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 17: peak

This is the final week of my yoga teacher training! I can hardly believe it, yet it does feel like it’s been a long time. I’m very, very happy to be here, in hot, humid, sweltering Bali while there is SNOW in Redding! God is so perfect. I am not opposed to snow, at all, but it does present a challenge to leading/teaching a stand up paddleboard yoga class with On Water Yoga when the lake is frozen. I actually hope that it begins to warm up for when I return! I would love to be able to take my new skills to the water, but one step at a time, which leads me to this video.

I am scheduled to teach an active Vinyasa Yoga class this Thursday morning with my group of 7 (8 total including me). We will be the last group to teach and so far we’ve seen 2 groups go already. It’s been really nice to slowly take our time, practicing, gaining insight via what other groups have done, continue to learn adjusting techniques, sequencing, alignment, etc. I am really happy with my group, our choice of poses, intention, meditation and opening, and the peak pose I picked and am leading. Each of in the group teaches 15 minutes of the 2 hour class.

A Vinyasa Yoga class is designed around a “peak” pose so that the warm up and middle of the class is designed to prepare one’s body to be ready for the most difficult, or the peak pose. I picked one we haven’t done yet here in Bali and one I have introduced to my land yoga classes in Redding, but would like more guidance and skill at teaching, particularly the modifications. When I asked my yoga instructor Gabrielle about the pose and it’s name she said, “Wow, you’re not messing around! Going straight into it!” Well, yes! Yes I am! It’s been a good challenge for me and the group to think how to structure for something we haven’t done in class and which no one in my group has ever done before, yet, it’s been easy at the same time. I am really happy with the way my group is working together, being supportive, open, and up for the challenge. There was really no questions asked, just an ok, let’s do it attitude!

There has been an overall sense of things starting to wind down and come to an end, along side the energy around us teaching classes. Today Chris, one of the co-founders of the Awakened Life School of Yoga, talked about meditation after our training is over and suggestions for how to integrate it in to our everyday lives. I have to admit that when we first started I wasn’t that interested in the meditation component as was presented in our pre-work assignments, but I can really see and feel how meditation can be used to tame the wildness of the mind and let our spirit be our guides. Before this yoga training, I had only done contemplative prayer meditation (choosing a verse, some words, or other such inspirational teaching and turning the mind repeatedly back towards it for a set amount of time) but now I’ve done several different types of meditation here, maybe 5 or 6 different ones. I’ll probably write more about this in another entry. It’s late now and I’m starting to fade, but to touch on it briefly, I am beginning to think about how I can incorporate more meditation into my life back in Redding.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for praying for me! I pray that you are encouraged, enlightened, and that you experience more freedom and happiness in your life from reading this.

Until next time, namaste!

Bali Yoga Training Video: Day 11

On one of the first days Liz, one of the co-founders, had us write Day 1 and Day 22 on a card. She then had us close our eyes, put our pen under the words Day 1 and with fluidity and movement up and down and around, we drew a line from Day 1 to Day 22. Most everyone’s were pretty squiggly with highs and lows. She went on to say that this was a representation of what our experience would be with our yoga teacher-training program and to expect this over the next few weeks. She stressed the normality of such an experience and that there was nothing wrong with us experiencing great highs and even difficult lows. There has been a strong emphasis to be ok with what is, to not judge, but to acknowledge what we are really and truly feeling, to not fluff over reality, all so that we can honestly evaluate and see clearly how to move forward, only after we have allowed ourselves to come to terms or recognize the right now. For me, today was a bit of a low day. There wasn’t anything in particular that was bad that happened today. I even took our asana practice off today to assist in class, so I can’t say that I was exhausted from yoga practice, but what I can say is that we are learning a lot, I have been meeting lots of new people, settling in to a new schedule, new food, new culture, new yoga styles and teachers, sitting for long periods of time, experiencing a bit of pain in my neck, shoulders, and wrists, and then applying all that we are learning, not only in front of the class in active assists, teaching, presenting, asking questions, etc., but also in conversations, in interactions with people, in meditation, and in this blog. I have really appreciated the emphasis on being ok with what raises up within ourselves, whatever the feelings are and that there is no “bad” or “good.” I think I have had a pretty good grasp of not judging, categorizing, fixing, or skipping over my feelings of the moment and blowing into “good” behavior, but there is ALWAYS more to learn! There was a moment today where I saw within myself stubbornness, a recognition, and then confusion as to how I could have responded better to the situation. I felt isolated and lonely after this small interaction but within a short amount of time, I saw that it was one of the moments to recognize what is/was, and know that I have the power to choose how I respond again and throughout the rest of the day. Coincidentally, (I think not!), Liz talked about reactiveness and responsiveness in relationships and our own self talk in this afternoon’s class session, confirming my grace for myself and my ability to choose. The day ended well with group work, restorative yoga, group hugs, a send off for our Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher Basil Jones, and a few of us practicing assists and teaching. Tomorrow is a half break day and the majority of the group is traveling to 2 hours to Ubud together. I am really looking forward to getting off site and traveling around a bit, buying little gifts for people, and seeing life in a larger city.

