Balinese Etiquette

Daily Etiquette
1.     Body language: it is rude to point with the index finger.  Use, instead, your thumb and always your right hand (left is seen as impure).  The head is seen as sacred, so avoid patting children’s heads, and refrain from displaying the bottoms of your feet (also seen as impure).  Talking with your hands on your hips is a sign of contempt, anger or aggression.
2.     Hospitality: handshaking is customary for greetings (again, use only the right hand).  A common method when greeting in passing is to press your palm to your friend’s palm in front of your chests, fingers point upwards.
3.     Visitors: are always welcomed with refreshments, but refrain from eating or drinking until host says ‘silakan’ (please begin).  When eating with hands, first wash hands, then use right hand only.  Sandals and shoes may be left outside the entrance the home. 
4.     What to Wear: When visiting rural villages, skimpy attire is not considered appropriate. Cover your shoulders, do not wear short shorts, cover your knees.
5.     Bargaining: in a Balinese market, haggling over price is not considered impolite, but be pleasant.  Bali is not one of those places where making an agitated display of negotiations is considered part of the process.  Smile, and insist on the price you want to pay, and if they refuse your price, smile, say ‘thank you’ (terima kasi) and walk away.
6.     Shoes:  You will always remove your shoes before entering any store or restaurant. This is customary for all.

Temple Etiquette
For BOTH men and women, when entering a temple, you MUST wear a sarong around the waist and sometimes a sash is also required.
WOMEN ONLY – you must cover your shoulders and your knees.
Please ask permission before taking pictures.
Please avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards the shrines if sitting on the ground.
And when in doubt just in case you find yourself not knowing the etiquette learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).
Women on their cycle are not allowed in the temple, nor are women who have recently given birth

Names
Basically, the Balinese only have four first names:
First child: Wayan or Putu
Second child: Made or Kadek
Third child: Nyoman or Koman
Fourth child: Ketut
Fifth child: Start over with Wayan or Putu, and so on….
So don’t get confused if you feel like everyone you meet has the same name!

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What I Love About Astrology

By Malia Scott

Astrology, like the collective unconscious, with which psychology is concerned, consists of symbolic configurations, the “planets” are the gods, symbols of the power of the unconscious.  – C.G. Jung, Letters 1951-1961

Astrology. A hobby turned passion turned passion project and now an offering.

A tool that continues to guide me along the path that I am passionate about sharing with others.

Your cosmic roadmap is authentic and unique to YOU. Just like your yoga and meditation practice. Just like your favorite food, clothing and music. Astrology is simply another sort of guidance. The practical wisdom from an astrological cosmic roadmap reading can support you along your path so you can discern when it is the right or perhaps wrong timing to move forward with a particular aspect in your life, when to step back and re-assess, when to make the move or not.

Astrology covers every aspect of your life:

• Self image / Identity in the world

• Self-worth + money

• Communication

• Family, home, roots + security

• Self-expression, creativity, pleasure + romance

• Work + health

• Partnership + marriage

• Transformation + sexuality

• Beliefs + higher learning

• Career, profession + reputation

• Aspirations + goals

• Soul growth + privacy

 

I am excited to be offering discounted 1:1 astrological cosmic roadmap readings ($108/hour) in Haramara July 12-19, 2014  as another way to support you in Embracing Your Purpose & Finding Your Bliss, whether it be your birth chart, your relationships/compatibility, your career or your personal growth.

If you would like to register for a 1:1 reading, please be sure to know your exact:

–       birth time

–       birth location

 

ABOUT MALIA SCOTT:  Since an early age Malia has always been interested in deep connection — through conversation, movement, music,  art, animals, nature and sky.

The mind-body-spirit connection began in her university days while attending UT-Austin when she started to discover different methods of yoga as a way to help her balance and work with anxiety and depression. A wild, curious renegade spirit at heart, yoga brought her balance and discipline at the perfect timing and continues to do so to this day.

After years of studying with various yoga and personal development teachers, she considers life to be the greatest teacher of them all. You can read all the books in the world, take all the workshops and training programs, but life will continue to crack you open in ways that you never expect. The real magic lies in curiosity, self-inquiry and practice. 

Malia is commited to listening and trusting the teacher within and enjoys integrating yoga and personal development studies as well as archetypes, psychology, chakra theory, the elements, astrology (Yogastrology), shamanism, dance and expressive arts.

Over the past 13 years, Malia has developed a passion for yoga, mentoring, teaching, coaching and conscious business, having had the opportunity and previous experience to work in various corporate positions, including account/project management and client relations. 

A synchronistic relationship formed and she co-founded SAY OM YOGA in 2012 in Austin, Texas with her two partners. It was around this same time that Malia experienced two intense life-changing car accidents that began to shift her overall perspective and 
soul’s calling to keep expanding and living a full life.

She has been in a commited partnership for over decade and married since 2007. In addition, she is a devoted bulldog mama to Bubbles and Belle.

