Wrapping up my Bali experience

It’s over! What a trip it’s been. I am exhausted right now, understandably because Bali is 15 hours ahead of Redding, so I’m used to being asleep when I’m awake. It kind of hurts, to tell the truth, how discombobulated I feel. I was hoping to not sleep during the day so that I could reset myself, but I took a 2 hour nap yesterday and probably will do something similar today. I’ve slept for about 4 hours each night since returning. 😦

I went a little long on the video but with it being the last one, I wanted to share more of my experience and thank you for coming with me! I am still processing what happened during the 25 days in Bali. I think I will be forever processing, actually, and I will write more here about my revelations here in the future. I haven’t yet settled back in Redding life. I think that is partially why I haven’t been sleeping straight through the night either. I’m glad I took 4 days after the trip to explore Bali, relax, and reintegrate into more of a “normal” life. Four plus hours of yoga a day, on a tropical island, with no concerns other than classwork and which buffet food item to eat isn’t my normal and I’ve been doing that for 3 straight weeks from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm nearly every day. It was glorious. Now, I get to reintegrate into my normal life, and, as a new person. I am thankful for grace. Thankful that my friends, my family, my students, and my God give it to me, and that I am really learning to give it to myself. I am perfect. That is probably the biggest thing I learned while at the yoga training: that no matter how much growth I get to do, no matter how many silly mistakes I make, no matter if I offend people, no matter how happy or sad I make myself or others, I am perfect. This will be something I meditate on for years to come. I hope that you know how perfect you are as well. Just. As. You. Are. You and I couldn’t be any more perfect! Right here, right now, God doesn’t make junk. How wonderful. How mysterious. How magnificent. You and I are whole. Oh the complexity of it!!! And the simplicity.

I think I’m going to take that nap now. Bless you. Thank you. See you soon.

xoxo

Bali Yoga Trip: Day 24: yoga all day long

It’s been a great day! I spent most of it at the Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio and the Bali Buddha Café. I took 3 classes at the Studio (Hatha, Roll and Release, and Fly High) and ate raw pizza, a raw food platter with spreads, kombucha, and raw chocolate pudding dessert. I spent maybe $11 on all that raw food and 2 kombucha’s. Ah-mazing!

I felt a bit like Julia Roberts in “Eat Pray Love” today. If you haven’t seen the movie, Julia visits Bali (Ubud even, if I’m not mistaken), as part of her journey to find herself, discover more about life, and do things that she’s always wanted to, all by herself. I brought a book with me, Richard Branson’s “Losing My Virginity,” and read it at the Café in between classes. I met and talked with some of the other yoga students (one was even from CA) and explored a few of the shops near the studio. It started down pouring with rain at around 4:00 pm and I thought it would be over by the time my class ended at 6:45, but it didn’t. I walked back to the home stay in the steady rain covered with only a shawl. I got pretty wet but happily refused taxi’s and enjoyed living in the moments. It’s been a great day: one of slight uncertainty, one of adventure, one of exploration, one of trying lots of new things, one of meeting some great new people, one of exploring new yoga classes and areas of my body, one of testing limits, one of prayer, one of raw food eats, and one of lots of love, not to sound cliché. I am planning on doing something similar tomorrow. I want to try the Radiantly Alive Vinyasa Flow class tomorrow and follow it with the Core Yoga class. We’ll see how I fell after tonight’s Flying High class. I might be a little sore from it.

I hope you enjoy this video of my Home Stay! I just tried to take a shower but the hot water lasted for about 30 seconds and as I tried to get the cold to make it warm, I lost all the hot. I’m planning to shower at the studio tomorrow. It’s actually a much nicer facility.

Until next time, may this inspire you to follow your dreams, to roll with what comes your way with childlike amusement, to try new things, and to talk to strangers. Namaste!

