Spring, Are You Really Here?

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Enjoy the sunshine: The studio in which I teach is slowly getting more and more light. Yes to longer days!

There’s a difference in the air these days. I wake up to brighter mornings. I hear birds chirping. I see colorful flowers begin to bloom. And yesterday at the climbing crag I spotted my first bee in months. It looks like Spring is making its way to Basel. But no one wants to jinx its arrival; after all, it’s still too early to be here. 

Last Thursday, the sun made a rare appearance. Instead of staying on and joining the energizing flow yoga class after teaching my 10am class, I was thinking of going outside and enjoying the sun. “Do both,” suggested Jule, one of our students. Of course!!! And so I found a patch of sun in which to practice under, and I got the best of both worlds: an energizing asana practice plus the invigorating rays of sunshine. What a perfect combination.

Whether the sun is here to stay is still not sure, but I take refuge in another yoga student’s comment , “it’s not yet supposed to be here, but let’s enjoy it anyway!” 

A Post Valentine Entry

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Heart installation: For a few hours on Valentine’s day, S’s love notes and my awesome cookies were exhibited. Hours later, the hearts were re-packed and cookies devoured.

Three days ago on February 14, I decided to surprise my fiancé with a Valentine gift. It was nothing bought from a store, rather, a collection of little notes that he had given me toward the end of his visit to Manila a couple of years ago, before I moved to Basel.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. I had come home feeling sad after bringing him to the airport and saying goodbye. At the time, we didn’t know when we would see each other again. I had washed my puffy eyes, which were tired from crying, when I noticed a bright pink piece of paper stuck behind the roll of toilet paper in my bathroom. I dried my face and hands before picking up the fluorescent sheet, cut in the shape of a heart. In its center was a short handwritten love note from him.

A few minutes later, I realized he had left little cut out hearts with personalized messages strewn all over my apartment. It would take days, weeks, even months to find every single one. One time after running, I slipped my foot out of my training shoe and saw a faded, crumpled heart under my foot, its message barely readable. I had been running with it for months and never noticed! Another time while sweeping my floor, a heart came flying out from underneath my rug. I found another in a sauce pan, just as I was about to cook my favorite adobo, and yet another in the medicine cabinet when I was down with a fever and I was looking for paracetamol.

I’ve always wanted to show my appreciation for those sweet gestures, and so last Friday as a way of giving back, I baked cookies (for the first time, and in the shape of hearts, nonetheless) and lay all the collected heart messages on the floor, in the shape of a huge heart (No, I will not apologize for this heart overload).

He came home from work that afternoon and saw the heart deco on our floor. He was pleasantly surprised that a) I had kept each and every note from him, b) I actually baked cookies, and c) I gave him a Valentine’s gift. But more than this cheesy set up, what I meant to show him (and all of you who read this), is that when you give a lot of love, you get it back. Plus a pair of delicious heart-shaped chocolate chip cashew nut cookies, if you’re lucky.

A Sunny Sunday Swap Meet

The saying “one man’s trash is another one’s treasure,” played in my head as I rummaged through yesterday’s Kleidertausch (pronounced klei-der-tawsh; it means “clothes exchange” in German), a wardrobe swap meet held at Loosloo, the yoga studio in which I teach. On this sunny Sunday afternoon, women brought their pre-loved goodies to give and take.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the studio owner Barbara, who said “Nathalie is here, she’s excited to see what you brought.” Nathalie is a yoga teacher who is as petite as I am, so I was equally looking forward to seeing her pieces. The room was strewn with all kinds of clothes and accessories—and it was a treat to look for finds. As I lay down the stuff I had outgrown, I paid attention to where they lay, so that I could see if anyone picked them up. Every time someone did, it felt great to know that my once-cherished pieces were going to someone who would appreciate them like they were new. I came home with the contentment that I gave, as well as received. And what a treat—I got two new outfits for summer!

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Kleidertausch = Clothes Swap, a great way to reduce, re-use, re-cycle

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Break time: In between fitting clothes, guests snacked on dried fruit, popcorn, and baked chips.

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Natural cosmetics and organic beauty products were also on sale, thanks to Daniela Thüring, creator of dhania.

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Just what the doctor ordered: I bought Dr. Bronner’s soap and lip balm.

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Total transformation: Our yoga playground Loosloo was temporarily turned into a conscientious clothes horse’s paradise.

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Stock exchange: Women traded clothes, accessories, and beauty secrets.

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Outfit #1: Nautical and nice. It turns out the red polka-dotted scarf and striped shirt both belonged to my co-petite person Nathalie!

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Outfit #2: This red-orange cashmere infinity cowl neck, feminine lace top, short-sleeved cardigan, and reversible skirt are just begging for summer to arrive!