@August 7 – an extra special Sunday Sunset Yoga Class outdoors under the dome, to Live Music and a fundraiser, set in Xero Gravity Rock Climbing Gym. HUGE thanks to Mate Valtr  for the gorgeous pictures!! (seen here)

“Anything that makes you feel good, is always going to be drawing in more. If it doesn’t feel good, then you know. Let it go. Find something that feels good, that resonates with your heart.” ~ John Gray (The Secret)

This year has been just incredible and unreal. A year of learning, blossoming, discovery, manifesting, sharing, aligning with my truths, stepping into my light.

I’ve been writing here and there, on planes or airplane mode on land, and I’ll start sharing on this blog again. Excited to find more time to put effort into myself and more of my own fun projects, and also to share some of the beautiful things that have come my way, landed in my lap, or I’ve created. Case in point, here’s some reflections from a beautiful 10 days before I left KL to visit home/US/Europe for the next 2 months. I am truly blessed!

Sunday, Aug 7 – Sunset Yoga + Live Music (also a Refugee School Fundraiser):

Just 1 week from locking in this event and the date, we made it happen. After an Unleashing Your Genius event + Book Launch (more on both later) just days before that, one of that night’s performers and I were chilling after the event, and realized that KL needs a Bali Spirit Fest-like experience, such as yoga to live meditative music, and we wanted to do it.

We got permission (“Cynthia… you know we’re going to say yes to whatever you want to do.”), locked in everything, and put up a FB event. It started to go viral, and I was shocked that on a Sunday evening with 5 days or less notice, 41 people came to this one-off class!

It was such a beautiful event, I don’t know how to describe it. As KL usually goes, it all came together last minute, and everything went even better than planned. The class featured the talented and beautiful souls – Ray Cheong on vocal/guitar + Hannah Lo singing. The soulful vocals and strumming, gentle breeze, blue skies, soft sunset, and open air dome above us took this class to divine levels. We became charged with an angelic sense of energy, peacefulness, freedom, and expansiveness.

When the class came out of their last pose, savasana or corpse pose, dusk had passed, and we had entered nightfall. Before some closing philosophy and our namaste, the class sat up and their eyes softly came across 30 candles lit up amongst and in a circle around us and the dome. Then Hannah and Ray performed my favorite vocal songs for savasana – “I am Light” by India Aire and “Let it Go” by James Bay (not the one in Frozen). It was just a beautiful moment, a powerful and deeply moving moment for each of us on our mats, in the night, surrounded by the candlelight and angelic music. I wasn’t surprised at least 5 people have told me they were tearing or sobbing. It was one of the most precious moments ever :)

As usual class, I opened up dinner plans to whoever wanted to meet as I usually do, and ended up hanging out with some of the coolest people for 5 hours :) We had really great conversations, and as always, it’s wonderful to get to know new friends who come to my class, some invited by friends, some I met serendipitously through the weeks. Among many takeaways of the event, I realized when we discussed, was that as much as we must recognize and honor our light, as much as we should focus our attention there, to live there, to shine there, to spread our light, we must also learn to sit with and embrace our darkness.

I’ve started to truely feel the meaning of namaste the past feel months, and yoga classes have taken a whole new level. Honoring the light and darkness within each of us, is one of the keys to awareness, mindfulness, and balance. I always think back to how my friend Matej put it so well here, which I quote in one of my prior posts mentioning light and darkness.

Lastly, speaking of Matej, here’s the official photos of the event from him, more to come from others and of the candles later :) And together on this night, with short notice, we raised rm700 for Achievers Academy, previously called Pandawas Academy, who are in need of immediate funds to stay open for 93 refugee students from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, etc while they seek a new individual/corporate sponsor (message me to learn more how you can help).

Wednesday, Aug 10 – Unleashing Your Genius:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein 

The Unleashing Your Genius event series was borne out of the belief that sharing your voice, your light, your genius with the world not only allows you to express yourself, unleash your creativity, and share your message with the world, but that it also inspires and gives permission for others to do the same.

My friend Natasha and I conceptualized the first event to create a night and feature some of our musician, spoken word, speaker friends, and opening the stage to open mic. Since then I’ve organized 3 monthly events and each time been blown away by the sheer talent in so many creative forms all around us. My best friends are all artists, and I’m often in awe of their rooms decorated with their paintings, wall watercolors, drawings, decor, etc. I have so many friends who make beautiful jewelry, clothes, photography, dance, art, song… If so much is around us, why is it sometimes so hard to spot, hear, or feel?

The 4th Volume of this event was on Aug 10, and it was extra special for me. 37 people came to see open mics and our featured act, Ritmo de Verão (‘Summer Rhythms’ in Portuguese), was a bossa nova group that came together within the week – a singer, 2 guitarists, and a cajon drummer. The location was the magical setting of Gaslight Poetry + Cafe in Bukit Damensara, the vision of founder, creator, manager Johann. The intimate setting and inviting stage is the perfect location for inspiring music and events that take you just elsewhere.

