This is an insight about my hometown Marrakesh. Here you will discover some of my photographs of Marrakesh Medina, oriental market, places to eat drink and spend a great evening.
I have always been distracted by the unique vibration and energy the Medina has to offer. Only an hour tour would be enough for me to appreciate it’s variety, art, smell, music and people.
One of the dinning restaurant is single of it’s kind, the Narwama, a family owned restaurant, fusion of Moroccan and Thai food. Located in the Medina, in a splendid riad dating from the 19th century, heritage world of UNESCO.
From 2012 and 2013, I managed the restaurant following previous steps of my father until I flew to Australia.
The experience of working in Morocco was one of the most challenging I had. Not always easy to mix feelings with a parent who has a different approach in regards to establishing ways for the development and success of the restaurant as well as keeping the line of one of the most famous and recognized dinning place in town.
I have always known Khalid and Brahim. Both fellow employees, dedicated hard workers, bartender on the left and chef de rang on the right, serving for years in our restaurant.
Today Narwama is under the management of a couple and a whole new team keeping up with the hard work, since the owner decided to focus most of the past 9 months for the opening of a new business in the heart of la Medina. “Soukine” is due to open in the end of the year 2018.
What people wish for in life? It is simply being happy. I think we all agree on that. We search for joy, contentment, desire for feeling good all the time. If you want proof, ask yourself that question: What do I want in my life? … Most of all, I want happiness. YES?
I want a big smile on my face every day. I want healthy relationships in every areas in my life. I want to be seen as a human being. I want my perspective and my beliefs to be respected and understood. The best way to start happiness is that simple gesture of compassion and love. So when you have something, share it, don’t be selfish. When you do not share, you lose your inner peace.
Another way to make things work for you, is the practice of meditation. Select one practice that suits best your temper and stay with it. Keep doing it until your mind becomes totally absorbed and focused in that practice. This is called Samadhi. Your mind comes to a well-balanced state, in equanimity. The mind is pure, with no fluctuations or changes.
“Blessed are pure in the heart”. Yoga sutras.
In India yoginis seek for inner peace, meditating hours and do rigorous Tapascharya (meditation of self-discipline).
When you work with purity in your heart, things work better for you. When you only see darkness and complaining, it is just a waste of time. You are simply ruining your life. Days, months, years, pass by, then one day you realize all that you have done was being miserable.
There are ways out of that spiral, you must keep having faith and believe in yourself. What should you do to keep a positive energy? Stop complaining now. Purify your mind with positive and affirmative statements.
“If you can watch the way you think you can change your taught”.
Train your brain few minutes every day. Just do it. Soon you will notice that your thinking process is different. We have the power to make a change, this change start within each one of us. I would like to refer to the concept of self in the Upanishads, who explains great philosophical truth. The concept of self and identification with Brahma (the creative source of the universe).
“He who sees all beings in his Self and his Self in all beings, never suffers because when he sees all creatures within his true Self, then jealousy, grief and hatred vanish.”
You must look for happiness in the right places, inside yourself, not outside. We carry love in our hearts, a powerful tool to return to every time you feel down. Do not wait and hope for external situations, outside factors or people to make you happy. If you think like: “I would be happy if I had a boyfriend or a girlfriend”, or “I would be happy if I could get a Dior handbag”, or “I would be happy if I had enough money”.…. If I had X, Y, Z, I would be happy. –Wrong!
Happiness starts within yourself. Focus on learning about your weaknesses and your qualities. Connect with yourself by studying who you are. Connect your human side with the spiritual side, the union of the body and mind, which is the meaning of YOGA.
Love shines on everyone, it is your choice to open or close the path in being happy.
The choice is yours.
We humans are a big family. Instead of killing and disrespecting each other, feeling jealousy, greed between each other, why can we not be happy for the other person success or wealth? Why so much competition? Why so much sadness? Why so much violence? Is this being civilized? Educated? Cultured? – No.
Think and make a test for yourself. Can you understand the people who think differently then you? Test of life? We have to ride each other waves to understand who we are, we are gifts for each other, and we can learn from each other, we are all student and teacher. With communication, understanding, compassion, love, we are capable of everything.
The choice is yours.
In Yoga we often say “Namaste”, what does that mean?
“I see the soul in you, you see the soul in me”.
It is a form of deep respect for the other being, coming from the heart. Practice in a way your mind doesn’t go over you. If a person has been nasty to you, tell “Namaste” and walk away. This person does not deserve your energy. We can’t always match with certain people, but that’s OK. We are civilized, respectful, let it be, and go. Focus on the goodness, the darkness doesn’t work. Constantly remind yourself on who you are. I am spectacular or I am miserable.
The choice is yours.
Yoga is about living your life fully. I struggled myself in keeping that in mind, too busy worrying and questioning. I realized it was a waste of energy, and I could use that energy for best results. Happy comes from within. Nobody is going to make you happy. Nobody can make you happy. Whatever the condition is, don’t forget that. It is temporarily. When you learn enough lessons in your life there is no other way for you but to go back within yourself.
The world is there to teach us:
“Don’t come to me for happiness, because it is within you”.
Be independently happy, not dependently happy. Allow your mind to always see the positive in all things and beings.
