So, how’s your laundry?

On the joy of washing my clothes in a bucket from Goa, India. 

Let me explain:  I put maybe 5 or 6 items in each load. This means I wash garments every 2 or 3 days. I fill up a bucket with water from the shower, estimate how much powder to drop out of the 40g bag of detergent, and soak my clothes for 20-25 minutes (longer, if I forget what I was doing, which happens, but more on that later). Every 10 minutes or so, I return to the bathroom to agitate the water and gently rub my pants against my shirts. Then, I rinse. And, since there’s no way to get my soap-usage-per-article-of-clothing-estimation perfect, the number of times I rinse depends on how the fabric feels. I have made the mistake, many times, of not rinsing enough, only to find out that, after my clothes are dry, they don’t feel, uh, quite right. 

Speaking of drying, that’s my favorite part. That’s where I go up on the roof, or to a line of rope tied between palm trees, to squeeze out excess water and hang my clothes while listening to birds, the wind blowing through the leaves, the neighbors’ children playing, and traffic in the distance. 

And this is where I my tone must become dramatic.

My Dear Friends, you are missing out. Your technology has stolen your peace. Yes, the robots. But, I’m not talking about your computer devices and your connectivity to the World Wide Web. At least, not right now (just kidding Internet, I would never; I love you). No, right now, I’m referring to your sprinkler system, your dish washer, and your time-operated coffee maker. I blame your washing machines and clothes dryers, especially, for taking something sacred away from you: the mundane. Indeed, it is this sheer ordinariness that you have traded for much-lauded convenience and you have allowed the robots to take care of these things for you, so you could go off and do something else

But you are missing out. You are stacking activities on top of activities in an endless search for efficiency, for fun, for fulfillment. And you are missing out. 

Life is happening, right now. And you are off doing something. Of course, life is happening while you’re trying to get something “more important” done but, doing the mundane is sometimes the most important thing you can do. It is so easy, so effortless, so mindless, and so simple. So amazing. 

What do you normally do laundry day? Do you play with your dog? Do you hang out with your child(ren)? Do you read the paper? Do you clean the kitchen? Do you do your homework? Do you get high and watch TV? How long does your washing machine take to clean your clothes, anyway?

You know, for me, the washing and hanging takes about 30 minutes, but like I said, sometimes I forget what I was doing because I go on to do something else. You know what that something else is? 

You want to know what I do?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing. 

That’s right. 

N O T H I N G . 

I sit my ass down at the kitchen table, or sometimes right there on the floor outside of the bathroom, and I do nothing. 

Sometimes I close my eyes, sometimes I don’t. 

But mostly, I just sit the fuck down and try not to move. 

I resist urges to get water and, knowing that this is a frequent distraction, I get a glass of water ready before the bucket-soaking commences. I resist urges to answer my phone and, knowing that this is a frequent possibility, I turn it off for 30 minutes. I resist, most of all, the urge to get up and do something I force myself to do NOTHING, to simply wait — to wait 10 minutes before I get up again to swish clothes in a bucket. 

That’s all. 

And yes, often my mind will scatter from one thought to the next. Often, I will hear a song in my head (today it’s Stan Getz’ “Girl from Ipanema” and a couple days ago it was Chris Issac’s “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing,” which is weird because most of the music I listen to was made on a computer, has no lyrics, and sounds like “untz, untz,” so who knows when the last time was I actually heard those songs but, I digress). Often, I will be reminded of a movie scene I saw recently. Often, I will remember something painful that happened to me. Often, I will feel a little anxious about something I have to do later. Often, I am bothered by all this.

But then, often, I’m not. I sit quietly with random, non-sequitor thoughts, passively flashing in the background of my mind. Arising. Falling away. Arising. Falling away. Disappearing. I don’t do anything. There’s nothing to do I just sit there, waiting for India’s dirt to release its grip on my fabrics. I just sit there, learning to patiently wait, learning to not jump up and do the next thing that pops into my mind.  Learning to find ecstasy in ordinariness.

