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Entries about spirituality

Easter Moon

Renewal, rebirth , refresh.

sunny 55 °F

This full moon marks the Buddhist new year, the Hindu holiday of Hanuman Jayanti, the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Christian holiday of Easter. ?

Wether you belong to any of these religions or not, holiday time with family often stirs the emotional pot.
Tomorrow also brings us a moon where Uranus will oppose the moon and both will square Pluto. Pluto can be known as the diva of destruction and Uranus the goddess of maheym. With these forces in the eclipse our holidays may feel anything but the harmonious road to happiness and salvation and family issue may arise, we all have it.

None the less we can keep in mind that birth, death, renewal, rebirth, redirection, nirvana and leaving narrow places in our lives, for open places of freedom are themes of the weekend for many.
We can keep in mind that we always have the opportunity to start over. Every day is a new day to choose peace and joy. No one can go back and rewrite what has happened but everyone can start today and create a new beginning. I'm wishing you all a happy holiday and I hope we all start spring and this new moon with the positive foot forward bringing forth lots of love! And chocolate of course ?????? #spring #openheart #lowlunge #renewal


Posted by rachaelob 10:00 Archived in USA Tagged eclipse moon rebirth easter spirit renewal spirituality pluto 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)


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...

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 ?✨?


Our altar :)


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


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

Perrtthhh Australian Adventures

When nothing is sure, anything is possible.

sunny 80 °F

When I first started traveling around Bali, I became increasingly upset that I already have a return flight home. Because Kelly and Stephen if you're reading, as excited as I am for your wedding, every hostel I Goto friends are planning their next move, or getting their Australia work visas and then they ask me 'what's after bali?' And I reply, back home to New Jersey.. Even if I wanted to go somewhere else I really should make my departing flight out of Denspasar, I felt stuck, in this plan. And I felt like it was silly that I came half way around the world, to see one small island and nowhere else around here.
When I had my issue with my visa, that's when it occurred to me, I'm not stuck. All my time in between that return flight other than my training is free . I can go anywhere I want. I am in charge of my life ! And that visa issue was giving me my chance, it was the universe saying just go Ya big dummy!

But of course as I am trying to escape one visa issue, I run right into another. We booked pretty last minute and tried online to get a visa for AU and the website was giving us all sorts of issues. Not sure if if was the site or Bali Guest Houses shitty wifi, we had to just show up and wing it. When checking my bag for my flight at 3 am I was told I cannot get a visa upon arrival and must have one before I board the plane. This led to last minute rushing of calling Australian officials, online applications, and running in the airports to get to the gate with one minute to spare.
These types of stressful situations almost entertain me now. The challenge makes me feel like I've accomplished or learned more. And like my old swim coach Mr. Wakely used to tell me, I work well under pressure. (Literally he'd tell me to go up to the blocks and that I was signed up for a race two minutes before it started and then laugh at me as I scambled.) Sometimes I can plan Too much and I need to be thrown into spontaneous, last minute, stressful situations like that. Anyway
I am so so happy that Jen, Kelsey and I decided to book our flight to Perth, Australia! Not only would I get to see a state outside of Bali, but a whole new continent!! Perth is the fourth largest city in Australia and the largest city in WA (the state of Western Australia ).
The minute I walked around the city I felt like I was in San Diego, and many locals told me they've heard that comparison before as well. Whilst being a big city, with big buildings and its own airport and what not, Perth still isn't that populated and is apparently quite low key compared to Sydney and Melbourne. The city is on a harbor and is very clean and I don't know how to explain it really, it just feels like San Diego. Similarly, the city has some cool parks and it's nice to walk around, but the cafes aren't as cheap or healthy as Id always like and instead I prefer the beachy, surfy, suburbs surrounding it.
Throughout our stay we checked out areas such as Marmion Marine Park , Hillary's, Scarbourough ( Scabra ) beach and Swan Valley.
Our first day there was spent in the hospital as Kelsey has been having some stomach issues, this gave me and Jen an opportunity to walk around and explore the harbour, the bell tower, and the candy selection.
Yes that's right candy selection, I try to keep it healthy yes, but I am a sucker for trying new things in different countries that I know we don't have at home even if it isn't that good for me. I'm also a sucker for Kit Kats, they're my favorite candy. I'm pretty Convinced that the Kit Kat must be the official candy of Australia as I have never seen so many different types and flavors. That and the awesome Perth international night food market right next to our place, leaves me feeling in need for a few days of yoga detoxification in Ubud.
We stayed in a hostel just outside the city, it was walkable to most places but when exploring other areas we could get a day pass for trains and buses and transportation was incredibly easy. In fact everything felt incredibly easy. Everything was in English, online, punctual, and they even have a count down at the free bus stop telling you exactly how many minutes until it arrives. It feels just like home. The only differences being the awesome accents, overwhelming friendliness of local Australians , and the overwhelming allure of Australian men. ??.
Anyway I was feeling quite spoiled once again being able to drink tap water yet forgot that I am once again in a real country and will be carded at bars. I forgot my ID everywhere (pulling a linny west) . Which was extremely necessary at night (most bars wouldn't even accept my license and wanted my passport! ) because it is the Aussies busy long Labor Day Weekend. Not a big deal, just less expensive beers for me. But it was interesting to catch another Labor Day in March and see how their summer season is just winding down as our spring at home is barely starting up ! I was able to enjoy this Labor Day instead of working the beach all weekend ;)

