Monthly Archives: October 2014

Your contribution in the charity box of Purple Valley

With only 6 days to go before opening Purple Valley, we are definitely looking forward to our first retreat with Maria Boox, followed by Joey Miles… You can read more about the upcoming retreats here

I felt that those who visited Purple Valley last year may wish to know that the money received for charity added up to 19 000 INR. This is approximately 190 GBP. It may not seem like much, but it amounts to 6 months’ income, and with this money we helped renovate the roof of Assagao Union High school. This also meant that 500 children in the school had a ‘leak proof’ roof during the monsoon for the first time in many years! Additionally, we prevented the roof from falling down on the kids, something that has happened in other schools in Goa: when old wood becomes waterlogged from rains, beams can no longer bear the heavy load, and everything collapses.

The head mistress of the school is extremely happy and so are the children, so a big thanks to all of you ūüôā

This year we will be adding more focus on charity work. We have started to work with the¬† French publication ‘Le yoga journal’,¬† which supports key childrens’ charity.

You will be able to buy this wonderful magazine at the centre¬† for approximately 350 INR, and all the money will go straight to charity. Alexander Medin will also be arriving with his ‘Back into the ring’ group on 15th November. Alexander, his group and the Purple Valley staff will collectively paint the Assagao high school, ( ¬†partly ūüôā ) as well as build one of the first Bio Gas Plants in Goa, for WAG.

So I wanted all of you to know that any contribution will be extremely helpful and very welcome in the charity box. All money will be going directly to WAG and to the Assagao High school. I will frequently be updating you about the progress of work during the season.

Now about WAG :

Atul, the founder of WAG, is a very inspiring person, born in Kenya, he moved to¬†UK as a 13 year old. After finishing law school he decided that law was the last thing he wanted to work with, instead he opened up a small garden shop in London, which became very successful. (Isn’t it wonderful when people follow their heart!)

Garden and plant lover as he was, Atul became tired of the stressful life in London, he felt more and more drawn towards nature, and animals. He decided to make the green flourishing Goa, his home.

Gopalll & Atul kiss

Atul and little Gopal in a loving hug ūüôā

This was 10 years ago. Atul bought a Portuguese house, with his partner, transformed it to a small guest house, hotel Soraya

Realising that very little was done to help the strays of Goa, 3 years ago WAG was formed, with the intention to help the animals on the Goan streets ans beaches. Today Atuls’ small guesthouse¬†has slowly been transformed into an animal hospital, with cows, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens – monkeys still to come. So if you decide to stay there- you had better be an animal lover. Having met Atul, we felt at Purple Valley that it would be wonderful to help them to spread out the word about WAG, the best way we can, therefore we are sharing the below information with all of you. Feel free to spread the word.

With the Bio Gas Plant, which we will be building with the help of Alex & his gang, Atul will be able to¬†extract¬†2 cylinders of gas per month, only from wet waste produced in his premises. This will be a wonderful financial help, thinking of all the gas needed to prepare ¬†food for the animals. But not only that, we also hope that this will become a pilot project for future bio gas plants in the area….hopefully even Purple Valley

The video below shows a heart warming¬†story of little Whisky one of many small creatures, ¬†brought to WAG …


The core team (Atul Sarin, Jill Killick, Dr Upendra Kumar and Stephanie Panayioyou), having many years of animal welfare experience, decided to set up the Welfare for Animals Goa (WAG) trust with an emphasis on sterilizations and adoptions. They also realised that many cows in Goa are stray cattle and face the same struggle for survival as stray dogs and cats.

WAG works with the objective of feeding and monitoring the health of stray beach dogs and cats during the monsoon season, re-homing of abandoned animals, and helping injured stray cattle.

Goa, due to its tourist industry, has a very busy tourist season from October to April, after which it is relatively very quiet during the monsoon.

For a few months, May through October, this becomes a problem for stray animals such as cows, dogs, and cats to find food with the beach shacks shut and the tourists gone. This causes starvation and a daily struggle for survival. Poor garbage disposal only adds to the problem, and unsterilised strays cause an increase in the animal population.

