I floated back to Saigon on a cloud of peace, love, mung beans and yoga, and only realized I was back in the heart of Saigon when I awoke to find my taxi driving the wrong way down a 6 lane highway.
For those of you who didn’t know – I traveled to Bali for a month to do a Yoga teacher training. If you are only interested in Saigon, and not Yoga – STOP HERE…the rest is pure yogic revelation and divine insight.
The course was extremely intense, up at the crack of dawn every morning for pranayama (breath control) and meditation. An asana (yoga posture) practice followed that. Late mornings were reserved for yogic philosophy and self inquiry, early afternoons for anatomy, yoga therapy and teaching, and late afternoons for another yoga practice. Evenings were spent learning YogaContact (a form of rehabilitative massage) or watching yoga videos.
Yoga overdose! Normally I would have thought so, but I couldn’t get enough.
Yoga practice was periodically punctuated with lettuce, nuts and seeds. It was a completely vegan, wheat free, sugar free, all things fun and stimulating free diet. Some days it was pretty tough. But, I became so light, my eyes sparkled like I was newly born, my skin shone, even my hair curled gently! Since returning, I have indulged in more than one super cheesy pizza, but no meat – yet.
I don’t know if my personal Saigon Blog is the best forum for me to really express how incredible it was. I experienced one true miracle. I shed a lot of tears. I melted some solid anger that has taken me years to move. I observed 3 days of silence. I swam daily. I strolled through rice fields every morning. I bent myself into paperclip shapes with joy. I was blessed in holy water. I met Ateeka: my most special teacher, friend, guru, bhakti mother. I chanted and sang kirtan as loud as I could every day. I definitely woke God up, and let him know I was back! Yeah baby!
So, how bout some pictures then? Here are some random pictures from my teacher training.
Not a bad way to greet the new day.....the view from our ocean front yogashala in Chandidasa.
Mandala art works, that we did with Renee. Mine is the purple one with the red petals. It's called 'power'.
Getting blessed in sacred waters of the Ashram Lembah Bhayam, and singing to keep ourselves from catching pneumonia.
Blessings in the sacred spring.
The sublime, most incredible Ketut Arsana
, at Ashram Lembah Bhayam.
My Bhakti sister, friend, guru: Ateeka, and the incredibly hillarious yogic anatomist - Will
My bungalow in Ubud. The open air design made everyone feel welcome, including the rice rats.
Ah, the swimming pool. You could find me here when I wasn't twisting myself into knots.
Asana adjustment class in our beautiful shala in Ubud. In the morning we were serenaded by a chorus of doves and roosters, and in the evenings, a symphony of carnivorous mosquitos.
Blokes do yoga too! And they wear skirts! The wonderful boys on our retreat - adding a bit of a balance.Awahoshi,
playing her beautiful crystal bowls for us - a divine experience.
The final goodbye. That's me at the front, looking concerned at my hand...I had just found a baby bird and it was resting in my open palm, much to my wonder and distraction.
My little bird, healed and resting in the garden, completely unafraid of people.
More pictures as I feel inspired. Working very hard towards new business opening this Monday! One guess what it will be? I'll keep you posted, and might see some of you for a spiritual workout.