Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yoga Barn

blossomed lotus flower

This is Yoga barn...the local studio in Ubud, Bali. What a beautiful place to practice, in the middle of the rice fields, with the humming of frogs and insects reminding us of the vibrancy of life! This is not where our training is, but I have gone to a few classes and Kirtan here. The small statue there is Ganesha who is revered for transforming obstacles on the path towards enlightenment. Wah (a beautiful Kirtan musician and singer) will be performing there this weekend and we are also so blessed with her presence at our training right now. She shared her music and devotion with us the other evening before bed and played again for us today while we were resting in savasana (the final resting pose at the end of a Yoga asana class). Bliss!

It has been nice having lighter raw foods for the past few days. We have been blessed with coconut water, smoothies, seaweed salad, jicama rice, lots of salad, curry coconut soup...and on and on. It is amazing that we have 3 raw meals a day and they keep coming up with new creative delicious dishes. Elaina Love and her crew (Simone and Julia) rock the house! One of the biggest things is that they truly make the food with love and joy! They rock the Beegee's in the kitchen and just really have fun! Elaina's website is out her recipe book and Amazing Nut Milk Bag!

I met someone the other evening on his 2nd day in Bali that read my blog before coming to Bali
(as the amazing world of synchronicities would have it). He began his raw food journey 6 weeks ago. These are not his words, but generally he had previously believed that what you put into your body was not so important because the energy seemed so much more profound. A friend of his convinced him just to try it for 30 days as an experiment to see what would happen. He was amazed and has been raw for 6 weeks now! It brightened my heart because I love to watch the amazing world of synchronicities and it also reminded me to include more about raw in my posts, including food options wherever I might be. In Ubud, there are raw menu items at Bali Buddha, Kafe by Bali Spirit, Dragonfly (also live jazz some nights) and Sari Organic which is an amazing place nestled in the rice fields where they grow their own veggies and make everything fresh to order. Everything I have tried so far has been amazing at all of them, including gazpacho, spring rolls, cacao banana shake, raw raviloi...delish!

My bed is calling as our day was filled with 1 hour of pranayama and meditation, 4 hours of asana practice and 2 hours of other goodies today! Peace! Kelly O :)

What is Yoga?

Rambutan fruit!

Yummy salak...also appropriately called Snakeskin fruit!

I have just finished breakfast and love some yummy new tropical fruits that I have never had before...mangosteen is my new favorite! I guess it is an amazing antioxidant. Rambutan and snakefruit are 2 other new ones I had never had before...yummy too! Aaaah! Today is our 1st full day off since our training began 2 weeks ago. It was lovely to wake up without an alarm (although I still got up at 6 am) and slowly descend the stairs to the lush river that absorbs my morning chants. Yoga is such a beautiful process. What exactly is Yoga is a question that keeps returning as we experience so many different techniques and deepen our intentions. Literally, Yoga means to yoke or Union. Union of the finite Self with the Infinite Creative Consciousness. It is not creating that union, but simply coming into the awareness and remembrance of the ultimate Unity that already exists...acknowledging the Divinity inside each and every one of us. There are many roads or techniques used to experience this remembrance...asana (postures), meditation, concentration, devotion, non-violence, etc. Edward Clark, the creator of Tripsichore from London, is here with us teaching right now. He has helped me experience a few postures I have never been in before. It is such an amazing process to be able, in a short time, to move through fears and beliefs that I can't do something and then exploring the possibility that I can and move in that direction one breath at a time to see what is truly possible. That is part of what Yoga is really about for me...moving beyond what I previously thought what possible by connecting to that Universal Source that nurtures us all so deeply and completely. Good stuff! Being catered 100% raw food daily is so amazing! I have found myself eating more than I probably should because I am excited to try all kinds of new yummies, but luckily my body has been very physically active and returning to fast one day a week is great! Tomorrow I start an optional cleanse that many of us are doing called the Ultimate Cleanse. It basically looks like psyllium and herbal support capsules to help cleanse the intestines and rid the body of excess mucoid plaque. There are also dietary changes, which continues with our raw diet while eliminating some foods like nuts, seeds and bananas for the length of the cleanse, which is 5 days for us. I obviously just completed a big cleanse recently, but since the diet is completely set up for us, I thought I would give it a go and see what happens. I also had a bit of a feeling I might have picked up a little bit of parasites from Guatemala and this is supposed to address that as well. In the 5 day program, it consists of taking about 40 capsules of goodies morning and night, which I am not usually such a big fan of , but several people here have done it before and loved the results (which included excretion of lots of old fecal matter and increased intuition for proper food choices afterwards). Oh, the fun never ends!
I invite you to take a moment (this moment, right now, not later when there will always be a better time, to close your eyes and take several long, deep breaths. watch your breath and watch any thoughts that may arise. connect to that Truth that you are at this very moment in existence. You are infinitely beautiful... I thank you in Gratitude for the endless gifts you share with the Universe and all that you simply are! XOXO Kelly Ordway

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yoga from our mattresses beneath the stars in Gili Meno 2 weeks ago!

