YTT break cont...My first yoga class and lots of healing :)

My first yoga class as a teacher in training..

The following morning I taught a Blissology yoga class to some of my yoga crew and people staying at The Ark. I was nervous to start with but remembered the advice about doing the practice with the class, which was contrary to what I had seen before. It meant that not only could you stay more in the present moment and not let the mind focus so much on worrying about what words and queues you use, it also prompts you with how to lead, as you know exactly what you are doing and can watch the class to see what things come up to prompt for alignment. As I relaxed into it and went through the Honey routine we had practiced, I felt a deep connection to the moment and a sense of joy; an authentic happiness that I could share this with others. Everyone was so encouraging and then we did a Circle of Light after; magical. The surroundings definitely added to the experience, a beautiful open sided yoga shala next to the jungle, made with dark wood floors, beams and lots of light. We didn’t need music, we were serenaded by the jungle insects and birds.

I spent the rest of the day and the following day walking around Ubud and it’s market, shopping for trinkets to send home as gifts. You have to learn not only to haggle, but also to refuse the goods sometimes forced upon you for you to buy. This can I’m afraid become very frustratinbg and puts a lot of people off. If the stallholders learnt that if they let you look you might actually find what you want, rather than try to force on you what they think you want, which scares most people off. The bartering I became a pro at haha, Lisa would be proud. As I got more aware of the costs of things, I knew when they were coming in with a price, just because I was a foreigner. Sometimes the first price they would give would be as high as what I would pay at home for a dress say, yet this wasn’t an equivalent in any way and would clearly not last.

NB: It is tempting to compare the prices with a price we would pay at home, but not only are the goods not the same quality, they also don’t cost the same to produce, and so it is an unfair comparison. Asking a local person what something should cost is always handy. And then learning to quarter whatever they offer and more. Especially on the markets, I found the first price was about 4 times more than what I had been told something was worth, and so I would offer a fraction and then meet somewhere we were both winning J Obviously it’s nice to be generous, but by paying well over the odds, the prices increase for everyone and yet the costs don’t and it puts people off.

I had one incident where a woman stallholder was telling me about how she hadn’t sold anything for a while and that tourist numbers were down. She urged me to try on a dress that she was holding. I was looking to get one of the loose floaty dresses anyway so I obliged. It looked like a bag, which she could clearly see, I took it off and as she had very few other garments, I thanked her and went to leave but as I did she grabbed my arm and insisted I take it, I tried to keep walking but this woman had the grip of a rugby player! I stood my ground, removed her hand from my arm and walked away saying that she was scaring customers away and that it wasn’t acceptable to act like that. One part of me understands her predicament and I can’t imagine how hard that must be, but forcing people to buy things is never going to work! Don’t let me scare you off from the markets though, they were a fun, cultural experience on the whole and one not-to-be-missed, plus I got some cute little things to send home.

Before the journey back to Canngu I had arranged to meet with the Shaman that we were having a healing session with. A few of us were going with her to the waterfalls just outside of Ubud for a water blessing in preparation for the healing. We drove out on scooters, much to my unhappiness, but got there safe and proceeded to walk to the first blessing place. This was a common place for locals to visit. They believe that the waters clean away sins and can heal. Whilst there we witnessed a woman who possibly had a mental health illness, being submerged under the water quite forcefully by a man. She was wailing and he was chanting, and you could sense the almost desperation for healing in his words. I went back and forth from being disturbed and worried, to intrigued and amazed that so much faith was given outside of themselves that they would be helped.

We first washed water over our faces and head at 3 fountains (demonstration by Egla as to how it’s done by local people), and set the intention by asking that we be cleansed and released of anything that is holding us or causing suffering, and to begin to let these thngs go. We walked down lots of steps to the main healing waters, we paused and sat in meditation to further set the intention and were encouraged by Egla to bring to mind the questions we wanted answering and to be clear. We then one by one took a small offering (usually banana leaves made into a tray or a twist with flowers and sometimes crackers or rice) and venturd under the first waterfall. The water was powerful and beat down on our heads and shoulders, Egla showed us what to do and then left us to time in each of the 3 waterfalls. It was a very calming experience at the least, and a positive thing to set an intention to heal yourself and to address things that are holding us back. We collected water to drink over the next day and headed back.

