The image on the left is of Matthias Goeritz's on-site installation called the Big Dipper at my favorite place to stay in the West End , Aspen Meadows.
This was my second visit to the 40 acre property , this time almost summer like , and it did not disappoint once again.
I emailed the image to Maharaja & expressed my apologies for not being able to make it for his retreat / darshan in Northern California.
In order to make up for this , I would go on japa walks around the property after a long day of meetings. Enjoying the silence , seclusion & beauty of the property. Very sublime to see a couple of fawns staring at me without fear as I hiked along one of the mountain trails.
The view on the left is of the Grand Tetons from the Rockefeller Ranch in Jackson WY.
I had a very good insight from an ex-LA resident who has now moved to JH full time as I dropped her off at the Penninsula Hotel yesterday. She said that " Jackson will always remain that way. It's real." And I totally understood what she meant.
The wide open skies , valleys , mountains, rivers & wildlife will be intact for a while barring a global meltdown. Slow growth & preservation have won.
From personal experience , I really dislike all the packaging that even so-called "green businesses" like Whole Foods , are throwing our way. You may be saving on plastic bags by bringing an Eco-tote , but what about all the residual paper , cardboard & plastic that the food & goods come in ?
Or LALAYoga Magazine that advocates unnecessary consumerism by pushing a " fashion / shopping " guide. Your editorial team is so yoga chic, hehe. Not to mention their ridiculous cover with the model wearing high heels while in asana.
Pick up a copy of "The Green Book". It will show you ways to BE THE CHANGE , for real.
But as Bhakta George Harrison put it , " We are living in the material world " . So if you do make it to Jackson , do visit Aspens Market & Atelier Ortega , businesses that are not only extraordinary , but committed to quality.
Just got back from my 1st visit to Jackson Hole WY . It did not disappoint.
As a seasoned traveller , I have become wary of the overhyped & at times unimpressive upon arrival ; of finding " there is no there there " . None of that here. It is amazing.
Jackson makes Aspen look crowded . The uninterrupted expanse of blue skies , the 360 degree views of the snow covered Tetons from the Rockefeller Ranch , the Snake River with sightings of elk , the silence . These are some of the things that make people describe Jackson as being close to heaven.
I never felt so at peace. The ultimate luxury in our current era would be wide ,open & unspoiled spaces. And Jackson will be that way for a while.
The Amangani ( Peaceful Home ) is the epitome of how a sublime space can transport. As JustLuxe.com puts it , " If there is a ledge where angels like to peek down on the earth from , then it is the perch from this resort . "
Another yogic observation or as witnessed at a Yoga Studio :
For the clueless out there who still think wearing Ugg Boots to practice yoga is a groovy fashion statement ( purchased from cheesy Kitson , hehe ) , here is the official memo from the always wise & snarky Urban Dictionary :
" The ugg boot b*tch is the girl , mainly from the suburbs , that wears ugg boots and nylons while explaining that they are superb because they have a lot of sex and constantly annoy people minding their own business . "
Yup , even your role models from " The Hills " & Pamela Anderson have ditched them supposedly for their non-PETA friendly sheepskin ; the equivalent of wearing sweat saturated fur around your feet.
Most likely though , the real reason behind this is that they are also now being termed " the new chastity belt ", or " the man repulser " .
And wearing them in Santa Monica where the temps are no near to those in Aspen , even more ridic -
There was a buzz in New York about the documentary " Waste Land " which will be playing there this weekend . Via AlmegaProjects is this trailer which shows artist Vik Muniz as he travels from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump , Jardim Gramacho , on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of "catadores" - or self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both dignity and despair as the catadores begin to re-imagine their lives. Walker ('DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND', 'BLINDSIGHT') has great access to the entire process and, in the end, offers stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit .
Thanks to Kate Parrish and the folks from Sports Authority for the care package containing some of their new yoga merchandise offerings.
The Yoga Kit was intended as a giveaway for the recently concluded YGB benefit event . As they say , better late than never.
On the lower right hand corner of the pic is Gaiam's new Travel Yoga Mat , its clever tag line being " The Journey is This Mat's Destination ."
One of the challenges for the yogic nomad / traveller is how to pack a regular yoga mat. The overhead bins on planes are already stuffed to the gills as it is ; ( Yup , do you really have to bring your whole house with you for the weekend ? ) .
This travel mat is " super-thin " , compact & lightweight ; lending itself to be folded in one's carry on. And well made enough to last you this incarnation instead of ending up in and festering another landfill for eternity.
I've been relying on the kindness of teachers or studio mat rentals whenever I drop-in for a class while travelling. With this mat to test drive ( NYC in a week , then Seattle & onwards to Denver & Aspen ) , that won't need to be taken into consideration any longer.
I had riffed on the subject of "QUALITY " in the previous post ; and my recent trip to Vancouver proved how serious that city is in creating that " quality " of life for its residents. It is probably the cleanest & greenest city in North America ; and most new construction projects are now striving for LEED Gold certification.
In terms of sophistication & ethnic diversity , Vancouver has a large immigrant Asian & burgeoning Russian population. I have also done previous posts on Kitsilano being a yoga town & Lululemon originating from here.
The food is also very good up there. No need to reserve at a "hot & sceney" restaurant as even most of the entry level eateries have great vegetarian / gastro pubish flavored organic salads & entrees.
One of my remaning dietary indulgences is good chocolate. Urban Fare on Alberni St. is always a stop on every trip as it is the " foodie market ". It makes Whole Foods look like a Costco ; and as the name implies, its demographic is the urban city dweller , so no 12 packs of TP in the aisles .
Their Chocolate Bar buyer is a genius in the category. Aside from the in-store section of Vancouver artisanal chocolatier Thomas Haas , the other find is also Vancouver based Cocoa Nymph . The image above shows the Nymphe de la Mer bar , dark chocolate with fleur de sel & english toffee. It was the last remaining one on the shelf. A well priced bar at that at around $ 6.00 Canadian as compared to a Vosges bar , smaller in size , at US $ 8.00 ( yup Whole Foods , wake up ).
The Urban Fare experience totally delivers. From its displays , the variety of ready cooked food available , the appealing eat -in cafe area , produce , etc. , this market triggers the desire to discover new tastes , and projects good value.
I do have a " beef " , hehe with Whole Foods especially the one on Wilshire here in Santa Monica. One of the challenges of a busy lifestyle , compounded with vegetarianism , is finding flavorful ready-to-eat food. The Whole Foods branches I have been to in the past year in the Bowery NYC, Dallas TX & SOMA San Francisco have better assortments than the Wilshire location ; even the new Venice location rocks hard. So why are we shafted with bland and at times grotty / nasty ( check out those steam tables after dinner time ) choices at Wilshire ? To cater to the mid-West, meat and potatoes , Bugaboo stroller crowd North of Montana ?