  The main activities of WAG 

WAG helps the stray animals of Goa through its following programmes:

  • The Beach¬†Monitoring & Feeding Programme is designed to help those beach cats and dogs that get isolated in the monsoon. WAG‚Äôs priority is always to sterilize (neuter) the dogs in its care. Keeping the canine population¬†in check ensures that the existing ones¬†are¬†healthy and happy until the next tourist season begins.¬†
  • The¬†Adoption Scheme is a dedicated effort through which WAG re-homes abandoned animals, and wherever necessary, provides medical treatment, vaccinations (such as anti-rabies and 1-in-7 anti-virus), plus ongoing support to their local care-givers. This includes financial assistance for the new pet‚Äôs sterilization.
  • WAG also has a small¬†Cow Re-homing Shelter, where it treats and cares for injured stray cattle, mostly with Ayurvedic Medicines, until they are healed. WAG then re-homes them to a farm, and ensures that they never have to undergo needless suffering on streets, and endure everyday hardship for daily survival. At the shelter, among other rescued cattle, there is a three-legged cow called Tara, for¬†whom WAG is trying to make a prosthetic limb.
  • It is estimated, that worldwide 20 million dogs are brutally killed every year. That’s 38 per minute!!!
  • A single unsterilized dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years.
  • A single unsterilized cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years.¬†
  • It is estimated that there are 20 million stray cattle in India. Many have nowhere to shelter; they co-exist with heavy traffic and speeding vehicles, and are exposed to the dangers of pollution and accidents.

    atul & rajah & all.

    Atul and the doggies ūüôā

How one can help

There are a number of ways in which animal lovers can help:


WAG gets no government financial aid, and relies solely on private donations to buy food, fodder, medicines, vaccines, collars, along with expenses incurred for sterilisation costs, and transporting sick animals. Any donation, big or small, is always welcome.

Details of how the money is utilised (whether it is 5, 500, or 1000 pounds) are available on the WAG website All donations go towards the care for animals, which is never compromised.

Donations of new or used collars, leads and other doggie accessories, dry cat/dog food, feeding bowls, etc. are always appreciated.


One can sponsor a dog for Rs 360 (approximately 4.50 pounds) a month (categorized as full care). Sponsorship is for a minimum of 1 year and includes: sterilisation, feeding during the monsoon season, vaccinations against rabies, anti-virus vaccinations (e.g. Parvo, Distemper), flea control, food supplements and general monitoring of the animal.

One can choose one’s sponsor pet from the Profiles page on the website. Progress updates will be sent to the sponsor twice a year. Visits can also be arranged when the sponsor is in Goa.


Volunteers who can offer the gift of their time are constantly needed at WAG to support ongoing adoptions, making sure the pets get their vaccines and sterilisation when the time comes. Also vital is the beach feeding during the monsoon. Moreover, at this time, dogs miss human affection and physical contact, as much as they miss a guaranteed meal. So ‚Äėcuddling‚Äô is also part of our voluntary activity!¬†Offering to go to the beach to feed the beach packs once a week can make a big difference and the WAG team is always grateful for an extra pair of hands.¬† Many cats and dogs will not make it through a monsoon without the help of WAG.

Having more volunteers makes it possible to reach those areas of Goa (Northern beaches) that WAG is currently unable to address. This means participating in the feeding, vaccination, and sterilisation programmes for additional packs of dogs. Volunteers are particularly required during the monsoon months (May to October) when stray beach dogs are at risk of starvation and neglect.

Volunteers are always needed to monitor adoptions in the Semi-Care Programme. This includes visiting families and checking on their adopted animals to monitor their health and give them their anti-rabies and All-in-1 anti-virus vaccines and Sterilization when the time comes.. Practical help is provided to the new owners such as training tips, items such as bowls, collars, flea collars, toys, and leads. This means visiting each dog or cat a minimum of twice a year.


Adopt a kitten or a pup, a cat or a dog, a rescued or abandoned animal and give it a new lease of life with a forever home.


One can provide a temporary loving home to rescued animals until a permanent home is found for them.

Reporting dogs and cats for sterilisation

WAG also vaccinates and de-worms a number of strays who are not dependent on it for food. One can help WAG by reporting dogs and cats for sterilisation, or any of the health and well-being treatments offered by WAG.


Volunteers are also needed to assist with fundraising activities, networking, collecting donations, and offering administrative support.

Spreading the word

Please tell all your friends about WAG and encourage them to contribute in whatever way they can. If you or anyone you know would be willing to donate some of their time to help these strays, WAG would be most grateful. Please refer to the contact details on the website to discuss your interest.
We can come together and help our animal friends to lead a life of love, care, and dignity, free of misery, suffering and hardship.

