Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Me Doing the Tourist Thing
After the 108 Sun Salutations, I studied and studied until I couldn't study anymore. When I realized that there would be no more information going into my brain, I decided that I knew enough. To occupy the evening, Kelly and I decided to take a walk into Ubud to explore, shop, and to grab some dinner. We did some typical touristy things like taking photos of statues and poking around in some of the shops, and found a street vendor who carved pictures into wooden surfboard signs. Both of us wanted one, so Kelly put her negotiation skills to work and scored us a great deal for one each, and got her name carved into hers. We continued our adventure with a search for some food. Afterwards, we chose was a bubble tea cafe right across from the restaurant. Kelly informed me that Asians loved bubble tea, herself included. I mentioned that I had a friend in Toronto who worked at a bubble tea cafe, but I had never actually heard of it before that. She ordered her tapioca-filled chai tea and let me try a bit. I was surprised to find the tapioca was actually yummy, if a bit chewy.
Yoga Barn - Stairway to the Cafe & Lounge
After dinner we decided we wanted to check out a yoga store across town. We settled on a place called 'Yoga Barn' and set out to find it. We passed by some really elegant restaurants before the sun finally set. We walked into a very dark street and found a small homemade essential oils shop. Kelly kept me in the shop against my will for far too long, ultimately only buying only one small jar of oil before we went on our way. It was very nerve-wracking for both of us as we weaved through the dark, empty streets. We found a few magnificent entrances and made sure to take our tourist pictures in front of them. We laughed and joked as we made our way, and Kelly kept asking me if I was sure that I knew where I was going. At one point I answered with, “nope, just winging it!” before quickly assuring her that I was good with directions. After a good 20 minute hike through the unlit streets, we found Yoga Barn.
The Yoga Barn - Whisper Zone
As we drew closer to Yoga Barn, a young lady rode past us on the back of a scooter, and I heard her tell the driver that she was from Toronto. I couldn't resist the urge to excitedly yell out, “hey! Toronto!” She turned back and whooped at me, and Kelly and I laughed. What were the chances? There were a lot more Canadians in Bali than I realized! We finally made it to Yoga Barn and entered into a foyer labelled the “Whisper Zone.” We made our way down a long downward-sloping hallway, which led to an office and small essential oil stand. A set of stairs opened onto a massive cafe and lounge area, and on the other side of this area was a large set of stairs that led to a second floor where all of their classes were held. Underneath this set of stairs, I found the store I was looking for, but I was greatly disappointed to realize that they only sold sizes small and extra small. There was nothing there that would fit me, so after looking a bit more, we made our way out in search of a scooter taxi.
Balinese Entrance Dressed for a Wedding
The first scooter service we found was out front of a supermarket. Kelly and I secured a scooter but decided to check out the market first. I wasn't expecting to spend much money, but I left with my backpack full. We found some really nice candles and trinkets, including a cool magnet in the shape of the island of Bali. It even had Ubud marked on it. I also grabbed an incense burner, more sleeves of flavoured Oreos, and a few bottles of water since they were much cheaper there. Kelly had to purchase a reusable shopping bag to stow all her stuff; she had purchased all of her friend's gifts from Bali in one go.We found that our bags were too packed to fit onto one scooter, and quickly commandeered another. The scooter ride home was fun, and I held on tight as my driver zipped through the streets. He must have really liked my sound effects because he asked to be my scooter guy again if he could! I was thrilled with this suggestion, because I was actually in need of a scooter for the next day. I had decided after our Chakra meditation that I wanted a private Chakra healing with Savitri, our philosophy teacher. This healing would take place across town at the Ubud Yoga Centre after my exam the next day.
That evening, I excitedly showed Nina all of the goodies I had purchased as we studied and discussed the day’s adventures. I chatted with my mom on Facetime for a bit before I finally laid my head onto my pillow. As I fell asleep that night, I felt confident and prepared for my exam the next morning. I knew I had studied as much as I possibly could and knew everything I needed to know in order to pass. That was the only thing that I was resting easy on, because I sure wasn't resting easy on that mattress.
The Last Coffee at the Dragonfly Cafe
I awoke the next morning in a surprisingly good mood. I was excited to complete the process, although I would miss all the wonderful people I’d met. I was also very excited for my private Chakra healing with Savitri. I made my way down the path, repeating all of the terminology to myself as I did. At the Yoga Shala, I found a spot on the floor, set up my mat, made my block desk that had been my creation a few weeks earlier, and got ready to complete my exam. I found it much easier to take notes when I stacked nine blocks in three columns of three for a make-shift desk. The instructors gave us a good luck speech before handing it out and walked us through every question on the exam. They assured us that they would be there to clarify questions if we needed, then handed out our exams. I started with the philosophy portion, getting as much information onto the paper as I could. I knew I was stronger with the other sections so I left them for last. There were only a few questions on the entire exam that I left blank, but I was confident that I had passed. I was the fourth Yogi to finish their exam. It was interesting to see that Nina and myself, along with our suite-mates Kelly and Tori, were the first four to finish. I handed my exam in and walked away feeling more confident than I had the entire duration of my stay in Bali. I knew I would be a Yoga Instructor the next day.
