Finding Bliss in Bali, Kundalini Style

wanderlustmalaI just recently was lucky enough to travel to Bali with my boyfriend for three weeks. In answer to your question, yes it was as dreamy as it sounds. Prior to jetting off, my mind was filled with the thoughts of beaches, pristine rice fields and breezy afternoons spent meditating (think, Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love). Bali most certainly did not disappoint and I know with certainty that it is a place I will have to visit again in my life.

In my research leading up to the trip, it became clear that checking out a yoga class while in Bali was a must. Bali is the home to many renowned yoga teachers, schools and retreats. My boyfriend and I splurged and spent two nights at the gorgeous, Desa Seni Eco Village. Desa Seni is a popular spot for tourists and locals to enjoy organic meals, relax in authentic Balinese cottages and of course, practice yoga.

I carefully studied the yoga schedule, and decided to try a class I was not as familiar with. While home in Vancouver, I love a sweaty Vinyasa Flow or Hot class. I have only practiced Kundalini once, so decided Bali would be the place I would learn more about this form of yoga. Despite being intimidated by a sea of experienced yogis, I joined them for Kundalini on a beautiful Bali morning.

desaseni1Before entering into practice, our instructor gave us a brief introduction to Kundalini. This tiny, tanned, glowing yogi explained that Kundalini practice involves repeated movements and chants with the intention of awakening and strengthening the spiritual and physical body. She said that “if you aren’t feeling some sort of discomfort during your practice, you are probably doing something wrong.”

This discomfort kicked in almost immediately as I bumbled through chants (note to self: learn Sanskrit) and felt my arms nearly light on fire as we moved them up and down, in circles and every other which way for minutes on end. In addition to warning us of the potential for pain, our instructor explained that some people claim to experience a unique sense of euphoria during and after Kundalini practice.

As we moved towards the end of class, something funny happened. While chanting (I learned to fake it) and pushing my body through repetitive, taxing motions, I felt an energy buzzing through myself and the yogis around me. The more I leaned into the discomfort, the more exhilarated I felt after the posture was over. I left that class feeling amazing and alive.

desaseni4The post-Kundalini bliss lasted a few days and over that time I began to think about the parallels between this practice of yoga and travel itself. Like Kundalini, travel involves discomfort, uncertainty and sometimes pain. I experienced mind-numbing jet lag, was pummelled by a wave while relaxing on the beach and learned the hard way that my stomach and Indonesian pizza are not friends.

But, as I worked through these travel woes I also felt near perfect moments like watching the sunset on Lombok (an island off Bali), swimming in a pool, in our private pool with my lovely man and seeing countless Balinese people greet me with some of the most genuine smiles I’ve ever seen. These moments and my post-Kundalini endorphins would not have felt the same without enduring some discomfort beforehand.

These feelings of bliss may not always require some prior struggle, but in my experience they often do. Whether it is in travel, your yoga practice, or life in general, the good can sometimes come with some struggle. I wore my Wanderlust Mala, throughout my trip in Bali. Whenever I look at it, I am reminded of this beautiful contradiction. You don’t need to travel to Bali to experience this. Embrace the discomfort of a new job, yoga class (I highly recommend Kundalini!), or whatever feels foreign or scary to you. I guarantee you will get a least a little bliss out of it.

Liz works in Digital Engagement at lululemon athletica.  Books are her one true love, with Pinterest as a close second. Expressing her thoughts and wisdom through writing is what lights her up. Her goal is to one day work as a freelance writer. See what she is up to on Instagram, @lady__lizz. ?

Miracles Now with Miracle Worker, Gabrielle Bernstein.

 

 

gabbybtdpicWe caught up with one of our favourite mala wearing, boho fashionista who is the queen of intention setting and has a thing or two to share about miracles. New York times bestselling author, Gabrielle Bernstein is just about to release her new, inspiring, book Miracles Now, and we got to chat with her about everything miracles! In light of the beautiful new book she’s releasing this month, we thought we’d share what she had to say about this life changing guide to miracles.

 

miraclesnowcoverTell us about your new book, Miracles Now.

I love this book and I’m so psyched to share it with you. Miracles Now helps readers lessen stress and find peace—FAST! I handpicked 108 techniques to combat our most common problems—from addiction and anxiety to burnout and resentment. The exercises are inspired by some of my greatest spiritual teachings. Throughout the book, I offer up spirit-based principles, meditations and practical tools to help readers bust through blocks to live with more ease. I break down each technique Spirit Junkie style—with meditations, assessment questions and step-by-step guidance—while incorporating lessons from the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga. This book is meant for the busy, stressed person who simply wants to feel better fast.

