It’s been already four days since I arrived in Ubud! I had planned to only touch briefly this location as I had been told how busy with Western people it was and I thought it was not worth to come all the way to Indonesia to spend my time with the people I can meet back home whenever I want.
But, I met a yoga teacher in Amed, we talked about our stories and about yoga, he told me about the Yoga Teacher Training he was about to attend in Ubud, and here I am now, in a week-long teacher training in Ubud with Mark Whitwell!
It was totally different from what I expected. Yes, it is fully of Westerns, yes it is full of hipster bars and restaurants, yes it is commercial, but the culture…the culture is still there! And it is a nice little town with low buildings, lots of vegetation around and traditional houses! Thanks to David, the yogini I met in Amed, I found a lovely place to stay out of the crowds. It is simple, very basic, but so authentic!
Basically, every family has a compound where all the members live together, which means that you enter one of the many stoned doors and you find yourself in a courtyard where different houses of different members of the family live, and inside these courtyards, there are lots of plants, and silence! I am just next to the rice fields after all!
The place where I am staying it’s called Pangkong Sari, it is 15 euros a night for a double bed, a private toilet, a private small veranda and breakfast included! And the owner is an incredibly sweet lady, who came to pick me up at the station with her scooter and welcomed me with a hug! It was just as if I had arrived home What could I possibly want more than this? Outside, the streets are so tiny that I doubt cars can squeeze in. There are few scooters passing by and pedestrians. I sleep with the sounds of crickets and wake up at 5 am with the roosters singing.
Around 8, I make my way to Yoga Barn, the biggest and more famous yoga studio here in Ubud! When I arrived the first time, I thought it was basically the place where my people where. Everyone barefoot, everyone doing yoga here and there, a peaceful atmosphere and a vegetarian restaurant! The studio is actually more studios! Yoga Barn has many different shala and rooms for meditation, massages, and workshop. And everything is so well made of wood! Such a lovely place! The room where our Teacher Training takes place is high up and we just see vegetation around us! So beautiful!
Ah and yes, the training! It is with Mark Whitwell, who I had never heard before, who studied with Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar, who are basically the founders of modern yoga. What a blessing to be studying with him! What a blessing to be here!