A Travellerspoint blog



New friends, old friends, good times and slack lines.

sunny 60 °F

Chicago is becoming one of my favorite cities to visit. I'm grateful for the community of yogis and I have met out there that keeps bringing me back.
I met my good friend Derrick At the first wanderlust festival I attended in Vermont. We share allot of the same interests such as yoga, food,and travel and have been rendezvousing all over the US since. He's connected me to moksha yoga studio some of the amazing people who work there and Stonehouse farm. When he called me with a last-minute opportunity to head to Chicago this week I went as soon as I was done my work week. Nothing like a last minute get away! On this short trip I continued to meet many new friends as well as reconnecting with old friends such as Little Fox!

My original flight for 6 AM Friday was canceled which just meant that I was able to gallivanting around Philadelphia with my good old friend Caitlin. We ran up the famous stairs from a Rocky at the art museum. We ate vegan cheesesteaks and I caught a nice yoga class before heading to the airport. I was happy that this cancellation forced me to spend some time in such an awesome city that is so close to me and I don't take advantage of enough.

Friday night I flew out to Illinois . Chicago is always full of fun things to do and different experience. Upon my late arrival we went to a spa that has about 12 different healing caves. The caves were made up of different crystals and outside it would explain their healing properties. There was a charcoal cave, a gold cave, and amethyst cave, one was very very hot similar to a sweat lodge, and one was an icebox to cool you down. The spa is open 24 hours, you were able to sleep there,there is a restaurant as well as steam showers, massage, waterfalls, and hot tubs. What a place! After leaving there feeling very relaxed we headed to a cool Chicago lounge.
The next day I took a wonderful grounding yoga class at Moksha, and went to a Chicago slack liners meet up in a park. I've never seen so many lines or such talent on a slack line. These guys were 12 feet up in the air on high linesand jumping around on a little wine like it was a trampoline I was blown away. We stayed there and played, I worked on my one hand handstand and turning around on the slack line and once we had experienced some firsts, and some breakthroughs we decided we deserve some very large margaritas.

The evening brought me to a studio called yoga now that has any event on Saturday nights to give a sober option called CHI KA GO.
CHI is the LifeForce, the Ki (Key), Mana, or dynamic vital energy which pervades all oflife. The KA is the Spirit-Soul, our gathering of that CHI force into the uniqueness of our own being. And GO, the Oriental Game of Strategies, expresses the choices we make to share that uniqueness with the community.
The CHI KA GO event was a mixture of a sober dance party and open mic with poetry and song. We danced we yogaed, I practiced my hooping and there were various healers in the back giving treatments.
My last day in Chicago we biked around Lincoln Park and went to the infamous Chicago vegan diner. 'Meat free since 83'. I connected with some old friends and then attended the coolest farm to table dinner.
It really focused on the connection of mind and body and the courses were sectioned off by senses. Each of the 7 courses stimulating a certain body part and sense including a special drink, stretch, and scented herb before the food. Overall a wonderful weekend in Chicago experience as always.

Beginning to feel like I leave a piece of my heart in this sensational city. Until next time CHI KA GO .


Posted by rachaelob 18:04 Archived in Indonesia Tagged travel chicago yoga illinois spirit wanderlust slacklines Comments (0)

Cha cha cha cha changes

Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the ones to come?

semi-overcast 45 °F

Coming home has been quite the transitional experience .
From hot to cold, solitary to social, and so much more.

I've realized that if I tell my students in yoga to speak their heart and only accept what is the truth for them and what is best for them. I need to walk the walk. You need to be completely honest with yourself, about yourself and your life and what's happening, in order to implement progressive change into your life.

Change is a powerful thing, and usually leading up to a change I can feel it coming.
As I arrived home there was an extremely powerful shift happening astrologically. A super moon, a new moon and solar eclipse all at once, can be a special moment to ignite dreams and create. It is a symbol of new beginnings.

Beginnings and endings are vital and monumental for personal growth. When we feel one of these transitions coming and we fight it, we suffer.

