Tag archieven: yoga

Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Dirty Chai

Dirty Chai

by LS Harteveld

I stopped drinking coffee last week.
At 4-6 Latte Machiatos a day, the caffeine had been feeding my work addiction, and the milk had been a substitute for food.
I had no idea when I was hungry or sleepy.
With my work being omnipresent in my life – teaching yoga, making videos, writing columns and publishing my books – I was basically drinking myself into a burn out.
I had a choice between getting sane with my coffee and my working hours or quitting the coffee and still work whenever I wanted to.
I chose the second.

After a few days I even found an escape to make it more bearable. It is called Dirty Chai; black Indian Chai tea with espresso. You can buy it at some coffee shops (though it’s rare) but they use fresh espresso.
I can’t have that.
But Dirty Chai also comes in a bag from Celestial Seasons. It has 10% espresso in it. Ground or something, I don’t know. The tea doesn’t turn into coffee, and you don’t actually taste it either.
But it does have a caffeine warning on it. Dirty Chai from Celestial Seasons is my cheating option, to kick the coffee habit.

Yesterday I didn’t make a video. I thought I would do it! I even prepped the series during breakfast. But then I lost my entire morning to stalling it, doing the laundry, cleaning up after Max the eternal babykitten.
I did notice my knees and lower legs felt like I was rheumatic from the waist down.
At lunch I had to go out for an appointment, and still had not made a video. When I came back I went behind my desk and worked till midnight. Emailing all students individually, making them an offer for next season. On zero Dirty Chai. I didn’t want to work past my physical limitations.

I wondered:
Why didn’t I have enough energy to do my yoga video, when I did have the stamina to work for seven hours straight?
What was it that made yoga, or in this case the video, so easy to skip?
The answer was: yoga didn’t have Dirty Chai.
I didn’t have an alternative, for when my willpower failed.

Because when I woke up yesterday, after making ashtanga yoga videos for four days, my whole body was in pain. Some aches were okay. My arms and glutes were okay as long as I didn’t move. But my knees and lower legs actually got more painful, as soon as I laid down to rest.
I knew this response from my body.
It was a combination of muscle pain, and let’s call it Energetic Poisoning. I first had it when we practiced a knee massage at yoga training, and I had to take painkillers the next day.
I repeated the massage though, because I figured it was apparently “working”. But it only got worse.
I later found that my body is so toxic, that if you start to mess things up, the toxins can’t leave the body. The meridians, or whatever physical or energetic canal they use, get all clogged up. My body is best off left alone.

And then the morning went to waste, the way I have lost whole days or weeks to NOT doing yoga.
By ignoring the fact that I really don’t want to do it.
By not properly analyzing why I don’t want to do it.
By not coming up with an alternative that I CAN do.
It has to be a specific sequence, a particular video, or whatever. And I should be able to do it on willpower. And that’s how I end up wasting time procrastinating. Time that I could have used to analyze my resistance instead, and come up with an alternative.

If I had realized that morning that my body was blocked by toxins released by ashtanga yoga, I could have created a sequence of restorative yoga.
Something I will still do today, since the pain is still here.

Restorative, relaxing yoga is the Dirty Chai of yoga;
it offers deep satisfaction and comfort, without asking much in return.
Only that you sit down, and realize this isn’t the time to be hard on yourself.

An unexamined life is not worth living

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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – YouTube

