The rainy season seems to have officially started here (and I seem to be the only person who is obsessed about it). Today I also woke up with the sound of the rain, turned around a little in the bed and decided that a few drops of water should not get in between me and my mat. Had my usual breakfast of a bowl of fruit salad and a pot of tea while watching the rain and the rabbit. I don't know his name, but until I saw him, I thought the rabbits were timid creatures, running away a mile with the sight of a human being. This one jumps to my feet an sniffles around for some food and I feed him some bananas from my hand every day. If I figure out a way to shoot his photo while I feed him I will definitely post a pic, he is so friendly and lovely.
Then I went to the Forrest Yoga class. I never heard of it before, but last Friday it had the most convenient timing for me so I ended up attending. So far it's been only two classes, yet from what I understand, Forrest Yoga seems to focus more on prana and core work with a gentler pace. Don't be mistaken with the gentler pace bit though, you feel every bit of muscle around your abs the day after! It is quite a different experience trying to relax your facial muscles, especially the chin and the neck while your abs are contracted to the extreme. The instructor Cat is very motivating so the class goes really fun and smooth. I am always very distracted during the pranayama and the meditation (especially if it is before the asana practice) however today she guided us in such a way that I could stay focused on my breath and within my body for a considerably long time. Last time I could really dive into the meditation was during Paul Dallaghan's workshop in Dubai, which was way back in the spring. (I wouldn't really consider myself as a fan for his teaching style, yet he definitely knows how to capture his students and give them the opportunity to learn what they need.)
That super-short period of stillness of the mind had such an impact on me! I was planning to do a million stuff after the class, however I could only bring myself to get down the stairs to the Little K, sit down and watch the green scenery in a blissful silence. I could only describe it as having my senses cleaned... The trees were greener, the sound of the small stream running nearby was much clearer. After a long time, I had a nice, soothing comfortable feeling inside of me... Like I am full and whole again, that “someone punched a hole right through me and I am empty” feeling was gone for the first time in a week. Maybe I am healing or maybe it's too soon... Maybe it's a sneak preview of how I will feel when I am healed. Whatever it was, I liked it
After spending almost 4 hours in the little K, with a smile on my face the entire time, I was ready to go back on the streets. Shot some more photos for the Galungan preparations, and had a massage in Lena's Reflexology Spa. It was one of the best I had in Ubud so far, so I am happy to find a reliable massage salon now. (The spa is called Bugar Sehat and has two branches, one if Jl. Hanoman and the other on Jl Raya Ubud, if anyone reading this happens to be in Bali and would like to give it a try)
In the evening I wanted to try the Buddha Cafe and got miserably lost because I was given the wrong directions. Finally it turned out to be very near to my place. There's a small store downstairs with a selection of organic food items, cleaning products, raw food etc. So I won't have to worry about my organic shampoo running out, which is good news. I don't know maybe it was just bad timing but in the cafe section, neither the food nor the service was the best that it could be. Probably due to a slower pace of life, the service in Bali generally seems to be quite relaxed anyways. Receiving a menu, having your order taken, drinks to arrive etc are all like stages in life that come gradually with age. Maybe there's a superstition that if you go through all these stages quickly, you won't appreciate the food? I don't know... There are people from all over the world here and everyone smiles through this slow service, but I have a feeling if this was the pace in our home countries, we would have snapped within the first 5 minutes.
My yoga learning for the day: Wow this one was big! You know all this talk about breathing to the pain and staying with it... It generally works for me to some extent but was never the complete answer, especially with the hip/upper leg/lower back openers as they are super-painful for me. During the Forrest Yoga class, Cat said “ breathe in, send the prana to the area of tension or pain and then when you breathe out, send the pain to the earth. We often don't know what to do with the pain, but the earth does and takes care of it” Wow, this sounds more much more complete than just breathing in. Inhale... Then what? The missing part is finally answered... I tried it with the Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), really trying to breathe into the area of pain (Say your tense area is lower back, when you really master this, you should be able to feel your lower back expanding as you breathe in. A good way to test it is to lightly put your hand into the area an see if your body pushes it up when you inhale) Then as I exhaled, I imagined the tension leaving my body though my sitting bones and flowing down to the earth. It worked, it really worked and I felt that “extra milimeter of opening” with a very relieving feeling. Then I tried with my shoulders and now I can grab my wrist with the other hand behind my back during the Cow Face pose ( Gomukhasana).
Try all this with a relaxed jaw if you can :)