Mountain2Mountain: Field Notes

Ask westerners living in Afghanistan what they think about the country’s future  and you get a variety of answers, most cynical.  But the best response I heard was two weeks ago over a coffee at Kabul’s Flower Street Cafe,  “The people are sweet and the country’s a mess”.

Shamsia epitomizes the ‘people are sweet and the country’s a mess’ like few others.  An artist and faculty professor of fine arts at Kabul University, she has a soft disposition and gentle face with large brown eyes and an easy smile that makes her seem even younger than her 23 years.  After knowing Shamsia virtually for two years, I finally got to sit down with her at the artist refuge, The Venue in Kabul where one of her murals is a work in progress on an interior wall, to discuss her vision of art in Afghanistan and beyond.

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Though vastly different practices Stand Up Paddling and Yoga have a lot in common. Both with an emphasis on balance and core strength the two disciplines encourage good posture and a calm mind. When combined they offer practitioners an expression of movement that is fluid and powerful lending benefits to each that make SUP and Yoga easier and infinitely more fun.
In Madison a new class in SUP/Yoga is taking hold on the Near West Side just off Monroe Street. The calm and peaceful water on Lake Wingra is perfect for Stand Up Paddling. With powerboat traffic restricted to trolling motors it’s so quiet you can hear bird sounds and the rustling of leaves in the trees on shore. And on clear mornings with few waves or even ripples an SUP board is an excellent platform upon which to practice Yoga.

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