                                                Future plans

  • With additional funding, it will soon be possible for WAG to build an enclosure for post-operated stray dogs, which is vital and urgently-needed.
  • WAG hopes to set up a ‚Äėwet waste and cow dung‚Äô compost model, educating and involving the local community.
  • A bio-gas plant, with guidance from an experienced team, is at a discussion stage.
  • WAG plans to acquire land to use as a cattle shelter
  • Although WAG deals mostly with dogs and cats, it has helped rescue parrot chicks, a baby owl, injured pigeons, a python, and tortoises.

Check to know more ‚Äď the website has donation details, more contact details,animal profiles for sponsoring pets, happy ending stories of rescued or injured animals, and lots more.


Founder: Atul Sarin

Cell: +91 9823541603



Help us to help the animals in Goa….

ūüôā See you soon at Purple Valley ūüôā




How we live our days

I am starting my day with a short meditation, or rather than calling it meditation, it is more of a sitting in silence.

I have also been ending my days with silent sitting.

And it has been interesting to watch how thoughts and emotions, created by the same thought, simply come and go. Like waves.

A few years ago I met Masterji here in Goa, an 85 year old man, an astrologer, sitting in a small room at the very fancy hotel Taj, a simple man. I came to him for the first time in despair. Maria Boox, our first teacher this season gave me his number (as far as I can remember). Astrology was never something that I really thought I would consult, although I was always interested in it. But that very first time a few years ago, I was in such bad mental and physical condition, and nothing seemed to give me  peace of mind.

So I ended up with Masterji, and he began to guide me with the help of an astrological chart. Masterji has seen a lot, met many people and besides having a specific and very special connection with the stars, he is a truly wise man.

I went back to him one month ago as well…¬† Referring to life in this specific moment, he told me:¬† ‘Karolina, sit in silence and observe’. So this is what I have been trying to do. In the past month I paid Masterji many visits, not to talk about astrological charts: he has been the person who has with his stories, been guiding me through present life. And he is an amazing story teller.¬† So much so that I will write more about Masterji in a later blog post.

I have been reading a lot lately, questioning life, I suppose this is what happens when you are facing a new life situation. You wonder what will happen now, what to do with the future, should I be here or should I be there. Then I remember Masterjis’ words, ‘sit in silence and observe’.

Sri Ramana Maharshi was an Indian enlightened man, he was nine years old when he went through a realisation and an awakening. He left his family and sat in silent meditation for many years at the holy mountain of Arunachala in Tirivanumalai, Tamil Nadu. Today this little village has become a hub for Adavaita Vedanta followers, and devotees of both Shiva and Sri Ramana Maharshi.

sri ramana maharshi

Sri Ramana Maharshi

I was reading a conversation between Sri Ramana and one of his devotees about life and renunciation. Where the devotee is in two minds drawn between the worldly things and renunciation. He feels that there is no possibility to find a closeness to the universe without leaving both family and work. He feels that renunciation is the supreme means of breaking all the attachments.

Sri Ramana answers him – ¬†It might be so for one whose mind is already free from entanglements, but you have not grasped the deeper thought of renunciation: great souls who have: abandoned the life of the world, have done so not from aversion to family life but because of their large hearted and all- embracing love for mankind and all creatures. When you feel that equal love for all, when your heart is so expanded, you will not feel like giving up this or that, you will simply drop of from secular life, and you will feel that the whole world is your home. The life of action does not need to be renounced, if you meditate ¬†every day, you can carry on with your duties. If you meditate in the right manner, then the current of mind induced will continue to flow, even in the midst of your work. The same line as you take in your meditation will be expressed in your activities. As you go on you will find that the attitude toward people, events and objects will gradually change. Your actions will follow your meditation. A man should surrender the personal selfishness which binds him to the world, giving up the false self is true renunciation…..

These lines made me really think of how I am approaching daily life, ¬†and how I would like to approach situations which I face daily… As well the importance of the intention set in ones’ daily practice. And how important it is to always remain with that intention – throughout the day and throughout life. Bringing ones’ awareness to ones’ actions performed during every minute of the day, will make us more aware about different patterns in our behaviour. Both good and bad.

Rolf my teacher said the other day during a pranayama class :

‚ÄúEvery time we turn up to do our practice, remember we are a part of something bigger. It is not your practice, it is not a selfish act, instead, we are contributing to improve the collective vibration of the universe. When we sit down in contemplation, perhaps meditation will happen, and perhaps we will be able to feel how our limitations are dissolving and we become a part of the vibration. We realize that we are all the same, in different forms. The yogi sitting in the Himalayas is not looking out for enlightenment, he is not performing a selfish act. Enlightenment is a natural state of being. The yogi, with his practice is contributing to the collective oneness, improving the energy of the universe. When you start to think of your practice in this terms, perhaps it will give you a different meaning‚Ķ.perhaps not‚Ķ.‚ÄĚ

These words also made me think of mine own approach to the practice, my state of being when I wake up, when I turn up for practice on my mat, when I perform my daily work. The deeper meaning of our practice…. today there is so much focus in the yoga world on asanas only. But what does the practice really mean to you?

