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SOSA (51/200): absorbing

14 April 2012 4,273 views 7 Comments

A note before you read. You might prefer to gloss over the ‘spirit’, ‘connection’, ‘inspirational’ stuff, I’m clearly in the zone. No worries, I’ll be back on the Bintang and gossip before long I’m sure, stick with me :)

Before we got started I was a bit bonkers and anxious about the course, but the first week is now done and I’m still alive, and happy :) There’s been a lot to take in: information, physical experiences, friends, and lots of Bali-ness too. The course is structured really (like, really really) well, every day we build on what we learned previously. I realise that sounds obvious, but it’s done so well that I feel comfortable and trusting of the programme and the teachers, confident that I’ll be able to manage each part and pass the course. Phew!

For sure the course is full on. We all talk a lot about the early mornings and our own experiences of how our energy works throughout the day. I thought I was doing alright – trying to sleep and eat well etc – but I am constantly asked ‘are you tired today?’, and er, there’s no getting away from the fact I fall asleep in meditation. Can’t tell whether that’s going to get worse or better but I don’t really know what else to do, I’m givin all I’ve got!


The morning yoga classes are glorious. It’s just delicious doing a yoga practice as the day breaks. I particularly enjoy Bex’s classes because she shares a lot of her personal experience throughout and also challenges us to different postures in different ways. By the end of her classes I feel like I want to split-leap around the garden.
A lot of the education, but especially the lectures, are framed to give us a broad range of information with the intention that we’ll pick and choose what works for us. I am a big fan of that. The lectures are great, we’re covering a range of material and generally it’s fascinating.
The posture clinics are interesting because – and I know I’m not alone – there’s an appetite to understand ‘am I doing this posture correctly/ well?’ Due to the way the classes work, if you want one of the teachers to assess you in a pose then you have to demonstrate in front of everyone. So there’s a bit of cost/ benefit analysis going on: how much do you want to model in front of 27 other students vs. how much do you want the personalised feedback. I get so nervous being the model that I have a proper sweat on and go all red. Lovely lovely. BUT I now have personalised pointers for trichonasana and side-angle. Kerching.
In the posture clinics we also have the chance to experiment leading asanas and flows. It’s amazing how everything you know you know simply evaporates from your mind when you have to teach it; I have to really concentrate on this, and I know I’m not alone. The good news is that I’ve been told a few times that my leading is good, that I teach well, I’m happy with that as a starting point.


We do meditation each morning before Vinyasa Flow, and Yin Yoga in the afternoon is a type of meditation. We also had a Yoga Nidra class led by Uma on Friday which is a deep meditative yoga. I have an almost 100% success rate in falling asleep in these sessions. In fact, the day after Yoga Nidra some of the girls were chatting about ‘who was it that was snoring in the class?’, and I had to say that it was likely me (later confirmed by the girl who was lying next to me, it had clearly driven her crazy, and fair enough. I apologised a lot). If the meditation is seated then I’m ok but lying down, wham, I’m a goner. Meditation is pretty new to me, I’ve only done it, rubbishly, once or twice before coming here, so I suppose I’m still finding my way with the whole concept. When it ‘works’, I dig it, it’s strong stuff.
Ah, interesting thing here… in week three or four we have to lead a meditation practice. Stay tuned for that one, and please send any (any…) advice you have.


As the course progresses we have more and more workshops but we had our first one on Saturday afternoon. It was with Geoffrey and it was all about Sanskrit chanting. He chanted an entire Upanishad for us and I don’t think anyone breathed throughout the whole thing, it was mesmerising. Some might say the Vedas had planned it that way…
Sanskrit requires different sounds to any modern language so we had to try putting our tongues in different places in our mouths to form sounds. It was powerful stuff and I can honestly say I did my first proper ‘om’ after years of vocal patheticness.


I’m sure it’s no coincidence at all that all the different teachers bring very different qualities to the course. And it really contributes towards the different energy of the day and the different nature of what we’re learning. Troy makes a two hour lecture fly past, he’s thorough, interesting, interested and funny, I like his wit, I get it. His Indian head jiggle impression cracks me up. We get a lot of time with Simone but I always wishes it was more, she’s very gentle and encouraging, I feel like I want to move in with her and soak up her goodness. Ha ha, I’m a leech! We’ve only had one session with Uma, she’s this mysterious uber-yogi who says things like ‘when you’re around me strange things will happen’, and ‘I specialise in curing fatal diseases’. I mean, what do you say to that.. any chance you can adios these mozy bites please.?
Of all, I feel the strongest connection with Bex. I don’t want to do her a disservice but I’m probably most like her in mind and spirit. I find her very energising, motivating, and I enjoy her playful, real approach to what we’re learning and doing.


