My summer

Blogging has been very low on my priority list for a long time now but I’m going to try to sum up my summer in one post.

The weekend after Eddie’s course it was time for the big move. It was a really hot day and we have too much stuff but with some help and a lot of sweating we got all our stuff moved to Lauttasaari. I’m still trying to get used to not living in the immediate center of Helsinki (I really miss Eerikinkatu!) and I’m not feeling quite at home here yet, but at least the surrounding area is beautiful. As might be expected when two people who have both lived alone for a long time move in together the start of our life of living together has not been exactly easy. But with time I hope that we will figure things out. A friend told me recently that after living together with her husband for 15 years it now finally starts to feel like they’re in sync with each other. So maybe I shouldn’t expect too much after just three months… :)

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IMG_5003View from the watch tower behind our house

In the end of May we visited Stockholm over the weekend. I visited Ashtanga Yoga Stockholm and Arttu ran the marathon.
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In June, as Arttu’s summer vacation started, we travelled to Greece. While Finland was cold and rainy Greece was warm and sunny. We spent two days in Athens and four days in a little town called Agia Marina on the nearby island Aegina.
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IMG_5035Amphitheatre at Acropolis

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IMG_5040Parthenon

IMG_5044Acropolis

IMG_5048Chapel on Lycabettos Hill

IMG_5079Greek salad at Nico’s bar in Agia Marina

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IMG_5086Agia Marina

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IMG_5177Aegina island

Midsummer and the week after was spent at the summer-house. The weather was sunny but still pretty chilly. We participated in the annual MC-HC (Midsummer Challenge – Hard Core), a competition arranged by the family every midsummer. It’s started out as a triathlon many years ago but has later reformed into a multi-sport competition with a varying amount of contenders participating each year. It’s of course supposed to be a fun and not too serious competition but once the competition starts everybody always takes it dead seriously. Anyway, somebody wasn’t too good at reading maps and we didn’t do too well but it was pretty fun.

IMG_5220It was sunny but chilly

IMG_5222Ylva was having fun jumping around in this thing…

IMG_5252…and impatiently trying to move forward

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IMG_5234Vidar played with his new tools

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Then it was time for my sister’s bachelorette party. A surprised bride-to-be was treated to a day of friends and fun in a sunny and surprisingly warm Vasa.

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IMG_3457Who wouldn’t want their own removable tattoo?

IMG_3512Pole dancing was one of the things on the program

In July it was time for the annual Houtskär summer retreat. I was only supposed to stay for one week but I ended up staying for two weeks. The weather was great, very warm and sunny, and the company was also great. I enjoyed assisting Petri and Juha in the shala and practice felt really nice. In June I was given Chakorasana and as a “summer challenge” my teacher introduced me to Bhairavasana just before she left for her summer vacation, a challenge indeed. To my surprise Petri taught me the final leg-behind-the-head poses of the third series in Houtskär and had me start working on the first arm balance, Urdhva Kukkutasana A. Compared to Bhairavasana Skandasana is a piece of cake, although Bhairavasana is starting to come along now also, and to my surprise even Durvasana is possible, although everything but straight so far. Urdhva Kukkutasana A is a fun asana, but quite tough as it comes at the end of a long series. I find the third series to be so much fun and very energizing. And although it’s a tough sequence it’s been nice to find that the asanas I once tought totally impossible are not so impossible at all.

IMG_5298Taking the ferry to Houtskär

IMG_5305Q&A with Juha and Petri

IMG_5350Mats drying after practice

IMG_5321Week 2 group photo

10491978_10152247386578342_1588424785269165991_nWeek 3 group photo

IMG_5331Friday evening fun at Skagen

IMG_5360Kirtan

After Houtskär and a few days in Helsinki I headed north to spend a few more weeks at the summer-house. We got about one more week of sunshine before it started raining. I spent a lot of the first week on the pier in the sun, reading a good book, the rest was spent picking blueberries and raspberries. When the weather got cooler I spent even more time picking berries, picking 30 liters in total. There was also a lot of planning done for my sister’s upcoming wedding.

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IMG_5448Mum and dad

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IMG_5489Boat trip

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IMG_5482A little mishap led to a blue, swollen and glued toe that is still bothering me two weeks later

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IMG_5512Berries, berries and more berries

IMG_4035By now Ylvis had learned to sit and crawl

IMG_5531And Vidar had a new toy

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IMG_3630The evenings were warm…

IMG_3662…and the nights beautiful

And then came the long awaited wedding. What a beautiful day filled with love ♡

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A little bit of Eddie

Very last-minute I decided to join the last mysore class of Eddies workshop here in Helsinki yesterday morning. No expectations, just wanting to be part of the energy. The shala was hot and humid and I had a good practice until a small incident I Karandavasana that tweaked my ankle. It popped so loudly that for a second I thought that my ankle actually broke, making it somewhat difficult to pull myself together for the rest of the pose after I realized that no pain was coming, but fortunately nothing serious happened. Today the ankle is a bit tender and slightly swollen but I managed to practice today with just a few small modifications. Anyway, I got some good advice from Eddie on how to work on opening those tight hips and it felt really nice to be part of that energy in the shala even though it was also nice to practice just after the workshop mysore class, enjoying the “left over energy”, on Thursday, Friday and Monday. In the evening I also attended the Ganesha puja that ended the whole workshop. So just a little bit of Eddie for me this year but it was actually quite a good set for me right now. Maybe next year I’ll do the whole workshop again, we’ll see.

