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ACROVINYASA TT DAYS 3-6

Basing, trusting, connecting.

storm 81 °F

I could say with confidence that Honza and Claudine's ACROVINYASA teacher training is probably one of the most fun and loving yoga trainings I will ever be a part of.

While one teacher is guiding us through an amazing Thai Massage workshop for some post Inversion Training relief, the other teacher is setting up Arak Coconuts and Organic Desserts in their own Villa to host us for a candle lit pow wow.
We've all shared eye grazing, trusting basing and flying each other and truly created an amazing community here in just a few short days. It's amazing what an open, non judgmental, nurturing space can be created when negativity, and walls, and ego are left at the door.

I've realized through this acro yoga practice that it shows you allot about yourself in the same way that yoga does. I've always been a comfortable
flyer, in fact being here and learning the safe way to teach all of this makes me realize how fearless I was practicing with John just going up on Shin to foot Camel with no spot. I've never been afraid to fall. In back bending in handstanding. I just go for it. But it is when others are at risk, that I feel uncomfortable. I've always been too afraid to base because I didn't trust myself, I was scared to hurt someone. Throughout my time here I've become such a confident base even with all of the big guys in our group. It makes sense for me to base as strong of a girl I am, and I now feel confident that I am able to base and teach this sequence. It feels so empowering and is a physical skill but also feels like such emotional growth. I've gone from only ever basing girls like Linny and Lindsey and maybe some guys in just bird and back bird to being able to base men in allot of this sequence who weigh anywhere from 150-200 lbs.

Things have been getting more intense as we continue on in the training. We practice from 7-830 vinyasa. Have an hour break for breakfast, then morning session from 930 till about 1 , break for lunch, then 3-6 afternoon session, dinner, then 730-930 evening session.
What's funny is that even during our lunch break we end up still doing Acro in the pool. Honza said one day "There is so much to be learned from navigating a group of adults into playing like children." And that's truly what it is, we're all excited like children playing around and just can't stop and it's so awesome to see this young, playful, creative spark, in full grown adults.
We are constantly encouraged to take care of our bodies with massage and I did get one Lomi Lomi intense massage on a day my body was feeling particularly sore . I mean how can you not when massages here are 1/4 the price it is back home and you're basing all day lifting people on your legs? I deserve it right? Right.

Our nights are usually debriefing and one night we did have a conversation about social media, which makes sense as it is the reason half of us are here. Honza and Claudine shared any tricks of the trade they had for us. They explained their stance on social media yoga and how they use it . They encourage us to use these screens to bring us all closer together rather than further apart. And look at the what they have created through it, 32 of us from all over the world have gathered here together to share this experience and many of us wouldn't be here if it wasn't for instagram.

Of course they have been generously sharing with us all of their knowledge of acro yoga. They aslso so openly let us see into the beautiful life they share together. Through a physically morning yin class they put us through an emotionally stimulating roller coaster by sharing with us their absolutely epic love story that turned into this fun life they now share traveling and inspiring others to follow their bliss.They compliment one another just perfectly. Claudine is such a role model to me. So free, so young, so happy,easy going, creative, healthy and strong.
Honza is so respectable grounded, nurturing, deep, and giving. Truly the perfect base . If one day I could even have a love that is 1/4 of what theirs is I would be ecstatic. They make me believe that love is really possible.

Trying to just soaking up every ounce of their vast knowledge and pure loving energy. And can't believe how fast it is going already!!

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How Acro yogis fix rain leaks.
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Posted by rachaelob 07:13 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel happy base smile community yoga flyer spirit challenges acroyoga acro acrovinyasa yogabeyond Comments (0)

ACROVINYASA TT Day 1 and 2

You are always exactly where you are meant to be. ✨

When I was searching for where this winter would lead me in terms of new travel and education, I was clearly guided to Bali for ACROVINYASA Level 1 teacher training. Between cheap flights, to good timing, to the experience I was in need of and location meeting the activities I was looking for, it just laid out in front of me. I've been trying to flow with the universe rather than fight it and so I signed up and booked a flight. But up untill the day I got to Padang Bai I was a bit unsure about this whole acro yoga thing.

