Category Archives: bali

On to the next one

Like pretty well everyone else out there, the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 has me reflecting on the past year and looking towards the next.  I’ve never really been one for official new years’ resolutions, but I definitely have some goals for 2015.

A year and a half ago, I made a tough decision to leave what was a pretty good job that I was totally comfortable in to pursue one that I knew would have way more challenges and potential emotional difficulties, but that would help set me up for some future goals.  The most immediate of those was doing yoga teacher training, and I’m so happy that I ticked that one off this year.  Big decisions and changes and new people are hard for me so taking the leap was definitely, well….a leap! Ha.

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Going into the new year, I want to take on a few more private clients and by the summer have my schedule set up so that I can teach in a studio setting too.  I find private clients so fulfilling, and with my erratic schedule it’s much easier to make it work, but I really love the energy of a class and can’t wait to start doing that too!

Hand in hand with the teaching goal….I definitely want to make this the year that I start focusing my energy on what I love doing and start to phase out the things that I don’t.

I also want to organize and beautify my home.  Clutter stresses me out, yet I can’t seem to keep it away.  I feel a big purge coming, and afterwards I want to (finally) do some decorating.  I don’t have the innate eye like some people do, so I’m definitely planning on enlisting some friends’ help with this one!

And it wouldn’t be a new years’ post if I didn’t mention some health goals…..

The past few months haven’t been great for me, fitness and eating-wise.  I’m usually really good at motivating myself and keeping myself on track, but for some reason I’ve just totally gone off the rails this fall.  There are certain truths that I know: I feel best when I’m eating healthfully, staying hydrated, sleeping well and making exercise a priority.  Refined sugars give me an instant headache.  Dairy makes me bloated (aside from the fact that I also really hate supporting the industry as a whole).  Less than 8 hours of sleep makes me really grumpy.  Muscles don’t stick around if you’re not using them.

So for 2015, I’m not hoping to do anything revolutionary, simply go back to what my ideal looks like.  I’ll be tracking my workouts again (which I gave up on because it was getting embarrassing….) and maybe tracking my food for a week or two as well, just to create some accountability.  I may even dust off my fitbit – nothing motivates me like competition!  My plan is to start posting some sort of weekly recap on here.  Someone yell at me if you don’t see one around the 7th!

Oh, and another goal….some more advanced asanas.  I really need to work on both strength and flexibility, and there’s nothing like a little headstart!

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Here’s to 2015!!

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SBC: Day 4

4) Thankful Thursday

Today I woke up verrrrrry tired.  So thankful for coffee.

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For balance.  Vegan donuts // Smoothie bowls

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For a strong and able body, that can power through runs and ease into asanas

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(gratuitous Bali memory)

For finally keeping a scoby alive and nailing a new kombucha recipe

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For making the best of things with silly friends

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For these two

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Jailhouse cuisine

Don’t be mistaken – I am definitely NOT likening my amazing month of YTT to being in prison. I am (very) willingly here of my own free will and loving it.

We are fortunate to have a great restaurant that takes care of our meals for us, but I looooove cooking and baking and generally just getting creative in the kitchen. My roommate is the same way. So we’ve been working with the rather limited resources of our villa’s kitchen to create snacks and treats (please don’t tell our teacher about the amount of treats).

Grocery stores essentially don’t exist here, so food-making also involves a certain degree of swiping ingredients. This is where the “jailhouse cuisine” thing comes in. Anyone read/seen Orange is the New Black? It totally reminds me of the prisoners coming up with these prison specialties with the few items they can buy from the dispensary and steal from the cafeteria then cobble together with little more than a microwave. We have a stove top instead of a microwave, but you get the idea.

So far, we’ve made an awesome hummus (it took over an hour), vanilla-infused cocobiotic (think kombucha, but with coconut water instead of tea), and oh-so-much raw vegan chocolate. The chocolate has morphed from a basic coconut oil, cacao and chia seeds to peanut-butter-dipped-chocolate-covered-frozen-banana-bites and almond butter cups made in an ice cube tray. You heard.

