Yoga Teacher Training Bali Summer 2018
I spent my college graduation money on a trip to Bali. While I was there I immersed myself in the ancient philosophies of yoga and aryuveda. I lived in the jungle, by the beach and explored the cities. It is safe to say, Bali was the most transformative experience of my life.
This was the first time I had ever traveled on my own let alone around the world by myself. So naturally it was important to me to find a recommendation from someone I knew. I was looking for a 200HR Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Program abroad and luckily, my girl Syd was able to refer me to Kula Collective. Kula hosts different YTTs and retreats around the world…which is exactly what I was looking for.
Graduation passed, July came quickly, and before I knew it I was on my way to Indonesia.
I landed in the Denpasar airport, drove two hours to go eight miles, and spent the first night in Canggu reading my assigned work and getting excited for the adventure ahead.
HERE’S SOME BASIC INFO…
SCHOOL: Kula Collectieve
DURATION: July 5th - 30th
COUNTRY: Bali, Indonesia
LOCATION #1: Batu Karu Coffee Estate
LOCATION #2: Kura Kura Yoga Retreat
BatuKaru Coffee Estate
After meeting up with the group in Canggu, we traveled together to the BatuKaru Coffee Estate.
Mount Batukaru is the second largest mountain in Bali and is worshipped by the Balinese.
Located deep in the jungle and protected from tourists, we were dropped off at the base of the mountain and set out to hike to the BatuKaru Coffee Estate. On our way there we stopped for a tradition Balinese tradition - The Balinese Water Ceremony.
The Balinese Water Ceremony
The Balinese Water Ceremony is a cultural tradition and sacred purification ritual. The purpose of the ceremony is to release energetic blockages and promote spiritual healing. Before the ceremony we were given a sarong to change in to and a lesson on the sacred land. During the ceremony we were guided by a Balinese priest through meditation as he prepared holy water with flowers and incense while chanting mantras in ancient sanskrit.
After the mantras, we were invited to receive a holy water blessing as water was sprinkled over our heads. Then we were guided into the river where we submerged our entire bodies into the water. At the end we drank three sips of water as a sign of spiritual purification. The intention is to flush away all the impurities of the mind, body and soul before entering the BatuKaru Coffee Estate property.
AN AVERAGE DAY
We had three teachers. Sanni, Cher & Stevie. Each so beautifully unique in their own way. They split us into groups and assigned us jobs to rotate for the duration of our time together. One group rang the bells at rising and meal times, others tidied up after class and the last group was in charge of taking care of things as they come up.
This is what our daily schedule looked like:
6AM - Wake up
Every morning we wake up with the sun to practice yoga.
6:30AM to 8:30AM - Yoga
After yoga we have time to reflect and journal on our morning while we wait for breakfast.
9AM - Breakfast
After breakfast theres time to finish up any omwork before our first class.
10AM to 12:45 - Class
Then depending on what we are covering we will have different classes before lunch.
1PM - Lunch
During lunch we have time to eat and review any info we learned or are about to go over in our next round of classes after lunch.
After lunch is usually when we practice anatomy of yoga, proper form and how to cue yoga poses.
2PM to 5:45PM - Class
After hours in the Yoga Shala, it’s time for dinner!
6PM - Dinner
Some days we are done at dinner and other days we have satsang.
8PM - Satsang
Satsang is a spiritual gathering where we sit in a circle, sing songs and go through different yogic rituals.
THE COURSE WORK
Now that you’ve seen what an average day looks like, let’s explore the course work as a whole.
Our program was split up into three parts: the lower, middle and upper worlds. During each portion we explored different parts of ourselves along our spiritual journey.
The lower world teaches us how to harmonize our relationship with our inner shadow. Although it is said to be the underworld, it has beautiful teachings. Expressing through the element of Earth the lower world is about letting go of the past, shedding the layers of the ego and walking gently as we prepare for transformation. The lower world was really intense for me. I didn’t realize it but I was holding on to traumas from situations that happened all the way back to high school. I forgave the bullies and released their control on my subconscious. It was freeing but super intense and even my dreams were crazy.
The middle world teaches us how to live authentically as we walk on earth. The middle world includes all elements of nature. It is about transcending fear and darkness while letting go of old conditioning and constructs. The middle world shows us the way of the luminous warrior with no enemies. I really focused on overcoming fear during the middle world. I learned it is something that will always be prevalent in my life but if I stay centered and use the tools I learned everything will be okay.
The upper world teaches us to access our power. Heaven if you will - expressed through Pure Consciousness. Seeing from a new perspective and transcending the form of the mind and body. Since this was the final part of our training a lot of the heavy work had already been done and we were able to focus on inspiring our awakened states of being. In the upper world we were dreaming and manifesting. This is where I went on a vision quest and saw a wellness center. Me running a wellness center. How amazing is that? A wellness center that has now turned into Namaste Living. I painted what I saw and now it hangs in my office as a reminder of what I am meant to do.