110by LS Harteveld

I restarted my YouTube channel. As a yoga teacher. Not a writer. And it wasn’t planned!
 In fact my plans had been diametrically opposite, to making a daily thirty minute yoga video on YouTube.
I pulled the plug from making yoga videos two months ago. There had been a variety of reasons. Each one of them a good enough for a total cancellation of the project. And yet?
One morning I got up and just couldn’t wait to start filming.
Another reason I originally had no intention of picking up my career as a spandex webcam girl, was because I had consciously decided against creating this kind of time consuming content for my yoga business.
It would be reserved for my new career. My new tribe.
The readers from my books.
After ten years I am taking my eight books public. And with this comes the responsibility to invest my efforts directly into my new career.
I would setup a new channel to promote my books..
But guess what? I never woke with the inexplicable urge to actually do that. It was something I thought I should.
But didn’t.
Even though I knew it was essential for potential readers to see me, before they would like my page or follow me on Twitter.
Buy my book, hear me read, or send me an email.
Any type of connection and interaction would be hindered if I didn’t facilitate the ninety percent of people who preferred a video instead of reading something.
Therefore I SHOULD make videos.
If writing was my new career I absolutely, non-negotiable, HAD TO make fucking videos. LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!
Except, we’re not really normal, are we?
For instance, I already know that you are part of the ten percent who is fine with reading something. The other ninety percent, didn’t click this diary post in the first place. And I kind of like that, you and me, don’t you?
By putting all my secrets in writing, instead of revealing them in the generic way of filming myself talk, I have already filtered out anyone who is not willing to make an effort.
WE are filtering that out. You and me.
Because you are here with me, when all the others aren’t.
I once dated a guy with whom I had deep conversations. It was a time where I had a sex life, as well as male friends whose intellect fascinated me. Yet there wasn’t anybody with whom I was in love.
I could have sex with whomever I chose.
I often wished I could have the sex with the ones I found intellectually stimulating.
Yet, I never did.
Until the date said to me:
“Of course not. You share yourself physically with one guy, and you share yourself mentally with the other. That way you are safe, and neither one has both.”
I will never refer my YouTube viewers to these diary entries. They can have my body, but not my mind.
But if you like to share a physical experience, you can find all my YouTube yoga videos here.
Just don’t tell anyone.

An unexamined life is not worth living

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LS Harteveld  
or Twitter https://twitter.com/LSHarteveld

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Het schuim der natie



Daar was ze weer; de happy single. Iemand was over haar begonnen op Twitter, over dat ze niet bestond, en direct dartelde de ipottende 29jarige accountmanager met highlights door mijn Timeline.

Ik zag haar al bij het woord Single, maar met de toevoeging Happy ervoor huppelde het Pilates sletje nog net een tandje vrolijker.

Degene die het vraagstuk De Happy Single als een bom had laten afgaan op Twitter, had 10.000 volgers, en al snel stroomden uit alle uithoeken van het medium reacties binnen. Koude bedden. Eenzame nachten. Alleen thuiskomen in de kleine uurtjes. Een hele generatie Sex en de City kijkers gaf grif toe dat ze helemaal niet zo happy waren. Single zijn was een lijdensweg waar men zich dapper doorheen sloeg omdat men licht hoopte te vinden aan het einde van de tunnel. Ze wachtten iedere zaterdag in V&D pyjama op betrouwbare vent of een andere Verlosser.

Op het tijdstip dat een Happy Single zich een weg naar binnen had gepijpt op Wasteland en met een buttplug in de darkroom lag, dronk de Unhappy Single muntthee op de 3- persoons Ikea bank.

Ik begon dat crack sletje nog bijna sympathiek te vinden tussen dat volhardende zelfmedelijden.

Ik twitterde uit de losse pols wat beledigingen terug, blockte links en rechts wat gejammer, en na deze bijdrage aan de discussie onderwierp ik mezelf aan rücksichtsloze zelfreflectie.
Want hoe zat het met mij? Verlangde ik ook niet stiekem naar een man?
Was ik niet ook eenzaam?

Ik zag twee garderobe stangen op de grond. Voor de vierde keer was het kledingrek naar beneden gekomen. Dit keer hadden de jurken de volle lading boorgruis gekregen. In de muur zaten acht extra gaten.

Ik dacht harder na, en realiseerde me dat ik binnen twee jaar weer moest verhuizen. Toch wel handig als je al wat mankracht in huis hebt. Die is vaak ook helemaal in zijn element als hij zo’n “het mag nog net op je B rijbewijs” verhuisbus mag rijden.  Zelf heeft hij dan een leaseauto waarmee hij op zaterdag mijn boodschappen doet,  ik bedoel onze boodschappen.

De verlangens begonnen nu echt vorm te krijgen!
Aangewakkerd door dit succes dacht ik nog vuriger na. Diepe rimpels trokken in mijn voorhoofd. De overburen dachten waarschijnlijk dat ik een drol naar buiten aan het persen was.

