If I had long locks

These pretty hairdos make me jealous:

See all the tutorials here.

Indianna Jen

So what do you get when you spend 5 weeks in India (besides a tummy bug)?  Some reality changing scenarios, that’s what:

  • I knew India was a mad place when I spent 5 weeks there in January.  But it seems that much like the pain of childbirth (so I’ve heard), one forgets the extent of Indian madness over time.  And so these last 5 weeks I was reintroduced to just how much India functions, and thrives, on chaos.  It’s a place that I both love and hate – there’s a part of me that loves that everything functions with its own confused ‘system’ and rhythm, and can completely become part of the disorder and the ‘slowly, slowly’; and then there is a part of me that wants to kick in the teeth of a country that has so much splendour marred by so much filth and poverty, disorganisation and dishonesty. 
  • A yoga teacher training in India is a special kind of bootcamp.  It’s intense, emotional, exhausting, plagued by illness (and daily conversations about diarrhoea and vomit), and neuroses about what to eat and what not to eat (accompanied by large amounts of anti-bacterial hand cleanser).  It’s also, though, an amazing why to submerge oneself in yoga, break from reality, distance oneself from issues at home (and gain some much needed perspective), and take a month out of one’s life to indulge in life-changing experiences.  It’s not for sissies.
  • I was blonde the entire time in India, and my fellow yogis only knew me as a blonde.  What a weird situation!  It was then that I realised that although the experience was cool, I couldn’t identify with myself as blonde and I couldn’t recognise myself as blonde.  Bizarre, but true.  I think I felt a bit fractured and schizophrenic with platinum hair, which may have been a direct result of my wanting to eradicate and reconstruct myself after a traumatic few months at the beginning of this year – I fully became the cliché of the post-breakup reinvention, and although I’m not sure there is a cliché for this one (there should be), the post-biglove-ex-matrimony breakdown.  Now I am back to a darker hue (although not my own), and I feel remarkably better in my skin … at least now I recognise myself in mirrors and photographs!
  • How people come together to form groups always amazes me.  It is of course no random event, and the same can be said for the group of amazing individuals that gathered in McLeod Ganj.  It’s always a matter of truly understanding why one attracts certain people into one’s space and what they reflect right back at us.  The lessons are not always easy, but sometimes the reflections can be delightful and affirming, as well as clarifying.  I met some truly lovely individuals while away and the sadness for me is the fact that I may not see any of them again … we are scattered around the earth and came together for just one month of intensity in a Himalayan town (which already feels like some dream). 
  • I realised, while away, that I booked my second trip to India in a knee-jerk post traumatic response to two very large losses: one, the loss of a substantial and significant relationship, and the other the loss of a precious, love-saturated fantasy and considerable fixation for all of my twenties.  At the time I dealt with both in a curiously (for me) rational and detached way, only to find that as always my body turned the pain into physical trauma, and there I was sobbing into my mat all the way over in India.  I don’t think for a second that everything’s reconciled … it is one thing sorting things out while in another hemisphere, but an entirely different matter facing the reality when it lives in the same city.   But at least I think I gained some insight, some perspective and perhaps some important knowledge about my own processes in relationships (and, an important part, who I missed while away …).    
  • And finally, although I immediately feel the need to book another trip somewhere, anywhere, I know that leaving doesn’t a) solve all problems, and b) doesn’t eradicate people.  So here I am, back in Jo’burg, back to teach yoga and carry on through this dense 2011, preparing to stick it out without packing a suitcase (too soon). 

Namaste, everyone

Jen xx

Home with a bump

What I week!  I’d rather never have one of those again, thank you very much! 

I got back from India, got flu, and got an allergy from antibiotics (which I was taking to annihilate the illegal parasitic occupants of my gut, which of course I got in India).  Add to that the fact that I have no hot water (heat pump gave up) and no heated living space (air con/heating unit thinks it’s summer), and that I am back from 5 weeks in an alternative universe, struggling to find my feet and be back in reality, and you have an absolute mess!  Oh, and I am no longer blonde – a short-lived relationship – I am now a redhead.  Talk about an identity crisis!

ANYWAY.  I’m teaching my first yoga class this evening, which has got my nerves all a-flutter.  I’m really hoping that a) I remember the words to describe the primary series (and the sequence of the primary series!), b) I remember how to adjust, and c) everyone likes my class.  Who knew yoga could be so damn stressful!

Last week I did a little something for Shape magazine and tested out aerial yoga.  Talk about FUN!  Below are some pics.  It’s really worth a try!

Jen xx

BLONDE

Here we go.  Short.  Blonde.  Adjustment!

Whoohoo.  Deep breath.

BLONDE

Here we go.  Short.  Blonde.  Adjustment!

Whoohoo.  Deep breath.

Bad hair day

This is what happens when a woman with shears hears “shave” when you say “summer cut”.  Notice the artistic pom-pom tail.

Good grief.  Poor Lulu Pie.

Before

After

 

Lulu: This calls for some serious couch privileges.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

After

Bentley: And you say I'm funny looking?? WTF man?

New hair

Amazing what new hair and a new look can do to one’s psyche.  Oh, and a great hairdresser!

It’s a pretty humongous leap…but I LOVE it!

Pixie

I found more pics of cuts I like.  What do you think?  It’s always a problem when choosing celeb hairstyles to ignore the pretty face underneath and the colour of the hair (which may not be yours), and try and imagine your face and body with that cut.

Images via Vogue online

Malaise

Anyone else feel like they’ve had flu for weeks?  Mine doesn’t develop into anything and comes and goes, but I just don’t feel fantastic.  The last two days have been properly flu-ey and as a consequence I’ve managed to do NOTHING work-wise. 

I did manage to get to the hair dresser yesterday though (she’s one of those incredibly popular ones, so if I’d cancelled I’d have seen her in about six weeks time!).  I’ve been growing my hair for ages now, and it can now be comfortably classified as ‘long’.  Of course every time I head to the hair dresser I want to lop it all off!  She’s convinced me the only way to get through this long scraggily is to get extensions.  My hair is thin, so unless I try really, really hard, it just ends up looking alright and pretty boring, and I’ve never been one for a boring hair style!  So extensions it is…eek…do I need to think about the carbon footprint involved and any humanitarian issues with sticking someone else’s hair into my own? 

How cute are these?

Images via this site.