I love acro yoga, it's fun and I had taken a few workshops and learned from friends here and there. But I was always just a stand in flyer for John, Little Fox, Shannan, whomever I met long the way, to throw me up in the air. I kept wondering why me? How am I going to teach this practice? And why do I get the privilege of learning from two of the best acro yogis I know of in the world?
I assumed everyone who would be at the training would be incredible yogis with a strong passion for AcroYoga just like my friend John from Upper Township who encouraged me to follow this through. John lives for acro and meanwhile for me, I really enjoy the practice of yoga more, and acro is fun to compliment it with. I kept wondering why ACROVINYASA and not ashtanga or something I practice more often?
I wondered this untill the moment I arrived at Bloo Lagoon Resort.
Side note; The place we are staying is made up of a group of 25 houses, a pool, restaurant and spa built on a hillside over looking the tourqiouse waters of the Lombok straight in padang bai east bali. The setting is a gift from nature and the houses are simple wooden structures and thatched roofs that maximize air flow and the connection to the out doors. It was all built without cutting into any land and reserves the nature make up of the land. The resort keeps an eco friendly philosophy of doing more with less and their slogan is 'Bloo is the New Green'. Basically it's fucking awesome. And I have my own bed with an ocean view, kitchen , and outdoor shower. It is very... Alive with wild life of all sorts. Snakes, giant black bumble bees that I've never seen, and there are no real enclosed ceilings in the villas so anything is fair game. I was told to keep my food all in the fridge and put any valuables away because nothing is safe from the monkeys. I amFeeling quite spoiled with my own kitchen and bed compared to the hostels I've been in ;). Breakfast is still included but rather than white toast and an egg, it's a buffet spread of exotic fruits museli, rice, noodles ect. I load up on green juices, omlettes and peanut butter after our 90 min morning vinyasa and meditation.

ANYWAY; Upon arrival we did the whole introduction thing like you would in any training, yet Honza and Claudine have fun games and ways of doing all this such as ninja attack, screaming toes, and also treated us to an authentic Balinese dance at our opening ceremony.
I was right about it, everyone is an incredible yogi, and everyone loves acro yoga. But in a different way than I thought, I am not even close to the least experienced, and being an incredible Yogi doesn't mean you have to be able to balance on your hands for three minutes.(although we have quite a few of those, I've been introduced to the world of handstand max outs YIKES) . Not everyone is 'instafamous' however there are some with a good following and it is still Surreal to me being taught by YogaBeyond and being in a training side by side with Laura Sakorya. Everyone is far nicer than I could ever imagine from their instagrams.

Honza had a good point explaining that his experiences of teacher trainings are lots of work, and then on the last day everyone usually gets together and has fun. On this last day you get to really talk and bond and make such great connections and then the next day boom it's over and you say goodbye.
So Honza and Claudine have been thoughtful enough to consider this and day 2 was a bit of a fun day, to ease us into things and allow us to make friendships. Which is probably a good thing to do before you trust someone throwing your body in the air with the probability that you make end up with your head near their crotch or feet in their face.
To start the day we had a morning session, an intro if you will to ACROVINYASA. Which gave me the answer I had been looking for of why I am here...

ACROVINYASA
Is a practice designed by Honza and Claudine Lafond of YogaBeyond that encorporates Vinyasa Yoga, Breath, Inversion Training, and AcroYoga with L based flying.
Many times my experience of AcroYoga was either paying to learn front bird again, or going to a jam where I'm being thrown up in the air into acrobatic postures, that are awesome, but I'm not sure how safe or yogic it was.
This practice was the first time I was able to really see the parallel of yoga whilst flying or basing another person. Both types, Acro Yoga and ACROVINYASA are incredible practices depending on what you are looking for. But ACROVINYASA to me seems like the first acro yoga practice, I can see being placed into a studio as a safe class on a regular basis.
What they have created here is absolutely incredible and totally ahead of the frontier and I couldn't be more psyched to be a part of it. I didn't fully understand what I was walking into here and that I would be one of the very first ACROVINYASA certified instructors in the world. I now feel like I've found the acro yoga that I can connect with and feel comfortable teaching. And admire the creativity of Honza and Claudine so much to create this.

