Tag: travel

Bali YTT Day 1: The Journey

I’m blogging my journey through Bali during our Blissology YTT! This is always such a transformational journey for everyone including me so I thoughtI would keep a little blog/diary and share it every day. Check in and share in the adventures. Here is the first post.

It took a whopping 35 hours door to door from Santa Cruz, SFO to Denpasar Bali. The plane ride wasn’t so bad largely because of an extra large dose of gratitude I gave myself just to be on the flight! It left at 1:15 A.M. – I decided to take advantage of couch I spotted upstairs by the boarding gate. I set my alarm on my iPhone but didn’t hear it. I woke up with a start and made it to my gate with about a minute or less to spare.

Besides this elation for just making my flight it wasn’t as brutal as I thought it could be for these reasons.  I scored good karma seating with three seats to myself on my first leg from SFO to Hong Kong. I woke up in the morning and did airplane yoga in the 1st row while in front of zombified travellers attempting the inhumane art of sleeping vertically. I also worked on my manual for the trainings especially the  “Commit to Bliss” lifestyle program (I’ll explain more about this in future blogs). I never watch TV but somehow I got addicted to Game of Thrones and loved watching Nicole Kidman’s Queen of the Desert. Normally I am the king at picking movies which are popular but turn out to be brain numbingly stupid but this movie was amazing.

I also did some rocking yoga in Hong Kong and Singapore. It felt amazing to stretch out. My jet lag was kicking in but you have got to keep your chi moving while travelling. Some superflow and handstands did the trick.

I also help long, deep stretches and that felt so felt amazing. I feel like we are over emphasizing standing poses and not floor stretches in the new school yoga I see.  Headphones on, ugly carpet, I dropped into the zone of bliss right overlooking the boarding gates.

After reaching hot, humid Bali not surprisingly the 9pm the traffic was horrible. People who haven’t been here are surprised to hear this. “What traffic on Bali?” Oh yeah, it took about 2 hours to drive 20 miles to our villa.

I passed out around 10:30 after a quick Facetime convo with the fam. I was trying to not think about what time it was on the West Coast but Ananda was leaving for school which meant my biological clock should be saying, “time to wake up.”

Well, I had probably the best jetlagged sleep of all time—I woke up at 4:15 AM and all the sounds of Bali brought me right back. We have been spending about 3 months a year here over the last 9 years or so and I usually wake up at 4:15 – it’s cool for one but there is so much magic then. Once you step outside your villa in Bali, you are treated to open sky. Even the kitchen has no walls. I paused and took in the moon, Jupiter and the Muslim call to Prayer from a local mosque.  I made coffee, unpacked all my clothing, surfboard and props for the YTT making my little bliss army pad ready.  It’s a “Joglo” imported from Java I rented on Airbnb. I love these old houses.

I watched the sky turn bright orange with the first rays of the sun on the huge, nuclear explosion style clouds of Bali, took in the Hindu temple music about 100 meters away. After all these years sounds like cacophony with droning chanting and bell which seem to have no rhyme of reason how the rhythm is created.

Yoga in Bali felt amazing because of the humidity. Hot Yoga? Not required here. Yoga was born in the tropics and I see why.

I followed it up with a surf back in the warm Indian Ocean and lunch with Ellie who lives here and has really helped me organize the upcoming training.  We have 35 people in the course and 5 assistants including Ellie.  I’ve never felt more prepared for a YTT and I am so stoked to share what is about to go down in the next month over here.

Over lunch one of the highlights was when Ellie told me about her trip to East Bali to LINI where we are running our Blissology EcoKarma Coral Restoration project.  They are so appreciative.  The dates are April 14 so watch that day on the Blog for sure.

What was cool is that as a global yoga ambassador for lululemon we can allocate funds to charity of our choices. I allocated some of that funding to LINI and they are training five local girls in the small village of Les where LINI is based. For 3 months, they will train these girls at LINI’s Aquaculture and Training Centre to learn skills that could either help them to earn a living elsewhere or continue to work with LINI. These girls are young mothers in the community who would not otherwise have any way to earn money or learn new skills

More updates tomorrow!

The Blissology Yoga Ecology Surf Hub: Santa Cruz!