Bali Yoga Trip: Day 23: Candidasa to Ubud

From the ocean to the city, I’m now in Ubud now that my yoga teacher training is over. Ubud is a yoga mecca of sorts. There are lots of yoga clothing, statue, and accessory shops here (along side the surf and general tourist stores). There are several yoga studios and many, many, energy healing centers here. It’s a large city, much different than Candidasa, but yet, there are still the farms (rice, I think mostly) within the city and we ate the Café Angsa tonight that overlooks a rice farm. It was beautiful. I am typing this in my new room at the Indra Homestay, sharing a room with one of my roommates from the yoga training, Joey. Our friend Nicole is also here, staying in her own room. We were at a resort in Candidasa, Puri Bagus, with room service, pool, bar, restaurant, beach, cabanas, spa, etc. This place is much, much different. We are paying 10,000 rupia per night (which is a little less than $10) which should give you an indication of the difference, but, I LOVE it! I will definitely make a video of this place to show you. It is SO Bali! I’ll save the details for then.

My plan tomorrow is to go to the Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio in town and take 3 classes: either the Radiantly Alive Vinyasa class or the Hatha class, the Roll and Release class (using tennis balls and other props to release myofacial tissue in the body), and the Flying High Yoga class (described as “using the aid of gravity and the Hanging Yoga Belt, learn how to lengthen the spine and increase your flexibility. The hanging Yoga Belt is a fantastic tool to perform restorative inverted poses, and to intensify ground Yoga poses as well. It relieves tension in the muscles, elongates and decompress the spine, and increase flexibility.”) It may sound odd to have just completed a 200 hour yoga training and then go to a studio to take more yoga, but I love it! This studio has a special day pass where you pay 15,000 rupia (a little less than $15) and you can take as many yoga classes as you’d like for the day. After the amount of yoga I’ve been doing each day, 3 classes will be easy in comparison! I’m thinking it’s a good deal and I want to increase my experience with different styles, teachers, and make the best of my time here in the yoga mecca. ☺

From underneath the most powerful ceiling fan I have ever experienced, I say goodnight and Namaste!

Bali Yoga teacher Training: Day 20: teaching!

Today was the big day: my group of 7 taught our 2.5 hour Vinyasa yoga class! I was only able to get these 2.45 minutes of my teaching, but it at least gives you a great look into what I have been doing and the scenery over the past few weeks.

I taught the peak pose section and led the students into visvamitrasana. It’s quite a challenging pose and I picked it purposely so that I could get some real feedback on my teaching cues, adjustments, and style. I, admittedly, was a little nervous. I felt mostly confident, but I taught to an entire class of yoga teachers and was being critiqued by skilled and long time teachers of yoga teachers. It was great, but I’ve definitely been celebrating that it’s over.

The feedback from my instructors was good! I was told that I picked a really complicated pose and that teachers of 10+ years wouldn’t have cued it as well as I had. I was complimented on my attention to breath, my adjustments, and sequencing. The biggest suggestions to my teaching are: to describe exactly what to do when people are holding the pose (alignment ad what to do with the breath: I kept repeating inhale extend, exhale deepen, I think out of nervousness) and change/better the cueing for the straddle to inner thigh stretch pose.

We have only 1 more full day of class! Tomorrow is a half day and Sunday is a Vinyasa class and some wrap up time. Some of the girls and I will be traveling to Ubud on Sunday and leaving Wednesday evening. I am really sad that this training time will be ending! Something really special has happened within me and among us all here. I’m going to savor these next few days. I’ll start by going to bed right now and then tomorrow it’s meditation at the ocean.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, Namaste!

Bali Yoga Training: Day 19: half day off!

Again I’m sitting on my bed listening and chiming in with my goofy roommates and laughing hysterically. It was a much needed half day off today and I had a goal of creating a creative video for you today, but instead I happily took some down time by the pool, in the restaurant, and via a massage before I practiced with my group for our 2.5 hour Vinyasa Flow yoga class tomorrow morning. Now, as my roommates are settling into their beds for our 5:30 am wake up and 6:30 am class, I’m typing via the bright glow of my computer amidst the darkness.

It’s coming to an end, my yoga teacher training program. It has been an incredible time. It feels like it’s been so long, yet we just arrived. I have made some really great friends and as we get to spend some down time, find each other on Instagram and Facebook, and share our hearts as we lead the yoga classes, I’m learning a whole new side to these people who I’ve meditated with, explored around the island with, and sweated and groaned next to on the mat.

This video is from one of the past few days’ explorations. It’s from the traditional Balinese dance performance a few of the girls and I went to here in Candidasa. This time, it’s me on the stage! Enjoy my first time ever attempting this art and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Namaste!