Could you do this? I wonder if you could do this. I wonder if any of you will reply to this email, 7 days from now, and tell me that you sat, in front of your laundry machine, or at your kitchen table, without a magazine, without your iPhone, without the television, without music, for 30 minutes, while the machine did its job in the other room. Would you do this?

Would you stop for 30 minutes (even 15 minutes?) and deal with your mind screaming about how boring it is to just sit there. I mean, fucking hell, it is Saturday, after all, and you really should wash the car/get the groceries/call so-and-so and make plans for tonight while you have some time to do so.

No. Don’t call so-and-so You won’t have time just yet. You can get the groceries after you put the clothes in the dryer. That’s usually a longer cycle time, anyway. No, with your clothes in the washer, you are going to sit down, place your hands in your lap, relax your back against the chair, and…

…just take break from the endless activity. Just take some time to rest from everything. Sit down for a while and just let it all happen. Do nothing. Take a little vacation from having to do something. 

Just see what happens. 

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to sit still? Animals of lesser conscious authority enjoy stillness all the time. Dogs lay down in the sun. Cats spend most of their lives just, laying around, staring out windows. Birds perch on telephone lines, sometimes in groups, just sitting there, taking a break. But for some of you, this will feel like torture. Why?

Listen, don’t worry. Restraining yourself from activity won’t do any damage. Nothing will happen. And that is the point. In fact, nothing is happening right now. It is the most amazing thing. Do nothing and see that your heart is beating, your blood circulating, your food digesting, your lungs breathing, eyes blinking, hormones secreting, without you even trying to do any of it. It’s all just happening For you. For your benefit.

And on your next laundry day, your machines will wash your clothes for you, giving you time to do nothing. To enjoy the fact that, for 30 precious minutes of your busy, busy life, there is nowhere to go, nothing to solve, and nothing to do.

This is the New Year’s gift I’m giving you: nothing. 

Don’t bother thanking me.

It didn’t cost much.

For the start of 2011, I am wishing you nothing, and nothing else.

(Originally emailed from Goa, India in December, 2010.)

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NomadYOGI September Newsletter!

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~Ernest Hemingway

Dear NomadYOGIs…

It’s been just a few months since we released our Q&A feature, giving you an opportunity to talk about ANY questions related to yoga. We’re excited to see yogis sharing personal transformations from their yoga paths, as well as discussing the historical and theoretical backgrounds of this practice.

This month, Anita Rafidi explores how our yoga practices can help us transform our own unique perspectives, and help us “drop the judgment.” We invite you to join Anita’s thoughtful reflection on how yoga brought humility to her life, and the conversation it has sparked.

Similarly, we invite you to “drop in” with your thoughts on the question posed by Naren Herrero regarding the relationship between Ahimsa and Dharma. #MoreYogaLessFluff

As usual, we are also featuring some amazing opportunities for yoga retreats this Fall — in Bali, Mexico, and New Hampshire. There’s a lot to choose from this month, so take a look and see what’s waiting for you on NomadYOGI.com.

NomadYOGIs Share Wisdom:

How has your yoga practice brought humility to your life?

“I used to ‘know it all.’ How people should live, what decisions or directions they should take, how to accumulate wealth, gain happiness, be successful. Since I have learned yoga, I have learned that everyone is on their own paths—and life is giving them their lessons.”  Read More+

What is Ahimsa and how does it relate to Dharma?

“The Sanskrit word ahimsa has been popularly translated as ‘non-violence’, particularly in relation to Mahatma Gandhi and his political-spiritual methods for the independence of India. Anyway, I think the translation, though not inaccurate, doesn’t fully express the meaning of a very important concept in Hinduism as well as Buddhism and Jainism.”  Read More+

____________________

Haven’t used our new Q&A platform and don’t know how it works?  It’s super easy! Learn more here.