I thought I was coming home, to allot of firmiliarity , allot of work, and the same old. But instead I implemented some of what I learned while away, to start a conversation with myself about facing some change I've felt coming for a long time, about really following my bliss and the first step to getting what I want, even if I don't know what it is, is getting rid of what I don't want. And this is in every aspect of our lives, friends, relationship, thoughts, jobs, foods, state of being.

So here I am, starting from scratch, new outlook, new tatoo ?, new work schedule, new plan, new self improvements, new habits. And the new will only allow the best. This is an ambitious statement of a paragraph to make but basically all Im saying is Im clearing out. Starting from blank I can create a canvas of anything I want. And I see that the more I close doors of insecurity, a million new ones open to thank me for taking that step. When you are moving from a place of love, the universe will support you with goodness and give you so many reasons to smile after one moment to frown.

This being said, I came home for one week, and began planning new things, one of the first things I have in the works that is announced is a 7 week workshop series at ItsWell Yoga in Wildwood.
This beautiful studio space is filled with such loving, happy, open students. And is created by my dear hardworking friend Kristel Fillmore. It is safe to say this studio is one of my absolute favorites I have ever worked with. ACROVINYASA goodness will be filling their walls every Thursday night soon!
And the day I reached out to Kristel to plan this, her husband found out he couldn't go on her ski and yoga retreat that weekend. So BOOM an available space opened up for this retreat leaving in two days, and the lift tickets, food, lodging was all set.
Here I am left with a blank work schedule, and an opportunity to ski again, connect with new yogis, and teach ACROVINYASA!!! Besides, it was still cold when I got home, surfings a while away for me, and I make do with it what I've got.
Off I goto Vermont!

In other news, these few days home have been wonderful, seeing those of you who Id missed. I Got to see my city again and attend AC beer fest and Garden State Film Festival. Came home just in time to celebrate the love of one of my favorite couples kelly and Stephen, kuddos on following that bliss and making that change. And I am still feeling grateful to all of you who have supported this journey and this growth in anyway. I love you all!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Life treats me beautifully when I let go of my plans and adjust to the one already out there for me.
I am letting change flow freely and being open to what is ahead. I know the universe has my back.

:) :) :) :)


Posted by rachaelob 15:47 Archived in Indonesia Tagged home indonesia love yoga nj spirit growth southjersey itswellyoga Comments (0)


Hipster Heaven

sunny 80 °F

Leaving training was a bit rushed as I tried to pack and take pictures with Honza and Claudine and say bye to everyone after the morning practice, closing ceremony, and breakfast. We were aimed to leave for 1230 but around that time I was just starting to throw things in my suit case in the unorganized way that I do especially after many arak cocktails the previous night. As I was cursing myself for celebrating my graduation and not being present at all, I went to check my phone to see if the driver had messaged. Dripping wet from the shower all over my phone I actually trickled water down into the outlet and electrocuted myself like the intelligent hungover human that I am. I felt a painful pang in my thumb and then this electric sensation run all through my body, every cell. It was actually kinda cool as my whole body shook for only about half a second it felt to me like time had stopped. I sware I felt like I was having an out of body experience just watching this happen to my body and thinking in my head, 'Wow, I am such a dumb ass am I going to Die? ' but then in an instant it was over. I didn't die, and I looked out at this beautiful view of the water in my open room in front of me and I took 10 deep breaths. Each breath feeling grateful for something, thankful to be alive, thankful for this life I live. And then I was able to slow down and move with presence again... Which is maybe why we didn't leave untill 230 ??.

After a long day of shopping and traveling I got to Canggu late at night. John and I found our friends Ryan and Ami at the Canggu Surf Hostel and stayed with them. We all met up with some others from training at Canggus ever popular bar 'Deus Cafe'. The set up is awesome, there's always live music and it's packed with absolutely beautiful people. Seriously like hipster, surfer, man buns everywhere and girls who look like they just stepped out of vogue. This gave me a good idea of what Canggu would be like, looks like a yogi surfer heaven, but is actually a bit too sceney , less friendly, and expensive for my liking.

None the less, I was begging for more than just my three days there. Savoring every hour I had left in Bali. I finally got really comfortable driving a motor bike around the busy streets and rice fields of Bali, of course right before I left.