Now in terms of the actual course work and not just the spiritual journey aspect. Here is a list of the topics we covered over the duration of our training:
The Four Paths of Yoga, The Hindu Trinity, Sanskrit, Asanas, Meditations, Mudras, Bandhas, Pranayama, Anatomy, The Three Gunas, The Yogic Diet, Fasting, Kriyas, Ayurveda, Tantra, Shamanism and Chakras. **Just to name a few!
Magic Meals in the Jungle
The BatuKaru Coffee Estate had the most amazing foods. We lived on a plantation where the staff walks the land to see what we will be eating for that day. All meals were plant based with the exception of eggs some mornings for breakfast.
The BatuKaru Coffee Estate uses biodynamics as a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food and nutrition. Batu Karu was the first place I ever tasted REAL PEANUT BUTTER (not the sugar based mixture we have here in the states). Plus the size of bananas were actually NORMAL and not huge!
Fasting in yoga and aryuveda is one of the oldest known all natural medical practices. Cultures around the world use it as a tool for both physical and spiritual detoxification.
There’s pollutants in the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat and the products we use. Fasting gives your body a break while it heals itself from the constant exposure to toxins we experience everyday.
There are different ways to approach fasting. While we were in Bali we did a 24 hour fast where we ate breakfast in the morning and then didn’t eat until breakfast the next day. Easy enough right? Depends who you ask! I loved it but there were others who broke the fast for dinner. We drank tons of water and herbal tea the entire time, stayed busy during the day and went to bed early. Before we knew it was time for breakfast again. I will say it was great doing it with a group of people to have the support from others. The group consensus early on was that we all felt super energized. That was the best part for me - feeling light and refreshed.
During the fast, the digestive systems workload is reduced and allowed to focus on other important functions like immunity, elimination and cell growth. It flushes out toxins from the system, cleanses your organs and purifies the blood. Fasting is even like a workout for the brain stressing the muscle so it grows. Speaking of the brain, fasting is completely mental… and extremely humbling. There’s no better way to appreciate food than to fast.
Fasting is also known to help connect us to nature and the universal consciousness. We relieve our mind and body from the consumption of food and create more time to connect with the Self. Fasting helps clear the mind to help us see the meaning in everyday life.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many ways to fast. If you’re curious to learn more leave a comment and let us know.
The Hot Springs
The day we fasted, we also went to the hot springs. Hot springs are rich in minerals and known for their healing benefits. We all piled in the back of a small truck and took some pretty awesome photos!
The hot springs were exactly what we all needed. Getting off the mountain for the first time and hiking the jungle again was so much fun. It rained a majority of the time we were staying in BatuKaru so it was fun to have a least one sunny bathing suit day. You see, I don’t think I emphasized how off the grid we were during the first half of our trip. We were somewhere in the jungle of Bali living in a tree house, exploring the lower world and learning in the rain.
Cacao Ceremonies have been around for thousands of years. Cacao is a natural ancient plant medicine used for ceremonial purposes and rituals. The cacao bean has powerful antioxidants that increase blood flow, release endorphins and heal the body. Cacao is known as a heart opening medicine that helps us connect to ourselves and deepen our spiritual practice.
We experienced three cacao ceremonies during our training. The cacao helped me release energetic blockages and let go of what was no longer serving me. Plus cacao has tons of caffeine to enhance your creative energy and memory. We ended our cacao ceremonies with ecstatic dance and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
WATCH THE VLOG FROM THIS PART OF MY TRIP!
Now on to the next part of our training…
Kura Kura Yoga Retreat
For the second half of the trip we stayed at the Kura Kura Yoga Retreat.
Unlike our first location, Kura Kura is located in Canggu, a beach city closer to civilization. After 10 days deep in the rain forest exploring the lower world… lets just say it was a nice change to move locations. Plus the beach will forever be my home so I was immediately drawn to this location.
Eats at the Beach
While staying at Kura Kura we followed the Ayurvedic guidelines for food.
We started the day with fruit, thirty minutes before the rest of breakfast. For lunch we ate raw foods like the salad bar you see in the picture above and dinners we ate soup every. single. night.
If you want to learn more about Ayurvedic food combining comment below.
Since we spent more time in Kura Kura we had many guest teachers. We also started exploring new topics aside from just history and asana. Ayurveda, the yogic diet, essential oils, and Thai massage are just some that really sparked my interest and inspired me to live the healthy way.
Our classes at Kura Kura were a little more expansive since we were now exploring both the middle world and the upper world. We painted pictures, explore vision quests and even tough our first classes. We got a lot of work done and I truly loved it all.
Our days off in Canggu were spent at the beach eating amazing foods and shopping at the local spots. Kura Kura is close to all the fun so we were able to walk everywhere.
Our graduation ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Everyone in my training wrote vows, walked down the aisle and we all married ourselves.
I will never forget my trip to Bali for my first ever Yoga Teacher Training and I definitely recommend my school to anyone who is interested in getting certified. Click this link and use the code ‘NAMSTELIVING’ at checkout for $100 off!
Here is also the final vlog from my trip. The last couple days after the training but before I left. Watch now!