Walking away from that morning session smiling ear to ear I was feeling connected to this training.
We then visited the near by temple on a full moon of Virgo which allows for transformation and made offerings to the temple . Next we then headed down to the beach and did a bit of body surfing and acro play. You can imagine the look on the locals faces when about 34 white folk come down and start stacking bodies on feet. And you can imagine the look on my face when I am casually handstanding with Laura on the beach, whom was one of the very first Yoga instagram accounts I've ever followed. After the beach Honza and Claudine brought us to a local restaurant with cucumber water and watermelon juice waiting for us, which was later accompanied by beers and sangria. We had a big group dinner getting to know each other over enjoying cocktails, and taking underwater pool pictures in the salt water dive pool.
We ended the day with a nice pow wow at Honza and Claudine's Villa.
We've had many conversations about authenticity. Because in many yoga trainings there are rules about teacher and student relationships, about not having sex or eating meat. drinking maybe bed times. Honza and Claudine decided not to set these rules because it is not a part of who they are. Which is respectable because how unauthentic would it be to have us be celibate, sober, vegans, and then for them to Goto their villa and not necessarily live that life. They also know that many of us don't live here or near here and have traveled halfway around the world. So thoughtfully they are trying to allow us to get the best experience of Bali while we're here but still covering a whole lot of material. So we have allot of freedom, yet the group understands everything in moderation and respects that we will be going upside down every morning. We also always still have the power to make our own choices and make this whatever experience we would like to get out of it. Honza and Claudine are also always asking for feedback and are open to any suggestions and changes as this is their first training. At our night chat someone suggested that we share the best and worst part of our days in a circle. It was a great exercise seeing that most everybody's worst part was something so insignificant like dealing with some crazy bugs, or seeing a snake in paradise. When it came around to me I expressed that I felt like I finally got my answer to if I belong here. That morning discussion and finding out what ACROVINYASA is a speak ignited in me. I've realized what an opportunity I have to be at the forefront of something amazing and intend to take full advantage. I also said that I appreciated Honza and Claudine's originality. They've created a training that is different like any other, not only in the practice, but because of their originality.
They balance guru and friend perfectly and don't hide from us who they really are. Being able to share a beer with your students and have them feel comfortable confiding in you, yet maintaining authority and respect, is a crazy balance to maintain, and yet they do it beautifully. Balance seems to be their forte in just about everything and I know I can learn so much from these people. I realize why the universe led me here the whole time, and am happy I didn't question it. You are always where you are meant to be. ✨?

I am surrounded by magic and miracles. Everything I need comes to me at the perfect time. Feeling like I am just where I belong and no matter where you may be right now if you've actually read to the bottom of this, know that you are exactly where you should be as well. How do I know? Because you're there!

Namaste ?✨?

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Our altar :)

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Posted by rachaelob 15:51 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia love yoga tt universe trust spirituality wanderlust acroyoga acro acrovinyasa yogabeyond Comments (0)

UBUD

The land of monkeys and meditation

semi-overcast

UBUD

Ubuds word is HEAVENLY. The only reason it is not simply 'heaven' is that it is an hour drive from the beach which is the only thing it is lacking. Being a bit higher up geographically, I was able to enjoy slightly cooler temperatures while I wandered around the cornucopia of organic cafes, Hollistic spas, rich religious temples and various displays of arts like yoga and dance. Ubud is the land of flowing rivers of green juice and kombucha, hippie boho shop after shop, and buddha statues galore, it is the yogi tourists heaven.

