Yoga, the Science of Body, Mind, and Soul


‘Yoga’, a photo by Omar Bariffi

I’m very happy to share this news! I have 3 scheduled workshops in 3 cities in Indonesia with the topic of Yoga: the Science of Body, Mind & Soul.

The schedule is:

  • Sentul (Bogor) – at Fei’s Place, Saturday 13 August 2016 [Sold Out]
  • Bandung – at Amala Yoga Studio, Sunday 11 September 2016
  • Surabaya – at Hotel Santika Jemursari, Sunday 6 November 2016

In this workshop I will share about how yoga is a holistic methodology to uncover harmony and integration of the many layers of beings, the body, mind and soul. Yoga is not only asana (poses) but so much more! Topics covered are asana, pranayama, meditation, layers of beings and how does it work together, overview of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra & Bhagavad Gita, the different paths of yoga, and kirtan, a bhakti yoga practice.

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I decided to offer this workshop due to my own experience a years ago. After months and years of regular yoga asana practice, I thought “Is that all there is to yoga? To be able to do challenging, difficult poses? There’s gotta be something more!”

I was really curious about yoga, and they say that when a student is ready a teacher will appear. I met a teacher that showed me glimpses of how whole, vast, and rich the world of yoga is. I went to the school where the teacher came from, and what they teach gave me a solid holistic framework to continue my own study. I’m still studying now, I am a perpetual student in yoga.

I’m grateful to have met someone that showed me clues or sign post pretty early in my yoga journey. I notice that this content is rarely offered in Indonesia, so I decided to try to offer this. I hope by sharing these, more yoga practitioners (and teachers too) understand how holistic yoga is, and that yoga is so much more than asana.

Image: Yoga by Omar Bariffi

Peace of Mind

This is one of those whatsapp messages that got shared in groups. I thought this one is worth remembering so I post it here. After googling around, I found GK Dutta’s post, which could be the original source. Enjoy!

Once Buddha was traveling with a few of his followers.

While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from the lake.”

The disciple walked up to the lake.

At that moment,  a bullock cart started crossing through the lake.
As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid.

The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?”

So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy.  I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake.

The disciple went back,  and found that the water was still muddy.

He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.

This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear.

So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said,

“See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own, and you have clear water. Your mind is like that too ! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

Having ‘Peace of Mind’ is not a strenuous job, it is an effortless process, so keep your mind cool and have a great life ahead…

Writing Habit


It’s been a while since my last post. I do still post every two weeks on my other website, but I haven’t written anything here for months.


I guess I lost the habit of writing. I got more things going on and just didn’t make time for it. Writing become less a priority on my list.

So it’s almost June, 5 months passed since my last blog post Bibliophile or Tsundoku (11 January 2016). After there were a few posts, two were recipes and the other was an event.

How to establish the writing habit again? One of the tips I found after googling about it is to find a topic that motivates you. I love writing about life, meditation and spirituality, and now it has a place at So I need to find other topics and inspiration for here.

Possibilities of topics:

  • Yoga
  • Health & wellness
  • Being introvert
  • Books

I will keep this topics in mind. I will try my best to stick to my original posting schedule here (every Mondays). Starting next week.



Tempeh & Bitter Gourd Chili Stir-fry


I love bitter gourd. I love tempe. I love chili. A combination of three things I love in a plate, perfect!

Bitter gourd, as the name implies, is bitter. There are certain preparations one can do to reduce the bitterness, the method I’m familiar with is by rubbing salt on it and squeezing it’s juice out. But that takes out it’s nutrients, no? What I do is I eat a thin slice of the bitter gourd, raw (yes, raw) – to determine it’s bitterness level. If it’s not that bitter I just cook it as it is. If it is very bitter then I prep it with the salt & squeeze method.

In the ingredients there’s a “Bumbu Inti Kokita A” – bumbu inti means essential seasoning. The brand Kokita created four types of seasoning often used in Indonesian cooking: A – for dishes that uses chili, B – for dishes with turmeric, C – for dishes with candle nut, and D – for dishes with garlic. It is practical to have them around for cooking. Check out the website for more information.


  • Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, sliced thin
  • Onions – 1/4, diced
  • Chili – depends on how spicy you want it (I used 2 chilies)
  • Bumbu Inti Kokita A – 2 tablespoon
  • Tempe – sliced thin, about 1/2 cup
  • Bitter gourd – sliced thin, about 1 cup
  • Salt & pepper

To cook:

  1. Place half of oil on pan, lightly fry the tempeh, set aside
  2. Add the rest of oil to the pan, saute onions & garlic until fragrant
  3. Add Bumbu Inti Kokita A
  4. Add the chopped chilis
  5. Add fried tempeh back
  6. Add bitter gourd
  7. If its too dry, add a little amount of water
  8. Cover and let it cook until bitter gourd softens
  9. Season as necessary
  10. Serve with hot fluffy rice!


