8 Reasons to Love Bali

In The Travel Hack:

Bali is an incredible destination that really is as amazing as it looks in the glossy brochures. I went there for my honeymoon and it totally lived up to the hype I’d created in my head. A good friend is currently exploring this Indonesian island and it’s bringing back SO many happy memories.

If you haven’t been (and tbh, even if you have!), here are eight reasons why I know you’ll love Bali too…

Continue reading here

Bali

How to Live an INSPIRED Life by Silvia Mordini

ABOUT ALCHEMY OF YOGA:

This program is recognized by Yoga Alliance as a Registered 200-Hour Yoga School and offers you a unique opportunity to make a deep commitment to learning more about yourself. This soul-dive takes place in a safe haven: a nurturing environment to engage in open minded self-exploration. Silvia Mordini and the Alchemy of Yoga team are devoted to offering you an atmosphere in which freedom of expression, fun, creativity, and passion for life are totally encouraged! This program covers the foundations of the eight-limbed path of yoga and believes in yoga as a life-long truthful celebration of ourselves and our world.

In 2017 we are offering 2 opportunities to join our tribe:
April 15-May 6, 2017 Bali with Silvia Mordini and other master teachers in Ubud
July 29 – Aug 19, 2017 Costa Rica with Emily Perry and Silvia Mordini
Apply to save your spot silvia@alchemytours.com
Deposit is refundable up to 90 days in advance.

OVERVIEW OF YOUR ADVENTURE:

  1. EARTH: Foundational Alchemy – Rooting into Self and Manifestation (Chakra 1)
  2. WATER: Emotional Alchemy – Tapping into Your Potential and Living in Possibility (Chakra 2)
  3. FIRE: Physical Alchemy – Discovering Your Optimal Performance (Chakra 3)
  4. AIR: Mental Alchemy – Unlearning the Obstacles to Your Happiness (Chakra 4)
  5. ETHER/SPACE: Spiritual Alchemy – Transformation Living and Teaching Yoga (Chakras 5 – 7)

ALCHEMY OF YOGA: HOW TO LIVE AN INSPIRED LIFE

Yoga is about wholeness, health, and vital living. It is about a life inspired in body, mind, and spirit. Through movement, meditation, discussion, and journaling, we will explore the vast resources related to How to Live an INSPIRED Life by focusing on the last three niyamas or personal practices that comprise the Alchemy of Yoga. These are necessary for bringing about real, lasting change and cultivating inner happiness and spiritual bliss.

ALCHEMYOFYOGALOGO

Experience the alchemy of the five elements, the four directions, and the chakra system as an inner and outer map of transformation. These are archetypal and energetic maps that are as metaphorical as they are very real and embodied. Everything we see, taste, touch, feel, and do can be interpreted through the gateway of the elements, directions, and chakras.

We will learn how to tap into these sacred relationships and align ourselves with their alchemy in order to gain insight into healing our psyche, emotions, and well-being.

WHAT IS ALCHEMY OF YOGA?

Something magical and mystical happens when a group of high-intentioned individuals make the decision to gather together for two-hundred hours with the purpose of uplifting their lives and expanding consciousness into radical authenticity.

The result is something beyond words. It is, as best as I can explain it, the Alchemy of Yoga. The Yoga Sutras (Chapter 2, Verse 1) explains how the Alchemy of Yoga actually works:

“Tapas svadhaya ishvara pranidhana kriya yoga.”

This sutra is translated to explain that yoga helps us transform ourselves on three levels:

  1. Physical Alchemy – Tapas
  2. Mental Alchemy – Svadhaya
  3. Spiritual Alchemy – Ishvara Pranidhana

Physical Alchemy – Tapas: Ignites the changes we want to make in our lives. It is about the getting fired up and passionate. Literally it means heating the body through moving and breathing in the vinyasa.

Mental Alchemy – Svadhaya: While we are following the discipline of tapas and engaging in physical practice to help move our stuck energy we are watching ourselves. In yoga we study the self to learn about the self. Here the mental alchemy is through self-observation. We witness what is going on in our thoughts, what are we thinking. We tune in to our intuition to enhance clarity and harmony between what we think, say and do. We remember to remember who we really are. Through this, our ego softens from being I centered to seeing our interconnectedness to all things, people, nature, energies. We humbly realize our nature of union in this interweb.

Spiritual Alchemy – Ishvara Pranidhana: As we are doing and watching, we let go of the ego of judgment. We move beyond wanting life to be different and begin to feel the surrender that allows what is being offered to mix together. We practice ishvara pranidhana as we trust the universal intelligence that hugs us from all directions to know what it is doing. Once we find this trust, we begin to believe that beauty and goodness are within us flowing non-stop. We understand that there is no reason to stop this flow for its natural current is to align with the current of grace that is everywhere outside us. Beauty becomes our way of life. Happiness becomes our natural alchemy once again.