All About Thai Massage

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Thai massage stimulates the acupressure points in relation to the concept of energy lines in the body.  This stretches and loosens tightened muscles, releases tension and relieves joint pain. Thai massage leaves you feeling both relaxed and energized. In addition, Thai massage uses the technique of blocking and releasing the blood flow by applying sustained pressure for around 30 seconds to the areas where legs and arms meet the torso. This is a real circulation booster and helps fresh, oxygenated blood flow to the muscles.

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Meridians and pressure points

The Thai masseuse uses full yoga poses as well as his or her thumbs, elbows, and palms to put pressure along the meridian lines. It is unique in its energetic and physical reputation based on Ayurveda and yoga. This ancient massage technique stimulates energy flow by increasing blood circulation, lowering blood pressure and dispersing tension. It is ideal for muscle relaxation, increasing flexibility in your muscles and increasing mobility.

Thai massage is an intense, spiritual, and meditative process that is best enjoyed in the land of its origin. One of the reasons we chose Samahita Retreat for our Thailand trip this year is the skilled team of therapists and nurses.  Their programs combine the wisdom of ancient ayurvedic and yogic teachings along with a full modern understanding of nutrition and physiology.

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Check out Samahita’s Spa Therapies Menu and consider joining us in Thailand October 11-18 2015!
Respectfully submitted by Christina Russo
Read more from me at Littlewindmillyoga.com

Retreat Centers with Heart

There are thousands of retreat centers all over the world that offer luxurious accommodations for your vacation. The location of these retreats is often the centerpiece of their appeal- beautiful beaches, views etc. It’s important to choose a retreat center that respects and cares for the place they reside, assuring all of it’s wonders are preserved for future generations. We can each make a difference when we are green conscious and make good decisions in our homes, and because running a retreat center is much like running a giant household, the impact they can make is tenfold. Always remember, we as consumers vote with our dollars, so supporting these ecologically sound companies will in turn support efforts to tread lightly on our planet.

Some awesome ways hotels, resorts, and retreat centers reduce their environmental footprint:

  • Solar power
  • Solar heated pools, water, hot tubs
  • Floors made from renewable and/or abundant resources such as bamboo
  • Waste water is treated on-site and reused to irrigate gardens
  • Skylights included in the building’s design to increase natural lighting
  • Light fixtures and appliances chosen with energy efficiency in mind
  • Organic sheets, bath towels, and bath mats
  • Allow guests the option to reuse linens to reduce water usage
  • Cloth hand towels and napkins instead of disposable paper
  • Organic gardens
  • Compost excess food and organic materials to use as fertilizer
  • Aerated showerheads and low-flow toilets
  • Organic personal care products – shampoo, conditioner, cleaners, and lotions. Also purchasing care products in bulk reduces single-use containers
  • Green cleaning products
  • Recycling wherever possible and primarily using rechargeable batteries
  • Provide every guest a refillable bottle to reduce wasting single-use plastic bottles
  • Offering special incentives for guests who chose low-impact transportation
  • No concrete, no land modification during construction- erecting their structure without harvesting lumber
  • Utilizing well and rain water
  • Using compostable materials for any disposable items
  • Arranging carpools for guest transportation

These are only some of the amazing efforts eco-retreats make to decrease the impact on the earth. You can find these green retreat centers all over the world, some of our favorite eco-retreat centers:

Xinalani Retreat, Mexico*

Kalani, Hawaii

Prana Del Mar, Mexico*

Sanctuary at Two Rivers, Costa Rica

Blue Spirit, Costa Rica*

*Retreat centers Alchemy Tours will be traveling to in 2014, more info at Alchemytours.com

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Radda & Castellina in Chianti

Radda in Chianti
This village (53Om, pop: 1,655) is situated on a hill covered with woods and extensive vineyards forming the watershed between the Pesa and Arbia valleys.
Formerly belonging to the Guidi family, it came under Florentine control in 1203. After being fortified in 1400 it was, from 1415 onwards, head of the League of Chianti, and it preserves the remains of its ancient walls.

The structure of the medieval village is still intact; it grew up elliptically around the church of San Nicolò, of 14th century origin and the Palazzo Pretorio. Built about 1415, its facade is adorned with the coats of arms of the podestà (chief magistrates), the latter is now the seat of the municipality.

Just outside the village, in the Vignale farm, are the headquarters of the Chianti Classico consortium(its symbol is the black-cockerel, the former emblem of the League of Chianti), and the Centro di Studi Chiantigiani (Centre for Chianti Studies), founded in 1984, with a small library and an archive devoted to the history of Chianti and its agriculture. The Montevertine farm, near the village, houses the small Museo del Chianti, with displays relating to the farming community.
Where is Radda in Chianti: it is located in the north of Siena province, in the border with the province of Florence and Arezzo.
Distances: Siena 30 Km – Florence 50 Km – Pisa 110 Km – Arezzo 57 Km
 
Castellina in Chianti

The city’s origins go back to Etruscan times and came under Florentine control starting in the 12th century when it became an important outpost due to its strategic position between Florence and Siena. It was destroyed and rebuilt many times during the battles between the two cities and every time the town was reconstructed with bigger defensive walls. Legend has it that even Brunelleschi was asked to work on the project of new walls for the town.

