Amazing yoga teacher, stand-up-paddle-board-yogi, world traveler, who happens to love Chali 2na as much as I do … changing the world for the better one day at a time … Jenn!

You know those moments in life that just make sense and everything that happens, the people you meet, the discussions, where you are, all of it … is exactly as it should be. That was Bali for me (and if you have ever been there, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me the same thing about your time there).

We all have our “party friends“, our “work friends“, our “friends from high school“, “friends of friends, friends“, our “dear friends that no matter what you do, will always be there (thank God)” … and there are friends that you meet when you go to a place to experience yourself, to change your life, to become better, to create … even if you didn’t know you were going there to do any of these things … and when this happens, there is an instant bond that is created, one of authentic friendship, support and love.

I seriously cannot imagine meeting any other people during that particular time in my life when I was in Bali, than the one’s I did. They are amazing.

Meet Jenn!

To sum it up, the best way to describe my friendship with Jenn, well, we literally talk daily (sometimes twice … or three times). Best way to describe Jenn … ALIVE!  

She is one of the most positive people I have ever met, inspiring, honest, motivated (& motivating!), and her yoga classes will kick your ass (in a very blissful way) … and bonus, you get to listen to some awesome music in the process.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Jenn Perell!

Yoga is as Yoga Does

By Jenn Perrell via liveweal.blogspot.com

So there is this really old, really sacred and spiritual practice called yoga. And then all these people start practicing it and changing it, blending it, renaming it and calling it their own. People don’t learn it from their gurus anymore – they can watch a clip on TV or catch a class at the gym. There is an entire industry built around this ancient practice. A marketplace to purchase bliss? Some people think this is a load of cow dung, (calling stretching and sweating yoga) and some people just love it.

I figure: To each his own! Don’t give up faith if you are using your yoga to attain enlightenment. Don’t worry if you don’t know what enlightenment means. One of the many beauties of yoga is the inquiry it opens up! How could anyone serious about this path hold it against any one else who doesn’t share the same ideas as them? Who is to judge if someone else feels some benefit from yoga but maybe isn’t on a spiritual path [yet]? Who cares if people make products and buy products that enhance their practice? If you love Lululemon for their smooth lycra and reversible outfits, more power to you! And if you prefer to wear a loin cloth for it’s snug tuck, amen! One of the things I love about yoga is that it meets you where you’re at. I just returned from Wanderlust (an epic 4-day yoga throw down) in Squaw Valley. The  variety of people this throw down brought together was extremely diverse and entertaining (to say the least)! Lake Tahoe was vibrating this weekend, people! However yoga is unfolding in the United States today, yogis are a positive bunch with a lot of love to give. Check out this little clip from the weekend:

I returned from Wanderlust inspired and a little clearer on where I am on my path. While I do see my practice as part of my own personal spiritual practice, I also love to have FUN with it. This morning I blended yoga with one of my other loves: Surfing. Seriously? I’ve practiced plenty of different styles of yoga. Some traditional and some decidedly not so. They have yoga for pets these days! Naked yoga. Yoga where you hang from the ceiling. One of my very favorites is AcroYoga where you partner with someone for acrobatics, Thai massage, and yoga… I had a day tandem surfing just a month ago that gave me a taste of blending Acro with Surfing when I went tandem surfing with Bear Woznick:

Blending the things you love rocks. This morning, I got something new! SUP Yoga in Sausalito. Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding-Yoga. A new way for me to get out on the water. A new way to practice yoga. A new way to find balance. A new way to find bliss… How are you following your bliss? Check out mine this morning. Good times.

Live. Laugh. Love. Jenn is a yoga instructor and life coach pursuing a master’s degree in Holistic Health Education. She is currently being showered with a wealth of knowledge and loves to share.

Visit Jenn @ liveweal.com – Health, Happiness, Prosperity, Well Being.

“I want to be glowy like that!”

One day in late December 2010 I was in Delhi and decided within 24-hours that I was going to Bali for a holiday, that I needed a break from working 7-days a week, wearing business casual clothes, from being envious when I would see backpackers on their travels in India or hearing about people who were volunteering or doing something cool to help the world. I would look down at the Banana Republic clothes I was wearing and wish I could trade them in for some yoga pants, a comfy shirt, and a headband (especially on the days when I was sweating my ass off in 120 degree weather!).   I liked what I was doing, but there was more for me and it would constantly call to me. I, like many people in the world felt like I wanted more purpose; I wanted to do something more. I thought back to the happiest day I could remember, and it was when I was teaching the children from the village at the Happy School in Gurgaon “Didi, are you a good dancer?” (Check out my Teaching! post if you want to read about that and info on how you can volunteer in India)… and how I wished I could do that full-time. There is an amazing happiness that comes from giving back to the world around you …  and in India where there is so much need all around you, it was calling to me and it wouldn’t be quiet.