Another difference is the overwhelming Australian sun. The weather was gorgeous. Hot beach weather but not as hot, humid and buggy as Bali. There was usually a nice breeze and it cooled down at night. But this makes it even easier to get sunburnt and due to the huge hole in the ozone layer AUs UV index is off the charts.
Also Australians are coffee snobs, apparently Melbourne has one of the best coffees in the world and Starbucks is the only American franchise that never made it here! . McDonald's, Target, 7/11, they're all here, but the Starbucks have all been shut down. "They know sheet coffee when they see it." I thought that was pretty cool and interesting but This came as a big disappointment to Kelsey who as she travels, collects Starbucks mugs from different cities, yes probably the most ridiculous and inconvenient collections a traveler could have, but Ya gotta love her.
My favorite day was spent in Swan Valley and Freemantel, we started our way up north at Cavershath Because Kelsey wanted to Goto the Wild Life Park, Jen and I opted out and toured the free woodland reserve instead to avoid the entrance fee and get a more natural experience. We were just sauntering around behind the gates of the Wild Life Park walking in the trees and admiring the ostriches from afar when boom! We saw about 6 Kangaroos! It was my first experience seeing roos in the wild and I was very amused seeing them hop about, but I am pretty sure to Australians this is about as common and unexcitng as seeing a deer on the road back in Jersey.
Regardless, Jen and I took plenty a pictures of the baby Kangaroos and were ecstatic to have caught them in their natural environment rather than paying. Kelsey was still in the park so Jen and I wanted to head to Swan Valley to wine taste. We had missed the 20 Min shuttle that takes you back to the parking lot area by 5 minutes so we decided to walk.
It was quite hot and I figured this little path would be a safe area to have my first hitch hiking experience . It was just a little path and all people leaving the wild life park. I know, I know it can be dangerous, but we were kind of desperate, didn't have much money to spend on cabs and transportation isn't as easy outside the city. Plus I wasn't alone and I think it's something everyone must do at some point in life!
This experience worked out so well that we not only got a ride all the way out of the park but straight to the door of our first winery, which was pretty far north and we hadn't realized how long it would take to walk. Oh the kindness of the Aussies!
I was pleasantly surprised at our first delectable wine tasting only being 2 Australian dollars. Granted it wasn't as big and fancy as some I had done in Sonoma Valley, but to taste 7 wines for about 1.60$ American? I'm thrilled. The second one we went to was free! Followed by another short hitch hike we made it to a third and favorite wine tasting of the day. This one had two adorable "wine dogs", the most kind owner, was free, and we did a free olive oil tasting! Oh the life we live!! We made such good friends with the girl working and she happened to be just getting off work at 5 as we were leaving and gave us a free ride to the train station. In return of all the hospitality we experienced there, and off a high of this wonderful cost free day, we bought our favorite wine we had tasted there and brought it down to Freemantel beach. We enjoyed it while watching a beach sunset with a jazz, art and food festival behind us. It was one of the best days of my loyfe for sure. I almost Croyed tears of grattitude.
All in all it was a truly awesome experience my first one in Australia. And if I had booked every night in Bali a head of time, I'm not sure if it would have been possible! They say that when nothing is sure, anything is possible. And I am still free every day I am here! Sometimes it's good to not plan, to be open, because if you always choose what you think you want ahead of time, you could loose something even better that was waiting for you.

So now I head back to Bali and I just am so excited! As great as Australia was, to me it's more of a place to move rather than travel, it's so easy and accommodating and similar to the U.S.! I love the challenge and different culture Bali brings. I actually miss rice and everyone asking me if I need 'transport?' , the street markets and mostly how cheap everything is!! I don't think I realized how much I love Bali until I left it. And that's how we humans are with most things, not necessarily taking them for granted, but just not understanding a true appreciation for something until you are separated from it. And so I feel so much gratitude for the opportunity to get away and come back ready to experience Bali all over again with a new eye!
UBUD here I come!




Posted by rachaelob 01:56 Archived in Australia Tagged food travel australia wine au wa yoga perth swan_valley spirituality wanderlust Comments (0)

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