Life lessons from my first experience with a yogi

Comments (2) Spiritual

The shy writer in me stores away pieces of writing which i write because the words flood out of me, but i’m never sure if i ever will share it in public. I recently found this piece i stored in the backend of my blog from months ago, which i wrote after a trip to Kamandalu in Ubud, Bali, with my parents back in 2014. Reading it reminded me of lessons taught to me… which i tentatively forgot. It’s a nice reminder of what’s important and i suddenly felt that now, is the right time to share it.

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I went to have a 1-hour massage at the spa in Kamandalu with my parents. Their session was 30 minutes before mine, so to make the most of the extra time I had prior to my session, one of the hotel staff at the spa offered to show me the yoga pavilion to which I jumped at the chance to see.

Dressed completely in white, I found out his name is Arif, and we chatted all the way to the yoga pavilion. He told me he’d been practicing yoga for 18 years, which made me try to do the math and guess how old he was cos he looked like he was in his 30s! This is what yoga does to you, I thought. Then he slipped in that he is a yogi, and I thought, hmm, I didn’t know that’s what a yogi looks like. But then again, I’ve never met one, so what do I know?

After I excitedly bounced around taking pictures of the infinity pool, and dropped my jaw at how majestic the yoga pavilion looked built atop Ubud’s forest treetops; we started making our way back to the spa just in time for my massage. Out of nowhere he mentioned how I have confidence in my chakras (I’m directly quoting his English) and I looked back at him with big eyes and said, “Oh really? I am planning to work on opening my chakras soon.”

Arif said that because of my confidence, it’s easy for me to make friends with anyone, which is true. I can talk to anyone. Or I try anyway. But he said that I have one enemy, whom I should try to rectify my problems with so I can be stronger. I was trying to guess who this could be and thought of a couple of people.

What he said moved me so deeply that while I was getting prepared for my massage in the room, I felt so compelled to just get a session with him since I was already in Kamandalu. The taxi was to pick us up at 12:30pm, but I could always delay it by another hour… maybe… and I just had to TRY.

I’ve been learning to go with my gut instinct now – that if I FEEL like doing something, to just do it and not overthink it. So I pushed away my worries about changing plans and possibly worrying my parents, and excused myself from the massage room to give the hotel manager Deasy a call to see if I could delay everything by a tad to get some time with Arif. She was delighted I wanted to immerse myself more in the activities. (I noticed the digital time on the phone when I rang to call, it was 11:22. These numbers are still happening to me. Our room number was 211.)

I went through the massage getting excited about what was to happen after, but made myself relax and concentrate on the massage and energy that was being given to me. The therapist had top-notch technique with good flow, so it was easy to give in.

After my massage, Arif and I made our way to the beautiful teak pavilion, which had intricate carvings on the ceilings that would have gone unnoticed from the oustide. We slid open the wooden doors together, so that we could feel the breeze and hear nature.

He said: You look too much at other people, ‘oh why can’t I be as rich, or pretty’. No, we are all the same. You are the same, it’s what you think, that you are not on the same level. When someone stands and is talking, you should stand too. Or if they are sitting, you sit. All same level.

I totally get that. Envy is one of my biggest sins and I’m trying to banish that. At times I’m so good at making it dissipate that I can bring myself to the same level as people much richer or older than me, and at times it rushes back to haunt me in spurts and jets.

We moved on to him teaching me how to concentrate on my body. To meditate on my body, the kundalini way. Our mind and our body are so connected, that they must be at balance. Breathe in with my nose, and breathe out with my mouth. Long deep slow breaths. Slow down my heart rate. Concentrate on feeling my own body from the top of my head right down to my toes. Love my body.

Be aware of my body being where it was – in the middle of this gorgeous pavilion, surrounded by nature. I could hear the birds, the wind rustling through the trees. I could feel it lightly blow over the skin on my arms. I felt so alive.

We did this for about 10-15 minutes while he cleansed the negative energy from me. Then we opened our eyes again, and he explained about the seven chakras. I always thought I was to start unlocking my chakras starting from my root chakra, but he said that we should start at the heart, cos love is what makes us evolve.

I totally believe that. Love is what makes us move from darkness to light. It’s what makes us so special. It’s what draws so much attention to us from other planes and beings.

Arif said that by opening our fourth chakra (heart) which is in the middle, we can easily move upwards and downwards to open the rest. Made sense to me.

He briefed me that I was to imagine a closed yellow rose in the middle of my heart, and to meditate its petals slowly opening as we chanted “love” in our exhaling breath. To feel love and honesty and being true.

