Posts Tagged ‘Yoga in Sicily’

Sicily 2017 Slideshow

May 13, 2017

Was it one week or two?

It was one hundred lifetimes lived in a single day.

Warm sun on my skin

Within days, my skin goes brown, my eyes grow bright.

A gentle breeze floats in from the sea.

I am surrounded by beauty

and smiles.

How will I ever go back home?

This ancient land clings to my feet, tugs at my heart.

I am trapped by an invisible seaweed netting.

Cherry tomatoes burst with flavor. The local markets display mounds of dried wild herbs and mountains of colorful fruits and vegetables, which will taste as beautiful as they look.

Every morning and evening, we practice yoga to the sound of birdsong

and to soft lapping of waves.

The fragrance of the zagara flower is intoxicating.

Orange blossoms perfume the wall-less outdoor yoga studio.

Mt. Etna lets out a steady stream of smoke, steam, and dreams.

Mongibello stands tall, shrouded in purple at sunset, pink at sunrise.

What do you call the blue of the Sicilian sky and sea?

Flamingos, not yet fully pink, are feeding at the marsh.

Are there words to describe such insane raw beauty?

At night, I wonder how my parents ever left?  I wonder if I  carry the scars of their pain?

Quarry stones, hewn perfectly, stand witness to ancient history and warm today’s cat.

With the click of my camera, I capture the wild red poppies growing in a field of yellow daisies and I offer the poppies’ perfection to my lost friend Adriana.

We do yoga in the ruins of the tuna fisheries.

I feel the solidity of ancient stone under my feet, the mass suffering of the giants of the sea, and the beauty of the moment.

I watch my friends, long-time friends and new ones, do yoga on this ancient island. I lead them in a yoga sequence and I feel  Madre Terra’s energy coursing through us all.

Mother Earth and the Sicilian Sun nourish our spirits.

I breathe and I am renewed.

Fran’s website: http://www.frangallo.com

Turn up your speakers and enjoy the slideshow below (about 8 minutes long):

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Sicily: Notes to Self

April 23, 2017

Does anyone else wake up at 3am to write a blog in his or her head…and then promptly go back to sleep, later wake up at a decent time and write it down?

Sicily: Notes To Self

  • All of my hard work is worth every second of effort put forth.
  • I must believe in myself ALL OF THE TIME.
  • Some mysteries in my life will never be solved.
  • Yoga has kept me sane. Often, it is the only part of my life that makes sense.
  • The vivid dream I had of my father on my second night in Sicily is more than just a dream.
  • The smell of Sicilian orange blossoms is the most beautiful smell in the world.
  • The Beatles had it right when they said, “Love is the Answer”.
  • I must take some photos of the Sicilian wildflowers in bloom.  The poppies are particularly beautiful.
  • Sicily is a gorgeous sun-kissed, energy-loaded island that merits many more visits during my lifetime.

And some photos with captions taken yesterday and today:

Catania Shop Window

Catania Religious Shop Window

Triton at the Catania Market Fountain

Triton at the Catania Market Fountain

Santa Agata mural in the market in Catania

Santa Agata mural in the market in Catania

 Enormous Pesce Spada (Sword Fish) in the Catania fish market

Enormous Pesce Spada (Sword Fish) in the Catania fish market

Serena enjoys her spaghetti

Spaghetti Girl

Adorable Spaghetti Girl

Adorable Spaghetti Girl (slightly blurred, but I couldn’t resist posting!)

Our wonderful driver, Francesco

Our wonderful driver, Francesco

The Apollo Temple in Ortigia

The Apollo Temple in Ortigia

Sea Nymphs (fountain), Ortigia

Sea Nymphs (fountain), Ortigia

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Yoga this evening at the villa

Yoga this evening at the villa

Mt Etna this evening, taken right after shavasana

Mt Etna this evening, taken right after shavasana

Sicily with Love

October 19, 2014

Our guide Graziella recited a poem, written by an anonymous poet in ancient times, which describes the legend of how Sicily came to be.  She recited it first in the Sicilian dialect and then translated it into English.  I cannot find the Sicilian words, but it was the loveliest of poems.  Here it is in English:

One day God was full of joy.  As he was walking with the saints in heaven, he thought of giving a gift to the world.  From his crown he plucked out a diamond.  He blessed the diamond with the seven elements and placed it in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  The diamond became a beautiful island and the people called her Sicily.

My hope is that the photos below show you some facets of the diamond called Sicily.

If you are at your home computer, turn up the volume to hear Bellini’s Casta Diva from Norma (the smile box slideshow music seldom plays on an iPad or phone).  Bellini was from Catania, located about half an hour from our villa.  The residents of Catania so love Bellini’s music from Norma that they named a pasta dish after her: Pasta alla Norma.  Casta Diva plays twice and, by pure coincidence, the slideshow ends just as Casta Diva comes to an end, the very last note in sync with the very last image!

Food slide show coming your way soon….

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500th Blog Post

October 8, 2014
500!!

Yoga mats form a 500!!

Today,

While sitting in the hot October Sicilian sun,

While overlooking the Ionian Sea and La Montagna (Mt. Etna),

While looking at my fellow yogis basking in the sun,

While listening to the next-door-villa’s lovely Italian music filling the air,

While feeling my heart sing and my eyes about to overflow with tears of happiness because everything in life at this moment feels so right and good and filled with meaning,

I write my 500th blog post!

basking in the sun

basking in the sun

Yoga and animals- both domestic and wild- and meals and travels and nature and home and friends and family and stories and love fill the blog posts one after another. My only sadness is that I don’t have enough time to record, via words and photos, all the richness that life has to offer.

I thought about the number 500 and the Fiat Cinquecento (Fiat 500) came to mind. I asked John and Marilyn what they knew about the “cinquecento” and they both had things to say… The 500 is small, compact, zippy, and sweet as a car. But the 500 also has its faults. According to Marilyn, her Fiat 500 stalled and died on her one too many times before she gave it up for a more dependable car.  The Cinquecento is perhaps like my blog? Compact, sweet, poignant at times, smooth, but sometimes I don’t reach my goal of at least one weekly posting and the blog postings stall, coming almost to a full halt. Then my life clears up a bit and out come the blog posts, like little capellini being formed by hand, one after another, ready for immediate consumption!

Fiat 500 (Cinquecento)

Fiat 500 (Cinquecento)

Fiat Cinquecento

The Fiat Cinquecento is seen everywhere in Italy

Ricotta-filled capellini.  We made these at the cooking school in Modica yesterday.

Ricotta-filled capellini. We made these at the cooking school in Modica yesterday.

Below is the way I chose to celebrate my 500th blog post! Thank you to the yoga participants on this retreat in Sicily for making photo taking so much fun!

Making the 500 out of our yoga mats!  Perfect!!  We had just enough mats.

Making the 500 out of our yoga mats! Perfect!! We had just enough mats.

500th blog post celebration in Sicily, land of my heart!

500th blog post celebration in Sicily, land of sun and love!

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Yeah 500!

Yeah 500!

 

 


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