Recently I got a letter from Summer, my Yoga Teacher at Samahita Retreat on the island of Ko Samui in Thailand where I stayed last year for a Detox week. Summer was the one who finally brought me into Yoga, the so called Gentle Yoga or Yin Yoga. We are still in touch and I am looking for visiting me in Germany soon. And, Summer is not only an amazing teacher she also has a very interesting life to tell …
Read more about a fascinating young woman who made her way from the jungles of Vietnam to the best Yoga retreats in the world.
I hope that 2016 is already off to a wonderful start for you. I enjoyed a warmer winter in New Orleans, taking full advantage of all the live music, art, and culture that this charming city has to offer. I’ve chosen the perfect time to be in The Big Easy as it was the beginning of Mardi Gras season!
I was home for a month and spent time with my family. It has reminded me of how far we’ve come. It was a fiercely cold winter’s day in January 1990 when we arrived in Minnesota. We didn’t have enough warm clothes. We didn’t have anything. Except for the chance to start a new life in a new country.
My dad had survived eight brutal years in a communist re-education camp after the Vietnam War, living off of a handful of rice with salt and whatever roots and vegetables he managed to find in the jungle. Those eight years granted us political asylum in the US.
From the jungles of North Vietnam to the woods of North America. Quite the contrast. This was unfamiliar territory for us all, my parents, my three older brothers, and myself. We had to learn English, learn how to eat hamburgers and drink Coca-Cola. My parents had to go back to school. Taking classes during the day and working nights, all the while trying to run a household and raise a family.
The sacrifices they made and the difficulties they endured, all so that my siblings and I could have a better life than what they had in Vietnam. I’m grateful for all they did for me then and all they’re doing for me now.
My childhood was by no means perfect. I realize now that my parents did the best they knew how. There were so many generational and cultural differences. I wanted to go to sleepovers and date and have boyfriends. They wanted me to get straight A’s and play violin, and „don’t look at boys or you’ll get pregnant!“ Conflict of interest.
You choose your parents and what lessons you want to learn from them. I am learning compassion, understanding, and unconditional love from mine. „Love them, no matter what, even if you argue, even if you don’t agree on anything. Even with their faults. After all, they love you despite yours …“ my heart says. It’s always your family and your partner that will show you who you really are, they will bring up your „schtuff“ and when they do, thank them for it. And learn from it.
It’s important for me to check in with my family. It reminds me of where I came from. I’m both humbled and proud. Proud to be the daughter of two hard working parents. To have come from nothing. And now look at me: an international yoga teacher. I’m going places, baby!
In February, I will be subbing all month at Private Yoga Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. In March, I will be moving into Netley castle in Southampton, England, creating a loving yoga community there. I will be offering evening Mysore and led ashtanga classes, in addition to private lessons. I plan to do some workshops as well. Who wants to come do yoga in a castle?!
I will also be doing a seven day yoga retreat with my friend, Alice Ranzanici, at her beautiful center, Be-Qui, in northern Italy August 20-27. Only 9 spaces left…
November will be back in Bali at the Four Seasons. Very excited to continue to build the relationship I have with this hotel and its wonderful staff.
Moving into a castle, sitting on my throne, building my yoga empire, and then…my King will come! It’s all happening now.
I can already tell that 2016 is going to be MY year. I hope that it’s yours too.
If you are in Europe, I would love to see you. Please let me know.
With love and in gratitude,