An Exchange with Cairene Yogis & Mystics

It’s officially been one week since I’ve landed in Cairo and it has been a whirlwind. Personally, professionally, that has now delivered me into the celebration of Ramadan in the Middle East.


Thai Metta Circle at Ashtanga Yoga Cairo

My workshops at the Ashtanga Yoga Center and Nun Center this past weekend were incredibly successful and rewarding.  The students in each space were ready for fresh perspective and knowledge of integrative health modalities that come from ancient and modern healing traditions outside of Egypt.

As Nada observes her community is thirsty for knowledge but they sniff out bullshit rather quickly…

It is truly an international world we live in… As the West continues to look East for prescriptive ancestral wisdom, how funny it is that in my workshops I bring my Egyptian audiences teachings from Thailand and from India by way of American yoga…

And perhaps more than American audiences I have taught, they want to understand the way  things work.  The science and mechanism of things…

As Nada Iskander, owner of the Nun Center observes, her community is thirsty for knowledge about holistic health, but they don’t put up with bullshit and they sniff it out rather quickly.

This isn’t your LA crowd, I observed.

The thread that tied it all together was inspiring of one’s own agency in guiding the lifelong process of attending to health.

At the Ashtanga Yoga Center, my Thai massage workshops admittedly went much more slowly, as students inquired more thoughtfully into their own body mechanics and awareness- how to cultivate one’s power as a healer from within.  Much more deliberate and less obsessed with doing and performing a sequence for the sake of it than most American crowds.

In my two offerings of the Yoga of Food at Nun Center I taught basic principles of Ayurveda, literally the Science of Life in Sanskrit, or the indigenous medical tradition of India.   In the morning I reached the young, hip yogini moms.  In the evening, came the professionals… and my own tribe (!) including my adventurous cousin Karim and his three kids visiting from Qatar and my friend Karina from DC and her impossibly cool dad.  And with each audience, we explored various applications for Ayurveda. From intuitive approaches to what and how we eat our meals, to body alkalinity, to attending to the quality of life for the elderly, to preserving the traditions of Egyptian cuisine.

The evening crowd @ The Nun Center

The evening crowd at The Nun Center

The thread that tied it all together was inspiring of one’s own agency in guiding the lifelong process of attending to health.

These teaching spaces were nothing short of a revelation in understanding what it takes to be a healer – in different cultural contexts, seasons of life.  Stepping outside of my traditional didactic patterns, to listen with humility and respond.

There is always more to learn.

More soon…



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