Karaoke and Yoga

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Apr 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Giannis' couch

Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Saturday, March 12, 2011

After a long night of vocal stylings of Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin and Frankie, I thought I would go a little more introspective with late night yoga this night. Karaoke was entertaining and it's fun how pop music can unite Greeks, Lithuanians, Parisians and Americans alike. I met up with a friend, Dimitris, who introduced me to Eramus, a European exchange student organization, which put together last night's karaoke shindig at "mike's Irish bar" in Ambelokopi. I had fun exciting the crowd with a high energy rendition of Ricky martin's Livin' La Vida Loca!

Yoga, on the other hand, was a nice change of pace for the short hour and half. A block from my hotel Bhravana Yoga Center, a new studio that focuses on Anusara yoga, a school of hatha yoga.  Back at home, I regularly practice yoga 3-4 times a week. And for those of you who do not have a practice, I highly recommend you start one for improved physical, mental and spiritual well being. In a nutshell, yoga can be used to break the cycle of repetition and attachment. The flow of poses and stream of awareness breaks down life to fundamental principles, such as energy, breath and light. 

I was excited to try yoga in another country, and try a class taught half in Greek and half in English.  The yoga teacher, Konstantinos emphasized the lightness of our poses and the metaphor of "playing like a child" for the flow of the practice.  He stated as we get older, we become less inclined to try new things, and more set in routine.  In yoga, as in daily life, we should try to break this pattern of telling ourselves we cannot do something, and just try it as a child would! 

I've been finding that the best laid plans quickly go to waste.  I've been enjoying Athens and staying much longer than anticipated.  I will probably only visit one island (Santorini), which is okay as I was informed by a local that most of the islands are probably deserted (due to the off season).  I roamed much of Athens yesterday, climbing up Lykavitos Hill, the highest point in the center of Athens (898 ft).  From the top of the hill you get an amazing 360 degree view of the city and a beautiful vantage point of the Acropolis.  Amazingly enough, I met three fellow southerners on the top of the mountain Jay (from Athens, GA-UGA) and Liz (from Charleston, SC - College of Charleston).  We were all pretty surprised, to say the least.

The weather has been getting progressively nicer with each passing day. I was informed that last Tuesday was was the first time it snowed in Athens since 2007! So I guess I'm very (un)lucky depending on the way you look at it!
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