Bali Yoga Training: Day 18: health

This video is a little wordy, but if you stay through to the end you’ll hear the point. I really like yoga, in case you didn’t already know that. I love moving to my breath, I love challenging myself, I love the mind, body, spirit connection, I love the people that practice, I love the clothes, the sweat, the ecstasy like state you get while you move and breathe and feel and be. It’s a state of being that is so alive!

This teacher training is an intensive, comprehensive, 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training within 3 weeks time. That’s a lot of info and work to do in a short amount of time. We start at 6:30am and end usually at 7pm but have homework and group projects and teaching in between it all. Yes, we have breaks during the day for breakfast and lunch, and we have half days off but as you have probably seen from pictures and past videos, I want to get off the property to explore, not just because I’m in an amazing foreign land, but also for sanity’s sake! All this to say, that sometimes a person, me, can get blinded to the obvious.

I am thankful for people in my life to help me see clearly. I hope this video, these blog posts, and my life helps you become awakened, as I am becoming each and everyday.

We have a half day off tomorrow! Yeehaw! I haven’t decided what adventures I will partake in outside the yoga and group teaching project work, but I’m sure I will tell you about it. Good night! Until tomorrow, Namaste!

Bali Yoga Training: Day 16: perfect

This has been day 2 of sitting out of asana practice. ☹ My arms have been tingly and somewhat numb for a little over a week, progressively getting more so as the days have gone by. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had an acupuncture treatment because my wrists hurt and that it relieved some of that pain, but it has slowly crept back on.

It’s an interesting place to be: at a yoga teacher training where we are doing yoga daily, sometimes twice a day, and not able to participate physically. I was pretty upset about it yesterday, but it was a powerful moment. One of the many things Awakened Life School of Yoga is good at is cultivating a space to let one sit with and work through stuff. Chris, one of the co-founders, let me cry, laugh, cry, and process these feelings of disappointment, frustration, awareness, pity, realization, and then enlightenment. He did such an incredible job of lovingly sitting beside me, but not stopping the process. “Getting a tissue” as we have jokingly yet realistically called it. I saw, yesterday, that it’s not a big deal if I don’t complete every single yoga asana class! I realized that it’s not normal for people to have tingling and numb arms. I realized that I had been pushing through this just for the falsity that I “needed to keep up and be like or be more advanced” than the other students in the class. When I realized that, I laughed and laughed, and then cried some more. I told Christ though, that I wanted to create a new normal. His response: “You will.”

Today I had a 1.5 hour “healing massage.” I’m giving myself some more time to determine how much help this has been, but there has definitely been some shifting. He did some good work with pressure points, muscle, myofacial tissue, tendons; it was intense, yet relaxing! My body is settling into this new alignment. We will see how things are in the morning. I’m hoping, and expectant, for a miracle. One of the yoga instructors told me yesterday that I need to take a break from yoga asana practice until I don’t feel pain, then slowly ease back into it, determining which poses are bothersome. I think it all stemmed from shoulders stands, which I am pretty sure I was actually doing as neck stands; however, as I was sharing with both Chris and the yoga instructor yesterday, I have been through a LOT of trauma, surgeries, near death experiences, chemotherapy, organs removed, chemo, broken bones, falls, etc. And as the yoga instructor so eloquently stated, things are all interconnected. With my abdomen having a lot of scar tissue, it can create a pulling forward of my spine and tension on my neck.

In tonight’s Restorative Yoga class, we ended the class with some chanting and contemplative silence. As I was sitting there, I began asking myself the question “when will I be fixed? When will I be healthy?” What immediately came to me, almost audibly, was: “you are perfect just as you are.” It rocked me. It was so freeing! I am absolutely perfect, right now, right here! There is no “fixing” that needs to happen! I am free to be me.

Enjoy this video. I hope it’s not too shaky. I obviously took it while walking.

Thanks for reading. I hope you are inspired to keep on moving forward, regardless of your past traumas, pains, hurts, and to stop, be vulnerable, be real, honest, and open, and realize that you are perfect: right now, without changing a single thing. You are loved.

Namaste!

Bali Video: Day 14: Monkeys!