When I was in Bali during my trip in December (which you may remember reading about if you have been reading my blog) I arrived at the Yoga Barn on my 2nd night there and saw that they were premiering “The Happy Movie”; I asked what it was and the girl behind the desk said it was a documentary about the happiest people in the world. O.k. sounds good. I arrived at the movie and there were about 150 people already there, I thought, “why the hell do I keep putting myself in these uncomfortable situations”, and I laughed at myself (as I often do during my travels). Everyone had that Ubud, Bali enlightened, yoga, raw food glow, casually sitting on pillows throughout the top floor of the Yoga Barn studio (just to give you an idea about Ubud if you haven’t been there, my friend Rachelle recently said, “Disney World isn’t the happiest place on Earth, Ubud is!”). As I uncomfortably walked over people, a bit envious of everyone’s “glow”, thinking to myself “I want to be glowy like that!”, as I almost stepped on about 5 people, (“omg, I am stepping on the glowy people!”) until I found a little free 1×3 foot part of the floor. I sat down and thankfully made a kind new friend in about 30 seconds who gave me one of his pillows to sit on. One of the producers of the movie was there, and he mentioned that he was thinking about moving to Ubud in the new year (hello! see what I mean, the guy who made “The Happy Movie” is moving to Ubud!) At the end of the movie I decided that things in my life were going to change, they would be different. I didn’t know how or what I was going to do, but I was going to find a new happiness and I had no doubt about this new adventure.

New doors are always good! (@ Soulshine by J. Perrell)

Fast forward to March 2011 … I was back in Ubud, Bali last week attending my Yoga Life Coaching Training/Retreat with Debbie Williamson at the amazingly relaxing Soulshine, a yoga retreat created by Carla Swanson and Michael Franti, (fyi- I have been talking about becoming a Life Coach for about 10 years now… and if you just thought to yourself, “what the hell is Yoga Life Coaching?” don’t worry my website will be up within a week to tell you all about it!). On the first night of the retreat we went through the schedule of events for the week and they announced that one of the nights we were going to the Yoga Barn to see a movie together.

… Long story short (or actually long, as most of my stories end up being), exactly 3 months later from my original trip to Bali, I was sitting at the Yoga Barn, watching “The Happy Movie” again, the producer of the movie was back at the Yoga Barn and announced he was now living in Ubud, I was wearing yoga pants, a comfy shirt, and a headband and I was in the process of becoming a Personal & Yoga Life Coach (something I have been wanting to do for 10 years), with our group of 17 incredible yogi’s and new friends … and guess what … we were all glowing! …  and bonus, someone just told me I still am. (… that may be because I have been laying in the sun and swimming in the ocean for the last 5 days in Thailand, but I will take it!)

P.s. I know “glowy” is not a real word, but I like it!

“Back out here”

After getting everything wrapped up in India last week, I went back to Carlsbad/Encinitas, California for a few days to bring all of my stuff back (all 4 bags of it), get a computer, wash everything, (and spray it with Frebreeze!! – side note, why isn’t Frebreeze selling this stuff in India!? It’s magic!) get a Go Phone from At&t (great idea that my friend gave me; get a U.S. phone number but don’t get wrapped up in all of the contracts right away; just $19.99 and pay as you go. Brilliant.) and most importantly get re-acquainted (briefly) with the place I used to call home.

After a brief dose of my old reality while spending a few days in Encinitas, I am now I am sitting in the International Terminal at LAX on my way to Bali to do some yoga … yes, Bali again, I kind of love it here.

Traveling home, then back to Asia is a lot traveling (2- BKK/LAX trips in less than a week is kind of brutal), but, it’s actually the perfect way to go when you are planning on basically starting a new chapter of your life and re-entering the U.S… Baby Steps worked for me in India right?!  You get to go home (i.e. feel a “comfortableness” that you haven’t felt in a while, while knowing you are going to leave soon so you don’t have that reverse-culture shock freakout that everyone is warning me about that apparently is supposed to be worse than the when you move abroad. awesome.), wrap up one chapter of your life (i.e. India) start the process of living in the U.S. again (phone, computer, network a bit, etc), get the essentials of life with ease (i.e. Bumble and Bumble conditioner, Lulu Lemon stuff; btw, you have to get the Lulu Lemon Savasana Wrap.  I can’t imagine a better article of clothing to bring traveling!), get re-energized by spending time with friends, then go to a place (i.e. Bali … and maybe Thailand) where you can focus and get organized on what you want to do next (i.e. take a break from the corporate world and brainstrom ideas for my own thing).

It’s so funny because, although it was super comfortable to be in Encinitas be able to drive, be around friends and know where everything is and how to get it, I felt this crazy sense of comfort when I entered the airport …. “Ahhhh, back out here.”… Much better.