De gang moest nog worden geschilderd.
Ik wilde op vakantie en dan kon hij mooi op de katten passen.
Het single zijn had mijn tegoeden verslonden, daar kon je geen yoga tegenop geven.
Maar hij, HIJ, zou een inkomen hebben waardoor de financiële hemel op aarde weder zou keren.

Het was een uur of drie en ik had honger gekregen van deze diepgravende analyses. Ik dook de koelkast in. Zalmsnippers. Crème fraiche. Spinazie. Ik gooide alle lekkere dingen die er in huis waren in een grote pan tot een gerecht dat in één keer door mij opgegeten moest worden. Spinazie mag je nooit opwarmen.

Toen huppelde ik naar bed voor een middagslaapje. Om 7 uur ’s avonds werd ik wakker onder mijn roze dekbed. Ik lag diagonaal. Buiten klonken jonge stemmen.

Er stond een verhuisbus aan de overkant. Drie fiere studenten droegen dozen, planken en matrassen de arbeiderswoning in. De blonde had speelse lokken. De zwartharige lichte ogen. Een half-Indonesische jongen zette een blikje cola op de laadklep. Om zijn smalle heupen zat een merkspijkerbroek en een lage lichte riem.

Ik bad vurig tot alle Goden die er bestonden dat hij de slaapkamer aan mijn kant kreeg. En dan zou ik nooit meer iemand crack hoer noemen. Zelfs niet als ze het had verdiend.



The Story of Feline

Men may want to withdraw at the sign of blood, and stick with the (first) fun and sexy part of my relationship with Feline.

 “Don’t introduce a new character unless you know how the story ends.”

It is not uncommon for new dates to curiously inform if they are going to make it to my blog. Samuel was even disappointed I didn’t mold our failed affair, or perfect one-night-bliss depending on how you look at it, into a steamy erotic story. And Feline too, must have known I would write about her one day. We just never thought it would be under such stressful circumstances.

My relationship with her has been a blissful one, in which our personalities more often than not, melted together harmoniously, as opposed to the stand-off we are experiencing today. We’re in a tug-of-war, and we both blame the other for the mess we’re in.  In silence of course. On the outside we pretend to be in this together.

I’ve know Feline all my life, although I didn’t know her name. It’s a Dutch girls name pronounced; Fay-lean-nuh
But she was named after the English word Feline.  Which means cat-like or belonging to the family Felidae, which includes the lions, tigers, jaguars, and wild and domestic cats.

A few years ago, I was having a fit over Dutch people calling their daughter Feline. “What the f*ck are they thinking, naming their daughter pussy?”

Just before I exploded from indignation, I realized this logic could also be used the other way around. Because who WOULD be the perfect candidate to be named Feline? Yes, of course, my pussy.

It was one of those moments when you know the Universe is unveiling a great secret, and that it is your sacred duty to enlighten the masses.

Since then one friend has uncovered the identity of her vagina, and one lover has found out the correct name of his penis under my inspiring guidance, but I still hope that one day much more genitals will be acknowledged as separate entities with their own personalities. Just like Feline.

Feline and I were of course born (although not named) on the same day. I remember masturbating from the age of five, but that’s because I can’t recall earlier memories of anything.

Yet despite this early awakening, I wasn’t aware of what I was doing, until I started reading girl magazines in my early teens. Apparently there was such a thing as “having an orgasm” and the most common phrase about it was that it was completely normal “not being able to have them yet”.

Not only was I perfectly able of having them, I had also found my way to my own pussy without any help, before I could properly read and write.

A warm glow of self-love and sexual arrogance came over me!
I can’t say I was very compassionate towards my sisters at that time. If I had known the word frigid I’m positive I would have used it.

Together with the first boyfriends, I learned to know Feline in her full glory. Here she was: wet, willing, loyal, adventurous, sweet. I still sometimes talk about “my body” (an often used euphemism for Feline, not just by me but by a lot of women!) as “the perfect beginners model”; it works exactly as it should, very easy to make it come, very rewarding to make love to. As a true altruist I wish my body upon every boy loosing his virginity.