Oh, my goodness! What a very rich and rewarding experience! I am sneaking in just a few moments to connect on the computer, but our days our full in so many ways. Our day begins at 6 am with 1 hour of Pranayama and Meditation followed by about 2 hours of Asana practice. All of our food is raw and catered by the amazing Elaina Love and friends! Breakfast at 9 am. Another session at 10 am until lunch at 1 pm. Then, a short afternoon break before another session at 4 pm. Dinner is at 6:30, which is sometimes followed by another session at 7:30 pm. Our teachers range from Neuro-Linguistic Programming to Iyengar Yoga, Kirtan, etc. We have the gentle, deep knowledge of Emil for morning meditation.
Gabriel Cousins came for a few days to share Spiritual Nutrition and a Shakti Pod meditation to awaken the Kundalini energy. This was amazingly powerful for myself and many others. I felt my body guided into some spontaneous movement and I had the visualization that my head gently pushed through to another dimension and I was actually a baby dinosaur slowly and gracefully coming out of my shell into a clean, clear vibration. Gabriel reminded me that it might be my totem animal. Then, several people in my life came to me and I was filled with deep Love and Compassion. There were many other beautiful dynamics, but that is the lovely just of a really powerful spiritual experience.
The food has been absolutely DELICIOUS!! Breakfast has been fresh fruit, cacao smoothies, often grawnola and nut milks, sometimes spirulina balls. Lunch and dinner have been raw miracles ranging from Mexican, Greek, Indian, Italian!! Raw Pizza, lettuce wrap burritos, sprouted quinoa tabouleh, baklava, chocolate amaretto cheesecake...and on and on! We juice fast one day a week...every Thursday.
There is so much more to share, but it is time for another amazing dinner and then we arde heading to town for Kirtan with Dave Stringer at the Yoga Barn. I am filled with the deepest of gratitude!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tirta Empul...the Holy Water Temple

Today, I was honored to be able to go to the Sacred Water Temple called Tirta Empul. My friends' favorite driver, Dewa, took us and came prepared with a rich bag of offerings and fresh plumeria flowers to wear behind our ears. I wasn't sure what we had in store, besides the fact that it is one of Bali's most important temples, it was discovered in AD 962 and is believed to have magical powers. It is a bubbling spring which then gushes through carved waterspouts into 2 sacred pools. It is the main source of the Sungai Pakerisan River.
We were the only white people there, but it was bustling with joyous Balinese and lots of pregnant women peacefully praying for good health (and little boys in Superman undies!). The pool had a long series of spouts towering over with offerings of flowers, incense, money and even cigarettes. You always silently asked for permission to receive the water and it's respective healing benefits before bowing your head under the water (otherwise, it is considered stealing!). The 1st spout was only for people from this village. Most of them were for general health (physical, mental and spiritual), then one for your bad dreams not to come true and a big one at the end mostly for physical health. The 1st one in the other pool was for youth, the 2nd for forgiveness of wrong words said and the last was the general healer of all, which is where people collect holy water. Lovely beyond words!!

We were also lucky enough to be offered to buy fresh, young coconuts from this man. When we said yes, he started climbing! It was a really tall palm and had notches hacked in to make it easier to climb. He seemed really happy at our love and appreciation for the coconuts. They are simply a life saver in this climate...exactly what the body needs! I learned in the Peace Corps that it is the best hydrating drink with perfectly balanced electrolytes. Actually, I'm drinking my 2nd one of the day at this cafe!

Speaking of refreshing...watermelon juice!!! Oh my goodness, really, am I in heaven or what?!
Another benefit of drinking these yummies, is that it supports local agriculture. A friend told us recently that it takes 20 liters of water to produce 1 liter of Coco-Cola...drink local!!
Tomorrow I head to Anahata Resort to begin my 4 week Yoga Teacher Training journey!! Anahata is the Sanskrit name for the heart chakra. I love that about Bali. Namaste Bookshop, Bhakti clothing store, Ganesha Bookshop...Divinity is infused in to daily life! Namaste means the Divine in me bows to the Divine in you! Bhakti means devotion and Ganesha is the Indian elephant-headed deity who helps transforms obstacles to God-realization. And with the spirit of Ganesha, I wish you a blessed day filled with joy and Divine synchroncities (they are everywhere!!) XOXO, Kelly O.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This is the sacred temple at Ulu Watu at sunset. What a beautiful place! To get down to the surf break, which is considered one of the best in the world, you walk down a long staircase, almost into a cave like area. If the tide is low, you can creep through the rocks to a little beach. While down there, we saw a young woman with one arm, putting on her shirt, getting ready to brave the waves. Perhaps you know her story...I guess 4 years ago, at the age of 13, she got her arm bitten off in a shark attack while surfing in California. This courageous young lady got back in the water and has become one of the best female surfers in the world. It makes my heart well up with emotion, just writing about it right now...the amazing perseverance of the human condition...what a true inspiration! We sat a top a cliff, watching her paddle out into waves, in humbled awe. A good reality check and change in perspective.