In Ubud I stayed in Yunnis guest house and Ojeks home stay both of which allowed me Jen and Kelsey to have our own room , bathroom and porch at a very reasonable cost. About 4-7 $ a night. Oh the beauty of traveling with friends! Also included breakfast and constant hot tea was always being brought right to our porch.
Although I enjoy hostels, I love having this privacy and my own space because it make it easier for me to keep up with my morning routine and yoga practice.
Ubud has been exactly what I needed after the crazy islands, Australia and the impending work and home life coming up. Because of varioua conversations and events, there were a few days when it finally hit me, I was stressing about work when I'm home, money, other people, next thing you know I'm 10 years ahead worrying about the future , completely loosing sight of the shore of the present moment.
Ubuds peaceful present vibe brought me back.

Days in Ubud consisted of some awesome temple visits, (blog with more detail to follow), awesome yoga at radiantly alive, inspiration, rice fields, lots of relaxing, and traditional Balinese dancing at night.
I visited the staple Ubud locations such as Ganesha Bookshop, The Sacred Monkey Forrest, Bali Buddha, and the Yoga Barn.

One of my favorite days was the day we signed up for a Sunrise Hike up Mt. Batur. Bali has two very spiritually important volcanos right near one another about an hour outside of Ubud, Mt. Batur and Mt. Agung. Agung is the largest volcano in all of bali, and Batur is the second. Throughout the volcanos there Are sacred temples and volcanic steams where ceremony's are held and offerings are given. Both being active and having erupted in years passed not to long ago the second biggest one, Mt. Batur is apparently the safer of the two to climb.
We were picked up with barely any sleep at 2 am . On our way to the volcano we stopped at another Luwak coffee plantation and received banana chocolate pancakes and tea or coffee and water for breakfast. By 330 we were hiking up the volcano. As we got to the top it was pretty steep and mostly all loose gravel, practically rock climbing not hiking. It was still pitch dark and I was just using my flash light and following the foot steps of the person in front of me. There were a few places where you could stop but we powered on all the way to the Summit, the highest point we were allowed to go to. I was incredibly proud of Kelsey who made it all the way up with a bum ankle she's been dealing with the whole time we've been here. Our guides were extremely knowledgable and patient helping Kelsey and all the while showing us hidden temples, explaining the history of the volcano and showing us volcanic steam areas that we stopped and used as our natural steam room. At the top we received an egg cooked in the volcanic steam and a banana sandwich while awaiting the sunrise. I also paid for a tea and hot chocolate while waiting because it was damn cold!!! I didn't mind paying a typical U.S. Price of 2.50$ per drink because Damn these guys had to hike all the supplies to make this up here anyway they deserve it. It was so refreshing to feel cold again for once! Shivering in my sweat shirt with my hood up! Th sun finally rose from behind Mt. Agung and warmed everyone's souls with vibrant pink, blue, orange, yellow, pink and purple colors in the sky. Beneath was lush green mountains and deep valleys, villages, areas you could see black from volcanic lava, and then the beautiful Batur Lake. It was most definitely one of the most breath taking sights I've ever seen not to mention
We heckled the price for the whole day including the hour transport to and from our guest house about 6 hours of guiding hiking and the three breakfasts down to 250000 rupiah . Just under 20$ . Boom.

Another day I visited Sari Organic Garden and Cafe which is not accessible by car, but instead you turn down an alley way at these bungalows and walk into the rice gardens. There a long breath taking view leads you to an organic garden where you can see the food being grown and carried right across the path to your plate where you can eat over looking beautiful rice terraces.
Rice is such a profound part of the Balinese culture, with rice fields everywhere and many peoples professions revolving around them, it is eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and used in many religious ceremonies. On temple festival days you will see the members of that temple or those who have participated in ceremony will go about their day with rice on their face.
Some rice on their third eye for intuition, to see clearly, to open connection to God Ect and some on their throat for good, clear and kind speech.