WE WOULD LIKE TO GO TO:

Mandala Yoga Bali with Desiree Kleemann

Live Free & Shine Yoga Retreat in New Hampshire with Carrie Lehtonen

Affordable Yoga Retreat in Tulum, Mexico with Lauren Donelson & Brittany Kraft

____________________

#NomadYOGIreads  We love to read, and are looking for recommendations. What have you been reading? Any interesting books or new yoga blogs? Let us know what should be in our library on Twitter @NomadYOGI.

Reduce your workload

One of our goals is to provide an alternative to payment processors as well as reduce the need for newsletter services that don’t integrate with your social and transactional services.

Post your retreat or workshop and use all our features! We have simplified all the scheduling, marketing, transacting, search-engine-optimizing, promoting, and blogging. NomadYOGI helps you save your time at the computer, so that you can sit at your meditation cushion longer.

Our goal is to create a social network where our pursuit of yoga can thrive physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and academically. Please share this email with your friends. To learn more about us and our goals, click here.

Let Your Self Go,

~NomadYOGI~

P.S. Our freemium model means we only make money when processing transactions for you. We’re not “selling yoga” as a fitness industry. Yoga is a tool for self-inquiry! We haven’t taken any money from Silicon Valley venture capitalists. So, unlike other social networks, we’re not under any pressure to sell user data, advertising, clicks, impressions or eyeballs.

© 2015 NomadYOGI, the NomadYOGI logo, and Let Your Self Go

are registered trademarks of NomadYOGI, Inc.

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How Billionaires Do Burning Man

Like all people who hate Burning Man, I enjoy nothing more than reading articles about Burning Man. In February, Felix Gillette chronicled the semi-clad class warfare at last year’s Burning Man for Bloomberg Businessweek. Despite being a festival based on radical self-reliance, Black Rock City is seemingly overrun with tech billionaires setting up their own exclusive festivals-within-a-festival; ultra-luxe camps that […]

http://blog.longreads.com/2015/09/01/how-billionaires-do-burning-man/

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‘Ashtanga Yoga can be taught to anyone by an experienced and sensitive teacher’

New interview with Danny Paradise has popped up out of Italy. Complete transcription is here, and a brief excerpt: I aim to spend as much time as possible in Nature. When I can be immersed in Nature for long periods of time my life force increases and that makes it easier for me to travel, […]

http://theconfluencecountdown.com/2015/09/03/ashtanga-yoga-can-be-taught-to-anyone-by-an-experienced-and-sensitive-teacher/

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What’s Third Series Done for Me Lately?

Years ago when I took Tim Miller’s First and Second Series teacher trainings here in Encinitas, my favorite part of the discussion of the poses was the moment when we focused on the specific benefits of each asana. In First Series, Tim would also read from Pattabhi Jois’s Yoga Mala, where Guruji carefully describes benefits, […]

http://theconfluencecountdown.com/2015/08/23/whats-third-series-done-for-me-lately/

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What’s your choice between Fear and Love?

This Is Just a Ride by the late, great Bill Hicks.

http://bit.ly/1L0Bwh1
    

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How do I market yoga retreats online?

Let’s face it, most yoga teachers (in fact many of the best) are not web savvy and don’t have time/skills/interest in creating a social media presence. Chances are, you don’t have a lot of experience maximizing search engine visibility or running social media campaigns and you’re hiring other people to do this. 

We understand that you would rather be practicing yoga, not marketing it. That’s why we designed NomadYOGI the way we did. It’s a single point of focus to schedule, promote, communicate, and transact. A place where teachers can connect with students and venues (i.e. studios and retreat centers) all inside the system.  (We’re ironing out all our bugs and coming out of our public beta in late 2015. Follow us on Twitter @ NomadYOGI and you’ll see when we launch.)

Our goal is to help you bring your yoga to more people, so we simply unified your work of scheduling, marketing, blogging, and attracting new students. Here’s our new web brochure.  

(Click the image to expand.)

Why NomadYOGI brochure

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