To start the night, we had an incredibly talented poet, Larry, who’s been writing for 10 years and working on his second book. A real estate agent by day, a beautiful writer by night. He shared a few of his poems, recited so well like spoken word. It captured the crowd’s attention and left us all wishing he had more. Luckily we did get more later :) The night was off to the perfect start :)

To step outside my own comfort zone, I did my first ever open mic, sharing 2 poems I hadn’t looked at for many years. When I dug them up in my email the day before and skimmed, I had an urge to edit and fix it. But I let it be, knowing that it captured what I felt and who I was in those moments. It’s incredible that when you unleash your voice or creativity, how much it will remain a snapshot of who we were in that moment in time. On this night, I shared my own writings and life with an audience and family that I brought together but was only starting to meet. Here’s to a year of opening and vulnerability, and the greatness that rises when we unmask any insecurity or uncertainty, and crush any fears, to follow our heartstrings with lightness, ease, and grace.

My friend who’s an art programs director/coordinator, Adel, spontaneously joined that night. She asked to perform a movement act to live guitar, an old friend who was performing later that night with the band. Jes strummed beautiful guitar tunes, and Adel moved to it. It was so beautiful, we were speechless and so focused at the same time. It moved people to tears, and brought out varying emotions in each of us. She asked who had a poem they wanted to recite, and she moved to that. Larry volunteered, found an old poem, and recited that, while Adel interpreted it in her own heart and moved to it. What a performance, to see how syncing what’s around us and what’s within us can be so pure and beautiful. And thank you Adel & Jes for our first open-open mic! :)

As I emcee these events as well, I love pulling my AIESEC and own style of yoga teacher strings to tie together the group energy and movement. That night, an event regular, KM Cheang, shared with me something when he first arrived. Usually the oldest of the crowd of people in their 20s and 30s, Cheang rolls in into the events, and is I think early 60s, judging by how he speaks of his kids. He shared many things that night, among them that, “I’m still trying to find my own way.” I asked him to share to the audience, and it was his first time sharing such things to people openly. He rocked it and was a natural storyteller and comedian. He talked about how he’s so inspired to be around young people, to see how the world is shifting, how conditions and consciousness are improving, how people are willing to pay a premium for good – for organic, for green, for social good, for something that’s good. And as our generation values, good pays forward. Perfect segway into sharing that night’s fundraiser – also for the refugee school in need of funds. Taking a moment to share how that night of creation and inspiration was helping others. We are so blessed with SO much we take for granted. Yet it’s not much to share these blessings with others, but can go so far. I gentle reminder to ask how we can help others :)

Throughout the night, I give feeder questions for people to meet others and answer some reflective questions. One of the questions I received back from my partner Cassandra for one of these was, “Why should we meet new people?”. Intriguing as for extroverts like myself, I love, thrive, and feed energy off new and old people. My favorite thing to do is converse! But why? And for introverts, it can be draining, but one can’t avoid people altogether. How does one channel their energy to the ‘right’ people and energy? Intriguing question posed back to the audience as well :) What do you gain from meeting new people? It’s different for everyone :)

The featured act of the night was beyond amazing. They sang 3 bossa nova songs (“a style of Brazilian music derived from samba but placing more emphasis on melody and less on percussion.”) The songs were beautiful, the singer Bonnie was so soulful and exotic, the guitarists Lee and Jes, and cajon box drummer Simon were all in sync, down to the maracas tied onto the drummer’s shoes. They danced our souls all the way to Brazil in those songs.

After that I usually close the night, then open up the floor and stage to artists to freestyle and collaborate together making music until we have to leave before midnight. That night however, people immediately wanted to get on stage! I opened the stage, and kept opening it! We had a music producer, Alistair, sing and play electric guitar to Jes cajon drumming, people who never played together before. We had a singer of the musical/choir sort, Sam, sing two incredible songs, one about a butterfly which is one of my favorite symbols in life and this night as well. We had Bonnie sing another song with Moe, a guitarist, and more. I was FLOORED and exploding of excitement at all the music and talent around us.

Behind all this, what we don’t see are these talented musicians, poets, artists with butterflies in their stomach. Bonnie and Larry shared with me how they were beyond nervous to get on stage. Nervousness, stage fright, fears – these feelings make us human. That’s how we know it’s worth doing. “When you have inspired thought you have to trust it and you have to act on it.” ~ Jack Canfield.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. And the world has everything to gain when a genius ignites another genius.  I cherish every moment of these shots of creative inspiration. Will soon create a FB page soon to share all these creative talents with more people, and also the next event I’ll put together from afar – tentatively for 8pm, Tuesday, Sept 6th! As well, one of the freestyle guitarists, Moe, reached out to work with the refugee school to organize something around music for them. If you’re keen to learn more – let me know!

