We had a great meet up with Jann who runs a funky Airbnb in a treeline district of Shanghai. you can contact the proprietor – Jann – directly for bookings don’t need to go with Airbnb if you don’t want.
Photos and text by Ali
Unlike Singapore which can feel sterile, and Delhi which is utter chaos, Shanghai hums with peaceful harmony. Shanghainese people are polite and friendly. Parks are filled with trees and lotus ponds. Modern architecture complements local temples. Contemporary art galleries are brilliantly curated. Shanghai is a dreamlike paradise flowing with a fresh new attitude.
Lotuses at Jing’an Park, and Jing’an Temple – central Shanghai
Before the shops open, uninhibited citizens occupy urban spaces. They practice tai chi, chi gung, fan dancing, slow marching, badminton, and martial arts displays.
High and low culture acts like yin and yang, playfully pushing each other’s opposing buttons.
The old coexists alongside edgy innovation. New technology references hints of the past.
Electronic billboards provide backdrop for temple gables
Civic spaces respectfully cater to the elderly
The metro system is cheap and easy to navigate, with stops signposted in both Mandarin and English.
This efficient public transport system allowed us to explore many parts of the city. The rest of the time we traveled on foot, covering much distance in a single day.
My personal aim for this research trip was to find nourishment and inspiration from contemporary art and the new trends in Shanghai.
I also wanted to make new contacts for future yoga-based group excursions from NZ.
Shanghai exceeded my expectations. Some of the new art was mind-blowing, mixing traditional and iconic images with cutting-edge digital technology.
There was also plenty of interesting street art, installations, and boutique shopping spaces.
Numerous gardens complimented central business districts .
There was no shortage of tasty vegetarian food and great place to enjoy a quiet drink.
You could spend 6 months in Shanghai and a still not see everything the city has to offer. It is a city that I hope to return to as soon as I can.
Just in case anyone was interested in joining me on my next group excursion, we found a great inner city yoga space to run classes from. Put a visit to Shanghai on your bucket list ! You won’t be disappointed.
For more information email Ali at email@example.com
Hi, I’m away in Shanghai for a research trip between Wednesday 8th August and Friday 17th August. Because there is no Google or Facebook contact in mainland China i will not be able to be contactable . Yoga classes will resume on Monday 20th August. Hope to see you then!
Ali from the NZ Yoga Centre talks about Guru Purnima, the Guru Full Moon. This talk will be presented in person at the NZ Yoga Centre tonight, Saturday 28th July, 2018.
Happy Guru Full Moon!
Guruji and I traveled all over India together. From Bharmour in the alpine north to Kanyakumari in the far south. He was such a special kind person and he always allowed me to be myself. Guruji passed into mahasamadhi in October 2016. I miss that deep connection but he has taken up residence in my heart so he is always with me.
Many of my yoga students met Guruji when they joined me on our yoga trips to India.
Guruji and I visited two Kumbha Melas together.
I will be making a special puja to him with my students on Saturday night – 28th July 2018.
Om guruji, om devoji, om alakaji, om paramatmaji, om namonarayan Guruji!
The images in this new study reference influences from my trip to Alicante, Spain in 2015. The shapes and colours are reminiscent of Miro, and stingrays are borrowed from local art deco architecture.
I sketched the original idea when I was visiting Spain in December 2015, renewing my visa for India.
Alicante is one of my favourite cities. I am looking forward to returning as soon as I can
A perfect day trip along the Desert Road gave us majestic views of Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.
The hotpools at Wairakei Thermal Resort were so therapeutic and soothing. Hotpools are a great way increase hip and hamstring flexibility and bring valuable minerals into the skin.
Great daty out, great groups of women!
This fantasy self portrait of the Medicine Buddha illuminates out of the darkness. By viewing the central image, our psyche awakens with the use of lapis blue, turquoise, sadhu pink and gold. The crystal lapis bottle in the bottom left corner of the painting contains healing nectar, which is meant to alleviate pain, hunger, distress, poverty, and thirst. The Naga Guru at the top of the picture protects us from the damaging influences of ignorance and fear. The cobra rises up fiercely, protecting us from toxicity and harm. The Guru hold a bottle of bliss elixir, an antidote for all poisons. The rabbit at the bottom right corner symbolises long life, deep compassion and freedom to all beings.
The over-arching narrative of this picture is heal yourself, and heal the world.
I originally drew the image of this Buddha under the instruction of artist Ella Brewer 13 years ago. Bringing it to life with colour last week allowed me to find expression for my urge to help heal others and heal the sicknesses of the planet, in this case through art. Some of the motifs of the painting are further explained in the accompanying podcast.
I digitally added text to emphasize the fact that this image is under copyright, and also is for sale. If this image is sold money will go towards an air ticket to visit my guru-grandfather at Kumbha Mela, January 2019.
kind thanks — Ali
HAPPY GURU PURNIMA 2018 –
celebrated around the world July 27th 2018
PHOTO OF GURUJI & ALAKANANDA BY KIM REARDON (2015)
PHOTO OF GURUJI & ALAKANANDA BY KIM REARDON (2015)
Listen out for the podcast that will be published on or around the day
Hatha is the yoga of balance – the combination of sun and moon, says teacher Ali Tilley.
I have joined 12 other women for her yoga class in Marton on a Tuesday morning and, after stretching a few muscles I haven’t been using for a while, I’m enjoying the breathing exercises.
“Breathe in through your right nostril,” says Tilley. “Now slowly breathe out through your left.”
Before the class started, we were asked to say what we wished to focus on during the next hour.
Core strength, breathing, stress management, emotional strength, knees, hips, ankles – everyone in the class had a specific body part or emotion they wanted to work on.
It had been around 10 years since I last participated in a yoga class and, although I find some of the postures a bit challenging, I feel thoroughly relaxed – enjoying Tilley’s gentle encouragement and the company of the other women.
Master teacher Tilley arrived in Marton a year ago after running her Sadhana Yoga Centre in Wellington for 10 years.
“Wellington prices had gone through the roof, and I decided this was my opportunity for a positive change,” she said.
The New Zealand Yoga Centre on the corner of Marton’s High and Stewart Streets has a welcoming outdoor area with seating and containers of flowering plants and fragrant herbs.
Inside, the room is scented with essential oils and Tilley brings bottles of oils round during the class and places drops on our palms so we can massage them in to our palms and breathe in the soothing vapours.
Sometimes she issues special encouragement to individual class members if she knows there are particular postures they might be trying to master.
Class member Trudy says she has been coming since the classes began and realised that Marton had scored a great teacher.
“Some of Ali’s Wellington students came to join that first class and I realised how lucky we are to have her here.”
Other students said they have been coming for a few months and have seen an increase in their strength and flexibility.
“I’m now doing stretches I thought I would never do when I first came,” says Judith.
Tilley says the Marton community has warmly welcomed her and the people are genuine and kind.
“I keep my prices low and I’m rewarded with gifts like the fresh broccoli I was given this morning,” she says.
She holds classes every day but Friday and caters for all levels from a masterclass on Saturdays to a beginners’ class on Tuesday evening and there is a children’s class on Wednesday afternoons.
Tilley will be celebrating her first year in Marton and the first birthday of the yoga centre with a potluck dinner and gathering next weekend.
Ali Tilley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 06 327 4108.