 

Peace

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About a week before New Year’s Eve I was in desperate need for a break from the chaos of Delhi and seriously needed a reminder of what peace felt like.  A couple of days later I received an email with information on a Michael Franti concert on New Year’s Eve in Ubud, Bali… O.k. Bali it is. I know, I know, please don’t make fun of me in that Eat, Pray, Love kind of way … I wasn’t going to Bali to find the love of my life, but I did book my ticket and left 24 hours later.  Since we are on the subject of Eat, Pray, Love, I think she was on to something going from India to Bali. The other way around is a quite abrupt.  Anyway, when I arrived in Bali I quickly found a taxi and I was on my way to Ubud. A guy on a motorbike leisurely cut in front of us at one part of the drive and the taxi driver quickly apologized for the crazy drivers and traffic … to which I laughed and thought to myself, I really think I have desensitized myself to a lot of things over the last year … kind of like shock therapy. The driver had to pull over to let someone pass from the other lane since the road was so narrow and during this process I heard I noise I haven’t heard in a long time …. the clicking of a blinker. “Wow, this place is REALLY organized” I thought to myself.

The concert was incredible just as I thought it would be (and it was for a good cause! The Bumi Sehat Natural Birthing Clinic).  There were about 200 (+/-) people from all over the world, in the rain (and lots of mud!), in the middle of the trees, with fireworks, listening to Michael Franti. Pretty amazing way to start 2011! The rest of the week was one of the best week’s I can remember in a long time … I stayed in this little hotel where I left the doors open each night and feel asleep to the amazing sound of nature at night (so loud it woke me up a few times!). Each morning consisted of fresh juice, fruit and lovely scrambled eggs (which don’t exist in India for some reason, they puff them up with air … weird and still a mystery how they do it), yoga everyday overlooking the surrounding rice patties, and days were filled with walks, great conversations with new friends, many books and “oh there you are“… Peace.

I was a little apprehensive about going on this trip so last-minute by myself, but now I cannot imagine having not gone.  It’s amazing the type of impact 10-days of traveling can have. Truly amazing. Thank you Bali for all of the smiles, the beauty, and most of all for a feeling of peace that I had forgotten. Truly, if it’s ever a question about traveling or not traveling … there is always one answer … travel!

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The Yoga Barn – Ubud
Lembongan Island

Recommendations for Ubud:

  • www.purigarden-hotel.com - Great location in the middle of town
  • www.karsabungalow.com – About $50/night including taxes and breakfast (Super nice staff!) about a five-minute walk to the Yoga Barn
  • Clear Cafe LA meets Ubud. Amazing food (everything I have had is great!) and maybe the world’s best carrot cake.
  • www.balibuddha.com  Bali Budda – Great Cheese and Basil Omlete.  They also have extraordinary fresh juices, baked goods and psychic readings.
  • www.theyogabarn.com – Daily Walk-in Yoga Classes
  • www.tacocasabali.blogspot.com - Great Shrimp Tacos & Margaritas!
  • You must eat at Sari Organik about 10 minutes outside of town (0361) 780 1839 – We took a motor bike taxi there and the ride was almost as amazing as the food.  Please trust me on this one … don’t miss this place, the view is stunning!

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More on Michael Franti & Spearhead    

http://michaelfranti.com/    

About 12 years ago, I was dropping off my friend Aimee off at Belly-Up in Solana Beach, CA (I would have to say, one of the best places in the world to see live music) and that was the first time I ever saw Spearhead. A couple of days later I went to Lou’s records (pre-iTunes, can you believe it!) and found a 5-song Spearhead CD (with Hole in the Bucket, 100,000 miles, etc.) I was from that point on a fan for life and humbly converted many of my friends as well (we have often used his concerts as reunions over the years!). Seeing him in concert is such an amazing experience and I am happy to say I have had the privilege many times including for our Senior Year Spring Concert at UCSB in 2000 and topping the list for New Year’s Eve in Bali 2011. What’s crazy is to hear them on the radio now in India and have my friends ask me who that is because the love it (They play Hey, Hey, Hey and Sound of the Sunshine all the time on my favorite Delhi station – 95FM).  You know those musicians that just happened to help you chronicle your life in a way … whether it’s through simply following their albums or getting to experience them live (music is the best time capsule!) … Michael Franti and Spearhead is that for me for sure and I am so thankful that I was able to start off 2011 in such a positive way by listening to their music live in Bali. Pretty incredible!

By the way, Michael Franti just recently opened up a yoga retreat in Bali called Soulshine Bali – looks very cool & relaxing! I just contacted them to see about bookings because I can’t wait to go back to Bali!  (Once you go there you will understand!) I will let you know how it is when I go!  http://www.stayhumannow.com/