Yogi Approved: Interview with Krista Marie Starr

Krista Marie Starr

So the cat is out of the bag! Here is my extra special article with Yogi Approved, that I have been patiently waiting to show you all! This one I am really proud of and so happy with. I plucked up the courage to contact a very lovely Yogi & Yoga Teacher a while back to ask her if she is interested in being interviewed by me; what is the worst that could happen? She says ‘No’ or just ignores my email? No harm done. So I took a chance & Well She said YES! May I present to you my interview with the beautiful & quirky Krista Marie Starr!

Another reason I feel great about this is because this is my 6th published article with Yogi Approved since May 2015 and I have some more on the way for next year involving the Chakras, potentially another interview, a yoga/photography project and a personal story.

So without further ado here is my interview with Krista Marie Starr.

Joyful Things 0/3

It’s been a calm couple of weeks, other than one article to complete I have been leisurely reading books and studying the Tarot. The weather here has been stormy to say the least and so I ended up missing two Yoga classes as I didn’t fancy walking to the Yoga studio for 20 minutes in the torrential rain and gale force winds. Right now I am working on some sunflower illustrations for a friend and a small video series about Tarot cards!

Here are my latest Joyful Things:
Beautiful photography of a Yogi in Paris to encourage Peace.
The Heart and Soul of Things book is on my Christmas wish list.
These Tarot cards are funky; also on my Christmas wish list.
This video about bringing meditation into schools is really inspiring.
An artist featured on inhabitat creates fantastic murals.
This is my best friend’s soundcloud, her debut album is launching soon!
Sarah Kay’s ‘If I should have daughter’spoken word poem is beautiful.
Drunk women and puppies is super cute and hilarious to watch.
I love this Witchy mug.
These Yoga mats are wonderful!
Genital Mutilation is finally banned in Nigeria!

Right I better go make lunch (Chicken pesto & Gnocchi! Nom Nom!) and this afternoon I’ll be filming the first ‘Tea & Tarot’ video, stay tuned!

Kathmandu: Bhaktapur

The day after our trip to Patan we hopped on a local bus for an hours drive to Bhaktapur. Buses from Kathmandu leave from the bus stop near Ratna Park, A ride from here to Bhaktapur is about NPR 50 but as a tourist, you should expect to pay a bit more. As soon as you get off the bus you enter the medieval age. Unlike the concrete roads that are found everywhere in the world, the roads of Bhaktapur are still make of brick. The houses are still built in Newari architecture, as the Municipality of Bhaktapur made a rule that here the houses and other buildings should be built in this fashion. This place was a favourite of ours, so much so in fact we both agreed that if we were to live & work in Nepal, Bhaktapur would be our home because it’s only an hour commute if you work in Kathmandu, it’s cleaner, quieter (with primarily pedestrian pathways) and it’s known for it’s arts & craft. This place is rather charming with beautiful ancient temples in the centre, a Potter’s square where you can see how the artists hand craft clay pots and vases, an art school that teaches students traditional Thangka paintings and places where you can see wood, metal and stone artworks being carved. Bhaktapur has the best preserved palace courtyards and old city center in Nepal, and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples and craftwork. This is supported by the restoration and preservation efforts of German-funded Bhaktapur Development Project (BDP), no wonder Bhaktapur is so much more clean and well kept in comparison to neighboring towns! Germans are renowned for their efficiency & cleanliness.

KHWOPA is the ancient name of Bhaktapur. The term “Bhaktapur” refers to “The City Of Devotees”. “Khwopa” actually refers to the masks which are believed to have been worn by gods and goddesses. Bhaktapur is popular for different forms of mask dances based on lives of different deities and therefore, it was named “Khwapa” which later came to become just “Khwopa,” which is also near to meaning masks.






In Bhaktapur you feel relaxed and safe, people are leisurely playing chess or listening to music, tourists are dotted about photographing the temples and local women are walking around selling handmade necklaces.

