Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Om Swasti Astu

I woke early to walk along the beach, opting to forgo early AM yoga at the hotel, considering I will be breathing eating and sleeping yoga for the next month. The familiar pull toward exploration, to get out of inside the resort world, was calling. 

Along shore, the tide was low, the water calm and regal like, the beachside cafes only beginning to stir with signs of life. Balinese men in fishing garb waded into the water, long poles in hand, fishing for prawns. 

The greenery and lushness of this place is stunning. As the morning fog started to fade with the brightening sun, I noticed a massive mountain in the distance. Tad asana.

Smiling men and women with bright faces greet me with "good morning miss!" Three women, short and laughing see me and say: good morning! You want massage? Maybe pedicure, I do your nails!" Not today, I smile, and continue walking, closing our brief encounter with my hands in anjali nudes, prayer pose, hands gathered to the heart. This is a sign people take not at the end of a yoga class, but in every encounter in the day. 

I snapped photos wide eyed in wonder, of the trees, the sea, and the stunning flowers. A security guard from a hotel half a mile from mine saw me taking pictures of flowers and asked if I liked flowers. He said he'd take me to a garden to take more pictures. I hesitated for a minute, wondering if he seemed trustworthy, and decided on yes!

He opened a gate and we walked through to the most stunning landscape of lush green trees, moss covered statues, and bright flowers. We walked along, my new pal Putu and I, and chatted in choppy English. As we contined walking, he apologized profusely for the Mosquitoes, and when we came to a muddy rut (I was barefoot) told me to jump on his back and he'd carry me through. Thankfully, he was a bit taller than me and strong so I jumped on, grinning in disbelief at what was occurig. A stunning bronzed Balinese man, carting me barefoot on his back through a hidden beach garden. Life is unbelievable!!!

I think Putu had a crush on me. Thankfully, he was also extremely respectful and when I said I wanted to go back, led me back.

Back at the hotel I met my sisters for breakfast and asked, on the way to the bathroom, one of the hotel staff how to say good morning in Balinese. She smiled at me, hands in prayer pose, and said "Om Swasti Astu". This means bless you or blessings with you.

Good morning, bless you, blessings with you. Bali is something else, a paradise not only in landscape and sea and sky but in heart.  Wowza!!! 

In other news, I have a horrific skin rash all over my body. Been taking Benadryl and rubbing cream in but my skin is reacting to something. Nothing's ever100% though, and if that's the worst of my troubles, I think I'm doing okay! Today holds more beach, some spa, and tonight an Indonesian feast coupled with a dancing and music show. Then tomorrow it's off to the mountain to begin this yoga journey!!

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