Entering the airport in Denpasar Bali was like walking into a tropical garden. Walking into the building a friendly customs officer greeted me with a smile and said “remember – you have to leave Bali in one month, but you will come back” – I immediately believed him and smiled nodding. The garden continued outside to the arrival area and a full moon dragged my eyes to the sky. The feeling of awe filled me and I got chills down my back in the hot tropical night.
Arriving Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali, you can immediately feel the soul of the city. There are no street vendors trying to sell you their merchandise but streets up and down filled with clothes and symbols representing spirituality and the Hindu and Buddhist religions. You will find galleries and arts and crafts made by both local and foreign artists. The many designer cafes, bars and restaurants are filled with healthy food options and the most amazing menu of fruit and vegetable drinks for a healthy lifestyle. In between the streets you can find rice fields and jungles, or beautiful gardens. In the middle of one of those jungles you can find a resort, the monkey forest or like my next-door neighbour – the Yoga barn area.
“All problems are illusions of the mind”
Yoga is a big thing in Ubud. If you like yoga, this must be yoga heaven. The yoga they practice here will massage your soul. Their talented Yogis have a way of practising that makes you open up and work within, releasing all that doesn´t serve you anymore. Fears, anxiety, and worries is released and you are filled with happiness, inner peace and mindful presence. Talking to people here is all about body mind and soul being in balance.
My first meeting with the Yoga barn was a morning flow session. The Instructor started by walking around the room greeting everyone with a bow, before she stood in front of the class and said that the Dalai Lama taught her to think the following as she woke up in the morning:
“I am so lucky to have woken up to a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am not going to have angry thoughts or think badly of others. Instead I will benefit others as much as I can.”
The meditative yoga lessons vary from calming quiet stretching, via heavy muscle building positions to crazy dancing. Do whatever you feel like any given day. This is a must do thing when in Ubud. There are people from all over the world and of both sexes. In Bali, meditation, yoga and mindfulness, is an important part of everyday life whether you are a businessman or a stay at home mom. It takes a few days to get used to it, but what a fabulous experience. We have a lot to learn about inner balance in the western world.
“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions”.
– B.K.S. Iyengar