Here I am snorkeling with the sea monster (that's what my amiga called herself when she saw this photo!) off the Gili Islands. We saw sea turtles, which are happily abundant here...too bad the coral wasn't as healthy. It was the 1st time I had seen sea turtles while snorkeling...they are so magnificent! One was munching on something on the shallow sea bottom, so I swam down to take a closer look. He looked at me and we kind of floated up to the surface staring at each other. It was one of those moments that time simply stopped and the magic of Life was the only vibration. Thank goodness for sea turtles!
Until next time...XOXO, Kelly O

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Acro Yoga, Mother's Day and Besakih

Check out the wing span on that woman!! Pretty cool, huh? Welcome to the world of Acro Yoga! We were fortunate enough to meet some dear, new friends on the island of Gili Air. We arrived on the boat in the pouring rain and dark of the night with little horse buggies offering rides to our cottage. The next day was filled with sunshine and while we were sipping watermelon and papaya juice on the beach, the local owner (who looked just like EZE from NWA!) introduced us to some folks from California. Shortly thereafter, Henri was teaching us FUN!! It takes strength and balance, but is also easy for many people to do and is such a truly fun way to play with yoga! Google it and check it out! I can't wait to get a "flight manual" when I get home!

The days here are so amazingly rich, it is hard to catch up on documenting this experience when so much happens in a single day! Let's start with Mother's Day! On Sunday, we took a day trip to the Mother Temple, also known as Besakih. It is the largest of the sacred temples on the island, but has more recently become more filled with corruption. It is a major income source and the money is not making it's way back into the temple. Several deity statues were stolen recently and visitors are inundated with beggars, vendors and charged unfair amounts to enter. We were so fortunate to have this info ahead of time and left early to be able to arrive by 6:30 am. Most tour groups don't arrive until 10 am, so we had the place completely to ourselves and were able to bypass unnecessary guides and ridiculous entrance fees. We didn't even have to bust out the Bahasa Indonesian language that we learned (Mahal sekali! Very expensive! Saya mau meditasi. I just want to meditate.) The sacred energy was very present as now is the time for re-anchoring in the energy of the Divine Mother in union with the Divine Child. The sacred feminine energy which is so strong on this island of Bali is rooting itself back into humanity. Can you feel it inside of you? We gave offerings, chanted, experienced a very powerful meditation and left in immense gratitude for the great devotion and Truth alive in the Universe. Here we are under the magical cloudy skies... (Mom, Ma-in-law and Sis...the scarves I brought for you are around my neck and waist :) )

To counter balance those peaceful words, here's a funny button I couldn't resist to share!

Another interesting synchronicity happened...we went to Kirtan and the beautiful woman sharing the songs said she came up with the one about Saraswati while sitting on the shores of Lago Atitlan in Guatemala. She found her creative energies to be very present there. Interesting how I just realized her presence in my life shortly after my return from the very same place!
Oh, yes and since this is called Raw in Montana, I should probably talk about food too! There is this amazing restaurant called Sari Organic. It is out in the rice paddies and surrounded by an organic garden where you can pick your food before it is prepared for you if you like! They have amazing salads and raw soups (i have had the gazpacho and chowder so far!). Everything is prepared after you order...each bowl of soup, each salad dressing. It can take a little while to receive your meal, but it is so FRESH and made with Love!! I hope your day is bright...May you radiate the amazing beauty and Truth that you are!! XOXO, Kelly Ordway

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vanilla Beans in the rice paddies of Bali!

Hello sweet lovelies! We started the day with a magical walk through the rice fields. Some villagers were harvesting today, so we got to see them hitting the cut rice against wood planks to separate the rice grains. The fields are lush, green and engulfed in coconut palms and pointy straw hats. A man named Nyoman has a small shop out in the paddies where he sells the family's crafts. He and his wife have amazing paintings...I was called to one in particular and when I inquired further, I found out it was a painting of Saraswasti, the deity of learning and creative appropriate! The picture above is of fresh picked vanilla beans drying in the sun. Did you know that all vanilla beans are hand pollinated now? He also sold red rice and coffee all grown in the fields by his family. He is a sweet soul that saved us from the morning heat with a young, green coconut to drink. Seeing someone live so sustainably and with such joy and peace truly filled our hearts and started the day off right!
It is late and we are happy to be back in the land of raw food choices (Ubud). I can't wait to share more later, but the cafe is calling it a night. In deep gratitude and JOY!!! Kelly Ordway!