May 2010

Top End

Top End

For some people, dying and going to heaven is staying in the Gold Coast Versace Hotel or a 4-hour shiatsu from Mardi Kendall – www.mardishiatsu.com.au. To use the French cliche, chaqu’un a son gout.
In this moment, for me, it is to be accommodated as I am in this loft bedroom at the Darwin Yoga Room, founded and directed by Carole Baillargeron.
I can open the curtains of our little mezzanine and look down on the big yoga warehouse space, replete with all manner of delicious yoga tools. […]

Surrender

The Yoga Shala in Seminyak is an Iyengar school that I attended yesterday. A stunning un-walled space that could hold perhaps 40 people, though we were only four in the evening class.
An ex-pat teacher named Christine took our group in a Beginners Level two session, and a very nice one it was, too.
Iyengar classes aren’t everyone’s cuppa but they do feel like they are quality-controlled because the teachers are certified.
Christine told me that she was nervous about my being in the class. […]

Bali Belly

I miss my home yoga studio on Mitchells Island, but can I really complain about doing yoga in my current paradisal venue: Our Bali Villa –
www.ourbalivilla.com
I think not.
I experienced a happy surprise the other day when I was practising uddiyana bandha breathing. I decided to follow it with nauli, a kriya or cleansing exercise for the abdominal organs. Here’s a wikipedia link of you’d like more information and even a photo. […]

Gifts Keep Giving

The other night I was honoured with an invitation to a Buddhist meditation led by an ex-pat, Rio Helmi, an amazing international photographer – www.riohelmi.com.
He’s a “civilian” rather than a lama, who has set up an amazing sangha space in his Ubud home. […]

Privilege

Privilege

This morning the first view I had from our villa window was of the rice paddy workers planting tender shoots. For me, even as a yogini, and for most Westerners, the planting would be considered back-breaking. These workers seem to work without breaks, sun-up to sun-down.
While they were bent double over their planting, I enjoyed the enormous privilege of doing my yoga practice.
Here in Bali I’m easily reminded – against the fiil of this poor island – how fortunate I am to be able to pursue my practice..
The mortar of Bali is spiritual practice. […]

Bagus

Bagus

Down south in Bali, a little further west than Seminyak, Daniel & I are enjoying Shirley’s beautiful villa for this week.
I keep looking around this big four bedroom house, imagining about 10 people here for a yoga retreat.
Three staff, with one a wonderful cook, mean our every need is being met.
I laid out my yoga mat late in the afternoon and did a general practice. […]

Heading north

Heading north

Daniel and I are in Roseberry on the cusp on a Bali/Darwin holiday, happily escaping the damp chill of Austalia’s eastern seaboard.
Mandy and Paul have the most amazing garden here designed and landscaped by the eccentric Ted, horticulturist extraordinaire. The feature I like best about their garden is the plush groundcover that looks gorgeous and can be walked on, no worries, but also never needs to be mowed. […]

A Tidy Mind

One of Patanjali’s niyama – precepts – is Saucha (which translates as purity or cleanliness). When I was training yoga teachers in Sydney, I would test the trainees to see if they could recall all 10 of the yama and niyama. Saucha often would be the one left out. I thought maybe, as precepts go,  it was not so cool as Satya (honesty) or Ishvarapranidhana (devotion to a higher power).
How many these days would want to be considered pure? I like Donna Fahri’s interpretation of Saucha as wholesome. […]

Amazing Grace

Tonight I became all choked up while singing “Amazing Grace”, as our community choir was using it for our warm-up.
What was that about? I don’t follow any faith so it wasn’t a religious experience, but the group singing was palpably moving. It just caught me in the throat and that was it.
Many years ago at Sydney’s Circular Quay, I was waiting for a ferry when I found myself drawn to a young man positioned right in the middle of the pedestrian traffic singing show tunes, of all things. […]