I love learning about other cultures. Most of the people on the Islands I have visited are Hindu and they always seemed happy to indulge my hundreds of questions about their ceremonies, chanting and incredible monuments.
Despite the traffic chaos and seeming lack or road rules, a feeling of general calm prevails. I don’t think I have ever seen a Balinese person get upset or angry.
We asked Wayan, our driver, how he remained calm in the deafening din of the constant beeping. He explained the code of the horns. One beep is a friendly hello, two beeps is to let people know you are coming through – especially around corners. Three beeps or a long beep is bad Karma and no one wants that. Wayan’s deep belief in Karma relates to the everyday, not just major actions in life. There is mindfulness behind the intention of everything they think say and do, even the use of car horns!
Our Bali experience wasn’t just about going to Bali and doing Yoga all day. We practiced every morning and evening, but we wanted to give a more complete experience of what Bali has to offer. Each day we themed our practice according to the activities of the day to demonstrate that whatever we learn about ourselves on the Yoga mat can be taken off the mat and into our daily lives. Here are some of the highlights:
One of our goals was to experience other types of Yoga, so we went to an Arial flow class. Our class was run by Shae from Nowra (how small is the world). Shae was graceful and gracious in teaching newbies this style of Yoga. I loved hanging upside down in the harness and the Shivasana, being encapsulated in the fabric and allowing myself to hang freely while feeling completely secure.
A visit to Ubud would be incomplete without a visit to the Yoga Barn (if you love Yoga like we do). The Yoga Barn is everything Yoga: numerous classes of different styles, Vegan Café with the best juices and lots of space to chill. We went to a Tibetan Sound Healing in one of the Shalas There was a waiting list for classes at the Yoga Barn so we had a juice in the café while we waited. As each of our names were called we went up and found our spot. The meditation was beautiful and a perfect way to end the day.
The highlight of the trip for me was the visit to the Tirta Empul Temple. We had planned to go on the fourth day of our trip, but our driver, Wayan, asked the Holy Man if we could have an extra blessing. We were told that the day we had planned was not a good day and it would be best if we went the day before. We didn’t want to argue with a Holy Man so we changed our plans around and went on the ‘good day’. As it turned out it was a brilliant day.
The water temple is a place where you go to be blessed by the natural spring water coming up from the earth. There are a number of pipes, each with running water. Each pipe represents something specific, clearing one of the Chakras, skin conditions, helping you sleep or removing bad dreams. You enter at the first pipe, you drink the water three times, splash your face three times and then put your head under the running water and wash it over the top of your head three times. You do this for every pipe except for two which are reserved for cremations and specific ceremonies. In order to show respect it is customary to wear a sarong while in the water.
After we completed the water blessing we were privileged to go into the next temple where we saw where the natural spring bubbles up. Then we were blessed by the Holy Man. We each had an offering of food which had been kindly prepared by Wayan’s wife and we followed Wayan’s directions as the Holy Man blessed our group.
To be let into this part of the temple and participate in this blessing was an honour and we thank our hosts for allowing us to be part of this.
We discovered this place last time we were in Bali and we just had to go back.
We had a two hour workshop where we saw the glorious gardens, the variety of plants and lessons in what each of the plants are used for. We then saw how skin-care products are made from natural ingredients including carrots, coconut, corn, anything you use in your kitchen. Our guide put it this way: “If you can’t eat something, why would you put it on your skin?”
We then had our own turn to make a variety of skin products: mask, cream and cleanser. Then we were treated to facials, using the products we’d just made, while relaxing in reclining chairs in an open air Shala with a view of the garden. What a way to enjoy the heavenly facial. Products can also be purchased, all made with the same natural ingredients.
We’ll be going again from 2nd August to 10th August 2018.
Hope you can join us!