Kelly, Myself, & Maggie
Kelly, Maggie and I decided to get some brunch at The Dragonfly restaurant on our path. Maggie is a kind, caring Yogi from Poland. Maggie’s presence in Bali was a true testament to strength, as she was still healing from a traumatic injury that had broken her spine the year before and she had still participated and worked hard during our training. My memories of that breakfast will never leave me, as I bonded so deeply with those two ladies. We talked about our past traumas, told each other our stories and discussed how we overcame them against all odds. We laughed, we cried, and we became lifelong friends. Plus, the breakfast was absolutely delicious! I ordered a smoothie bowl, pancakes, bacon, and eggs. I left that restaurant with a full belly and a fuller heart as I made my way to my guest house to meet my scooter driver.
The scooter guy was very happy to see me. We joked and laughed as we made our way through the streets of Ubud on our 20 minute journey to the Ubud Yoga Centre. Once there, I paid the man and made my way inside. There was a small store in the front, where I bought a neat notebook and purple yoga strap. Inside, I met Savitri, who was excited to show me the incredible space she had booked for our Chakra healing. And as we made our way up the stairs, my jaw dropped. We were on the roof of the Ubud Yoga Centre in a private room, overlooking a beautiful river and the town of Ubud. I could see other rooftops of houses and businesses, and a lot of lush greenery and palm trees. It was absolutely stunning.
The View from the Top of the Ubud Yoga Centre
Before we began the healing, Savitri asked me why I wanted this done. I explained to her my past traumas and some of the abuse I suffered as a child, and how I felt it was still holding me back energetically. After the reaction I had to the Chakra meditation, I knew there was more healing to do. Savitri then asked me to lay down on the table on my back and she placed a stone of each colour of Chakra on the corresponding Chakra of my body. She then began the healing.
She started with my Crown Chakra. She dangled a crystal on a chain over the crown of my head and waited to see what would happen. The crystal began to move in a medium circle clockwise above my Crown Chakra. That was Savitri’s signal that the Chakra was healthy. My Third Eye Chakra was healthy as well. At my Throat Chakra, Savitri paused and asked me if I had any issues communicating my boundaries and saying no to people. I wasn't sure how to answer this question: sometimes I could communicate, but other times I would just get angry,walk away and complain about it behind the person's back. That is 100% an area that I am working on improving as I fully believe that being real and at times blunt is better than keeping something behind someone's back.
Next she moved to my Heart Chakra. The crystal began to move in a very large circle clockwise above my Chakra, indicating I have a very big heart. This was honestly something I already knew, but it was nice to see it confirmed energetically as well. She moved down to my Solar Plexus Chakra, located behind the naval. The crystal stopped moving all together and hung straight down. This indicated that the Chakra was unhealthy and needed work. This Chakra is associated with self-esteem and your sense of purpose. I immediately mentioned the moment after the Sun Salutations when Spyros mentioned thanking our parents for bringing us into this world. I realized in that moment, despite how hard I tried to appear confident, or did appear confident to others, inside I felt like I had no place in the world and still suffered from low self esteem.
She moved down to my Sacral Chakra, located just above the pelvis. The Sacral Chakra holds our sexual energies. The crystal once again began to spin in a medium clockwise circle, indicating that Chakra was healthy. I was relieved and thankful that this Chakra was healthy, as I had worked hard to heal from the abuse I suffered as a child. The final Chakra is the Root Chakra, located in the genitals. The Root Chakra represents your grounding. The crystal, once again, hung still, making no movement at all - another indication that this Chakra was unhealthy and needed healing. I thought about the Chakra meditation that Savitri had led the week before, and how I’d began to weep while she was focused on the Root Chakra. It slowed slightly in the Sacral Chakra, but returned to a sob while she focused on the Solar Plexus Chakra. From there it slowly tapered off, and then I felt the heat on my entire body. I realized I was now a full believer in Chakras and what they represented.
Chakra Healing: Before & After Selfie
Savitri then commenced the repair process. I wept, a lot. I felt the release happening as she worked her magic. She did some basic healing exercises with me and then finished off with a prayer. I was amazed at how clear and calm I felt when she was finished. We talked about how I felt after and she suggested a few things to do once I got home. She also suggested that I take a few minutes to feel the grass between my toes. I can distinctly remember the feeling. The cushy blades of grass between my toes, the soft, warm ground beneath my feet. I felt like a kid again, experiencing the feeling for the first time in a very long time. At home, I didn't usually walk barefoot in grass anymore, especially with so many ticks in the County. It was a memorable feeling. I took one last look at the view and we made our way back down into the Ubud Yoga Centre. I was sad to say goodbye to Savitri, but I knew we had both come into each other's lived for a purpose, and that purpose was complete. Savitri and I actually have a lot in common. It makes sense that I would be drawn to her to be my healer.