I had already decided that Sarah was my friend after she rescued me at the opening ceremony. And since then we’ve done some asana work together which was fun, and she let me copy her notes which is just A1 behaviour isn’t it. I’ve had lovely moments with a number of the girls. It’s a mixed group and it’s very inspiring getting different support, insight, laughter & commonality with girls of such varied nationality (nevermind anything else), Swiss, Estonian, Canadian, Australian, Korean, American.

those early mornings

I really enjoy them, I really do. Of course I’ve had to get into the pattern, going to bed earlier and so on but it’s glorious rolling through the town while it’s still dark, meditating as dawn warms to day and actually doing sun salutations as the first rays come into the studio. Once we’ve finished the Vinyasa Flow practice I always feel strong, fresh, happy, and I don’t wake up like that every day.
Now, all that said on Friday I slept through my alarm and had twenty minutes not forty five to get from bed to mat. Not ideal but I made it, nice little adrenalin kick to the meditation! And then on Saturday the peddle came off my bike on my way to class, the dude on the side of the street found it highly amusing, me less so. As you know it’s down hill most of the way so I arranged myself in a sort of tree pose on the bike and threw my weight into getting as close to the studio as possible with the momentum. Ah, dramas.
Something a bit different.. Simone suggested that we try to respect the mornings in how we choose to communicate. So instead of nattering away, keeping quiet, and instead of checking emails etc, save it. Now that latter part is a habit I’ve been meaning to try and break and I’m glad to have been encouraged into it. It’s one I’m hoping to keep up for a very long time.

day to day

The days pass really quickly, it’s essentially just four different classes (yoga, lectures, posture clinics, yoga) and sometimes it feels like the day is over before it’s begun. I have to be a bit organised about practical things (groceries, laundry, phone calls etc) but that’s ok and probably keeps my feet somewhere in the real world rather than floating around living off incense & dew drops. Whenever I go out I take my head torch because once it’s dark, it’s dark. The little dudes around the streets point and laugh at my head torch but I don’t think they’d be laughing if I rode my bike into their scooters or coconuts!
It’s hot here, I’d say 30 something every day, and mostly full on sunshine. Mid week it god muggy, there was a lot of cloud and we had some storms at night. When I say storms, it was like god/ the gods turned a bucket over Ubud, the downpour was terrific.
The creatures are plentiful. I reckon I’ve seen fifteen different varieties of ant, and when they come one, they really come all, bring the family, bring the village, bring the whole mighty ant kingdom. There are mozys for sure. Patanjali teaches ‘lead a life of harmlessness’, for me that’s a struggle when it comes to the little buzzy buggers but am working on it. Geckos, I don’t mind them, crafty, slippery things. And the frogs are very present (can hear them a lot), and ranging from mini things to great big pulsing monsters. I am convinced that I’ll end up in the aqueduct one day and it’ll be because I’m avoiding a frog.


My muesli and fruit breakfasts are off-the-scale satisfying. Something to do with the early start, the exercise, having breakfast in a beautiful jungle garden, oh I don’t know..
Lunch I’ve had at the Yoga Barn Kafe and also Bali Buddha (cafe up the road) these big beautiful salads with tons of seeds and glorious pesto dressings. I also had daal from Kafe, perfectly done.
A few nights I’ve thrown together dinner at home – quick noodles with veg and a dousing of sambal. On Thursday I was hungry, proper hungry, so I had Italian at Black Beach, pasta, veg, garlic bread, it was all delicious, really really good Italian. It was especially nice because the restaurant has a third floor where you can sit looking over the whole of Ubud, trees rustling, scotters zooming, clouds floating by, it’s great. One night I had delivery (ha ha ha) from Sari Organic. They scooter-ed me over a Thai salad with fresh coconut meat, garlic-heaven dressing and toasted cashews, loving that.
I’ve had a couple of alright Indonesian meals but it’s tricky finding places that aren’t either catering for tourists or uber-hippy types. Tuna satay is the meal I’m measuring the Indonesian standards by, yum.


Ooo, I’ve got this lovely blend going on here at the moment… The book about the Nepalese orphanage is wonderful but Conan seems to have got a girlfriend, pah. “Great Expectations” is still going strong, there have been a couple of climactic points of late (poor Pip), and non stop amusement. Of course I’m working through a yoga book, this one is about the actual postures and poses, I like to read the benefits, ‘relieves flatulence’ that kinda thing ha ha. Lastly, started “Cradle to Cradle” this week. It’s very fitting to be reading that here, now. Bali is experiencing a huge amount of development so I can actually see some of what’s in the book coming together in front of me. And a lot of what the course covers: unity, consciousness, links really closely to the lessons of how humankind is treating the planet.

I’ve a feeling my first day off, tomorrow, will go very quickly, I have planned about a gazillion things and at the same time just want to lie flat and macerate everything I’ve learned. Summary, it’s going well and it seems I may, yes, become a yoga teacher. Divine awesomeness :)
Namaste xLuce


dusk in Ubud

around the studio

studio// home

fluffy friends

our little altar in our studio. do your magic please Ganesha

Previous posts about this trip

SOSA (17/200): awakening


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