Anyway, if you’re ever dying for chocolate and only have some basic pantry ingredients, a bowl, a freezer, and 2 minutes plus some waiting time, you’re in luck. And technically, none of these ingredients are bad for you. They’re all even in the superfoods family. You probably just shouldn’t eat the whole thing in one sitting.

All the measurements are really approximate because ummm I don’t have any measuring tools. But you can eyeball it.

Super Easy Raw Vegan Chocolate
1 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil
4 heaping tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp chia seeds
Optional:
1-2 tbsp vanilla or chocolate or chai (do the chai!) protein powder (this acts as a sweetener)
Chopped raw almonds, raisins or whatever else you can pick out of the breakfast granola
1 pod worth of vanilla seeds
Pinch of sea salt

Make sure your coconut oil is liquid. This happens at above 21•, which is always in Bali. Stir in everything else, making sure to get any lumps of cacao smoothed out. Taste. A lot. Put the whole bowl in the freezer. In about 15 minutes it will be hard enough to roughly chop into pieces and devour.

5 days in

I can’t believe I’m already on day 5! That’s 1/6th of the way done. For all you math whizzes, that’s 17%! What!!

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you need to. Because I can’t tell you how gorgeous it is here. And I still can’t seem to upload photos. Bali is beautiful in general, but the resort (resort doesn’t feel like the right word, because it’s not like the ones you think of in the Caribbean) is insanely so. It’s an eco-resort, so designed to be as natural and sustainable as possible. Every villa is a bit different and actually each owned by an individual family. The villas are open. Not open concept. Open. As in not 4 walls. There’s a full roof and floor and some half walls, but any little bit of nature that wants to come in can. Lizards, bees, frogs, even monkeys! We haven’t had any monkey visitors yet and I hope it stays that way. Apparently they aren’t very friendly. My shower is in the garden. My villa-mate’s toilet is in another garden. It sounds a bit strange but it’s actually amazing.

Every morning we have a practice for 2 hours, then breakfast, then a workshop for 3 hours. In the afternoons we get a bit of free time to study. Or more often, hang out in the pool or the ocean. Soooo necessary because it is HOT here! Another 2 hour practice in the evening, followed by dinner and a very early bedtime.

I don’t know how much I’ll get into details about classes or workshops on here right now. But tomorrow I have to teach my first sequence to the group so that’s exciting/nerve-racking! Just a round of sun salutations, but I’m not very good at speaking in front of groups. I’m really shy and I get embarrassed ridiculously easily. Then I blush, then I get more embarrassed. It’s a vicious cycle. One of the things that I’m actually hoping to take away from this month is more self-assuredness. Probably a pretty necessary quality if I actually want to make a real go of this teaching thing!

Today roomie and I started a cleanse. One week. Just juices, smoothies, teas and a whoooole lot of water. I’ve done cleanses in the past, but never when I’ve been asking my body to not only practice yoga for at least 4, if not 7, hours a day. When it’s 35 degrees. Although I do still feel like I’m taking a break right now. Working in a restaurant is a pretty physically demanding job. I’m often on my feet running around for 14 straight hours, so this should be a piece of cake, right?

Today’s the day!

It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling today. In just a few hours I’ll be checking in to my teacher training, and as I sit in this cafe waiting for the boat to take me back to the mainland from the Gili islands, I’m experiencing every emotion you might expect.

Excitement. Sooooo much excitement. This is what I’ve been waiting for, working for, and looking forward to for a very long time.

Joy. Sheer joy at the thought of spending the next month of my life doing something that brings me so many good vibes.

Sadness. I’ve been enjoying my travels so much, I’m not sure I’m quite ready for them to end. And I miss life back in Toronto already, and I’m barely a quarter of the way through the time I’ll be away.

Trepidation. What if I’m not “good enough”? I know that’s a very un-yoga thing to say, and anytime I have a friend going to a class for the first time I tell them that there’s no “being good at” yoga. But seriously, what if I’m not good?! I was always teacher’s pet, top of the class and my inner child doesn’t know how to be at peace with anything else. And what if I don’t have friends? The other kids don’t like me? I get lost? It seriously feels like the first day at a new school. What will I wear??

