A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about spirit


The land of monkeys and meditation



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!

Organge Ginger Creme Brûlée and Dragoon Fruit Purée

Posted by rachaelob 07:20 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel yoga indo spirit avtt1 acro Comments (0)

Open hand

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.If it were always a fist or always stretched open you would be paralysed.Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds wings. ― Rumi

sunny 35 °F

The goal of yoga is adaptability not flexibility. Many students come to asana in order to be more flexible but what's more important is to be more adaptable and let life flow through you without resistance.

Today's super bowl Sunday class was about being yielding to the flow of life.
The super bowl is a big moment for all these professional athletes. But for me, someone who hasn't watched a patriot game all year, I've missed all of their little moments.
In fact there were thousands of little moments, leading up to this big moment for these men. From throwing the ball around with dad as a kid, to college, to every practice, leading up to this big moment.
Similarly in our practice for every handstand, there were thousands of lift and leans, hamstring stretches, shoulder strengthener and fails. They say the master has failed more times than you have even tried. And so we see that life is about all of these moments, big and small. When we can appreciate these little moments rather than always waiting for the future for that big moment, we can find presence and peace.

Often we are forcing and grasping . Keeping in our mind the way we think things are supposed to be. I'll be happy when I get my handstand, when I find the right girl, when I get a job. And then when we get there we are trying to hold onto things and own them as 'ours'.
Whether it is in a pose in our yoga practice or a person in our life, you usually cannot hold onto these things forever.
Yesterday I did full dancer for the first time ever. (Big moment) but there were thousands of bridges, pigions, wheels and practices (little moments) before that. And then today I couldn't do dancer, non attachment. Our body and practice teaches us this lesson of non attachment. In the same way we cannot own a pose, we cannot own another. We as humans can be measured by our ability to let things go gracefully.
Every day is different in our practice and in our life. Which is a huge complex for the humanimd. We always want to own to HAVE ,people, poses. Whatever it is.
Like Osho says; If you love a flower, let it be. If you pick it it dies and ceases to be what you once loved. Love is about appreciation not possession.
But the more we let things come to us with an open palm without trying to close it, the longer they will stay.
When we realize life is just these little series of moments , well stop worrying about the big moment.

Most of today's class was played to an artists who's songs resonate with me especially recently as I contemplate Nonattachment.
Hozier. He's so amazingly talented. This is the point when if Nellie is reading she will roll her eyes at me about how I'm six months late on this obsession. If you are reading, I'm sorry my musically informed friend. One day I will be as artsy and different and hip as you but for now I always appreciate your guidance and suggestions even if I don't listen for about three months . ❤️
Every song speaks to me but I think my favorite will have to be cherry wine about appreciating what you have when you have it and letting it go with an open hand.

"It looks ugly, but it's clean
Oh mamma, don't fuss over me
The way she tells me I'm hers and she is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine
Calls of guilty thrown at me
All while she stains
The sheets of some other
Thrown at me so powerfully
Just like she throws with the arm of her brother
But I want it, it's a crime
That she's not around most of the time
And it's worth it, it's divine
I have this some of the time"

So when we learn to live in the present moment and enjoy the journey, we realize the absolutely rarity of every moment and appreciate it. There will never be another moment like the one you are in right now. This helps us to enjoy love when we have it, enjoy solitude wen we have it. Enjoy days our body wants to work hard, and enjoy days our body needs a rest.
Stop trying to make things the way you want them to be , stop resisting, stop trying to control, stop trying to make the world turn your way, and instead flow with life and the way things are.


Posted by rachaelob 19:30 Archived in USA Tagged yoga health open spirit new_jersey gratitude rumi zen_den Comments (0)

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