So how did I end up at a Yoga retreat in Bali?
I’m writing this in the Yoga shala, at the end of a magical day, which brought to a close an even more magical week: the sound of the ocean behind me, a light breeze on my shoulders and sitting under a single, bright light shining on the statue of Shiva.
The sequence of events that brought me here - to this space, on this evening - began more than a year ago. A difficult and trying year steered me onto the path, on which I am today.
It began during a magical back-bending workshop with Talia Sutra which offered guidance: Yoga might just be my savior. That workshop, the juicy backbends which I love so much, making my body move and bend beyond what I imagined possible, and opening my mind wide in exactly the same way inspired me to buy my very first journal.
As emotions started bubbling up after those deep backbends, I headed straight for the nearest bookstore to buy a journal. I knew I had found the right one, when I picked a notebook from the back of the shelf with the title ‘My head is a jungle’. As my jungle of thoughts poured into words I put on that paper, I finally felt the liberating sensation that journaling can provide. The toughest emotions were the hardest to put on paper. But when I acknowledged their existence in the outside world, rather than letting them run free in the wilderness of my mind, dealing with them became so much easier.
A few days after the Talia Sutra’s back-bending workshop, I found myself scrolling the Supersoul Yoga website, to see what else Dee had to offer. I discovered a Bali retreat with Meghan Currie just a month away and knew I had to go.
Within a week’s time my whole trip was booked! I was over the moon, imagining a few sweaty workouts, some meditating and spending quality time with myself.
Little did I know how fulfilling this time would be. And how could I, when I had never experienced such a calm, steady, but emotionally rich state that lasted for days! My impressions are like a collection of jewels, precious to me:
The early mornings, with the sun up and beaming at the beautiful ocean outside my room, began with a light breakfast and mandatory dip in the pool for refreshment before the morning class. The feel of rolling out my mat in the shala with a view of the Indian ocean, palm trees and the smell of incense. All of my senses on fire, absorbing, taking in and storing these impressions, so that I can always come back to this moment.
The sweaty, juicy morning flow, which lasted for three hours – I enjoyed every moment. Then a refreshing brunch, everyone sitting together after class, smiling. The relaxing afternoons by the pool, or exploring Canggu, or reading a good book while in the pool, while in the sun and zipping on a smoothie. The afternoon yin classes, which my body needed so much – surrendering, letting go, being there. The amazing sunsets at the end of class, bathing us all in shades of pink, orange and gold. The days ended with scrumptious dinners and long conversations with lots of laughs until we all fell, grateful and flowing, into bed.
The best part of it all – and perhaps most unexpected – was the lovely group of humans that I met. Complete strangers that came together for one week, each with their own intention and wildly individual story and background. These beautiful people became my family for the week and beyond. Connections and moments shared during a sacred cacao ceremony, locking eyes during class, hugging just because it felt good to get heart-to-heart with someone else sharing in this rich experience.
Really, there are no words to describe the lasting impression that a week full of Yoga, laughter, sun, ocean waves, joy, sharing, people, stories, saunas and cold pools, steam baths and sound baths, chanting, raw cacao, aerial yoga, ecstatic dancing, sunsets, incense, meditating and smiling leaves on the heart.
Perhaps Meghan said it best: on a beautiful, sunny morning she asked us to picture our thoughts and emotions as balloons. And then to look down to our hands and see how many, many balloon strings we were holding. And to follow those strings, look up and see how many, many balloons were floating above us, covering the beautiful blue sky. And to look around and see that everyone else is living with so many strings of balloons in their hands as well. To notice the way in which all of those balloons were blocking our collective view of the clear blue sky... and then to let them go.
These words will light the path for me after the retreat... to learn to let go of those balloons and get a clear view of the beautiful blue sky above.
Thank you Dee and Meghan!