Despite our pleasant companionship, Feline and I didn’t always agree.
When a relationship was past it’s due date? Feline would fall into hibernation, suggest a few side lovers, or she would tear the house down until I gave up and broke things off with the guy.
And Feline has tried to convince me twice that a completely uninteresting, annoying man was a good candidate for sex. She has won that argument once.

The past year Feline and I have lived dull lives. One time even dropping down to zero; I went on a Tantra Challenge and vowed I wouldn’t masturbate for 20 days. After 20 days I had taught myself to have an orgasm exclusively by squeezing my pelvic floor muscles. A skill I would otherwise have not discovered. I intended to write about this journey me and Feline took, and made a photo of my lower belly on day 15, I used it with this post.
The second half of the challenge? 20 days of masturbating twice a day!
But this turned out to be so exhausting that I (we) gave that up after a day or ten. Including the inspiration to write about the whole thing. In my mind, not being able to do it twice a day ranked my libido only slightly over that of the girls who couldn’t find their own clit.

So in Spring 2010 a lover left me and, aside from the Tantric experiment, nothing happened for a year. And although I’ve gone without lovers for longer times throughout my life, this time it was when and why the trouble began…. bleeding. Heavily. I had never used super tampons, but after months of unreliable tamponing I leaped for the biggies so that I could teach my yoga class without having to worry about leaking.
“I have to get on the pill, to calm things down,” a voice in my head said. Or maybe it was Feline’s voice.

But although I liked the safety of being able to “Double Dutch” (to use  condoms and pill, when having sex) the thought of having to use pills because I, A Yoga Teacher, was unable to control my period, repelled me. Yoga heals. Yoga conceives. Yoga detoxes. Yoga soothes. Yoga aborts.
There is nothing yoga can’t do.
And we all know how easily the menstruation ceases when a woman is too stressed.
Then why wasn’t I able to turn down the volume?

When in early Spring this year, the heavy period was preceded by 5 days of pre-menstruation blood I gave up.
The pill! The pill it was.

I waited for the next cycle, for that pre-menstruation to end, and the real period to begin and swallowed! DAY 1, was a fact. Let the healing begin.

The first weeks after my menstruation I was blood-free and had a lover. Samuel. And after that? 10 days before my New Chemically Induced Period was supposed to begin? Blood. After a week or so? More blood. Second pill-planned cycle? Maybe I was blood-free for whole week before the cycle repeated itself.

I used super tampons only one day, instead of my usual three, so the pill was working a little bit. But being at some stage of prolonged periods half of the time (this is an estimate! I still don’t dare to count) was obviously not the effect I was hoping for.
“I m giving you the lightest pill there is,” the doctor said.” Please come back if it doesn’t work.”
It didn’t work.
Yet it didn’t feel like the pill was failing. It felt like I was failing. Feline was failing.
And I caught myself considering to become anorexic, so that the bleeding would stop.
Or do so much ashtanga yoga and fitness that I would loose all my fat and the bleeding would stop.
I was willing to exchange my fertility in return for control over my own body. In return for control over Feline.
Because that was of course the real tragedy: my best friend had become a blood spitting foe. A nemesis who I was about to finish off with starvation and sports anorexia.

Since living in an infertile  bag of bones would also have it’s draw-backs, I decided to try a more gentle approach, before I brought mayhem to my body.

So instead of my typical morning with a big fruit, honey and nuts feast breakfast and hours of yoga postponing, I drank tea, ate a banana, and went to my yoga mat. From all the yoga and stretches I normally do, I selected only the ones beneficial or at least harmless for when you’re in your period. During my hour long practice I asked Feline why she was bleeding and she answered me. And we cried. We cried a lot.

And I still don’t know if the bleeding will ever stop, if I will ever be lover-worthy again, or if I will one day give up the idea of healing and ask for medical help.
But I do know that before this episode in my life can have it’s ending, Feline and I have to figure things out between the two of us.

And I hope we come out as friends.






My friend LS Harteveld ~ field report by Marieke

It’s been a year today, that I first rang the bell of my yoga teacher LS Harteveld.

