This month I traveled to Northern Sweden and joined my friend Fredrik Prost's community for the annual marking of their reindeer calves. It was an amazing experience I will never forget.
Though the Sami have given up many of their traditional ways, many persist and in the coming months, I will share aspects I found inspiring or educational.
Traditional Sami housing is a tepee or lavoo, with long birch poles forming the main structure (these used to be transported from place to place by domesticated reindeer), and stitched reindeer skin providing the cover. The top of the lavoo is open to let smoke from a fire escape. Read more
I’ve taught stretchlying on the side for decades. So it’s a (welcome) surprise to discover a way of arranging the neck that is both more effective in adding additional neck length and more relaxing for the neck muscles.
It takes good form to be able to get rest on a surface this hard.
In July, reindeer herders in Samiland corral their reindeer to mark the ears of the unbranded calves. This involves stretches of waiting, some of it done reclining on the side, as above.