So I arrived in New York yesterday afternoon, it was quite a long day with the early morning Guernsey start and the transfer on to Heathrow before flying out to JFK. It is funny, I used to get so excited about travelling on aeroplanes but these days, after 6 years of a lot of travelling, I dread the thought of being stuck on a plane in one of those small seats for longer than a few hours!
Anyhow, fortunately (thank you travel angels), the flight wasn't very busy and I had a whole row to myself to stretch my legs and spread out! Probably just as well actually, I finally succumbed to a cough and cold over the weekend, the first in ages, and I am not sure it would have been fair to inflict my sniffing and coughing over some poor stranger!
So I arrived into JFK and it felt familiar immediately, Ewan and I were only here in March last year so it has been too long between trips. I got a taxi to Hannah's apartment down near the Staten Island Ferry, a few roads away from the infamous Wall Street. So I am staying in the heart of the financial district in Hannah's incredible apartment with views of the sea in one direction and strangely, and yet interestingly, into offices straight across.
It is quite nice to be sitting here with people working across the street and knowing that I am on holiday!! What I did notice last night was that contrary to what I may have heard about New York, the offices were clear by 7pm and there weren't many people in them before 8am this morning. And what I found rather fascinating was the fact more of the lights were left on all night - presume this is security - and even television screens...perhaps a waste of energy I would have thought. But there you go, the excesses of the material world!
I got the metro up to Union Square this morning and sat in the square indulging in a Starbucks tea watching the world go by - it was so much quieter than when we were last here in March - before having a quick whirl around the wonderful and huge Wholefoods. I do get rather excited about these health stores, there is just so much choice and I particularly enjoy the massive salad bars. Thankfully I was limited by time so didn't indulge beyond the necessities.
I headed to Yoga of course, Om Yoga, founded by the inspiring Cyndi Lee. I attended classes at this centre in March and I just feel drawn to return. The centre is on Broadway next to Strands, the oldest book store in the city and right up on the 6th floor so you have to get an elevator to get to class! The centre has a fantastic energy to it, really calming with about 4 studios, a large changing room, a few seated areas and somewhere to buy books and clothes etc.
Cyndi originally trained as a dancer and offers a unique brand of Yoga instruction combining creative and invigorating flow sequences that emphasise precise alignment of the body. She does it all with a clear focus on Buddhist teachings of mindfulness and compassion. The Om Yoga teacher training program is known as the Ivy League of Yoga teacher trainings and the teachers at her centre are really inspiring.
Today, it was an intermediate/advanced class taught by Frank, whose class I have attended in the past. It was great. There is no denying the fact that I absolutely love attending Yoga classes overseas! I love the anonymity and the fact I can just stay silent the whole session and really go within. I love listening and learning from new teachers and new sequences. And I particularly love to be encouraged beyond my comfort zone and into new areas of feeling.
So it was great. Lots of vinyasas, flowing standing poses with twists and turns, handstands, backbends, lots of hip openers, a supported fish pose and a shoulderstand before final relaxation. Bliss. Note to self, prioritise attending Yoga classes overseas more often!!
After Yoga and feeling much clearer, brighter and energised, I walked down Broadway all the way back to Hannah's, right at the end. I guess it would probably take an hour, only I kept stopping to look in shops along the way, I couldn't resist, there seem to be sales on all over the place.
It is so cool to be here, especially as I am not so much a tourist this time, which creates a whole different experience and of course it helps that it is rather familiar as Ewan and I did so much when we were last here. I am amused by all the stands at the side of the pavement selling food, some of the smells are nauseating, but all add to the New York ambiance!! And then there are the sirens and all yellow cabs and all that stuff we don't get at home. It is great!
So now I have crashed on the sofa, enjoying some time out on my own with views of the sea and the ferries, and hoping that the jet lag eases so I can stay awake when we go out for dinner later to meet a friend from Guernsey!
Tomorrow, more Yoga and even a Phoenix Rising Yoga therapy session all to myself, excited? Just a bit!!
It is all about the practice.
Love and light