How is Miracles Now different from all of your other books?

Each of my books has a unique format but a shared intention, which is to offer readers tools for releasing all the blocks to their true happiness and peace. Miracles Now shares that core intention through 108 short exercises that can be done anywhere, any time. This book is less self-reflective and more action oriented. I want it to put people into practice immediately so they can experience Miracles Now!

What made you write this book.

I write my books based on what I feel my readers need. I realized that so many people have packed schedules and lots to do, but they want to carve out a little time each day to create positive change and find peace in ways that are easy to follow and put into practice. In addition, I continuously witnessed my audience members and social media followers ask me for more practical tools to release their stress and boost their moods. People want to get to work and they want to feel better fast. This book is my response to that call.

The higher purpose of this book is to contribute to a greater global change. I believe that when more and more people begin to feel better, the positive collective energy supports the energy of the world. I believe that it is our collective energy that can save the world. This is the higher purpose for Miracles Now. I reinforce the book’s mission in its introduction, excerpted below:

Right now we’re in a special and powerful position, because the world is having a spiritual awakening. When energy speeds up there is no space for playing small, and nothing can remain hidden. At some point all lies are brought to the surface and truth comes forth no matter how hard we try to hide it. Cynics are filling the yoga studios and the spiritual choir is growing larger. There is a massive call for more lightworkers, and now is our time to rise up and bring more positivity to the world. When the masses begin to vibrate with an energy of love, the world will no longer be a container for war, violence and lies.

There are great Kundalini meditations throughout the book. Can you tell us more about them?

For this book I chose twelve of the most powerful Kundalini meditations for shifting your mood, changing your energy and reducing stress. I was mindful to include meditations that are easy for newcomers as I expect many of my readers may be new to meditation. A great meditation for beginners is what I’ve nicknamed Peace Is in Your Pulse. It improves your concentration and brings calm to even the most scattered mind.

Sit in Easy Pose (comfortably cross-legged on the floor) with a slight neck lock, which means your chin slightly down and your neck is straight.

Lightly close your eyes and focus on the space between your eyebrows (the third-eye point).

The mantra is Sat Nam (which means “truth identified”).

The hand position (mudra) is simple. Place the four fingers of your right hand on your left wrist and feel your pulse. The fingers are in a straight line, lightly pressed on the wrist so you can feel your pulse in each fingertip.

On each beat of your pulse, mentally hear the sound of Sat Nam.

This meditation is suggested for 11 minutes, but you can experience great benefits in just one minute. Practice it daily to develop your intuition and calm your mind.

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone who wants to create positive change in their life. If you’re stressed out, anxious, fearful, stuck or simply ready to play bigger in your life, this book is for you.

If you have the slightest willingness to feel better, this book is for you.

It doesn’t matter where you are on your spiritual path. You can be a dedicated yogi with a 20-year practice, a hardcore cynic who thinks this stuff is woo-woo, or anywhere in between: No matter what, you’ll benefit a lot from these teachings. What’s most exciting about the book is that you can simply use one of the exercises on a daily basis and it WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I say that with conviction.

How should the reader use the book?

This book is fun and interactive. You can read it from start to finish and soak up the concepts, but there are other ways to approach it. I feel that book can also act like a tarot deck. You can set an intention for yourself and then open the book to any page. Mark my words: You will ALWAYS get the guidance you need most in that moment.

I think the best way to use this book is to surrender to the exercises. Let your intuition guide you through each page. When you land on exercise that excites you, DO IT. Practice it for 40 days and master it. Then share it! These tools are meant to be shared. The last lesson in the book is that you are the guru. Miracles Now empowers you with life-changing tools that you can share with the world. When these tools become yours, they are yours to share.

What are the spiritual teachings that influenced the lessons in the book?

As a student and teacher of  A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga and meditation, it has become my mission to translate these life-changing spiritual truths for all seekers. A Course in Miracles is a metaphysical self-taught curriculum based on the principle that when we choose love over fear we experience miraculous change. The Course emphasizes the practice of turning our fears over to the care of our inner guide and places strong emphasis on forgiveness. The Course teaches us that through the experience of forgiveness we will know true peace.

