Sadhana Yoga School

Choosing Your Path

Choosing Your Path

Yoga has been a part of my life before I knew what yoga actually was.  And I’m not talking about being able to bend and twist your body into contortionist postures… I’m referring to a way of being.  Seeing the world with open eyes and an open heart, without holding judgment, and recognizing the connection that we all have to one another and to the earth.  As a young child I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but in what capacity I didn’t know.  Even when I went to my first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, I did not think that teaching yoga was my calling. I just wanted to know more about the spiritual aspects of the practice.  Within the first few days of my program I was inspired, intrigued, and motivated. I knew that I was embarking on the path that I was meant to be on. From that moment forward I knew that I could never know it all, that I would forever be the student on this journey that we call life, and to me that was thrilling.

A month in Bali... no its not like Eat, Pray, Love... But

It's pretty incredible in Bali, and I'm loving it... How could I not? The time has been spent delving deep into my work for Sadhana Yoga School, as I'm here as a facilitator for their 200 HR yoga teacher training.  Basically... teaching people how to be yoga teachers.  And fortunately, I have been blessed with such an amazing and inspirational group of people.  I'm the newest addition to the facilitating team for SYS, and I've been guided here by the outstanding Anita Sundaram & Mindi Baston.  Both highly qualified and impressive teachers, that I have had the pleasure of learning from each day.  

The program has been three and a half weeks of intense training, beginning each morning at 6:00am.  I myself have been getting up a quite a bit earlier to get my own asana practice in before having to teach and assist.  Then I spend the day, preparing for the next... or perhaps hopping in the pool at our resort Jiwa Damai... or working in the permaculture garden planting peanuts and lettuce, or maybe doing a bit of slacklining in the yard. :)

Getting ready to enter the purifying & sacred waters from natural springs at the Pura Tirta Empul (temple)... what a tremendous experience.  Pictured with Swashna, one of the SYS students, and beautiful soul!

We did get some off days too, which I spent exploring with some of the people in the group.  A sunrise hike to the top of Batur volcano, a beach trip, a few Balinese massages, along with some temple visits, and I feel like I'm really experiencing the country.  No doubt that surfing is soon to be had, however it hasn't been top priority.  Yet, with the training about to be over, I have a little bit of time left in the country to jaunt around and explore what else Bali has to offer.

I've already seen so many magnificent and breathtaking rice fields, and been able to get a little bit of the local flavor when I was invited to a Balinese house for dinner.  I would have to say that was the highlight of my trip thus far. There is nothing really like being able to go to a locals house for grinds to get the real experience of what life is like in a completely different culture... on the other side of the world.  I'm very grateful for the invitation and opportunity.

Local style grinds at Vira's house... such a gracious host.  I've been on a strict veggie diet since I've been here, but I had to cave for this delicious fresh caught local fish.  The spread was amazing... and spicy!

Bali is one of the most spiritual places that I've been.  People are unbelievably friendly and welcoming.  The constant honking on the road isn't from annoyed, road rage infused drivers, but from thoughtful and concerned motorists making sure that everyone is aware of the what's going down on the hectic, congested road ways.  I've been able to cruise around a bit on a motorbike and I've got to say... it's a bit nuts... but I like it.

Not only have I had the opportunity to meet all these animated people at the training, but I have also been connected with new people from completely different walks of life.  I had one of my first (that I can really recall) "Blind Friend Dates" with a lovely girl and hiker named Kat.  We were linked by a trail blazer (HR Huff N' Puff) that I once housed in North Carolina, while he was making a stop on his journey on the Appalachian Trail.  He messaged us both making the introduction and we took it upon ourselves to have a meet up, which was absolutely delightful. Also, I got an opportunity to see another randomly made friend, introduced last year by a high school friend of mine, we just happened to both be near Ubud.  Isn't that just great?!  This is how the world works, and you never know when you will be crossing paths with some of the inspirational people that you meet along the way.  Can I just say... I love life!

Lettuce that I planted at Jiwa Damai in their permaculture garden.  I also planted peanuts, which have been growing quite well.  Just some Karma Yoga to give back to the beautiful land that I have been fortunate enough to stay at.  Thanks to the farmers Cedric, Fendi & Gede, you guys are the best!

Seriously... I wake up some days and just have to pinch myself that this is my real life.  I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities that I've been able to have, and will continue to put out the positive energy that has allowed it all to come to fruition.  It's legit... put out into the universe what you want to do and it will happen.  I used to be a radio personality, which I loved, but I felt like I was missing something.  I said, "I want to travel for my work."  It's happening right now. How long it will last, I can't say.  You never know how long something will last, so just allow yourself to be present and in the moment.  Don't think about what's next... you only have right now!

Right before "ecstatic dance" at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, with my new friend Sabine. The dancing in the Bali humidity was sweaty, hot, invigorating, and just what I needed that day... thanks Bee!

More adventures are in store, but less access to the internet... so I will be checking back with a bigger blog post once I make it stateside.  Much love & blessings! - Bad Ash ;)

Bali adventures have begun!

I have made it to Bali!  After the longest flight of my life; Chicago to NYC, 7 hour layover, NYC to Singapore, with a stop to refuel in Frankfurt, then once in Singapore I made a mad dash to catch my flight to Bali, then a hour long car ride... I finally made it to Jiwa Damai.   I will be in Bali for at least a month, doing my second facilitator shadowing for Sadhana Yoga School.  Once I have completed the training, hopefully I will get to enjoy a little more of my time in this beautiful country, doing a little surfing, and adventuring. :)  Stay tuned for more photos & updates!

This was the first person I saw upon landing in Bali... he's giving the thumbs up. :) I think that's a good sign...

One of the many amazing statues that you will see upon arriving into Bali.

A beautiful path, through the lovely resort Jiwa Damai...