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Bali: Crafts

Bali Arts & Crafts, Wood Carving, Batik, Canvas

Artistic Bali is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. The Balinese have an inborn talent of absorbing different cultural elements, blending them with their own, to produce dynamic new artistic hybrids. Across the years, Bali has soaked up Chinese, Buddhist, Indian, Hindu, Javanese and Western influences.

The Balinese were, traditionally, animists. Even when Hinduism arrived in Bali, its practices were adapted to go hand in hand with local traditions, thus making Hinduism in Bali very much different from its original form in India. Even the Hindu Mahabarata and Ramayana epics take on Balinese nuances and beliefs when played out in the wayang.

Other aspects of Balinese life follow suit. Take for instance, its performing arts. Bali’s dance, music and Wayang theatres still retain rich religious connotations, after having been enriched by contemporary artistry, and are still performed to appease and please the gods. This is illustrated in the trance dance of the Barong, or the intense Kecak dance; which retains very Balinese elements but includes a rhythm set by Western influences.

Read the complete article and see pictures of Balinese crafts in Bali Shopping Guide -What To Buy In Bali 

 

Bali – Geography

Mount Agung

From http://www.worldatlas.com:

Statistics

  • Land Area:
    (land) 2,174 sq miles (5,632 sq km)
    (water) 0 sq miles (0 sq km)
    (TOTAL) 2,174 sq miles (5,632 sq km)To convert sq km (kilometers) to sq mi (miles)
    use our converter
  • Latitude & Longitude:
  • Denpasar (capital city)
    (08° 39′ S, 115° 13′ E)
  • Horizontal Width: 54.08 miles (87.03 km) from Gilimanuk east to Catur
  • Vertical Length: 62.15 miles (100.02 km) from Yeh Sanih south to SanurNote: Lengths and widths are point-to-point, straight-line measurements from a Mercator map projection, and will vary some using other map projections
  • Geographic Center: About 16.28 miles (26.2 km) southwest of Catur
  • Highest Point:Mount Agung 10,328 ft. (3,148 m)
  • Lowest Point:Bali Sea 0 m

Geography

Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. The Bali Strait separates Bali and Java.

The island’s central mountains include several peaks over 3,000 meters in elevation. The highest is Mount Agung, standing at 10,328 ft. (3,148 m) An active volcano known as the “Mother Mountain,” it last erupted in 1963, and lava flows devastated numerous villages, killing 1,500 people.

Bali’s volcanic nature has contributed to its exceptional fertility and its tall mountain ranges provide the high rainfall that supports the highly productive agriculture sector. South of the mountains is a broad, steadily descending area where most of Bali’s large rice crop is grown.

The northern side of the mountains slopes more steeply to the sea and is the main coffee producing area of the island, along with rice, vegetables and cattle.

Dozens of (very small) rivers drain the island. The longest river, the Ayung, flows approximately 75 km.

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand.

GENERAL INTEREST:

  • Calling Code: 62, then 361
  • Electricity: 127/230V, 50Hz

Weather

Bali experiences pleasant (low humidity) conditions with average daily temperatures between 70 and 93 degrees (21 – 33°C) year-round. The island’s rainy season is December through March, with most of the showers occurring in the evening.

(All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions @ 2016 worldatlas.com)

 

More Peace, Please

More Peace, Please By: Silvia Mordini, Featured on Wanderlust/Yoganonymous.com

“Our leaders got confused.

So we are all leaders now.

They told us there was nothing we could do.

They were wrong.

When we tell ourselves

There is nothing we can do, we are wrong.

….We’re all making the soup.

we’re all eating.

We’re all weaving the cloth

we’re all wearing.”

– Ruth Herbert and Paloma Pavel

While in the corporate world I was paid to be a Change Agent.

Change Agent Definition: A change agent is a person from inside or outside the organization who helps an organization transform itself by focusing on such matters as organizational effectiveness, improvement, and development.

My job was to inspire people within an organization to “do something.” I’d go in and interview staff about what wasn’t working and in response I’d most often hear “we’ve always done it this way.” What was in common every time was 1. The desire to change. 2. The awareness things weren’t working. 3. Leadership not doing anything different than what had been tried before.

Read the full article here!

How Does the Alchemy of Yoga Work?

