Friday, August 19, 2016

Why is Yoga so popular in BALI?


Over the years YOGA has become more and more popular in Bali, dedicated Yoga teachers like me keep coming back and eventually most want to run retreats, practice here or live. 
Why does the ancient practice of YOGA align so well to BALI? 

When you see the Balinese statues, look again closely to the hand gestures, in yoga left hand is holding compassion and softness, the right is open palm wish grating  named 

Varada Mudra

Gesture of compassion and wish-granting

In the Varada Mudra, the open right hand is held palm outward, fingers pointing down. It represents open-handed generosity and granting of wishes.

The Varada Mudra could be switched to the left hand when combined with the Abhaya Mudra (right hand) commonly depicted in standing buddhas. The Varada Mudra is associated with the dhyani buddha Ratnasambhava and used extensively in the statues of East Asia.


Bali religion is perfectly aligned to the YOGA religion and philosophy. YOGA is Buddhism, very similar to  the Balinese Hinduism. 

Though Bali is multi-religious, consisting of Christian, Muslim and Buddhist minorities, the predominant religion is Hinduism.

Balinese Hinduism, called Agama Hindu Dharma, originated from Java and is a blend of Shivaism and Buddhism. This is why there seems great alignment. Whether you are a yoga teacher following true Buddhism or not I believe Bali has very powerful energy, to the gods and land.
This is why when you practice yoga here you feel a deeper connection or experience a more enlightened practice or transformation. 

The theological foundation for the religion comes from Indian philosophy while indigenous beliefs form the backbone of the rituals. This blending is perfectly acceptable in Bali as the saying goes "The truth is one; the interpretation, multiple."

Practicing YOGA here in BALI is respected and a good thing, to be seen by locals because of the uniqueness of their culture accepting the blend of religion. 

In Balinese Hinduism, the indigenous beliefs manifest in the belief that nature is "power" and each element is subject to influence from spirits. Ancestor worship is also a part of the beliefs. Spirits and ancestors are treated with respect, and they are housed in a shrine and feted with offerings made from agricultural products.

Religion in Bali varies according to three principles: desa (place), kala (time) and patra (circumstances). Hinduism acknowledges five pillars of faith. They are belief in the one Supreme God (Brahaman of Sang Hyang Widdhi Wasa); belief in the soul as the universal principle of life and consciousness (atma); belief in the fruition of one's deeds (karma phala); belief in the process of birth and death (samsara); and belief in ultimate release (moksa).

Many Indonesians have a excellent understanding of the mind body soul connection. Much deeper connection to many of us living in the western world. They know simplicity works, gratitude jerks the content without the need of always wanting something more to satisfy or fulfillment. 

Practicing yoga around nature, with the breeze of the wind on your face, the sound of birds,  and directly on the earth, can make your practice powerfully healing. 

I love that BALI offers all the different styles at a high level of teaching, for you to explore what practice is best suited to where you are at right now. 

Where are you at with your practice? Do you know what your own body needs for healing, opening, & transformation?

I have found mine ~ ASHTANGA, I know it's the answer to opening my hips up to a new level, and I have the teachers hands on my body, guiding me deeper into the asana! ASHTANGA was the practice I began my yoga journey with in a small studio in Dunedin, the teachers name was Jessica, and her and her partner were very creative talented almost like gymnasts, I was inspired from day one watching this lady do the splits and perform handstands. HATHA yoga is also based on a lot of these postures. 

Hope you found this interesting & helpful. 

Namaste 🙏