Days in Canggu consisted of random meet ups with friends from training, an awesome surf hostel and group sessions at morning and sunset, followed by a shower and some drinks at old mans. My last day I had a great morning session followed by a bright pink nagga bowl and topped off with the ever famous 'Taco Tatoouesday' at Dues. Home of the 2$ taco that comes with a free tatoo. Enough margaritas to numb the pain and make for a good sleep traveling, but not too many to miss a flight. Life is all about balance right?

And so begins the journey back! See Ya soon Jersey!!


Posted by rachaelob 15:30 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel surf yoga spirituality wanderlust canggu yogini Comments (0)

ACROVINYASA ️TT The Last of Days

A smile is the same in every language.

sunny 75 °F

As the days went on in teacher training the physical and mental demand escalated.

While learning to teach some pretty cool Acro transitions such as half barrel roll, we also had practice teaches and observations.
We were broken up into groups based on home location and my group was all New Jersey friends and one goddess originally from Connecticut and now gone New Yorker. We were originally named the 'Big Apple Wanna Bes', thanks Honza. We grew as teachers together, learned from one another, and fell in love together and decided the name 'Tri State Terrors' was more appropriate for our bad ass group.
Such a privledge to learn from Laura and Her sweet husband Eddie (aka Acro Eddie) , encounter my soul sister Anna who works for wanderlust, to practice teach with John and bond with my Roomie Courtney. Who would have thought I'd travel across the world only to room with another girl from New Jersey!? We may change the garden state into the Acro state from now on.

Honza being the knowledgable perfectionist that he is would give us great advice on our teaching. We worked on filler words, presence, and really refinning our teaching. And I kept thinking how lucky am I to be learning from him. One of the co owners of Wanderlust Australisaia , founder of YogaBeyond and AcroVinyasa and he thinks I'm a great teacher!?! It really was the inspiration and boost I've been needing.

So many laughs in this lovely group of ours in the afternoons and of course night session meet ups and 'Cuddle Puddles' with our other fabulous groups such as the dirty down unders , or incredible intercontinentals. It was amazing to see two local indonesian teachers, two girls from Sweden, one from France, an amazing couple from Brazil and they all learned just as we did. Translating the whole course in their head to English. Every once and a while there may have been a misunderstanding or lost word, but the warmth of their smiles would smooth it over. Because little words are not important, but it's where these words are coming from. The feeling, intention and meaning behind those words. In fact often we connected by eye gazing techniques with no words at all, and through this you can say so much without saying any words at all. Throughout the week the eye gazing got harder as much more eyes were filled with tears. We shared lots of hugs and day by day as we shed layers and layers of ego, and stories of who we are, we could really see each other, more and more. And like it's said, no matter what the words or nationality A Smile is the same in every language.

The last day we spent Acro jamming at white sand beach and then had a big night out full of kareoke, awesome dance parties , and pool parties. So now we all finish together! We all made it! I am graduating with an excellent practice teach and a 90 percent on my test. And I am overwhelmed with joy and excitement! Feeling so honored to be one of the very first ACROVINYASA teachers in the whole world! Thank you everyone who made this possible for me. Thank you Claudine and Honza for such an amazing opportunity and experience .

From earth to air ;)
-Rachael xo

Little dirty dancing action.

Posted by rachaelob 21:55 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel teacher yoga training wanderlust vinyasa acroyoga avtt1 acrovinyasa yogini Comments (0)

