzü tamamen boşaltın. Yine nefesi tutun.Bunu içinizden nefes alış verişlerinizi sayarak yapabilirsiniz(4 sayıda nefes al , 1 tut,4 sayıda nefes ver, 1 tut) Bu süreyi zamanla 5,6, 7 , 8 e kadar uzatabilirsiniz. Yavaş nefes alıp vermek sakinleşmenizi ve zihninizin dinginleşmesine yardımcı olacaktır.
  4. Nefes alıp verirken ellerinizin altında bedeninizin bir dalga gibi hareket ettiğini fark edin.
  5. Bu nefes çalışmasını yaparken yukarıda bahsedilen Mahasirs Mudra ile ellerinizi dizlerinizin üzerinde de tutabilir ve etkisini arttırabilirsiniz.

Umarım bu önerilerle yoga keyfinize keyif katarsınız. Deneyimlerinizi yorum olarak paylaşırsanız çok sevinirim.







Yoga esnasında oluşan kramplar

yoga-mat-foot-crampBu yazı geçen ders -maalesef- çektiği kramp acısıyla konuyu araştırmam için bana ilham olan sevgili Pınar’a gelsin.

Yoga derslerinde benim ve öğrencilerimin sıkça karşılaştığı bir sorun kramplar.Kaslarda ani ve istem dışı bir kasılma şeklinde ortaya çıkan kramplar çoğunlukla ayaklarda ve bacaklarda görülüyor. Özellikle ayak parmaklarını balerin ayağı gibi düz bir şekilde uzattığımızda ayak tabanında ve parmaklarda ya da bacakların arkasında ortaya çıkıyorlar. Aslında ciddi bir tehlike arz etmemekle beraber verdikleri acı ve huzursuzlukla egzersiz çalışmasını bölüyor ve ilerlememize imkan tanımıyorlar. Gereksiz yere tadımızı kaçırıyorlar…Yoga ya da başka bir egzersiz yaparken tadımız kaçmasın diye buraya kramplarla nasıl başa çıkabileceğimize dair bildiklerimi not alıyorum. Keyifli okumalar.

Krampların Sebepleri:

  • Magnezyum, Potasyum ve Kalsiyum eksikliği.
    • Özellikle magnezyum vücut asit baz dengesinin sağlanmasında yardımcı, kas ve sinir sisteminde etkindir. Kalsiyum minerali ile birlikte çalışır, kalsiyum kasın kasılmasını sağlarken magnezyum da gevşemesinden sorumludur.
  • Susuzluk
  • Böbrek ve karaciğer fonksiyonlarında bozukluk
  • Tiroit bezinin düzgün çalışmaması
  • Yeterince ısınmadan yapılan ağır egzersizler

Kramplardan kurtulmak için yapılması gerekenler :

  • Magnezyum, potasyum ve kalsiyum açısından zengin besinler tüketin
    • Magnezyum içeren besinlerMuz, kuru incir, kaju, kabak çekirdeği, badem
    • Potasyum içeren besinler: Muz, portakal, hurma, kuru üzüm, kuru kayısı
    • Kalsiyum içeren besinler: Süt ürünleri, yeşil sebzeler
  • Susuzluk genel olarak az su içmememizden kaynaklanabileceği gibi; kola, çay, kahve, alkol gibi idrar söktürücü ve uyarıcı etkisi olan diüretik içecekleri fazlaca tüketmemizden de kaynaklanıyor olabilir.Bu içeceklerin tüketimi vücutta bulunan magnezyum ve kalsiyumun da idrarla birlikte atılmasına sebep olur. Aynı zamanda böbrek ve karaciğeri de zorlar bu içeceklerin işlemden geçmesi. Yani olay biraz zincirleme şekilde aleyhimize  ilerler.
    • Dolayısıyla günde 3-4 lt su tüketmeye çalışın.
    • Aynı zamanda özellikle yoga öncesi çay, kahve tüketiminizi azaltın.
  • Yoga esnasında kramp oluştuğu an ne yapabilirim?
    • Kasılmaya sebep olan pozdan çıkın
    • Kasılan bölgeye kasın gevşemesi için hafifçe masaj yapın
    • Kramp giren bölgedeki kasılmayı germe ve esnetme hareketleri ile açmaya çalışın. Örnek hareketler :

Umarım bu öneriler ile krampsız, ağrısız , sızısız keyifli egzersizler yaparsınız.

Namaste !