Along the ancient walls an impressive underground tunnel used by the guards back then remains, now called Via della Volte which today is a fascinating tunnel with shops and restaurants. I suggest you walk down the tunnel during different times of the day so that you can admire the view of the surrounding Chianti countryside with various degrees of light from the small windows along the tunnel. The tunnel itself goes around the city and encloses the delightful city center, itself divided by its main street, Via Ferruccio. Here you’ll find many shops, workshops, restaurants and important palaces such as Palazzo Banciardi and Palazzo Squarcialupi, both belonging to local noble families. Inside Palazzo Squarcialupi the Enoteca Antiquaria is now housed, a wine shop for over a 100 years old which represents an important historical archive of wine and which has helped preserving the original characteristics of Chianti Classico wine itself.

The Church of San Salvatore deserves a visit. It was rebuilt in 1945 after the devastation of WWII but which still displays a valuable fresco by Lorenzo Bicci depicting the Virgin Mary with Child and a wooden statue from the Renaissance. A few steps away from the city center, theFortress with its tall tower offers a stunning panorama of the town and countryside. Inside the Fortress is the headquarters of the Municipality and the Archeological Museum of Chianti, displaying important archeological findings from the surroundings that testify to the ancient origins of the Chianti region.

5 Things (that aren't things) to bring on a Travel Yoga Retreat

1. Willingness to let go of control. If you’re an independent type A personality, this could be a tough one for you. Being in a new place with unfamiliar food, a different schedule, and new people to meet can be uncomfortable at first. Your retreat guides know where your next meal is coming from and where you’ll sleep that night, so you don’t have to.

2. A sense of humor. Being able to laugh at yourself and accept that your yoga practice and your life aren’t always going to be graceful and smooth. Sometimes your tree pose is crooked and sometimes you belly flop into the pool while trying to do a jackknife dive. If either of those are the worst things that happen to you that day, life is pretty good!

3. Empathy. Depending on where you’re traveling, the culture and people who’s lives you’re intersecting with could be drastically different than what you know. Let understanding these differences be what brings you together as opposed to what divides you.

4. Openness to try new things. Traveling and yoga help us grow so much as people because they provide a change of pace, deviating from the safe lifestyles many of us have created for ourselves. It’s in that place outside our safety zone that we can really explore what we’re made of.

5. Courage. Courage to try that pose you’ve been resisting, courage to try foreign foods, and courage to make every day the best day of your life!

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3 Reasons to Go On a Yoga Retreat

If you’re looking for a fulfilling, fun, healthful, nurturing way to spend a week of your precious vacation time, you’re in the right place. We specialize in relaxing, adventurous and purposeful yoga retreats.

Over the last 5 years yoga retreats have ballooned! And with more retreats, comes increased confusion for all of us looking to book a retreat, me included.

Truth be told, I try to attend a retreat as a client every year! It is my dharma and what I commit myself to full-time. My intention is to serve you through transformational travel and spiritual adventure. Are you are wondering what makes my Alchemy Tours Retreats unique?

Here are 3 Reasons to Go On A #YogaRetreat with Alchemy Tours.

1. Yoga & Relaxation = grounding / pampering / rejuvenation / stress-relief
2. Yoga & Adventure = fun / exploration / culture / play / art
3. Yoga & Purpose = clarity / inspiration / manifestation / transformation / vitality

All of our trips are based in one of three offerings: Relaxation, Adventure, Purpose.

If you are looking for Adventure then choose from:
Tuscany June 21-28, 2014 Art of Adventure: La Dolce Vita
Ischia Amalfi June 29-July 6, 2014 Art of Adventure: Soulful Exploration
Thailand Sept 2014 Art of Adventure: Cultural Exploration

If you are looking for Relaxation then choose from:
Bali Sept 13-20, 2014 Art of Relaxation: Cultural Bliss
Maui Oct 11-16, 2014 Art of Relaxation: Luxury Bliss
Greece 2015 Art of Relaxation: Creating Positive Change

If you are looking for Purpose then choose from:
Xinalani Mexico Mar 29-Apr 5, 2014 Embrace Your Purpose: Transform Your Life
Haramara Mexico July 12-19, 2014 Embrace Your Purpose: Live Your Bliss
Costa Rica RYT200 Teacher Training Aug 9-30 Embrace Your Purpose: Live Your Happiness
Prana del Mar Mexico Nov 29-Dec 6, 2014 Embrace Your Purpose: Manifestation Yoga Retreat

Take a look at http://www.alchemytours.com and pick exactly what you need. Your vacation time is valuable and it’s important that you choose a retreat that meets your expectations. Don’t leave it to chance. Choose wisely.

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!

Silvia Mordini & Jacob Young, Co-Founders Alchemy Tours

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