You are the image of God, you carry God in you, you carry love in you and love transmits into healing, do not let anyone still your love. The divine energy is in us, it is in all of us. We all have the power to make things right for us the right for all beings, for the animals, for the earth, for the plants and for the trees, for the lakes, for the mountains, for the oceans, for the sky. Love yourself and love all beings.
“Be happy first and see the world unfold in front of you”.
People reach their dreams by trying hard, and making it happen. Failure is also part of our lives, but what matters is the way we overcome challenges and use them to our advantages.
First you will need to accept the challenge or the result as it came, and keep in mind that this particular problem has been given to you because you are capable and strong enough to overcome the issue.
Once accepted, you can start with keeping a positive mind to get passed the pain caused by that failure. You will have to practice healing techniques, until you can set yourself free. Recognize your capabilities. Think positively and understand this is not your final destination.
Be honest with yourself, reflect on why it happened then let it go and move on. It is Ok to feel unbalanced, disappointed, frustrated. You may tumble down like a babe who is learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a smile and a cheerful heart. This is a quote from spiritual Upanishads lectures:
“Failures are not stumbling blocks, but stepping stones to success”.
Life is full or turns and blocks, but you have the capacity to give yourself the chance to be closer and closer to your success. Do not repeat your mistakes, learn from your experiences. We can choose to handle obstacles in life and make necessary arrangements.
Ask yourself questions like:
How can I adjust my course to avoid making the same mistake again?
What can I do differently the next time?
What can I learn from this and how this issue has affected my being?
It is important that you answer these questions with honesty and a calm mind. Be constructive and stop being caught in empathy. Make a plan of how you want changes to happen in your life, and be grateful for all the wonderful experiences that are yet to come. Keep away from procrastination, nothing is perfect, nobody is perfect, do your best for you, and for the benefits of all beings.
If some of you would like to share your practice with me, please feel free to leave a comment.
With my very good friends, we decided to organize a trip from Marrakesh to the Sahara desert and back. So we Drove on our 4X4, it takes about 600 kilometers to get to the little Riad we booked to spend over night and the next day we would continue the journey with our local guide, we would drive hours on Merzuga’s dry dunes and sandy paths to finally stop to our first refuge where we would get supplies, fresh food and water.
After well deserved rest, we headed to a dry salt lake, Iriqui not far from Merzuga village and we could find fossils and old inscriptions and art on stones, which was very interesting to see. The desert of Sahara is shaped by wind, sometimes rain, but includes dry valleys, lakes and sand flats. I was surprised to see the delicate vegetation, such as Acacias, and palm trees occasionally.
Travelling into the desert is a final remote destination of Morocco, it is like crossing a frontier into an other land. There is a real sense of excitement looking at the first trace of sand left behind by our vehicle, sometimes off road tracks leading toward the unknown.
The camp was ready and waiting for us, in the Erg ‘sand sea’ of Chigaga, largest dune in Morocco. Dunes surrounding us where the greatest point for admiring the millions of stars, a sky I never saw that bright in my entire life. Magical beauty, hearing the Tuareg guides playing songs and smoking kif. The encircled dunes were a great point for sunset and sunrise.
We shared Tajine, Moroccan dish, tea, hot drinks, made by our guides, and slept in Berber sleeping tents, on small mattresses and linen. We kept warm by the fire, as the temperature can cool down seriously in the night, we would dance, play music before heading to our tent with a great feeling of happiness in my heart. I hope you enjoy photographs I took during this ultimate Sahara desert experience. Soon yoga retreats will be organised by myself and friends in the Sahara. For more information please refer to the Upcoming events section on the menu.
Essaouira also called Mogador, is a port city and commune of Morocco.
The esplanade of 200 meters, famous Squalla, equipped with guns and a fort is the purest European tradition.
The medina of Essaouira is the only medina in Morocco build on plans. Classified on a wold level by UNESCO since 2011. I have walked in these narrow streets, talking to locals, and taking pictures of what spoke to my heart the most. I love taking portraits of the people living there, and sharing some local stories. I am amazed how much I can learn from only talking to them. My time in Essaouira was really nice indeed.
Essaouira fishing Port and market has a lot to offer. Simply heading there, taking pictures, and sharing stories with local fisherman is real understanding of the hard work they put into everyday. Essaouira is indeed a fishing town. You can choose from the stand your own fish, and eat for less then 100 dirhams per person, eating oysters, salad, chips, king prawns, calamari and sole. The meal was excellent and super fresh. I had the opportunity to organize a week end away with my close friends and family to enjoy this beautiful port.
With the doors of the Atlas and the Sahara, the Atlantic coast is a true invitation to travel and escape. All the coast profits from natural conditions and exceptional mild climate all year. Essaouira offers many surf spots for beginners or good surfers. From Safi to Sidi Kaouki you will find points, beach breaks, reefs, and cool landscape.
I believe there is magic in the small villages, people are joyful, soft and fun. Riding horses on the beach is true pleasure if you like riding the well known “Pusan race” horses of Morocco. I was amazed by the colors and the beauty of the landscape, so enjoyed taking pictures during this trip, here I share a few of my favorites.