On entering the the Durbar Square from the West gate, on your right are two magnificent temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and other to Goddess Durga. A statue of King Bhupathindra Malla stands in the center of Durbar Square. A temple dedicated to Goddess Tulja Bhavani is right beside this statue. This temple consists of a huge bell when which was used while worshiping the Goddess. There are many other temples scattered around Bhaktapur Durbar Square and each temple will astonish you in a different way.

I recommend spending time in the Layaku durbar square where pretty much all the temples reside and you can walk inside them to see the gorgeous carvings within and around their infrastructure. The Nyatapola Temple’ is a 5-story pagoda and was erected between 1701 and 1702, this temple is devoted to the Hindu goddess Laxmi who governs love and prosperity.

Bhairab Nath Temple, sitting next to the Nyatapola temple is devoted to the dreadful aspect of Shiva, Lord Bhairab. The temple of Dattatraya is as old as the Palace of Fifty-five Windows. Consecrated by King Yakshya Malla in 1427 AD, this temple, according to popular belief, was built out of the trunk of a single tree. Just beside temple is a monastery (Math) with exquisitely carved peacock windows.
Unfortunately due to the 2015 8.5 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, numerous temples around the Kathmandu valley, including 116 in Bhaktapur have been damaged, however it is reported that restoration is currently underway and tourists are welcome back into the country.







Do pop over to the Golden Gate and the 55 Window Palace. The Golden Gate is the main doorway to the palace. The palace is famous for the woodcarvings on the windows which are remarkable pieces of art. The palace consists of many courtyards and figures of deities, but it is closed to the public. But if you are a Hindu and a Nepali citizen, you will be granted permission to enter these temples.

if you are looking for somewhere to eat; Bhaktapur have a lot of restaurants that serve Nepalese and International food. The most loved restaurant that the tourists love is in Shiva Guest House, which is located right in the heart of Durbar Square.

If you prefer to stay here over night instead of heading back to Kathmandu, the best accommodation options are in the old town near the Durbar Square and Taumadhi Square. There are not many luxury hotels in Bhaktapur, all they have are guesthouses which are very well maintained and for a room without an air-con cost about USD 12 -15, but it all depends on your bargaining skills.







Our entire holiday to Nepal is pretty much do-it-yourself, we had no tour guide, no tour group, no friends living out there, most of our planning happened the night before and we kind of winged it and this is the best way to be in Nepal. Nepal is so safe to backpack around and so easy to get to where you want to be with only your trusty guide book, although you wouldn’t think it due to Nepal being so chaotic and over populated, some how it all works and you end up where you need to be. Along the way you also encounter other western backpackers who are perhaps more seasoned, happen to be going to the same place as you and therefore are happy to have you tag along for company on the bus or you meet other travelers at pit-stops who recommend places to visit next plus tips on how to easily get there. Never rely on the locals though, yes they are friendly and want to help but they can’t read maps and they will also try to encourage you to sit in their cafe for a small fee as they wave down a taxi for you, don’t fall into this trap, you weren’t hungry and you were sure you didnt need a taxi.

Bhaktapur is utterly picturesque though and not to be missed. Everything built during the Malla Kingdom around 16th and 17th centuries and beyond, with their ancient Newari architectures that combined intricate woodcarvings in the pillars and windows of temples and palace to the various exquisite stone and metal sculptures of deities and guardians in a plaza so historic that anyone could imagine, looks nothing short of magnificent! Bhaktapur is a spectacular visual feast!

A favourite aspect of Bhaktapur are the Kama Sutra and Tantric carvings on some of the temple walls; as a yogi and an avid reader of yoga philosophy & tantra I was in heaven! Especially since I had just completed seven modules on yogai philosophy for a short course with Oxford university and I was currently drafting up my final essay about Tantra whilst we were in Nepal, so I did include some photography of these carvings into my essay for added effect. Needless to say I received an upper 2:1 (Grade B) as my final result!




