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Kats Spiritual Yogi Experience in Ubud – Day 6, 7 & 8

INDONESIA | Sunday, 6 September 2015 | Views [395]

DAY 6 - Thur, Sep 3rd 2015

Early start at Radiantly Alive. I participated in a 1.5 hr Qi Gong class for the first time. It is similar to Tai Chi in which you focus on slow mindful movements and breathing to open the pathways within the body for life energy to flow. The class was led by a fellow kiwi named Peter who had a wonderful sense of humour and loved to chat. We didn’t actually do much in the way of Qi Gong movements at all as we mainly talked, and played with each other’s and our own energy balls. Sounds weird? Well it was, but you can actually feel the invisible energy within your hands. We practiced one small movement sequence focused on grounding ourselves, and its amazing how complicated something seemingly simple could be.

Afterwards I headed back to the hotel for breakfast. I had planned on going straight back to the RA studio for Acacias awesome Pilates class but every inch of me screamed “REST” so I had a nap instead! It’s the first day I actually felt sore and fatigued. After a nap I listened to some of Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolles talks on Youtube and read my Yoga Anatomy book next to the pool. Hard life right?! I had hoped to get some sunbathing in but the hotel is covered with tall trees, and the day turned out to be heavily overcast anyway. Nevertheless, I was very grateful to be warm and enjoyed and being outside resting.

Early evening I headed to Yoga Barn for a 1.5 hr Shamanic Breathwork class. I thought it was just a meditation class, and it was kinda, but I should have cottoned on to the name “breathworks”. 35 participants and only one teacher with 10 minutes of mental preparation beforehand compared to roughly 15 people with 3 teachers and 2 hours of preparation at RA. I didn’t feel particularly safe enough to let go like I did in the workshop and I wasn’t particularly ready to go on that journey again just yet anyway. I shouldn’t have worried though as this class wasn’t as deep and intense. Afterwards people spoke about having crazy dreams/journeys where they met an angel or became a wolf or released a shadow within etc. Nothing about releasing deep seated trauma where they were in physical pain, although it sounds like their experiences brought on a massive sense of calm and peace which is fantastic.  I felt a little disappointed that I missed out actually as those dreams sounded pretty neat! I did dream, but I think I stepped off a sidewalk and fell (you know that feeling?) because my whole body twitched and I ‘woke’ up and didn’t remember a thing. Doh! My fingertips were buzzing with strong pockets of circular energy though which was the highlight of the whole experience for me.

DAY 7 – Fri, Sep 4th 2015

Another early start at Radiantly Alive for a 1.5 hr Gentle Flow class. It was a lovely class to start the day and was exactly matched to the amount of energy I had at that moment. Noga always likes to set an intention and today’s was focusing on the spark we feel inside when we learn something new. That’s the good thing about Yoga, there is always something new to learn, no matter how advanced you are. We ended the class with a pranayama breathing exercise to realign both the left and right sides of the brain.

Straight afterwards I tried out the Tibetan Heart Yoga class with Mesi. It was a beautiful 1.5 hr class mainly focused on partner exercises, meditation (including with the Tibetan Bowl sounds), visualization and chanting to connect ourselves to the present moment and to our hearts, and to project love and blessings from within outward into the world. Very peaceful and centering. I’ve always felt a bit resistant to chanting but I was surprised to discover that the experience felt very harmonious and calming.

I had planned on going to a meditation class at Yoga Barn that afternoon but felt after that class that I didn’t need any more that day. I decided to go for a wander down the main street checking out the shops and seeing as it was a hot day, headed back to the pool for a swim to cool down. Bliss.

That evening I went to Mesi’s 1.5 hr Yin Class at RA. I have practiced Yin before back at Yoga-Me where I did my training so I was prepared. You usually end up loving or hating Yin as it can be rather uncomfortable and painful. You hold around 10 poses for 3 – 5 minutes without using muscles or stamina as you are essentially targeting all the connective tissue. The idea is that the longer you hold the poses and lose yourself in the breath, the more you relax into it and your connective tissues release’s its tightness. It’s a fantastic test of your mental boundaries!

DAY 8 – Sat, Sep 5th 2015

Really enjoyed my first official Ashtanga class today. Generally it’s the same sequence each class so you don’t usually need a teacher’s direction but this class was led by Sanna as to allow those new to the sequence to learn it. It’s basically just a power vinyasa flow sequence but it’s quite strict with matching the breath to each movement and you hold main asanas for 5 breaths. I found the breathing to be incredibly beneficial and meditative. Because I was so entrenched in my breath, I felt strong, flexible and centered and my mind didn’t convince me that I was tired or that it was hard, although it was challenging. Yoga is all about unity – union between all opposites and union between mind, body and soul. I really felt that in this class.

Had lunch enjoying a view of a beautiful green rice field, then got tortured for an hour getting a reflexology massage on my feet and legs. I tried looking at the Chinese chart pinpointing parts on the feet that match internal organs to see which areas that I may have issues with. I felt pain everywhere so my diagnoses mustn’t be good haha. It was worth it though, my feet felt amazing afterwards. We don’t give nearly enough attention to our feet, yet they provide us with freedom of movement and they help to hold us upright every single day.

Went to a 1.5 hr Iyengar class at Yoga Barn. BKS Iyengar is a yogi master who created his own unique way to teach yoga and is an absolute legend so I was interested to see what this class offered. The teacher pulled apart poses that I have clearly become too comfortable with. Going through them again in minute detail was a reminder not to follow the habits of my yoga practice and to focus on what each individual muscle is doing and what I could change or improve. We also used hanging off a rope drilled into the wall to feel different muscles in poses like down dog and head stand which was interesting.

Afterwards I treated myself to another shoulder massage. This will most likely be my last pampering for this trip and that is a sad thought! Only 2 full days to go….

 

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