To start, we closed our eyes and with our left hands on our knees, our right hands were drawn to feel our chests. So we could physically feel where our heart chakra is as we focused on the spot. Drawing my hand from my chest back to my knee, we started.

I imagined a GIANT yellow rose that was closed. I mean, why imagine a small rose right. My heart is big and my love is limitless so I can imagine what I want. I took my time… imagining its petals opening very slowly as I concentrated on feeling pure love. It’s hard tho! I admit that suddenly I’d see penises peeking out through the petals. There’s really something distracting about sex to me!

It’s my greatest weakness when it comes to controling my conscious. The first thing I think about is sex and dicks when I’m supposed to concentrate. If I’m not consciously tring to control my mind, I don’t think about sex at all. It’s only when I TRY to that sexual images come into my head -_-

Anyway, I tried not to be hard on myself, take more deep breaths, and get those penis roses out of my head. I think I managed to get it at some point. Just yellow rose, opening slowly, love, love, love. Penis, oh there it is again.

I continued trying, and not beating myself up over it cos I know it makes it worse. I’m only human. Give myself a break. I’m trying here. We stopped just when I was getting the hang of it (dammit) but I felt quite elated as it was.

Then Arif talked to me about life. About how I have to love everything about me.

He asked me to recite to myself:
I love my life
I love my body
I love my work
I love my family
I love my friends
I love nature

I totally get it, I’ve already been practicing that.

I asked how I can open up my other chakras, and he said that it’s the simple things in life that allow us to open them up easily.

He patiently explained all the ‘loves’ from one to another >

I love my life –

You have to love your life, cos it is YOUR life. Noone else has your life. There will be sweet and bitter moments, but they will always come one after the other. There will never be only sweet, or only bitter. Learn how to accept them both and life will be easy. Fight it and life will be hard.

I love my body –

Don’t change the body you are given. People nowadays are doing things to stretch their skin to make them look younger. Why? We all die some day. Our bodies will grow old, but the mind is more important. Some people judge others at first glance by the way they look, but it should be their minds they are noticing.

Be good to your body, it is your investment. Your body allows you to work, to earn money, to do things in life. If you only work but don’t love your body, you get sick and have to spend money to heal your body.

I love my family –

Your family is an important part of love to focus on because your parents invested so much love bringing you into this world and bringing you up. They work, and sacrifice. You must do all you can to make them happy. Sometimes they don’t see you for awhile and they don’t say anything, but they can be sad. Spend time with them. Maybe you can organise a dinner and bring together all your parents, brother, cousins, uncle, aunties, everyone. Family all together, talk, laugh, eat. Family love is important.

I love my work –

Many people go through life but they are not living. They go to work, sigh, go home, sleep, work, sigh. This is not living. You must be positive in your work, because it will attract others into your work and life. If you cannot love your work, then change it. Be happy about your work. (I don’t remember much detail about the work stuff cos I already implemented a lot into changing the way my work is to make myself happy!)

I love my friends –

Friends are 20% of your love. They are there to support you, and you must remember to support them when sometimes you are ahead. Best friends are together from the beginning to the end.

I love nature –

Put plants and flowers in your house. So when you come home, you are like ahhh… happy. Looking at nature will get rid of your stress.

Other things about love in reference to the yellow rose.

The yellow rose has petals and you must feed the rose for it to bloom. If you water it (meditate and love) it will bloom. Negative things you do make it lose its petals. Example, if you lie, it loses a petal. Something like that.

Don’t lie. Some people lie so they can have many friends, and in the beginning, the ones who do not lie and are honest are the ones with few friends. But as time passes, others will see the truth, and the ones who are honest will have many friends, and the ones who lie, have few.

To practice opening your chakras, wake up early. If you wake up at 8am, now wake up at 6:30am. Meditate, don’t rush in morning.

There is sadness in you, big sadness. Maybe it’s from your past… “life?” I offered. And he said, “Yes, maybe. But you must learn to let go. Just let go. It’s the past. You are here now, you are going forward. Do not be scared. Do not keep thinking about the past sadness, just be happy now.”

You are a smart girl, you must trust in you here *he taps my heart * Do not listen to others. Listen to you.




Ubud-Kamandalu-66 Ubud-Kamandalu-67 Ubud-Kamandalu-68

Terima kasih Arif xxx

2 Responses to Life lessons from my first experience with a yogi

  1. Vy says:

    This is soooo enlighting!!! Thank you Joyce!

  2. Chech says:

    I love your blog, but I especially love to read this experience. Enriching.

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