I promised myself I would get my toes done before I started teacher training and treated myself to a nice pedicure after Sari Organic at a hut over looking the fields. Which of course was ruined within about an hour (Sorry Aunt Mindy I was only meant to be beautiful from the ankles up we just need to accept it.) I paid about 4 US dollars for a pedicure , that came with a lime foot scrub bath, fresh ginger tea, and water melon. It's the little things like that that make me love bali, tea and fruit with everything. The Balinese are just such kind people, they can't do enough for you.
And everyone should know that tea is one of the keys to my heart. I really became impressed with Ubud when one night we ate at a cafe with such an incredible selection and information on tea that I was overwhelmed. It look me about 1 hour to read through all of the pages of information on each tea and what it does for your body. I finally decided and got a jar of 'Pitta Balancing Tea' to go, a cooling mix for my Ayurvedic body type.

I didn't drink alcohol at all while in Ubud except one over priced glass of red wine I allowed myself to enjoy at the famous 'Jazz Cafe' on my last night and my goodbye to Jen!
I feel like I haven't been traveling alone for so long! And also feel like I've known Jen and Kelsey forever. I wished them luck to their next island of holiday!
Feeling very pleased with the order I ended up traveling Ubud was just what I needed to bring me back to the present and ready to delve into studying more yoga!
It helped me to quiet that voice inside my head a bit more. You know the one that comes in as soon as we open our eyes in the morning and then heckles us all day long. The one that's fixated on the past and the future to the detriment of the here and now.
Now I travel to Padang Bai alone, refreshed and ready for my teacher training!

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Organge Ginger Creme Brûlée and Dragoon Fruit Purée
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Posted by rachaelob 07:20 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel yoga indo spirit avtt1 acro Comments (0)

Guest House

@Yunnis Guest House

sunny 80 °F

Guest House

This human being is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
- Rumi

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Posted by rachaelob 19:12 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia guesthouse yoga heart open ubud spirituality rumi backbend Comments (0)

THE ISLANDS

Lombak, and the Gillies. Power outages in Paradise.

storm 89 °F

Throughout my week on the islands life was very different from what I am used too wether it be trees growing in water, hospitality service, types of transport, or a little wind gust putting the power out. I had to drop my ideas of normal and need to control, and instead learn to be yielding and accept what comes.

The first island I visited was
LOMBOK:
Our driver friend Bj picked Trey and I up in Padang Padang and drove us to Padang Bai to catch the ferry to Lombok. On the way he took us to his favorite non touristy local Warung. Then we got to Padang Bai. We could have paid hundreds of thousands of rupiah for a fast boat from Padang Bai or Sanur but we went with mostly locals on a 5 hour ferry for about 2$.
Taking the road less traveled :) .

After almost a full day of traveling we got to Kuta,Lombok and started to question if it would be worth the cost and hassel of getting there. But it most definitely was and Kuta, Lombok is nothing like Kuta, Bali. Lombok is the quitest place in Indo I have been yet. There are wild cats, dogs, goats, and cows everywhere and little wooden shack beach bars lined up right across the road from our place. The first night we went to 'the original beach bar' which was a truck run by a very youthful looking chap named Oyook. Oyook is 20 and runs the little beach truck for his uncle in exchange for living with him and although he doesn't make money, he is able to practice his English with foreigners like us. His sparking positive attitude, the character of this truck, and the cheaper drink prices, led us to stay there instead of the busier more touristy beach bar across the way. We made good friends with Oyook and he would let us play our own i pods on his sound system . We jammed out to reggae tunes and took over the bar. He even got a generator going just for us when the power went out and we were the only ones at the bar.
Even nights when we went to the big psychedelic, packed party beach bar across the way we always pregamed with Oyook first.
My days in Lombook consisted of some light running or hut yoga, and afternoons of motor biking to Gurupak the local surf spot. We paid to be taken out to some pretty awesome breaks and big waves (by my standards) by boat . I would try driving the motor bike a bit on the way home because it is so quiet there . (Don't worry dad I was very careful). I once again feel like I met my comfort zone, challenged my surfing ability and tried something new and for those opportunities I am grateful.
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The islands are much less crowded and it is more common to see a horse and buggy rather than a car. In fact on the Gilly Islands, which are small islands that are a part of Lombok, there are no motor vehicles whatsoever instead bikes around the whole island.
This made me more likely to take the time to pause and look up at the sky at night, with less people and cars, we can we more engulfed in the truly beautiful magical nature around us.