“Ha! You look like an archaeologist!” she welcomed me as she opened the door. I inspected my clothes, but couldn’t detect any shovels or Sahara sand.
“Your bag is green, and you wear your strap across your chest,” LS Harteveld explained. “Maybe you were sent to dig up my sex life.”
I didn’t quite know how to respond to that, but toughened up and shuffled inside.
“I study anthropology,” I said.

LS Harteveld and I planned on writing together every day. She intended to finish her novel Mango, I needed to get my thesis done. My green bag held a laptop and two chocolate muffins.
“They’re for with our coffee,” I excused myself for bringing such an unhealthy snack. “If you eat sugar, that is.”
“Of course I do! And I love muffins!” she laughed. “What do you think of me? That I am one of those fungus girls?”

Fungus girls: Women, between 30 and 40, who do not eat sugar or other refined carbohydrates, because alternative medicine claims vaginal Candida has infested their organs.

LS Harteveld also enlightened me on the concept of male group masturbation, the preferred size of an erect penis (categorized on what you want to do with it), and the beauty of male genitals. She considered ignorance a threat to spiritual growth. Which was the only trait she shared with my Swami at the yoga ashram.

In March LS Harteveld found out her best friend had screwed her over big time. This was when she taught by example how to hate properly. (it involved exploding like Rumpelstiltskin on a daily basis)
In Summer she would ask me to lie in bed with her, to check if it was big enough for a lover and two cats. After this, she started dating dark men, up to 1meter 80.
In Fall she went on her first holiday in years, because she now had me to look after her diabetic cat.
At Christmas we introduced each other to our families.
On New Years Eve we shared our annual depression at home on the couch. It was our best New Years Eve in years.

LS Harteveld and I see each other nearly every day. We share muffins, love, clothes, and that small double bed. All platonic.

I still don’t throw tantrums the way she does. But I did notice I had become a bit more evil when I was at a party recently and someone declined a piece of cake stating with a hint of spiritual arrogance, that she lived without sugar. Before I knew it I heard myself ask:
“Let me guess: Candida?”

Marrying Noa

eka darville
“Can you write something special for your student X? She is getting married.”
It took me, “Sanne, the yoga teacher”, one day and a glass of wine to come up with a deep, moving piece on yoga, commitment, and marital bliss. My student would love it. And the universal message also made it a solid contribution to my weekly blog. With still 5 days to go before I had to post it, I spent my week catching up with housekeeping, indulged in decadent two hour yoga sessions, enjoyed sun, friends and the good life. It was the most relaxed blogger week ever.

Feedback from the wedding circle fuelled my excellent mood: “We love your contribution! Maybe you should write a column for Yoga magazine ;-)

It was official: Sanne Harteveld, the successful yoga teacher, was ready to expand her career to writing. Her heartwarming words would touch the souls of many.

“Over my dead body!” a voice in my head shrieked. Lauren Harteveld. The writer in me had no interest in supporting any marriages, or in becoming the new insipid blogger for some vanilla yoga site.
“But I want to inspire people on their path,” Sanne said.
Shanti shanti,” Lauren sneered sarcastically. “Get real! And you hate marriage.”
“Not so!” Sanne objected. “I would sacrifice my whole life for one man you know.”
“Yeaheah! Just to get in on those first years of steamy sex, “ Lauren stood her ground. “That’s not marriage. That’s cutting a deal.”

Sanne wanted a post on marriage.
Lauren wanted to promote her book by writing about Noa.

With one hour to their deadline, Sanne and Lauren sat down together. First they opened Lauren’s manuscript, and reread the chapters on Noa. They also checked his Hyves, and Googled for an actor whose picture they could use. Then they wrote something they both agreed on:

This is Eka Darville (see photo).
Eka is an actor, but not very famous.
He does not have Hyves.
Eka looks very much like Noa.
Noa is in my book.
Noa is a normal person but he has a 1000 friends on Hyves.
Noa and I saw each other twice.
Our hands wanted to touch each other all the time.
I would marry Noa, but not Eka because I never met him.
The end.

Noa :engagement: LS Harteveld is described in the enovel Dutch American Diary. (online next month)

Eka Darville plays Pietros in Spartacus – Blood and Sand episode 3,4, 6 and 7
LS Harteveld opened his social network sites
Let’s give Eka Darville a 1000 fans!!