My acupuncture treatment today was great, by the way. My arms have been going numb/tingly when I have been reaching my arms up overhead in asana practice and that’s stopped since my acupuncture treatment. I’m SO glad! I have regular chiropractic and Heller Work (myofacial tissue release) massage work done at home, but here, that isn’t an option. If necessary, I am glad to know that acupuncture can be of help if I need it!

I need to get some sleep but I hope this is inspiring and encouraging! Thanks for reading, until tomorrow, Namaste!

Bali Yoga Video Day 10: Puri Bagus Candidasa Resort

It’s the end of Monday, December 2, and I’ve just come from a really great, fresh, coconut drink, sunset, and conversation with the 2 birthday girls, Betsy and Claire, and several amazing others. Among the highlights of the day, were a nice break from Vinyasa Yoga class for a time of observation (which was AMAZING! I have learned so much from Basil and his skill as an instructor. My students back home are going to love it. ☺), I just had a great conversation with Nicole and Claire about blogs. Shout out to all you lovelies, btw! One of the things that stuck out to me about our conversation are concerns over who will read our blogs? What I shared with Nicole is that that really isn’t my concern. What I know can happen is that we get stuck with this thought and wonderment of “Oh, but what I write about is ‘trivial,’ who would want to read it?’ and this can actually paralyze us with inaction! I have no idea who will read this, if anyone actually cares, but this really isn’t the concern or the point. There are several reasons I am writing this blog: 1. I know deep within, that I should be doing this and I feel overwhelmingly compelled to be doing so. Of course I could not do this, but I make the choice to every day. 2. I want to improve myself and writing things down and recording them is a way to do that. 3. Blogging is forcing me to be very vulnerable and open it is helping me to rid shame. Shame that has tried to hold me (and us all) down, and keep me from being free. 4. I want to better the world and even if my blog is for no other purpose than tonight’s conversation about getting rid of shame, I am bettering the world through it!

So, enjoy this blog. Enjoy the video tour around some of the buildings here at the Puri Bagus Candidasa Resort and I will chat with you tomorrow, hopefully having encouraged you too to live a courageous life, following your dreams, living out loud, and encouraging others as you do.

Namaste!

Day 4 Video: Bali Yoga Teacher Training

Yes, we are doing meditation. Yes, are doing 2.5 hours of Vinyasa yoga (my intention today was joy and I had 2 significant moments while in the practice of hard to describe joy/love/ecstasy of just that!!! YEAH!). Yes, we are learning the history of yoga. Yes, we went through the sun salutes and started to break them down one pose at a time with proper form, adjustments, breath, etc. And, we also are tying it all into awareness and being present in the right here, right now. I also want to add that I came face to face with feelings of “freak out.” I’m not sure how to describe it, but one of the other students mentioned feelings of loneliness and I think it’s partly that. Do you ever feel that? For me it felt like an uncertainty, a deep longing for more than what we see/feel/smell/sense/etc. I have learned techniques through the 3 years I studied at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry to check in with God, ask Him where He is, where is Holy Spirit, where is Jesus. I did that today when I felt that “freak out” and immediately felt a great sense of calm, peace, love, acceptance, and support come to me. I became aware of the angelic world that that the Lord had placed 4 protective angels inside the room at each of the 4 corners and I relaxed. I feel so strongly that there are great tools, great experiences, great teachings, great people, great stuff in this life but there is this element of tangible love, tangible other world/heaven reality that is outside ourselves that we have to receive. I am so thankful for the Lord. I have tried so often to trust to feel safe to rest and be present on my own and it has only been through the knowledge that God is here, that He is the creator, that the Divine is bigger than me and outside of me (but yes I know, also in me), that I have come to really trust, feel safe, rest, and be present. All the other stuff are just tools. I am thankful for them both.
Namaste!