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SOSA (school’s out & graduation): celebrating

6 May 2012 25,394 views One Comment

Last class done, let’s get outta here! Shattered, I went in pursuit of recovery to Nur’s, a massage place that Christina, my neighbour, had recommended. Bike locked, sweat mopped, bags & kegs dropped, mend me please. Nur combines traditional sweeping oil Balinese massage with Reiki techniques and something else that I don’t know the name of but involves elbow work (her elbows) really getting into the connective tissue, rather than specific muscles. It was marvellous. Slightly hurty and marvellous. After that I biked to a restaurant by the edge of a gorge, so view of green stuff for me, had a coconut, crackers n sambal and my first wok-greasy mie goreng (a month in Bali and it’s my first mie goring..?!). Ah, I was coming back alive!


It was full moon this weekend, but this one was especially special (I googled it) because it ushers in a new ‘age’ or something (clearly I didn’t read what I googled) so Sari Organic were having kirtan. I walked through the rice fields from home, it was bright enough with the moon and there was extra assistance from some big lightning cracks in the west and heaps of glow worms floating above the fields.
Sari’s was busy. A lot of the girls were there, everyone looked pretty & relaxed. I squashed onto some cushions with Linds, ordered and we watched the chaos of a kirtan band set up. They were sitting on big benches that normally have cushions & low tables on for eating. There was a didgeridoo, a big drum that rested on the floor, two guitarists, a lead singer with an instrument I don’t know but looked like an Indian version of an accordion, a smaller drum with three microphones pointing towards it, and four backing singers & percussionists. Just as the band finished their sound check & warm-up a voice shouted “Loosi, your order”, so the whole place knew that I had a ginger & lime juice and veggie tempura, ta.
The lead singer was charming, crowd pleasing and drew everyone in to the first chant. He talked a lot about the ‘auspiciousness’ of this moon, yessir. The chant started slow & quiet and gradually instruments came in as the tempo got quicker, and the pitch higher, it was simple & very effective, fun & infectious.


As we were doing the first chant, the rain started to pour and pour and pour which meant a fair amount of drama, Sari’s being open-sided with a thatched roof! When the music finished we could really hear the rain smashing down, and there was some amazing thunder & lightning, it was biblical. The lead singer was a pro: “yes, we are showered with many gifts this evening.”
All round Sari’s there were people sitting on chairs, lying & lounging on the floor, hanging on tables, singing, chanting, swaying, dancing, clapping, tapping, anything really, it was super relaxed. We had song sheets but it was a lot of repetition so easy enough to follow. Sometimes I just sat with my eyes closed, in my own bubble with craziness going off around & outside, that feeling of being at the eye of the storm. Each song was for a different god: Vishnu, Ganesha, et al, not sure which god I got to but I had to make a move. Unfortunately with the rain there was no leaving at that point, so I found some cushions out the back and had a little sleep. Hanna woke me, said it was ok to go and with Ayako, Maxine & Sheri, we sloshed our way back through the fields with the music and singing washing over us.


Sunday morning I decided it was time for a last big push and went to morning flow. Sky used to teach at Yoga Barn regularly but now travels a lot so just does classes when he’s in town. He led the most gorgeous practice: slow, easing, feeling into the postures. I’m so glad I came to this class, it levelled me, physically – nice to put things in the right places, and emotionally – Sky reminded me to remain humble & never stop learning. Namaste.

graduation ceremony

Ah, the terrace looked beautiful. The Balinese make gorgeous decorations from leaves, folding them and weaving in other flowers & colours, there were heaps dangling in the wind. Plus petals on the floor and all our cushions arranged with a traditional Balinese offering in front of each. Everyone looked so pretty, floaty and fresh, and the atmosphere was sparkly.
Troy and Simone talked about the journey we’ve taken and the responsibility we have in the next steps that we take. They spoke from the heart and the soul. We’ve talked a lot throughout the course about the power of yoga to, yes, change the world. We are each our own universe so any adjustments, improvements, that we make to ourselves can only positively affect the world. We get more aligned – heart, body, consciousness – and we influence the world around us to become more aligned. So, with our new education and enlightenment we’re in an even better, stronger position to effect change. It’s up to us where, how much and how effective.
Irene, Cat, Bex and Tina also shared some words & encouragement, their parting gifts. Then a Balinese monk joined us, in his white robes with frangipanis in his turban, he blessed the space and then each of us individually. He started off sitting in the middle of the circle, jangling a bell and methodically waving incense, dipping frangipanis, tossing rice, and reciting verse all the while. To be blessed we were sprinkled with holy water while we held our hands out, then we drank the water from our hands three times, then the monk pressed rice into our foreheads and collar bones. Bosh, your were blessed. And a bit wet n sticky, I’m pretty sure I heard Troy mutter something about sushi ;
We were invited to share anything we wanted with the group. There was some hesitation, emotions were high & cracking, but a few people spoke, some lovely words, some personal reflections. As much because I want to remember it, this is what I said: “As I get older, my idea of what family is changes, I see before me a family. I am taking a piece of each of you in my heart and you go with my love, please know that you have it. I wish you all the very very best in everything you do.”
Then Troy & Simone called us individually to the front and presented us with our certificates and a thick garland of stunning orange carnations. It was a chance to have a personal moment with each teacher, kneeling in front of each other, not many words needed by this point.

graduation party

Eka and the Handsomes! They were set up on the terrace and played for us as we all danced around with petals underfoot, leaves overhead, and garlands swinging in-between. There were heaps of people – regular Yoga Barn punters – watching from the various studios and decks, so there were eyes and sunshine beaming down on us. Eka is a real performer, he’s got a marvellous voice and sings with heaps of emotion, but he also speaks to the crowd, getting everyone involved, he’s a natural. I can’t recall what songs they were but we variously bopped around, swayed with our arms round each other, and took variations on hugasana ha ha ha. The last song was Untukku by Chrisye. It’s a really well known Indonesian love song, and it was the first song that they played for our shivasana treat last week. We all lost it, it was beautiful.

letting go

I remember other times like this: getting back from guide camp and waiting for parents to arrive, lingering at the end of a wedding, hanging around on someone’s doorstep, holding on after a kiss, not quite stepping through the departure gate. Those times when you don’t want something to end, when you don’t want the inevitability of real life to creep in. You could do ‘good bye’ for ever, there’s always more to say, more to share, but the end is right there, you can taste it and you’re not really paying proper attention because you’re already being pulled apart, the threads are stretching.
If we truly let something go then we can experience it’s true strength, we can see it take it’s own shape and we can watch and see whether it will come back to us. I see my friends go with my love and I’m excited to see what shapes they will take and make in their patch of the universe. I’ll leave Bali and SOSA and experience my own continuing transformation, seeing what stays, what grows, what fizzes.


the prettiest coconut competition continues

kirtan groupies

pretty Yoga Barn

Eka and the Handsomes!!!

yoga love

i got my certificate and magic-ed into a munchkin!

photos from friends, thank you xxx

Previous posts about this trip

SOSA (17/200): awakening
SOSA (51/200): absorbing
run through the rice fields
SOSA (day off): enjoying
SOSA (102/200): deepening
SOSA (day off #2): indulging
SOSA (151.5/200): exploring
SOSA (afternoon off!): vegging
SOSA (day off #3): escaping
SOSA (200/200): doing

One Comment »

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Koh Tao, Thailand said:

    […] find tourists or locals very friendly. Now, admittedly I’d just come from yoga-love Bali and cuddle-love Bang Wan but all the same, a few more smiles wouldn’t have gone amiss. I was […]

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