Kundalini is the yoga of awareness, which focuses on enhancing one’s intuition and strengthening the energy field. Kundalini aims to draw forth the creative potential of an individual to have strong values, be truthful and focus on compassion and consciousness.

It is a great honor to share the principles of both A Course in Miracles and Kundalini throughout this book. These tools helps the reader release everything that blocks their connection to their inner power. When you practice these techniques, fear melts away, inspiration springs up, and a sense of peace sets in. Most importantly, you build a relationship to the power within you — and this power connection is essential. The power I speak of is your connection to love. The more we tune into our own frequency of love, the more love will spread. When love is the trend there is no room for violence and war. Trust me when I say: Your practice is crucial in the awakening of the world. Each person’s energy matters.

gabbytweet1In the book you use social media in a really cool way. Can you share about this?

I love this part! I boiled down each lesson into a 140-character description — or Miracle Message — which can be tweeted, pinned on Pinterest, posted on Facebook, or shared on Instagram. Each Miracle Message ends with the hashtag #MiraclesNow so readers can connect, share miracles and spread inspiration. And e-book readers can share right from their devices.

If any readers want to share the instagram/Pinterest quotes from the book they can download them here:

http://gabbyb.tv/miracles-now-assets

How can we become a Miracle-Worker?

The moment you invite miracles into your own life you become a miracle worker. It’s as though you accept a spiritual invitation to live a life beyond the fear and doubt that you once knew. Stay committed to your desire to live in love and strengthen your faith in miracles. Then share your story with those who are in need. Your miraculous story has the power to save lives.

Share with us your journey and how it led to where you are now

In my early twenties I ran a nightlife PR firm in NYC. On the outside everything looked great, but on the inside I was a mess. I was seeking happiness, security and self-worth outside of myself. I regularly stayed up till 5 or 6 a.m. partying, and thanks to cocaine I weighed about 98 pounds. My friends had tried an intervention, but it didn’t work. Then, one night, I finally let it go. I wrote in my journal, “I need help. God, Universe, whoever is out there … I surrender.” The next morning, October 2, 2005, I woke up to a loud inner voice that said, “Get clean and you’ll have everything you want.” I knew I had no other choice than to listen.

I am happy it happened the way it did. I found God in my own way. I got clean. My conscious surrender was when I asked for help in my journal. I received an answer right away, and I have been sober since that day. I was desperately looking for happiness, and I was seeking everything good—peace and happiness—outside of myself.

For the past eight years I’ve been on a powerful journey inward, expanding my intuition and shifting my perceptions of the world. Through my own personal journey I have been guided to teach others to do the same.

stillnessgabbybOrder Gabby’s new book, Miracles Now TODAY, and get these three gifts from gabby:

Her ½ day workshop on Manifesting Miracles

  •  Her lecture on Living a Miraculous Life
  •  The audiobook intro to the book!

Click here for the gifts: www.gabbyb.tv/miracles

Find our soul sister, Gabrielle Bernstein here:

Web: www.gabbybtv.com
Facebook: Gabrielle Bernstein
Twitter: @GabbyBernstein
Instagram:@GabbyBernstein

 

 

 

The Beauty of Yoga with Haley

haley2We recently got the chance to talk about the beauty of yoga with our beautiful British gal pal, Haley, from across the pond. She told us all about her personal experience with the practice and how its beauty helps her to teach better, and live a more inspired life!

The Beauty of Yoga

I LOVE yoga. You could say I eat, sleep and (literally) breathe it! My practice gives me so much freedom and a chance to lose myself in the dance between the breath and the movement. I think yoga is a beautiful way of being expressive and so I use it as a therapy; enabling the release of emotions through the use of asana and meditation.

How I’m Influenced to Teach

My teaching style is heavily influenced by Kundalini and Hatha merged together to create a flow,which enables my students to be uplifted and inspired; transformed by the beauty of yoga. I love meditation and use it as a daily escape, or mini vacation – just without the expense, packing and airport queues! I believe that life is nothing but a series of moments flowing one after another so live in that moment, love in that moment and make each moment count. I try and live by this every day and if I feel myself slipping I just remind myself that the only moment we ever truly have is Now.

To see more of Haley’s adventures in yoga check her out her website, or visit her social media channels.

haleyWeb: www.thebeautyofyoga.co.uk
Facebook: The Beauty of Yoga UK
Instagram: @thebeautyofyoga
Twitter: thebeautyofyoga/theBoYShop
Tumblr: thebeautyofyoga