My Saturday

While the rest of the yogis in town listened to Eddie give a lecture and talk about yoga therapy I spent part of my day working at the yoga shop Joogakauppa Shankara where I work 3-4 times per month for some extra money. It’s a nice place to work at and people are usually always in a good mood when they enter. And today there was a lot of friends coming by in between Eddie’s classes, an added bonus to the job. The rest if the day was spent napping and taking apart my book shelf. I hate moving but OMG does it feel good to throw out a lot of old clothes and other old and unnecessary stuff. I’m going to try to remember that in the future when I feel the urge to buy something.

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Finally managing to write something…

Well, it’s been a while since I last wrote something. 1,5 months exactly. It feels like not much has happened lately but at the same time there’s a lot of stuff going on. The biggest thing at the moment is definitely the upcoming move. Yes, we’re finally moving in together with my boyfriend. This is a huge (and somewhat frightening) step for someone as independent as me but after more than 3,5 years together it’s about time we try to live under the same roof. Moving in together means moving into a bigger apartment in a new part of town, a bit further away from the city center. It also means leaving the one bedroom apartment, located at a walking distance from the shala (how I’m going to miss this!), that I have loved living in for almost 6 years now. It makes me sad to leave this place and this neighbourhood. But hopefully the new neighbourhood will grow on us both and hopefully we will be happy in our new place. And as I’m currently living  in an apartment full of boxes, my stuff almost all packed up, I can’t wait for moving day to come soon.

Eddie Stern is in Helsinki again for the third or fourth time. His course started today but I’m not participating this year, I can’t afford it. But it’s fine, I’m actually happiest practicing with my teacher right now. No need for anything more or extra. The one really good thing about being unemployed is that I have really been able to focus on my practice during the past months. And I can really feel the results of this. Of course this can’t continue forever, but for now I appreciate this opportunity to dedicate myself and my energy to the practice. My back is in better shape than in years, my hips are slowly opening more and more, I’m gaining strength and I’m finally able to do the lotus myself in Karandavasana. This in particular, getting the lotus in Karandavasana, is a huge breakthrough for me, something I wasn’t sure would ever happen. I managed it for the first time around a month ago and I still feel a surge of joy every time a manage to fold my legs into lotus. Landing Karandavasana is also so close but still not quite happening. But at least my legs touch down on my arms before my ass hits the floor. For the last month or so I’ve also been allowed to add Kasyapasana to my practice. It’s been really good to be able to do this as it really aids in the opening of my hips. But it’s definitely not an easy posture for me, I’m not that flexible. The third series asanas in general are not easy, at least not for me. They require a lot of strength, stamina and flexibility. But it’s remarkable to notice how much strength I have gained, both over the years and over the past months.

Anyway, this was a small update after a long silence. It’s always difficult to write after not having written in a while and it gets increasingly difficult as time goes by.

And, btw, Helsinki now has a great new vegetarian restaurant, OmNam, located in the same building as the Annankatu yoga shalas. Make sure you try it, they even serve  masala dosas on Thursdays!

IMG_4756Ylvis with chicken pox during easter in Kokkola

IMG_4755Me and Vidar during easter

IMG_4781 IMG_4782At the summer house during easter

Weekend in Århus

I spent last weekend in Århus, Denmark, visiting a very dear friend of mine. Århus turned out to be a nice place with a lot of super cute little houses. It reminded me a little of an English village, but in a larger scale. It was great to spend some time with Suvi, catching up on everything.

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Suvi took me to the local yoga shala on Sunday. It’s always nice to have to opportunity to get a taste of the local yoga community when travelling. The teacher, Tanja Sofie, has recently opened a new shala, a nice space with lots of light and good vibes and I really enjoyed my practice there.

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On Sunday we also went to ARoS, an art museum with a nice rainbow panorama thing on the roof.

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Lovely sunshine on the roof

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Århus from above

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Monday was very foggy and possibly the reason for delayed and missd fligths. Thumbs down for the SAS service in Århus and the slow transfer service in Copenhagen, which almost made me miss the flight I’d been rebooked on after missing my direct flight to Helsinki but eventually I finally landed in Helsinki, 4 hours late, after a lot of waiting and a change in my flight plan that took me via Stockholm to Helsinki.

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Mamma ♥

Last weekend the whole family met up in Stockholm (travelling from Helsinki, Turku, Vasa and Kokkola by plain and ferry) to celebrate my mum turning 60. It was a short but sweet visit, especially for me and Arttu who only flew in on Friday evening and had to leave on Sunday morning. But we had a great time and I’m sure we will all cherish the memory of spending this time together.

IMG_2833On Friday we had Lebanese food, it was delicious!

IMG_2820Mamma ♥

IMG_2840Mum and dad with Ylva at Junibacken

IMG_2845Vidar at Junibacken, the perfect place for a child his age but I can’t imagine what it’s like in the summer when it’s high season as it was packed already in March.

IMG_2911Saturday evening dinner at the restaurant Ulla Winbladh. The food was superb!

IMG_2950IMG_2958IMG_3007IMG_2935Vidar ♥

IMG_3004And Ylvis ♥

This weekend is much more low-key. Went to the movies yesterday and today I worked at the yoga shop for a few hours and later I took a long walk in the sun. I clearly do that too seldom (take a walk, that is) because come 8 pm and I’m beat. Too much fresh air. But I’m already looking forward to next weekend when I’ll be travelling to Århus in Denmark to visit one of my dearest friends, Suvi. Can’t wait for Friday to arrive!