I found out yesterday that the name Ubud means "healing" or "place of the healer".
It makes sense.
It's why I'm here.
Everybody who comes here appears to be on some sort of journey. Even the bogan Canadians who are on the Eat, Pray, Love trail upstairs were espousing the virtues of seeing Ketut, the healer from the movie (though now it's his son who does the work) They have found a driver who will come and pick them up at a whim - somebody who takes them everywhere. They're in good hands.
For me, I walk everywhere. This means that I don't go far. It also means that I'm not tied to anybody collecting me or waiting for me in the rain. Too independent. I don't move fast. I don't need to. Especially as it's been raining gently for the last day, you don't want to fall into an open drain.
Things happen on Bali time. It's good. Okay, the classes at the Yoga Barn run with a regimentation that doesn't really happen here, but for the rest of the place, things happen when they happen. Things are a bit slip shod, but that's alright. Half the people visiting are blissed out anyway, so that it doesn't really matter. There is a forgiveness over the lack of coffee creamer, a pool towel or having to wait 20 minutes for the bill to arrive. You also don't think about some of the cleaning rituals around here. What you don't know, doesn't hurt you - or it might give you the runs, but that's what Imodium is for. I took my first dose this morning. More preventative than anything else.
The enforced vegetarianism is going well despite my body screaming for some meat - just a bit of chicken would do - but I won't give in until I'm on the plane. I'm an omnivore by nature but I reckon I will try to have more vegetarian days when I get home.
This is day four of the holiday and as the healing journey goes, I'm getting somewhere despite the slightly runny tummy.
I've taken up a daily Yin Yoga session and thankfully the teacher has taken me under her wing. Yin Yoga is about release and softening. It sometimes takes you to uncomfortable places just as it sometimes releases a whole lot of stuff. The teacher, Estee, is encouraging and wonderfully helpful and makes the art of putting my body into unfamiliar positions a strange joy. I still can't see myself ever being able to braid my toes (yes - I looked at her with incredulity when she said to do this) but the alternatives are being managed now (braid the ties with the fingers of the opposite hand) and this works well. It's supposed to be good for plantar fasciaitis.
The Yoga Barn has lots of types of yoga and meditation available.
The more traditionally perceived types of yoga - Vinyasa, Hatha and Ashtanga. These appears to attract the twenty-somethings in their trendy active wear.
The less active, more calm forms of yoga have more of a mixed audience - Yin Yoga and the wonderful Yoga Nidra are two of these forms. Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation where the hardest thing to do is to stay awake. I was prodded for snoring during a class.
Meditation held the other day was interesting. The ritual was all to do with breathing. Sitting cross legged in a circle, holding hands with the people next to me (a Columbian Actress on one side - that's another story), we went through the process. When coming out of the meditation I was presented in the ether with a blue Ganesha - Hindu god of abundance. Really quite freaky, but very peaceful as well.
Another thing I'm finding with all this self-work, which really is what yoga is about - bringing everything into balance and turning the focus inward, that things are starting to clear. The anger is dissipating. I'm feeling calmer and more settled. The want to hit out has gone. It's allowing me to move forward in peace - which is really, why I came here in the first place.
Tomorrow will be really interesting. I've got an appointment with the sound healer in the morning and I'm seeing a Shamanic Astrologer tomorrow afternoon. The latter took the Yoga Nidra class yesterday and there was something that spoke to me.
My other joy - there is a puppy that hangs around the Yoga Barn. It's about three months old. It's the centre dog. I got a cuddle from this wee mite yesterday - all wet dog and puppy breath.
What do they say about the smallest of pleasures?
It's a pity I have to go back to reality on Friday.