Saturday, October 10, 2009

back on the yoga mat

Set the alarm up to 7:30 to make sure that I find the Yoga Barn and catch the 8:30 Hatha class. The strong sun outside woke me up even earlier, sign of a warmer day than the previous one. I asked Rai, the lady running the pension for some directions and hit the road. It turned out to be much more difficult to find especially because there were no signs; I ended up trying to enter homes only to be chased by dogs... I guess it was a good warm-up to the class after not being on my mat for almost 2 months now. It turned out to be a very beautiful practice, where the instructor focused mainly on the female energies and balancing the body. I absorbed every single word, every sound, every move and every breath of fresh air... I knew that I missed the asana practice but apparently I missed it (and needed it) more than I realized. My hamstrings though were in the worst condition ever, months of painful (and sometimes even tearful) opening was gone, leaving me unable to touch my hands to the ground once again.

So it is a tried and tested fact now, I love yoga and practicing it makes me feel good in many ways. I don't only mean the physical practice of asanas, the whole thing. However the asanas are also an integral part of the yoga and when that is out of the picture, the rest doesn't really balance out for me.

I have been hearing and reading a lot about the Yoga Barn, and it is one of the primary reasons why I wanted to come to Bali. It did not disappoint me at all. It is located a little off the main road (did I say that there were no signs?) so the traffic noise comfortably stays behind once you enter the studio. He upper level studio overlooks to the rice paddies and has no walls, such a change from the dark and air-conditioned studios that I've been practicing in. And it is full of “yoga types” :) My Hatha class turned out to be women-only, however as I was exiting I saw the mixed group waiting for the Vinyasa Class that was about to start and couldn't help to notice the guys. If Lucy Edge were there, she might have described them as “men with rock-hard bodies that can bend like pretzels but have very soft and sensitive souls” hmm, definitely another boost to keep practicing ;)
I'll be sharing more about the Yoga Barn as I explore it more.

I heard about this place called “Kafe” which has some organic, vegan and raw options so decided to give it a try for breakfast. Another positive surprise as the energy of the place was great, people were friendly and menu is good enough to keep me happy for months. They even have raw chocolate cake (which wasn't the best I had, but could definitely help during intense cravings) The day before, I paid less than 3$ for a 3-meal course with a drink and this breakfast with only 2 side-order size dishes cost 5$. Well I guess good things come with their price tags and the Kafe can definitely be an option for green juices after yoga instead of having full meals there every day.

I took a half-hour nap in the room and had some fruits in the garden of Nirvana while watching people come and go for their batik lessons. I guess we create our own perceptions and surroundings but I felt so much positive energy from the people who were working on their batiks that afternoon. To keep myself surrounded with this bliss wen back to the Kafe, this time armed with my laptop. I sipped tea while working on this blog. Probably because this country produces some of the world's best coffees like Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi, the tea isn't the best what it can be. Well, it feels more like hot water which happens to have some reddish color. If I was here 3 years ago before quitting coffee altogether, I could have had a caffeine overdose everyday. Still I would like to try a few cups before I leave.

As the sun was setting, I had my daily massage and then ate 6 large pieces of papaya for dinner. Tomorrow I plan to visit the Ubud Writers Festival, hoping to catch the interview of Bhutto with Vikas Swarup.

My yoga learning of the day: cracking joints, especially the knees are a result of vata/air between the joints. The intructor said that massaging cracking joints with warm sesame oil about 15 minutes before the practice may be very helpful.
I also wonder how one can replace the air with fluids to make sure that joints are healthier? Vata is generally associated with more “airiness” both in body type and in thinking so perhaps having a more solid foundation both in body and mental posture may be as helpful as sesame oil.
Yogis/yoginis what do you think?


  1. foto yok mu foto?

  2. Honey, I love your blog! I enjoy and will enjoy following your asian days from it.. makes me feel like I am there.. Thank you!

    And.. I was given hazelnut oil for my joints.. I believe what the instructor said is true.. As far as I know, of course according to one's primary dosha, hazelnut and sesame oil are both good for the joints.. I may tell more as my ayurvedic knowledge accumulates.. Still a newbie on the subject :)..

    Hugs and kisses!

  3. @ Ozzy: i find sesame warming and use it a lot for full body massage too (especially when I suffer from stiff shoulders & neck). And I guess it also has a practical element to it; sesame is more available in Asia whereas hazelnut is quite specific to Turkey, right?

  4. Hmm.. never thought it as so, love, but that might be the case.. kisses!

  5. Bir hirka, bir lokma... Bravo :)

  6. @ Anil: bir lokma bir hirka arti bi saat de masaj tabii ki ;)