Circus Gypsies


At 6:30 am the house is already bustling, one girl preparing to head to school for an exam and the other two beginning to dress in sarongs and accompanying  shebang for another all day ceremony back in the family compound in Ubud.

I am sleepy and my body wants to remain in bed but a tiny voice says something like “go to the beach” so I do, walking out and down a down a couple of streets in the suburb before crossing a main road and onto a small path leading down to the shore. The sand is brilliantly black with spots of sparkly minerals and many have already arrived for the day, to stretch, surf, and relish the morning sun. I sit for a while and meditate before diving into the luxurious water, the temperature perfectly warm and nourishing. I dunk in the waves, letting the water rush over my crown as I ask for cleansing before thanking her affably for assistance. I am refreshed and eager to continue the day.

A kind house assistant makes fresh carrot juice and lays mangosteen and baby bananas out for noshing. There is a juice bar in this abode after all. My sister insists I taste a swig of noni juice, which tastes like crap but is incredibly wholesome. The word in Balinese for noni translates to poo fruit and it is all too true. On the drive to Ubud we stop at my sister’s man friend’s home for some coconuts picked directly off the tree, another wink at the motorbikes, and hugs.

My sister shows me her enormous mansion in the making in Ubud, a creation of her late husband, with a pool and countless outdoor platforms perfect for workshops. She wants little to do with the space, she cannot sell it for it is on family property and she cares not to live in such extravagance. I have many ideas in what to do with the space, retreats, classes, healing. I will pitch some ideas later.

Back at Bali Buddha I sit next to my fairy sister, who is dining with a brother from California. We are so close. She assists in pumping up my energy for my yoga audition, my first time to apply for such type of job. The studio has a serious ashtanga core and although my style of yoga isn’t so similar, I will approach all opportunities openly.

The studio is not quite finished so the practice event is held in a platform space behind a Japanese bag shop and café, next to a field of cows and rice.  There are five yoga teachers lined up to share their skills and we are asked to demonstrate one after another, only fifteen minutes each, beginning our class from the previous instructor. It is an odd way to communicate our abilities and how we structure lessons, I am the last to perform and feel the pressure of time.

I don’t feel as if I showed my best but I will hold no attachments to the outcome, I am spilling out with ideas of how to contribute to community here in Ubud I can barely rest. There are many paths to choose and I trust that all is aligned as it should be.  All is perfect.

Back in the acroyoga community we play.  This group of yogis is the most advanced group of acrobats I have encountered, all of them teachers, persistent travelers and imparting their skills around the world. The group is led by an Italian guy and a Canadian girl and is attended by a sister from Mexico who is heading to Israel next, a brother from Spain, another Canadian, and an American. International love. I am a base as well as a flyer, attempting skills named the corkscrew, among others. We end the class with four-handed massages, rubbing away any pains or strains from balancing the weight of another body. Acroyoga harmoniously combines the spiritual teachings of yoga, the metta of Thai massage, and the dynamism of acrobatics. The stew forms a pile of playful awesomeness. Yay!

In a small vegan warung owned and completely run by a local, a rarity in the vegan circle of restaurants,  I introduce myself to a Russian brother I have crossed paths with countless times in Ubud. He speaks little English and I sense thinks I am a bit nuts when I share enthusiastically about synchronicity and harmony and la di dah but we swap numbers still. I always see him sauntering alone and care to link him to other brothers and sisters for he too feels called to remain in Ubud for an extended period of time. Family love.

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