by Mei Lai Swan | Sep 30, 2013 | Uncategorized
It’s a warm, windy day in beautiful Melbourne city, and I’m very excited about this new course I’m offering, starting 26 October 2013 Gertrude Street Yoga Studio, Melbourne.
Bringing together two of my great loves – yoga and social justice… Build community and get inspired to create positive booty-shaking personal and social change!
I hope you’ll join me for the journey!
<3 Mei Lai
by Mei Lai Swan | Sep 25, 2013 | Uncategorized
I have landed home in Melbourne after my marvellous adventures, where I am loving diving straight back into teaching and seeing how my travels over the last ten weeks are continuing to unfold within, now that I am back in the familiar. Although I was in so many places, it seems the first question on everyone’s lips is: “How were the whales?”
And rightly so – we love whales. In Tonga, my last stop on the journey, I had the incredible blessing to swim with a mother and her calf, maybe only 10 metres away. Adult whales are 12-16 metres long, babies around 4 metres. The calves drink up to 500 litres of milk a day, growing 45kg per day as they frolic in the water with their mums, practicing breaching and tail slapping…
Whales are magnificent, mysterious, beautiful and unbelievably lovable – not the cute animal type of love, but the completely awe-inspiring love that opens you up to the absolute mystery of life.
And for me, this is what whales and yoga have in common… Through diving deep into the oceans of life – actually and metaphorically – we come to an awe-filled appreciation for the mystery of life, its beauty and its vastness. The eyes boggle, the jaw drops, and most importantly, the heart just naturally opens wide… We find wisdom, we find grace, we find presence, and we awaken into compassion. These are the qualities of whales that we are so drawn to, and that are distinctly palpable witnessing them under water only metres away, as they remind us of our own true heart and the things that truly move us.
So let this be an invitation to dive deep, open into your own grace, and celebrate the mystery of life.
by Mei Lai Swan | Sep 14, 2013 | Uncategorized
After an incredibly magical week in Tonga, swimming with whales and trying some freediving skills (more on that soon), the time has come for me to wind up my 10 week adventure and return home…
Tales had been rife about problems with Real Tonga, the domestic airline, so I turned up at the airport yesterday on the small island of Ha’apai not sure what to expect. Check-in, no problem. And then…. hours of waiting with no word… Finally we found out our plane had mechanical problems and was stuck on another island, the Tongan staff were sleeping and chatting outside, and had equally no idea what might happen. One of the Tongan passengers said that they should bring us some lunch, as there was no food available at the tiny airport.
I was worried they were going to bring back fried chicken… instead we got…
Biscuits and bubblegum flavoured soft drink…
So I missed my international flight on a sugar high, and the next connection to Melbourne is Tuesday afternoon! Real Tonga is putting me up in a Chinese hotel by the waterfront, I am catching up on study and work, and going for a boat cruise this afternoon with some friends… It’s really not all bad…
But to my beloved yoga students, I am so sorry! Wednesday it is… and I am looking forward to the homecoming and adventure-integrating…
Some real advice from ‘real tonga’ :
<3 <3 <3
by Mei Lai Swan | Sep 6, 2013 | Uncategorized
After three flights (which I mostly slept through) and a lot of sitting in airports, I have finally arrived in Tonga, marking my last week of adventure and the journey homeward bound after some incredible adventures in the US and Haiti, feeling alive, inspired and deeply, humbly blessed. (I will be posting more stories about my Haiti experience soon..)
Always in tune, these were the final words of wisdom I received on departing Los Angeles airport:
Now in Tonga, I am staying the night in Nuku’alofa with an old friend from high school whom I haven’t seen for maybe 10 years, who has been working with AusAid in Tonga for the last two and a half years.
Never far from inspiration, my friend took me to a little craft market – a locally run arts initiative On The Spot. (Yes, please check out their page!)
It again reaffirmed for me the power of inspiration, initiative and collective action to make the world just that more beautiful… They had just got the electricity connected and the lights working of their little wooden building, showcasing and selling contemporary local arts and craft, driven purely by passion and a love for creativity. A reminder that even the smallest things, done with the greatest love, can make the hugest difference.
And now for the whales… my purpose here in Tonga is to experience freediving and swimming with the humpback whales that come here every year to calve, to feel the majesty of their presence, their wisdom, and their song, which weaves together the world’s oceans. Two of my yoga students, a wonderful couple Ally and Erez, run freediving and whale-swimming retreats on the tiny island of Iouleva, based out of a gorgeous little eco-resort Serenity Resort (www.whale-encounters.com).
I love so much how when certain things are meant to come into your life, they come in from all angles… in this case, it seems like ocean and whale energy is all around me… this is a millions of years-old fossilised ear bone of a whale that Susan Harper brought as part of our ‘ancestors altar’ at the Continuum retreat:
So the story keeps unfolding… whales, ocean, fluid motion, creativity and social connection… in absolute gratitude…
xox Mei Lai