After 4 weeks away in some of my favourite places on the planet specifically Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, it is amazing to come back to a place we call home. The beauty of this place overwhelms me. We’ve spent years searching for places that had incredible organic food, beautiful nature, cool people, access to city life and of course, surf!! And I can finally say, I’ve found the most rocking place. If it wasn’t, we’d be somewhere else.

We are so excited to share Santa Cruz with you for our courses coming up this fall, our September Blissology Teacher’s Training, Our level two immersion “Yoga and Mind Body Medicine,” and drop in classes every Wed at 9am at Pleasure Point Yoga (when we aren’t running our retreats and trainings in Bali this April and May!)

Santa Cruz is nestled between the mountains and the sea, and has a truly eclectic mix of people, places and experiences to offer! It’s just 1 1/2 hours from downtown San Francisco, an hour from SFO airport and 3o mins from San Jose. We’ve got world class surfing, mind blowing hiking,  great beaches, and amazing local food and restaurants.  Santa Cruz will keep both the foodie and nature lover in you satisfied!

The climate in California comes down to one phrase: dress in layers. Its common to start your morning in a jacket and beanie and end your afternoon in a tank top and flip flops. Autumn is California is the best time of  year for great weather (and that’s when our courses are happening!) Although mornings and evenings can be cool, the daytime temps often get into the 70′s and 80′s this time of year. Luckily Santa Cruz has no shortage of beautiful outdoor spots to enjoy. If relaxing on the beach is what you’re looking then go here for just a few stunning beaches to explore! If a little more activity is what you enjoy then bring your hiking shoes! The Santa Cruz area is home to some amazing redwoods forests and hiking trails. Here’s just a few to add to your list!

Ocean lovers be warned, Santa Cruz is going to blow your mind! It’s home to some of the best surf on the west coast, from the infamous Steamer Lane to the aptly named Pleasure Point. Santa Cruz offers waves for anyone from newbie to novice.  This is also a great place for bodysurfing, boogie boarding, stand up paddle boarding, ocean swimming! Surfing lessons as well as surfboard, SUP and wetsuit rental is readily available at many locations. Just blocks from Pleasure Point Yoga there is a RipCurl, a Freeline, and an O”Neil surf shop. All will be happy to help you with your ocean minded needs. If you want lessons for beginners cruise over to the Westside of town and check out: Cowells Surfshop.

If you’re looking to enjoy the Ocean without getting we think about joining on of the Chardonnay cruises. They offer a host of day and sunset cruises to enjoy.

A Santa Cruz classic is the Beach Boardwalk (enter the Beach Boys background lyrics here!) It offers rides, games and snacks, all while enjoying the sweeping views of the Pacific!

If your more the take a take a stroll, do some shopping, people watching type head to Downtown Santa Cruz for a variety or people and shops, or for a more mellow scene zip over to Capitola Village. Another fun area worth a mention is Swift Street. This is an up and coming par of the westside. Formerly old warehouses, it has  been converted into wineries, restaurants and shops. Be sure to swing by Sawyer Land and Sea Supply, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, of one of the many Local Tasting Rooms! On your way out be sure to take a walk or drive along the scenic West Cliff. Don’t be surprised at dolphin, sea otter, sea lion and whale sightings!

And we haven’t even gotten to the Eats and Drinks this lively town has to offer! High on the list are the Santa Cruz Farmers Markets which happen a few times a week in various locations. This is a bustling display of a bounty of local, seasonal offering! Even if you’re just there to feast your eyes, this is an experience not to be missed. Go here for a list of times and locations.

There are lots of good eats to be had in this town! Just a few of our favorite restaurants include:

Ristorante Avanti: Farm to table Italian Cusine, Westside
Laili:  Afghani and Mediterranean cuisine, Downtown
Westend Tap and Kitchen: Fresh and Local Pub Food, Westside
Suda: California Cuisisne, Eastside
New Leaf Market: local grocery, Various Locations
The Verve: Local coffee that will knock your socks(or flip flops)off!

If your want to explore the surrounding areas, consider Carmel and Monterey 1hr drive, Big Sur is 2hrs drive, and San Francisco a short 1.5hr from Santa Cruz!