Friday, Aug 12 – Family Yoga:

Moving onto shorter reflections, one of the people I teach a weekly private group class to (on a massive balcony under the stars and moon!) asked me to teach a family yoga class that week. It was my first time teaching kids! We had 8 year old and 13 year old girls, their cool mom, and a friend. They started the class in dragging moods, but ended it in great moods :) And by how the class went, how fit and flexible they all were, we moved onto arm balances and inversions – all nailing crow, and a couple moving from crow to tripod to tripod headstand. I was impressed and inspired to do more family yoga in the future! Afterwards we had fruits galore and made super healthy smoothies and vegan yummy pancake cookies. The perfect morning :)

Saturday, Aug 13 – Drum Circle:

After the sunset yoga + live music event, a friend Jewin and I came up with the idea to put together a music/drum circle. Just in time for people to come together to create music like they do on beaches in places like LA. A generous friend Ashish booked his condo’s rooftop for us, and we had the most incredible sky and sunset for this (I realize I’m blessed by sooo many blue skies and sunsets!!). A musician Jonathan I happened to meet at a cafe in Chinatown the weeks prior came, and taught us how to play the cajon! I didn’t think keeping a beat was in me, nor do I still haha. We had guitarists and friends come, and I got to hear my friend Olivia’s beautiful voice! An inspiring night under a beautiful sky of colors, moon, and stars.

Sunday, Aug 14 – Yoga Photoshoot:

Lately via connections or serendipitous moments, I keep getting connected to YogaLife Malaysia magazine, a fresh start to a magazine that’s getting a local revival and launching online. It’s really insightful to work with such kind people who immediately have a vision for how you’ll best share your light, and who also have an eye and knack for art direction, and desire to work with and towards their vision. Thank you deeply guys for this, and for inviting me to be part of your journey :)

After a few hours of yoga clothes sorting, backdrop set up, and many yoga poses, I was super stretched out and surprised myself yet again what I can do. Always keep discovering where you can go, where your mind and body can take you. One of my intentions this year was to find my grace and flow, and I’m realizing I’m starting to get to know both these things. Can’t wait to see what else is in store 😉

Sunday, Aug 14 – my last Sunset Yoga class until I’m back later October.

I started these Sunday classes in June, when a friend Justyna who was in KL for the month asked if I had any classes on the weekend. I didn’t at the time, but created a special one for friends that Sunday. I started it off with how I conducted my Yoga for Running workshop and special series of classes – with people introducing themselves to the group, and answering a question. I wanted my friends to meet each other too! This was also the first time I created fun playlists of songs I love to go along with the flow. The class was great, and I did another one the next week open to public, and another, and another, and so on! Each week, as I listen to Discover Spotify to work, etc, I find new songs I love and incorporate them. You can see any of these here. Sunday evenings have become my favorite time of the week :)

Riding off the previous week’s yoga to live music momentum, we had 31 people join for this class! I had the class form a circle, though it was perhaps too big but I wanted to try keeping this formation. Was another fun class, and I love getting people interacting!

You can always build community, and I think it’s my new favorite thing to do :) After the classes, I invite anyone to grab food, and in our sweaty clothes, we’re off for dinner! This night, half the class joined, and I started to feel like I’m a yoga teacher with a Thankgiving every Sunday…how lucky I am!

I’m honored people come to this class, from far away, maybe even convincing family they gotta skip one family dinner to go, etc. It’s Sunday, people are in the middle of many things, or winding down to start another week. I’m so thankful so many people have come to these classes even to try yoga for the first time. I am inspired by who they are, and am lucky to have the opportunity to get to know many of them. I will miss Sundays, and while I’m out, one of the kindest souls and yoga teachers Theresa Data will fill in! I’ll try to continue spreading the sunset/outdoor yoga love around the world :)

Monday & Tues, Aug 15-16 – Mr World Malaysia Adventure Retreat/Training

I got connected to the fun opportunity to teach yoga to 15 finalists of the Mr World Malaysia 2017 competition before their final contest this weekend, plus also 2 of the Ms World Malaysia finalists, and the woman organizing these and a former pageant star herself, Dato Anna. It was such a wonderful experience as I got to join for 2 days of their fun, adventure, and bonding. I am also so inspired by them and the place (Tadom Hill Resorts). More on that to come in my next post… :)

Wednesday, Aug 17 – Flying home

I think my longest day ever, flying home 12:30am flight from Kuala Lumpur, 7:30pm land in SF. A 36 hr journey, and literally a 40 hour day. Somehow, flights always *fly* by for me.  Like it’s not enough time for reflection and creativity for myself! Love and am blessed by the privileges of my passport, time, friends, family, and the opportunities to travel around the world.

I couldn’t stop smiling even when I was trying to sleep on the plane. So I started to write this to capture some of the magic of the past 10 days. And so, like all my other posts, this should be chopped up into 10 posts – but here it all is anyways :)

Never stop believing in the magic that happens when you follow what resonates with your heart.

Namaste :)