My First Yoga Class in Bali

Reflections from March 2019

We arrived at the villa late on Monday the 4th of March 2019. Still unsure about how much a taxi should charge for the lift from the airport to Sanur. We had some ides but being Bali, everything was negotiable, and bartering came with buying food, clothes, and taxi service.

Our days fell into short walks along the beach front and working out what we would do with the bucket loads of time that we were now offered because of our plan to leave all ‘life as we know it’ behind for a year. One morning during one of our walks I came across beach yoga. I asked a guy who was sitting on the platform of the Bali hut near the beach all about the times, how much and what it was like.

John lives in Bali for 4 to 6 months a year (I found this out over the course of 2 weeks). He gets up early each morning and rides his bike to beach yoga and rakes the sand, removing all the leaves and debris from the sight before everyone arrives. The place looks clean and tidy each morning when the yogis get there and they also help to clean the area. Encouraged by his comments I was determined to join a class as soon as possible.

We met Barb from Barbs sports bar who was selling some furniture from her bar as it was closing. She showed me some furniture and I saw a table that would be a perfect desk and a lady push bike. Oh, my dream of riding to Yoga on the beach was about to come true. We paid $100 for the bike a table and 4 chairs, some plates, wine glasses and cutlery. Winner!

As soon as we could we purchased a pump for the tyres, and I was set to go. That first day was memorable for me. I rode down the street knowing I had to turn off at Smorgas café, down the lane full of expensive villas and I was there. I saw John and lucky for me I remembered his name. I picked a place, not to close to the front and not in the middle but to the side where I felt comfortable. I had a view of the offering temple, it had incense burning that gave off a very exotic and eastern fragrance. The Bali boats or Chucung were parked along the shoreline, colourful and rustic, reminding me of a simpler life of fishing and family. The beach stretched out before me and I had a clear view of Lembongan Island in the distance. The huge tree shaded where I sat, and I watched the squirrels scamper up and down darting all over the tree and the temple.

 As the lesson began, I looked around and felt quite calm and relaxed even though I couldn’t understand one word that was being said by the instructor. I copied every move…or to the best of my ability, stretching muscles that had been stuck in an office chair for the past 8 years. After buckets and buckets of sweat, I lay down for the relaxation time and looking up I could see the beautiful tree above me silhouetted against a deep blue sky. Birds darted around in circles above the yoga group, pigeons flew low across the people to end up at a large urn of water set out for them. I felt a contentment and overwhelming thankfulness that this should be my life. What have I done to deserve a life such as this? As a squirrel ran down the tree onto the offering pile at the beach temple, the group fisted the air with both hands, shouting three times, “Sega Oga, Sega Oga, Sega Oga.” After which they clapped and laughed. I felt so happy I cried. I had found a new family in a new country.