Meditation

Meditation

The journey back to Canggu was with a really interesting driver who taught me lots about Bali, jobs, the government and the schools system. I love this part of travelling when you meet new people you would never otherwise come into contact with, and learn things you can’t learn from books or the internet. It felt like I was going home, my room at The Spareroom had become a temporary home, and I chilled out for the rest of the afternoon, ready for my Shamanic Healing the next day.

Egla and healing

This lady was magical. From the moment I met her I felt at ease; one of those people who you can connect with at a deeper level and just know each other without having to talk much. She had talked us through the ceremony and that she would be using music compiled by a friend to help our journey. On the day of the healing we all met at the villa and got comfortable. The process was very different for each of us, but love seemed to be the overarching theme. I experienced a lot of love and connection with my loved ones and was able to see to let some things go that I hadn’t realsied I had been harbouring. I was left with an emotional and physical feeling of opening; as though my knots and tension in my stomach was released and I was releasing and being open. I had felt this tension, like a ball under my ribs, for some time. It tends to be feelings of not being enough or past pains that you try to release but just sit there, needing a deeper exploration. Well this ceremony allowed me to go deeper and see past situations that were still plaguing my sub-conscious. To let these go was a great relief, but I knew this was only the beginning and I needed to continue with my meditation and self-love to work through these things and not allow them to have a fearful effect on my life. Others had similar experiences and we closed the ceremony with a sharing session; there was a lot of love in the room. I felt so blessed to have shared this with such beaustiful souls. It really shows what you can gain from stepping outside of the everyday norm and opening your mind to try something new.

Sports massage with a difference

In the last few days of the first half of the training I was really aware of my hips and doing a heavy amount of alignment work, I felt I needed a massage to release my glutes and piriformis, which I couldn’t do myself. I had tried 2 Balinese massages, both of which had said they were ‘sports-style’ versions of it and they actually weren’t at all, they were just harder versions of the Balinese massage. Don’t get me wrong, the Balinese style is great if the purpose is relaxation, but it doesn’t run along any muscle lines or have any knowledge of muscle connections etc and so was really not helpful for me. In fact the one I had at Spring Spa, which is the more expensive, and supposedly more preferred spa, was just painful and made my situation worse. I had also added on a scalp massage and she bruised my temples with how hard she was going, I felt she was going to end up with her fingers in my brain lol.

I asked Ellie, our lovely coordinator for Blissology, and she recommended a Russian lady named Anna so I booked in with her for the day after the healing ceremony.  Wow what a recommendation! This woman had magic hands and not only that but she was in tune with me and my energy and connected to me deeply. She had told me the session would go for about 2 hours, when in fact we were there for nearly 3. This included some Reiki energy work, breathing, pressure point and then finally the massage with oil, releasing all my tension in my head, neck, back, hips and bum. She even got my hamstrings relaxed, which is quite a feat! She then got me to turn over and worked on my SOAS. For anyone who doesn’t know where or what this is, its deep in your abdomen, running sort of inside your obliques and it’s pretty hard to stretch or access, and for me is very tickly. She had to coach me into relaxing so she could massage there, because it was so tense, my body was holding and making it super sensitive. She eventually got me relaxed and the emotional release flooded over me, brining tears to my eyes and a wave of sadness. She explained after that a lot of people hold anger in their stomach and lower back, this is the fire area and so anything not expressed can in some cause lower back or stomach/intestinal problems; me all over! She suggested that I may be only expressing anger from my voice and that I could try and express myself in other ways. She also mentioned over this and my other sessions that due to this there was a heaviness and a sadness to my shoulders where my tension and knots always ended up, and this was holding it all in. Her advice; get to an ecstatic dance class or go back to Thai boxing to start expressing myself better, and don’t always be so nice, learn to tell people to f*** off. I laughed. Perhaps I would give it a go.