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 Video: Day 22: graduation

It’s been an emotional day! Amazingly good, difficult, hard work, fun, celebratory, inspirational, and encouraging are all words I would use to describe today. This yoga teacher training is like a boot camp for the soul and the body!

Today we had our morning meditation and it was revelatory for me. I read an email before meditation from a customer of my online store (www.LaSaludOrganics.com) asking about the whereabouts of her order. To make a long story short, I couldn’t be of much help to her because of the time difference and I couldn’t find out anything for her until Monday. I did what I could, emailed her back, but was still stressed about it and felt a burden to do something else. I came to meditation really needing to chill out. This was the perfect way for me to see the value and power of it! One of our instructors here said that we should not be slaves to our minds but we should instead be in control of thoughts and actions and know that we have power and choice. This morning’s email was a perfect opportunity to put this into practice and what a difference I saw and felt after 20 minutes of meditation! I’m thinking I will be continuing some form of meditation once I leave, tomorrow! Ahhh! Which leads me to this video: me graduating!

I am now an official Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Yoga Teacher! Along with graduation, to wrap up the training, our facilitators had us write words to describe what was the biggest thing we learned (I wrote that I am perfect, regardless of what “changes” need to still yet be made. I am God’s wonderful, beautiful, magnificent creation just. Like. I. Am.), we shared as a group what we would want everyone to know as parting last words, so-to-speak, we had a 2 hour “tell the person what you love about them” party, and then we ended the day with an incredible dinner out with dancing, a live band, then DJ, and Christmas trees! It’s the first big Christmas tree I’ve seen this year!

Overall this has been an incredible day: one of many tears, lots of encouragement, positivity, and hope. I am happy to say that not only am I stronger in my yoga asana practice, but I am also stronger in my spirit and mind as well. I’m looking forward to some assimilation over the next few days before I fly back to the U.S.

Until next time, Namaste! Xoxo

Bali Yoga Teacher Training: Day 21: laundry dreaming

Meditation by the sea, Vinyasa flow class with a handstand workshop, breakfast, teaching yoga to special groups workshop, lunch, washing my clothes in the bathtub, hanging out with friends by the pool and the snack bar, catching up on some emails, watching the National Geographic video “Inside the Living Body,” getting a massage, connecting with the roommates, taking a shower, and now listening to the rain as I write this blog: that about sums up my day today. Tomorrow is graduation! I will have my 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certificate tomorrow! It’s been 3 amazing, hard, challenging, fun, painful, delightful, stretching, growing, hilarious, restful, engaging, weeks. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Am I going to celebrate tomorrow night? For sure. Is there still more to look forward to and work on. Definitely. When is there not?

Peace and joy to your journey. 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 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 Video: Day 15: Balinese Dancing, Culture

The Internet here at the resort has not been working for a few days now so I haven’t been able to upload, check emails, check Facebook, or return texts with any consistency (for my iPhone friends), etc. Hopefully it will get settled soon, very soon.

Today was a really good day. This video is AWESOME and from just one of the day’s amazing adventures. There’s so much that happens in a day, it’s hard to sum it all up.

For now, I’ll just talk about this video. We had a half day today: meditation, yoga asana, an essential oil lesson, and yoga nidra. My Yoga Teacher Training program includes 2 days of tours and I took my second one today. We went to a Royal Bath/Swimming Pool, a Royal house, and the small native village of Tenganan, know for geringsing double ikat textiles. After the cultural tours, a few of us then adventured into Candidasa for a traditional Balinese dance and dinner. IT WAS SO GOOD! I loved the music. I loved the dancing. I loved the costumes. I loved the instruments. I loved the makeup. I loved the expressions. I loved that they pulled us up on stage and has us dance with them. YUP! My phone ran out of memory so I don’t have a full video of myself on stage. One of my friends recorded it, so I’ll have to get it from her. I hope that you enjoy this and get a good taste of this culture. We were the only ones there tonight! It’s definitely the slow season right now in Bali. It was nice to have the whole place to ourselves, honestly. I am quite a big fan of local life and not many crowds. God is good.

There is so much more to say, but I still haven’t read emails from my Mom and sister and I need to go to bed so I can be rested for more yoga stuffs tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. Have a good one. Enjoy. Live fully. 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 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!