Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Student guest blog: Wow! What a great playlist!

by Paula Anderson, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training student

In the still morning air, there is such beauty in simply enjoying a peaceful practice. 

I love arriving at the dark studio for our pre-dawn practice. I tend to arrive right around 5 am everyday. And like all great performances, it's best to arrive early and get settled. The show begins with the assorted melodies of the Roosters crowing and the occasional Cricket percussionists. The Gecko bellows his solo from the horn section and by now the birds are playing in force from the woodwinds. The rolling percussion of the Cicadas brings the symphony to its forte, then a solo rises again steadily from the Frog. Aaaaah, as nature continues to serenade our practice, there are many moments you may not hear any of it, being so tuned in with our breath and asana. Katherine, like any great conductor, leads us with her beautiful voice - easing,  soothing and empowering us to stay ... "just one more minute here, yogis".

And like all great performances, there will be more. So, until tomorrow morning my fellow yogis! See you on your mats when the rooster crows...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Student guest blog: A Circuitous Journey

by Lisa Cosmillo, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training student
Tomorrow I begin the first leg of a journey I have been dreaming about for about 5 years. I never thought this would really happen, and frankly, it all still seems pretty surreal. 

It all began when I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I was moved by her adventures to Italy and her Yoga in India, but it was her descriptions of Bali that pulled me in. I knew as I read those pages, that someday, I would make this trip. However, I never could have foreseen the circuitous route my life would take to get me to this point.

First I had to become addicted to my Yoga practice. For a year, I woke each morning, walked my dogs, sat in meditation, practiced asana. This lovely practice would eventually lead me to join with one of my real estate clients to open my own Yoga studio, cafe, juice bar, and retail shop. The client disappeared, and it was just me. For almost two years, I worked full-time running my real estate business, my studio, shop and cafe and teaching Yoga. Along the way, I had acquired my 200-hour teacher training. 

My business was beautiful. People came, ate, practiced, communed. However, it never quite made enough income to allow me to quit being a real estate broker. So after almost two years, I had no choice but to close down. I was exhausted and had put my income, heart and soul into this endeavor. I spent a month or two in shock, then finally, I realized that out of the ashes, I had gained my teacher certification, my students, my practice... the silver lining of a difficult loss. And I wanted more.

So I began researching advanced trainings.... and very quickly, the Zuna Yoga training in Bali rose to the top...I remembered my passion for the descriptions, the colors, the smells of Bali. My friends encouraged me, my partner cheered me on, my kids weren't happy that I was going without them, but supported me nevertheless. I sent out feelers, made reservations, sent money.... it started getting real. 

Then out of nowhere, about 3 weeks ago, I got very, very sick with the flu. All my time spent getting strong felt like it was slipping away. And then two weeks ago, I get a call -- my little brother's wife had died unexpectedly - a young woman seemingly taken before her time. I pulled my sick body out of bed, got on an airplane and went to Kansas to do what I could to help my brother and his three kids. I told him I would stay if he needed me -- cancel my trip to Bali. But he wouldn't hear of it, my sweet brother told me to go and live my dream.

So here I am, and it's TOMORROW. I board a plane for a part of the world to which I've never been and prepare to jump into 10 or more hours of daily training. I am a bit scared, a lot excited and most of all -- open to whatever each moment holds determined to live and breathe through each new adventure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Student guest blog: Distance, nearing.... it's here!

by Paula Anderson, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training student

I write this from pitstop, Kuala Lumpur, my last "sleepover" enroute to Bali. I've adjusted to the time change seemingly well and I simply just can't believe I'm here and the training will begin in a week!

I had spent time searching for a training that would bring a balance to my 200 hour training based on "Power" Yoga, although I would personally describe myself as a slow flow kid. I had done my prior training in weekend format and I knew I wanted an immersion based program to truly LIVE YOGA.

I began my planning in January, hard to even think back that far! All seemed to be arranged for living yoga (in the future). Then the waiting, and waiting, and wow it's getting close and...

It's nearly present now and the wonder has set in. "I wonder if"...the training will be as scarily intense as the schedule seemed (lol), ...with joy, happiness and an eager heart I look forward to finding out the answer to my wonders and more. I look forward to meeting Everett and Katherine and all my colleagues with whom I will share the experience of a lifetime! I'm signing off, heading to bed and up at 5 am to catch an early bird to Bali! 

Student guest blog: Endings and Beginnings

by Samantha Smith (September 2014 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training)

It is hard to put into words all that I am feeling as the training comes to an end. I have so many mixed emotions about it all: happy for all the friends I have made, excited to see where life and yoga take me, disappointed to see it all go by so quickly. The days were long, but by the end I had become accustomed to the schedule and the simplicity of that focused life. Our last afternoon was the perfect ending to our time here together. I had my first experience with kirtan and it was amazing. I am still astonished by the energy a focused group can bring to a space; the chant to Ganesha has stuck with me since. I am so glad that I opted to do an intensive teacher training with Zuna Yoga rather than the multiple weekends offered back home. Completely immersing yourself in the experience really affords you the opportunity to dedicate yourself 100% to the exploration of yoga and yourself, not only during the scheduled times in the day, but for the duration of your time here.

Samantha making new friends
Today I had a full day of opportunities and choices to explore Bali, and found myself both excited and a bit overwhelmed by the lack of structure. Luckily, I still have another week here in Bali to adjust. Tomorrow I leave Ubud, excited for new adventures around Indonesia and New Zealand, but part of me is not ready to leave this place behind. Nothing lasts forever, and while this journey is ending, my memories and friendships made here will last far beyond today. Thank you to my teachers and fellow trainees for the knowledge, fun and support throughout this training and for making this a trip I will never forget.