GILLY Air;

Gilly A had a good amount of yogis and a whole lot of divers. The island is so small I ran around the whole thing in 45 minutes. The hostel I stayed in was not my favorite but each place along the beach had a beautiful salt pool with multiple levels for water diving trainings.
I've actually never paid for a professional massage in my entire life, and don't get nearly as much body work done as I should for being so active.
So one rainy afternoon I treated myself to a traditional Balinese Massage /Aloe Treatment at the Blue Lotus Spa to try to get rid of this sun burn some more and 10$ an hour isn't too bad.
I did a bit of yoga, some sunset watching, snorkeling, and I even found a slackline! I slacked with the local kids who are so cute and talented and that was probably the high light of Gilly A. Very chill place.

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Gilly Trawangan;
Gilly T is known as the party island, there wasn't as much to do during the day and most places are focused around night life. It has cool late night markets and almost zero police officers on the entire island. Our hostel had no quiet hours and 24 hour free pancakes.
We took part in lots of dancing, ladies nights, and live music, but luckily the two ladies I am with were on the same page as me. We'd usually rather enjoy our days than party untill 4 am spending money we won't remember.
All of the islands had lots of power outages, but Gilly T was the worst.
A huge tree fell across the road right next to our hostel crushing the woman's house next door and putting the power out for days. The weather to me just seemed like a windy rainy day, but to bali this is quite rare.
When we got there we had about two hours of a nice air conditioned room, and then for the next three days it was mostly off, no wifi, no running water and it was very very hot.
We made do by buying hand fans, showering with buckets, and lots of giggles at flash light puppet shows and whatever other dumb things we did to entertain ourselves.
A power outage is a great chance to let go. Because no matter how much you complain about the situation, the power is still out. So instead we let go of the way we thought the world is supposed to be and work in our 21st century minds. Letting go is a scary enterprise for those of is who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on top of it which we personally turn, and that if we drop this handle even for a moment well that would be the end of the universe. But when you try dropping it. You can sit back with your head in your hands and let things be as they are, you can actually relax. You can sit quietly in the now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens. The birds do not crash dead out of the sky in mid flight, after all. The trees do not wither and die, rivers do not run red with blood. Life continues to go on. Im not sure why we think our micromanagement of every moment in this whole world is so essential.

My days consisted of allot of walking, some beautiful sunsets (if we're lucky at a sunset swing) and lots of dancing and laughing. There was a yoga place right across from our hostel and I tried to eat as healthy as possible, but options were limited, and the free pancakes were pretty good ?.
I think the girls would agree that the one day we didn't have power alll day we laughed harder than we had in a long time. We had to make our own fun and actually talk to each other instead of being on Instagram!! Can you imagine?
Something I love to see about the young kids here is how they can have the biggest smile on their faces just by playing with leaves. There's no I pads or phones or TVs. This time without electricity really brought us back to realizing how privileged we are and how sometimes having these technological advantages can be a bad thing taking us away from the moment we are really in. (I say this as I type my blog on my smart phone.)

At night I found myself taking even more time to be gazing at the stars rather than down at a phone. It made me think of this quote by Mahatma Ghandi; When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.

Feeling very full, adventurous, grateful, beautiful, and connected.

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Posted by rachaelob 00:48 Archived in Indonesia Tagged islands bali indonesia travel surf fun party power lombok yoga fitness heat outage inspiration wanderlust gillys gillya gillyt Comments (0)

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