Monday 11th June — Sunday 24th June
Food is top of the agenda in this installment. The Yoga has been ticking along nicely and has no doubt been my primary focus. In week 15, I often did 3 or 4 hours Yoga/Meditation in the morning. Once completed, I would walk out the studio feeling like an absolute boss, one that had now earned the right to dine like a king for the remainder of the day. Occasionally, I’d grab something healthy but more often than not I’d opt for heavy carbs followed by a sweet delight (red velvet magnum, you have to try it). Now, this kind behaviour is classic Amit, no middle ground just pure binary thinking. My portion size ballooned massively too. At first I didn’t care as I was keeping up with the Yoga. In my head, Yoga would take care of and fix any potential problems in the body. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Slowly but surely, my awful eating habits began to have consequences. The first was bloating unlike any other bloating I’ve experienced before, I’m talking shirt button breakers on the exhale. Second, I became constipated. The final wake up call was when acid refluxed during a yoga class full of downward dog/inversions. This was the point where I realised that I could no longer eat like crap with no consequences. Low mood began and a chronic strain in my left side intensified. Most crucially, I had to back off the Yoga for 2 days until my acid reflux subsided. Quite the ordeal then!
I’ve had acid reflux once before and remember the doctor telling me to eat fibre and take tablets which relax the intestines. To try and replicate this I hunted down some psyllium husk and drank coffee every day for 4 days or so. Upping my vegetable intake for bulk helped too. With this I gave my stomach a little massage every day and even changed my poo tekkers to a sitting squat to fully open the valves. Fortunately, I didn’t need to go to the doctor and I felt normal after giving my digestive system some well-needed TLC. It did make me realise the importance of eating healthy, something that we all know but sometimes chose to ignore. I’ve now prioritised eating healthy above Yoga. You can eat green and do zero yoga but still feel good. You can also do all the yoga in the world but if you eat like crap, you’re going to soon feel the affects as I evidently displayed. Trust me, I’m a retired engineer.
In the 4th and final week of my stay in Ubud, I was well aware that I had done zero tourist activities. Fortunately, some yogi friends of mine were going to check out a waterfall. Being yogis we smashed out some vinyasa in the morning and then headed to NungNung waterfall, about a 1 hour scootie ride away. When we arrived, I turned the corner and screamed like a little boy upon seeing the waterfall. In fact me and my friend, Fernando, kept screaming as we got closer to the waterfall and felt it’s ferocity up close and personal. No actual words came out of our mouths for about 10 minutes, just high-pitched noises. It was so powerful that the spray actually rendered our eyes useless.
Me and the feisty NungNung.
In the evening, we had dinner party around mine where I bought every vegetable possible and made some kind of tomato-veggie curry with tempeh. Days like these are remembered for a long time, I mean just look at these happy yogis below!
On the my very last day in Ubud, there was a Kirtan at another yoga shala called Yoga Barn. Before this point I was loyal to Radiantly Alive. However after visiting the Yoga Barn (the most popular place for Yoga in Ubud), I was a little bit sad not to have done any yoga there. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s a Yoga city where you can get massages, detox, sleep and get stuck into various workshops. Punnu Wasu performed the Kirtan. For those unaware, Kirtan is a religious musical performance and can be closely associated with Bhakti Yoga. As a spectator you are free to clap, sing, dance or meditate. I chose the latter and felt waves of goose bumps throughout the performance. Perhaps, what I loved most was that they sung traditional mantras from many religious backgrounds including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. They even did a rendition of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan which was electric. I couldn’t think of a better way to end my stay in Ubud. It summarised a lot of the qualities I loved about Ubud. The Balinese have such a strong cultural heritage but at they same time are welcome to change in the form of foreigners coming in to visit and live. This is a rather rare combination in todays’ age and we can learn a lot from their accepting nature irrespective of backgrounds.
Next week, new country!
Yoga & Meditation — 34 hours
Biggest win — Self diagnosing my acid reflux.
Location — Ubud, Bali.