This video is actually from yesterday. I took two. Of course my adventures from today could have resulted in their own video, and one I would like to share is the movie I just finished watching: “What the Bleep Do We Know?” Wow. What a great film! Yes, there were parts that were a tad boring and some of it I’d like to sit with a little bit longer to see how it resonates, but overall, this film is powerful! It explains quantum physics and the impact it has on us, our planet, our minds, each other. Wikipedia says this about it: “What the Bleep Do We Know!? is a 2004 film that combines documentary-style interviews, computer-animated graphics, and a narrative that posits a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.”

Youtube has the full film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioONhpIJ-NY

Enjoy these two videos! The monkeys were such a treat to find yesterday! It was a nice reward after the 45+ minutes hike up to the top of this hillside. I didn’t go into the Monkey Forest in Ubud because of the stories I had heard from others in the group about the violence they acted out on people and each other, but I really did want to see monkeys here in Bali! It’s very much what this movie discusses: when we set intention, when we believe and expect, that intention happens. God is that good. I think you’ll enjoy the movie. It demonstrates how the mind rewires/renews and how science proves (quantum physics) that what we think about, what we meditate on, what we expect, manifests. We are powerful. YOU are powerful. I am powerful. One of my intentions is to change the world and help people see how important they are. When I know, when you know, how important I/you are, this world will change. We create worlds. What are your thoughts about? What are you meditating on? I am powerful. I am changing the world. I am beautiful. I am a leader. I am wise. I am an incredible steward of money. I create wealth. I am a blessing. I am healthy. I am strong, courageous. I have clear objectives for my future but I live fully in the present. I fully enjoy the present moment. I am thankful. I am full of joy. My life is great. I live the life I want right now. I remember people’s names. What are you?

Thanks for reading. Until next time: Namaste!

Bali Yoga Video: Day 13: half way point!

One of the girls and I hired a guide today to take us up a nearby mountain. Here’s a video from our excursion. I’ll have to share the video of the monkeys at the top tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Bali Yoga Video: Day 12: Ubud

Today was only meditation and yoga asana practice then it was a break day. We get 2 included excursions in our teacher training package and I decided to go on the Ubud excursion today (along with nearly everyone else in the group). This trip consisted of a stop at a water purification temple and then the city of Ubud. I was going to participate in the water purification ceremony with everyone but as I was talking about it over breakfast I suddenly felt no interest. It’s hard to describe but I suddenly pretty strongly that I didn’t “feel like it.” I’ve learned to pay attention to such feelings and thoughts, no matter how insignificant they may seem, sound, or come. Once I allowed this thought to take some root, suddenly I thought about the implications of getting ready, showering, and then going straight into a public shower, that I would have to bring a change of clothes, have a plastic bag for my wet stuff, and it would be sitting on the bus, blah, blah, blah, and it all lost it’s appeal.

The water purification temple consisted of several parts: there were natural springs coming from a hillside to go through, a 6 foot or so waterfall to dip under, a wish to be made, burning of incense and offerings, kneeling and praying, etc. As I watched and happily stood on the sidelines for this activity, taking pictures of and for my friends, I was struck by the final activity of this purification ceremony: the sprinkling of water on everyone’s heads and a smattering of rice pressed into each person’s forehead. The rice made such a pretty mosaic like design, just above and between the eyes. The woman who had done this to everyone turned to me afterwards and asked if I wanted to have some of this holy water and rice sprinkled on me. I paused, to see how this idea resonated with my spirit (aka Holy Spirit) and said, confidently, yes, yes I do! She sprinkled me with water and then grabbed a few fingers full of the white rice and pressed it into my forehead. I smiled, thinking of the pretty mosaic rice design I now had on my forehead, as she made her way into the crowd. One of the others asked what the significance was of the rice and the woman explained that because rice is such a food staple in Asian culture, it is considered to be a blessing of prosperity to have this done. Ahhhhhh, yes, yes I do want a blessing of prosperity! Thank you very much for asking!

I was planning on taking some video while in Ubud, but it escaped my mind completely until I had already returned to the Puri Bagus resort, so this video is a short description of one of the items I bought there.

Ubud is a big city and it was really nice to visit. It definitely has it’s touristy elements but I enjoyed the day out and about, doing something other than yoga, and really getting to spend some quality time with my new friends. The trip was about 2 hours each way by van. I’m thinking I’ll be heading back there again to explore a little more.

It was a great day and I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Thanks for reading/watching. Until next time, Namaste!