Eggplant & Broccoli Pasta


Eggplant & Broccoli Pasta

This dish is inspired by my friend Mitra who posted about her eggplant pasta on her Facebook. Easy, very quick, & delicious!


  • pasta of your choice (I used angel hair as that’s what I happen to have)
  • olive oil, about 2 tablespoon
  • onion, 1/4
  • garlic, 2-3 cloves
  • tomatoes, 2 medium size
  • chili or dry chili, up to your tastebuds
  • salt & pepper
  • Italian herbs of your choice
  • eggplant, 1 medium size
  • broccoli florets, about half a cup
  • optional: flaxseed oil, cheese

I was only cooking for myself and as always kinda eyeballing the amount of ingredients. Adjust as necessary.

To cook:

  1. Boil water in a deep enough saucepan for your pasta, cook pasta according to instruction
  2. While cooking the pasta, 2-3 minutes towards the end of cooking time, throw in broccoli florets too. I like my broccoli bright green and crunchy so I only boil it very quickly.  *I used angel hair and it took only 2 minutes to cook so I started with step 3 first.
  3. While cooking the pasta, heat pan, add half of the olive oil
  4. Cut eggplant into 1 cm thick slices, pan fry, turn them after a while
  5. While pasta is cooking and eggplant is frying, roughly puree tomato, garlic, & chili. Chop onion.
  6. When eggplant is soft, set aside.
  7. Use the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil
  8. Saute onion until transluscent & fragrant
  9. Add the tomato garlic chili mixture, mix around & let it boil. The tomato mixture will change color from pinkish towards orange
  10. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs
  11. Add eggplant in the sauce
  12. When pasta & broccoli is ready, drain, reserving a little of pasta water
  13. Add pasta & broccoli in the pan, mix. If it’s too dry, add a bit pasta water
  14. Check for taste and adjust seasoning as necessary
  15. Optional: drizzle flaxseed oil, grate cheese on top
  16. Serve immediately!

Bibliophile or Tsundoku?


I’m a self-professed bibliophile. I’m also a chronic tsundoki (I made up the word – it means someone who keep doing tsundoku.).

Bibliophile (n) : a person who loves or collects books

Tsundoku (n) : the constant act of buying books, but never reading them. Specifically, it is letting books pile up in one’s room so much that the owner never gets a chance to read all of them.

The speed of me acquiring books is faster than me reading them. So the books piled up. The last couple of years I have restrained myself from buying too many books, but still they managed to find a way into my collection, often I just… couldn’t… resist… Especially when I travel, I often ended up buying a book or two at the airport. Earlier this month I was traveling to India, and books there were so much cheaper that I couldn’t help but bringing home 17 books (I actually bought 18, gave one to a friend).


Books from my last India trip

Recently I found a very useful application to catalog my books – libib. It’s web based, accessible through computers or through its app. With the app installed in my phone I just need to scan the ISBN barcode of the book with the phone’s camera and voila, the book is added into my collection!

My books don’t have a proper home, they’re kinda distributed over shelves, cabinets and boxes all over the house. And I still have some books left at my parents’ too. I dream of having a personal library with tidy shelves full of books and a comfortable chair, you know like in the movies, where they sit, read, and drink coffee. Maybe someday. Meanwhile, having a digital catalog is the next best thing.

I have input 200+ books so far. It only took me a few hours – just a matter of getting the books out of the shelves/boxes and scan the ISBN at the back. When the barcode is covered (book shops tend to stick their own barcode covering it), I can manually input the the ISBN number.

I haven’t finished adding tags to them yet. At a glance my books are in these themes:

  • Yoga
  • Spirituality
  • Self development
  • Science
  • Marketing, Brand, & Business

Some findings:

  • I have many Bihar School of Yoga books – I bought them when I study the Diploma of Satyananda Yoga.
  • I have many popular science books – books by Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley etc. The topics ranged from evolution, linguistic, & the human mind.
  • I don’t have many fictions. The handful fiction books I got are gifts.
  • Majority of my books are in English. The few Bahasa Indonesia books I got are mostly hand-me-downs
  • I have several versions of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra & Bhagavad Gita

I’m thinking of letting go some of the books, although I haven’t decide how I’m gonna do it. I started separating the books into two libraries.

I’m not finished separating the books yet – there will be more books added to the Open Shelf. If you’re in Indonesia and interested in one of the books from Open Shelf, I may sell it as a second hand book and post it to you, or maybe swap. Comment here or send me an email.