So to finish of today’s blog post I wanted to share with you some words of Sri Ramana Maharshi, which he said to his mother after she came to see him in Arunachala. Keeping in mind that this is a mother seeking her young son, for the first time after many years, asking him to come back home.

” The ordainer controls the fate of the souls in accordance with their “parabdhakarma” ( destiny to be worked out in this life, resulting from the balance sheet of actions in his past lives)

Whatever is destined not to happen¬†will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you can to prevent it. This is certain. The best course therefore is to remain silent”

You have to read the lines a few times, to really feel them…

With love





A new beginning

This year I will be completing my 12 years in India. Sadly, I must admit that I still cannot speak Hindi freely, a few words and phrases, ¬†but I do understand more than people think. I can do my shopping in Hindi. I can speak little with the staff….but I am shy… And once again, I am determined that this year I will learn more. What I have learned (and learnt to love) over the past years however, is invaluable: eating spicy hot food,¬†peeing at ‘squat toilets’, traveling in loud, crowded buses. The ability to live without electricity, to sleep between sticky, humid sheets during the monsoon… and yes… I have certainly stopped waiting for people,¬† I have become far more patient, although I wish I would be little better at controlling myself, once I do lose it…

2014-09-27 18.01.56

goa sunset…

I feel I have become more accepting,¬†towards myself and others, I am more humble, and definitely more generous with words, feelings and even money for the beggars, although it is against my principles to support begging, I have become better to view life from different angles… I do not take things for granted, and while coming back to the West, I see the amazing benefits, schools, cleanliness, financial freedom, and I know that some people will never experience Western wealth. I see myself lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of both.

2014-09-27 18.34.08

sunset continues….

Coming back to Goa and India this year, my life took a very unexpected turn, a very painful one and unwanted in the moment. Transformations can be very hard, challenging, and particularly when we do not want that change to happen, ¬†when we are happy in the moment just as it is…

But sometimes life  and Universe is having something else in mind, we can either fight what is coming and increase the pain, or reaming silent, and watch it. I did both.

The second option worked best.

2014-09-27 18.31.45

….and continues…


I was reading a book, Pointers of Ramesh Baltsekar, which a friend of mine РGautam Sachdeva has written. He has during many years been a disciple of Ramesh  Baltsekar and the Indian  Philosophy, Advaita Vedanta.

This he wrote about Destiny – everything is predetermined. Right from the time of conception, whether the conception is aborted or a baby is born – till it dies, everything is predetermined. The amount of pleasure and pain that has been assigned in ones life is predetermined. One is hurt because it was ones destiny to be hurt. If it is not ones destiny to be hurt, no power on earth can hurt you. Though everything is predetermined, knowing that will not help you in anyway, as you will never know what is predetermined….Though everything is predetermined, knowing it will not help you in any way, as you will never know what is predetermined.

2014-09-27 18.40.28

….almost set….the beauty of nature …..

Which means  we need to allow life to flow with acceptance. Going through all these changes in life, fast and unexpected, yoga became my tool towards that acceptance. It helped me to watch my behaviour, from mornings where was just lying on my yoga mat, without moving, with no energy, to a slow regain of senses, breath and movement. The asanas are bringing greater awareness, to the present moment. They have been helping me to scatter my thought on the mat, and the same awareness and breath, I could use  in life, while not being on the mat. It was not easy, but it worked.

A man I met in Mumbai once told me , you should leave the asanas and go deeper in meditation, but we are all the spot in life where we are just suppose to be. Yoga, no yoga, meditation, work, family relation ships….everything is exactly the way it is suppose to be… but it can still be very painful, before we accept it.

So opening up Purple Valley this season feels very special, it is not only an asana practice, and some random postures taught here – it is a tool which is helping ¬†us in how to deal with situations in life . This is what ¬†we are practising here in the shala, with some of the most dedicated teachers of ashtanga yoga…

It is such a gift to be able to be here at Purple Valley one more year….with all this wonderful practice.

23 days to go ….and a new season will start…


2014-09-22 18.34.52

….and finally the best sunset company in Goa… Rolf , my guru in all practices.