And then the more serious concerns: what if I don’t love it like I think I will? What if I’ve put so much of myself into this and I realize it’s not for me? What happens then?

I’m trying hard to focus on the happy emotions, and not let the nerves get the best of me. Because nerves aren’t a bad thing. They let you know that you’re on the edge of something big, something potentially shattering and amazing and life-changing, good and bad and everything in between. Next time I check in, I’ll officially be a yoga teacher in training. And that’s pretty awesome.

safe and sound

After a rather tumultuous nearly 40 (yes, 40) hours of travelling, I finally landed at Denpasar Airport in Bali. I could not have been more excited to see my destination!
I hardly slept the night before – or the night before that for that matter – and I’m terrible at sleeping on crowded planes. Fortunately (?) in all the chaos of missed connections and extra flights, I wound up on an overnight from Seoul to Singapore that was nearly empty and had an entire row of 4 seats to myself to stretch out and sleep for a glorious 3 hours. Needless to say, my first night in Bali was a bit of a write off as I passed out for about 15 hours.
After the first night spent near the airport I headed to Uluwatu, an area famous for its namesake temple and its surfing. The beaches are beautiful! Photos don’t seem to want to upload over this not-so-fast wifi connection, so you’ll just have to take my word for it until I can get a faster connection (hopefully this won’t be in July when I’m back in Toronto!) or you can check out my Instagram where I’ve managed to get a few photos up.
I stayed at a really lovely spot called Bombora Surf Camp with nice clean rooms and a gorgeous outdoor common area for lounging and swimming. Immediately in front of Bombora I was so pleased to find a restaurant called Buddha Soul that had lots of vegetarian options, and just vegetables in general! Anyone with a restricted diet who’s travelled in less developed countries knows it can be a challenge to eat healthy, so this was such a treat!
I spent some time exploring the different beaches, and doing lots of reading to finish up the required books for YTT! Reading is always better when you’re laying out in the sun near the ocean or a pool.
Last night I went to Uluwatu temple for sunset and to watch a Balinese Kecak and Fire Dance. It’s a traditional performance involving a choir of 70 men who go into a state of trance to channel deities, then use performers as a medium to convey a story. The dance is done every night at sunset and I was fortunate to have a beautiful night for it.
Today I was up early (6am seems to be what my body has settled on the past 3 days) for a morning yoga practice, and am preparing to leave the beach for Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre. If anyone has read Eat, Pray, Love, this is where the “love” portion was set. There’s a yoga studio very close to where I’m staying and I’m excited to practice in a class for the first time in over a week. Solo practices can be beautiful but there’s something to be said for moving and breathing in unison.
Time to pack my enormous backpack
(seriously, it feels like it’s as big as I am) and head into the city! Ill try to check in again from Ubud!

Nerves

Tomorrow.

(Well, actually, today.  Less than 9 hours from now.)

I’ll be on a plane to start my journey to Bali.

To say my anxiety level is through the roof might be an understatement.  I’m all packed.  The fridge is empty.  House is clean and ready for my wonderful friend to temporarily move in.  I’m as ready as I can possibly be.  And I still can’t calm down.

I’ve been pacing around.  Picking this up, putting it over there. Wiping the counter one more time.  Reorganizing the books in my carry-on.  The idea of getting any sleep tonight is long gone.

I had a lovely day today.  It’s been a lovely week, really.  I visited with family and dear friends.  Said my “see you soon”s to loved ones.  Almost all of them.  There are still things unsaid, unfinished conversations, that I will try desperately not to allow to consume my thoughts (and surely fail at this).  I’m trying hard to feel settled and remember that things are exactly the way they should be, the way they need to be, right at this moment.

It’s hard to say goodbye, even if it’s just for a short 6 weeks.  Because 6 weeks IS short.  This amazing experience will be over before I know it.  And I’ll be wondering what I was ever so nervous about.

I’m hoping to update at least once a week while I’m away.

And guys?  Leave me comments.  Or write me emails.  Please?  Because it’s not really fair that you’ll get this little peak into what I’m up to and I’ll be left wondering about all of you.

Ok.

Breathe.

xo