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!

Why I practice yoga

I practice yoga because it brings me life, it brings me joy, it brings me peace, and it brings me healing. I practice yoga because it brings freedom.

I often come across naysayers to yoga, for a whole host of reasons, you can probably think of some right now, but the spiritual aspect of yoga is really what makes the whole exercise or practice so alluring for me. I am a Christian and in a world of Buddha and Hindi Goddess statues, I can get a lot of push back from what I am beginning to really understand are my own insecurities, fears, and lies. This is what I love about yoga: it embodies growth not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Yoga allures and provides an opportunity to reach and obtain heaven on earth, a higher place, and an ecstasy if-you-will, in peace, love, and joy through all three aspects of ourselves: spirit, body, and soul (mind, will, and emotions). It is unlike any other form of exercise or even learning opportunity.

 I began my yoga practice 13 years ago and admittedly have been a weekend warrior for most of that time. I grew up doing gymnastics, cheerleading, and dance, but it was just after college that a friend invited me to a yoga class. That first instructor was so empowering and encouraging, she embodied what I now know yoga, and God, to be about: she planted a seed of hope and exploration that has shaped my practice, and life ever since. I see how my childhood activities prepared me for the physical asanas or poses of yoga, but those can come with regular practice.  We are all born with an innate hunger for the Divine and yoga allows us to explore Him, however inflexible we may be, IF we so choose. The seemingly paradoxical safe-challenge of yoga is unlike any other. It allows for our whole self to explore together thus creating a synergy found nowhere else. For me, yoga has become a transcendental way of growth in the Divine as I explore and now teach others the physical asanas, breathe, mental, and spiritual awareness that is inside a yoga class. Yoga has become a gift, which like God, is never ending and fully good. As with all things the depths of your personal practice is a choice. I like that and it is one more reason I practice yoga.