It is now day 12 of my 200 hours of yoga teacher training in Bali, Indonesia. I thought I would write and share about it sooner but it took a few days to feel grounded where I am at. Ubud, Bali. Never in my wanderlust mind did I think I would visit Indonesia but I allowed myself to be open to the possibility and here I am on the other side of the globe.
My journey to get here began when I started researching for yoga teacher training scholarships. A teacher training can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the program type and location. I came across the scholarship for the program Routes of Yoga in Bali,Indonesia. I loved the course syllabus, the instructor's biographies, and that they offered a scholarship focused on serving the community. I was hesistant to apply at first due to timing and finances but I got that needed push to continue forward. Once I was selected I was very blessed to receive so much love and support from my loved ones. I would not be here without your help. Thank you.
The travel adventure here was very long and exhausting. I flew on a Tuesday morning from Los Angeles to San Jose to meet up with my best friend & travel partner Bryant! From San Francisco we flew 14 hours across the Pacific Ocean to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong we flew four hours to Bali and finally from the aiport we drove two hours to Ubud. Total travel time was about 27 hours. We had to be up the next day at 8 a.m. to make it to our first yoga teacher training day! We were extremely exhausted but the adrenaline and excitement to begin this journey pushed us through the day!
The next few days were about adjusting and making friends. I experienced a bit of social anxiety at the start of the program. Those of you that know me well must be thinking, "what?!Cindy has social anxiety?" I was eager to make new friends but I was also well aware that this space was different. I knew we would all be going through a life changing experience together, exposing our most vulnerable and true selves. Slowly though, after over coming jet lag and catching up on sleep, my nerves have settled down and I can't think of going through this program with another group of people. Everyone has been so helpful, open, and kind.
The training has been very intense from the start. This program is challenging me not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. I am learning about myself externally through the physical body and internally by the growth of my spirituality and healing. I am conscious that yoga is not a part of my culture or religion. Yoga comes from India, it was born in what is now modern day Pakistan. Because of this when researching programs it was very important for me to find one that would cover both the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga, as practiced in its traditional form. This program covers most of those aspects for me. We learn about asanas (the physical postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), the history of yoga, meditation, chakras, Hindu mantras and chants, and many more subjects. I would have loved to learn deeper about yoga in India but I did not find scholarships for programs there. I opened up my mind to the possibility of coming to Bali and doing training here when I read that 84% of the population in Bali practice Hinduism, where yoga stems its roots from. Other religions practiced here are Buddhism and Islam.
My goal with becoming a yoga teacher is to teach in the community. Yoga is a beautiful practice which has helped me in many ways. Through yoga I learned to love myself fully during a moment of deep emotional healing. I would love others to be open to receiving the many benefits that yoga has to offer. Unfortunately, yoga in Los Angeles is not accessible to everyone due to how much it cost and it becoming an almost exclusive white space. I am usually one of two women of color practicing in a room of 30. Therefore, I hope to be able to work with others to expand yoga to everyone and anyone that is interested in learning more about the practice and its many great benefits for the mind, body, and soul.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all 🙏🏽✨