Bhaktapur’s beauty goes beyond its woodworks and woodcarvings, stone sculptures and temples; more than being considered Nepal’s cultural gem. Bhaktapur is incredibly beautiful because of the strength and resilience of its people. Obviously, their strength doesn’t come in force but from their bravery and willingness to live. The local people of Bhaktapur consciously continue to preserve their heritage and lifestyle with almost no modern technology and mostly dependent on their skills, creativity, culture and craftmanship. Their devotion and dedication to their gods, their arts, their tradition make them one of the most beautiful and wealthiest of people! They’re beautiful and strong because they’re able to thrive and smile their happiest regardless of any adversity, even in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake they move forward fearlessly and peacefully.

Stay tuned for my next post about Pashupatinath!
If you missed previous blog posts about Nepal click on the links below.
Kathmandu: Thamel
Kathmandu: Patan

I am on tripadvisor here
and you can now follow me Instagram
I have also updated my travel section in my Catagories side bar so it is easier for viewers to find and read specific destinations.

Yogi Approved Book Review


My second book review has now been published! All the books in the article lean towards the poetic and philosophical. I wanted to find books that had that slow & comfy feeling as winter draws in, each book in this article are great to snuggle up in a woolly blanket with by the fire to aid internal reflection. I have two more articles that are on the way which is exciting! The next one is incredible and I can’t believe I managed to manifest it, I can’t wait to show you all! The last one is for a yoga & eating disorder site’s Christmas campaign about ‘Celebrating your inner light’ and that has an inspirational and loving vibe to it. There are other articles currently on my desk top in draft form that I am working on over the Christmas months and they are works I look forward to publishing in the New Year. Until then I am winding down now so I have more time on my hands to write on this blog, I am also making my dream-catchers (hurray! The hoops arrived last week!), the Tarot has become fascinating again and I have been asked to illustrate a potential tattoo design for a yoga teacher. So lots of creative play and lots of personal study on the Tarot and you will be seeing more blog posts very soon!

If you want to read my article on Yogi Approved click here: 5 books to give to your favorite yogi this holiday season.

Gifts from afar

On a rainy day, sat at my desk writing an up-and-coming article, Mr Postman delivered two parcels. One from Australia and the other from America. The first was a very thoughtful gift from my Aussie friend Caitlin (Who I met in Morocco), she saw this beautiful belly dance costume and decided to gift it to me. The other is the Prisma Visions Tarot deck from America but bought with birthday money from an uncle who said “Get yourself something quirky with it!” I very nearly used the money to pay for yoga classes but with Jon’s advice I bought the tarot cards because then it’s something tangible and therefore a special memory of respecting my uncle’s wishes to get something quirky for my 30th birthday. The creator of the Prisma Visions scribbled “Special” on the delivery box with an arrow pointing towards the inside.

It is so lovely to receive such thoughtful gifts and it really got me thinking (alongside other things that have been happening) about who I am and what I want to do with my life. I have been through some big changes this past year, since 2015’s new years affirmation about being true to myself I have kept that promise. No longer am I afraid to dress what people would call ‘quirky’, I openly talk about spirit guides, tarot and chakra healing without worrying that people are going to judge me for being batty and I have done projects and courses that have been of value to me instead of what everybody else thinks I should be doing. And you know what happened? passersby comment on how funky my style is, work colleagues enjoy listening to me and say I have a calming effect around them and I make them (lovingly) laugh because of my quirks and positive people are actually cheering me on as I work towards something that is true to me.

So receiving those gifts was again a sure sign that a) people are accepting me for who I am b)I am not afraid anymore to be authentically me. Although I am pretty sure I will bump into judgmental individuals as I continue down this path but it doesn’t affect me any more like it used to, their words have no power over me and their critical voices are now so small in comparison to the parade of lovely people sending me such loving vibes. I feel great. I feel honored. I feel blessed.
The moral of my little story folks, is: ALWAYS STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR HEART’S PATH because the right people will stand by your side and love you for who you are and the wrong people will walk away and find others who are right for them, so don’t sweat the small stuff (like judgmental opinions) because you are too busy being your quirky self and being fabulous at it!

P.S:I will be making ‘Tea & Tarot’ unboxing videos soon as well, so stay tuned for that!