Barong Trance Dance

overcast 82 °F

So last night we went through a really powerful experience. I am
Going to do my best to relay this accurately .
Every year the Balinese have almost a new year If you will and it is
Signified by a day at sometime in March called Nyepi. This day is a very holy day in which silence is observed and all normal activities cease. Leading up to Nyepi, the people
Of Padang Bai have their last 'Barong Dance' of the year. This ceremony is one of the key ceremonies of all in Bali. The performance begins at 5 pm and goes untill 8pm. Then there is a 2
Hour break. At 10 pm the ceremony is resumed and continues on untill 5 am the following day. Honza and Claudine brought us to the first part of the ceremony in which we had to cover all shoulders and wear sarongs around the waist in respect like many dances you may attend. But this one was quite different from the other dances I have seen in Ubud. Most people were wearing white, women wear flowers in their hair, and there are many rules to observe for instance you must sit on your bum the entire ceremony no standing allowed. The ceremony started just like any other Balinese dance with beautiful young Girls and trippy music and continued to men in animated character costumes acting out a story. This particular story is about Barong and Rarong and the battle between forces of good and evil. When we walked in the energy was so high it was crazy. You could feel the intense excitement in the air. Many men there warned us that this ceremony is not aimed for tourists quite like the dancing in Ubud or something but we stayed anyway for we wanted an authentic experience. To make a long story short, the heat and sitting still for three hours ended up being the least intense aspect of our experience. Claudine had mentioned that when she saw this particular dance as a child a chicken was killed and sacrificed at the end, and we knew it was a trance dance , but I didn't quite understand what the trance part of it meant. It was towards the end of our viewing when local people began to fan themselves and then break out into screaming and wailing, that I realized. When this happens the person is being possessed by the evil spirit. There were birds getting their head chopped off and eating the body of that bird is supposed to be one of the ways to get the person out of the trance. Many priests are walking around splashing holy water and are there to help take people out of the trance at the end point.
The energy changed very quickly and none of us were expecting it to get quite so dramatic as there were children everywhere watching this ceremony . When we walked out we saw dozens of Balinese laying in the street with another member of the community consoling them and taking care of them making sure they didn't hurt anyone until they came out of the trance. Many people from my training felt deeply affected by the experience. Seeing so many people not in control of their bodies and all the animal sacrificing and how normal it was to them was pretty crazy. My one friend who was pretty shaken up over it was being asked by all the Balinese if the spirit had gotten into her and saying if it did we had to take care of it right away and give her some arak to drink to cool it off or something. We all left in a totally different energy. I felt a heaviness in my chest. Perhaps we weren't susceptible to being in trance from the evil spirit because we weren't welcoming it in and haven't been watching these ceremonies since age 1. But I did definitely feel different. It almost felt like leaving a rave, really alert and excited but maybe a little scared, watching people stay at the rave with their friends who are one some kind intense drug that maybe you aren't on. It felt pretty crazy.

After some dinner and wine to bring ourselves back, we gathered in Honza and Claudine's villa to discuss the experience . Often times when an experience is super powerful for you it is because it is striking something within you. Possibly awakening a fear or something that is already inside. We answered questions such as what are you afraid of? And tried to look at the ritual without any judgement seeing it for what it is for these people. For them it is a celebration. Going into trance is a good thing I think for their people because it means you let the spirit move through you and out allowing yourself to be cleansed . In a way I think it's almost like yoga, it is a practice that allows for release and emotional break through. As strange as it was it was kind of beautiful to watch this person is trance freaking out and really going through something, and the people in the village just were there for them and made sure they didn't hurt anyone. At home sometimes we put a negative light on feeling, or crying. But it's something we all need to do or we carry those emotions with us every day. The other day I hit my hand during a game of ninja attack lol and my friend MiMi did some Rieki on it and I just cried and released. Maybe not even because it hurt so bad, but because the voice inside my head was rushing to all the worst possible scenarios about my basing and hardstanding going out the window if my hand is hurt. Maybe something just needed to come out Im not sure, but I felt so much better after. And rather than people thinking it was weird I was crying or dramatic or being freaked out, I had Dan rubbing my shoulders And John holding my hand and everyone just being there holding space for me.
I know for one when I have a student cry in yoga class or something, I feel so incredibly special that I was able to stimulate that release. I feel grateful and touched for the environment I have created. And I know many people after having that experience would just be like woah and drink all nightand not go into how it made them feel. So to have this deep candle lit talk was just so beautiful. And brought me back once again to what a sacred safe space I am in with these people. I feel that Acro yoga stimulates a space of communication, trust, and there fore creates a community. Sometimes we get stuck on our own Matt, closed off behind walls . Instead allow yourself to break them down, allow yourself to break down. Because every break
down, leads to a break through.


Posted by rachaelob 18:29 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel dance yoga wanderlust trance barong Comments (0)

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