“Yoga believes in transforming the individual before transforming the world. Whatever change we want to happen outside should happen within. If you walk in peace and express that peace in your very life, others will see you and learn something.” – Sri Swami Satchidananda

ABOUT ALCHEMY OF YOGA:

This program is recognized by Yoga Alliance as a Registered 200-Hour Yoga School and offers you a unique opportunity to make a deep commitment to learning more about yourself. This soul-dive takes place in a safe haven: a nurturing environment to engage in open minded self-exploration. Silvia Mordini and the Alchemy of Yoga team are devoted to offering you an atmosphere in which freedom of expression, fun, creativity, and passion for life are totally encouraged! This program covers the foundations of the eight-limbed path of yoga and believes in yoga as a life-long truthful celebration of ourselves and our world.

OVERVIEW OF YOUR ADVENTURE:

  1. EARTH: Foundational Alchemy – Rooting into Self and Manifestation (Chakra 1)
  2. WATER: Emotional Alchemy – Tapping into Your Potential and Living in Possibility (Chakra 2)
  3. FIRE: Physical Alchemy – Discovering Your Optimal Performance (Chakra 3)
  4. AIR: Mental Alchemy – Unlearning the Obstacles to Your Happiness (Chakra 4)
  5. ETHER/SPACE: Spiritual Alchemy – Transformation Living and Teaching Yoga (Chakra 5 – 7)

HOW DOES ALCHEMY OF YOGA WORK?

Something magical and mystical happens when a group of high-intentioned individuals make the decision to gather together for two-hundred hours with the purpose of uplifting their lives and expanding consciousness into radical authenticity.

The result is something beyond words. It is, as best as I can explain it, the Alchemy of Yoga. The Yoga Sutras (Chapter 2, Verse 1) explains how the Alchemy of Yoga actually works:

“Tapas svadhaya ishvara pranidhana kriya yoga.”

This sutra is translated to explain that yoga helps us transform ourselves on three levels:

  1. Physical Alchemy – Tapas
  2. Mental Alchemy – Svadhaya
  3. Spiritual Alchemy – Ishvara Pranidhana

Physical Alchemy – Tapas: Ignites the changes we want to make in our lives. It is about the getting fired up and passionate. Literally it means heating the body through moving and breathing in the vinyasa.

Mental Alchemy – Svadhaya: While we are following the discipline of tapas and engaging in physical practice to help move our stuck energy we are watching ourselves. In yoga we study the self to learn about the self. Here the mental alchemy is through self-observation. We witness what is going on in our thoughts, what are we thinking. We tune in to our intuition to enhance clarity and harmony between what we think, say and do. We remember to remember who we really are. Through this, our ego softens from being I centered to seeing our interconnectedness to all things, people, nature, energies. We humbly realize our nature of union in this interweb.

Spiritual Alchemy – Ishvara Pranidhana: As we are doing and watching, we let go of the ego of judgment. We move beyond wanting life to be different and begin to feel the surrender that allows what is being offered to mix together. We practice ishvara pranidhana as we trust the universal intelligence that hugs us from all directions to know what it is doing. Once we find this trust, we begin to believe that beauty and goodness are within us flowing non-stop. We understand that there is no reason to stop this flow for its natural current is to align with the current of grace that is everywhere outside us. Beauty becomes our way of life. Happiness becomes our natural alchemy once again.

HOW DOES ALCHEMY OF YOGA TEACH YOU? (Syllabus)

FOUNDATION: Introduction

Initiation into Truth, The Four Agreements, How to Live an Inspired Life, Alchemy as a Map of Transformation, How and Why Alchemy of Yoga Works

EARTH:  Manifestation – Rooting into Self

  • Freedom from Fear/Shadow Work, Ethical Guidelines, Greatness & Living Honorably, The Hero/Heroine’s Path, Power of Manifestation, Living Your Yoga

 WATER: Creation – Tapping into Your Potential

  • Body Love, Spiritual Happiness, Svadhaya of Possibility, Intention & Dharma, Vision Boards & Dream Journaling, the Five Koshas

FIRE: Ignition – Tapas, Discovering Your Optimal Performance

  • Recapitulation, Intrinsic & Extrinsic Movement, Bandhas, Somatics, The Neuroscience of Yoga, Developing a Personal Practice, Sun Salutations, Dancing Warriors, Moon Salutations, Mandala Namaskars, General Principles of Poses (Purpose, Stages & Benefits), How to Teach a Pose Safely to All Levels of Students, Stress Response + Relaxation 101, Restorative Poses, Yoga Therapeutics, Anatomy – Muscles + Bones

AIR: Edification – Svadhaya, Unlearning the Obstacles to Your Happiness

  • Yoga History + Lineages, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The Yamas & Niyamas, Alchemy of Balance + Happiness, Breathing (Pranayama), Meditation (Dhyana), Ayurveda, Dinacharya, Doshas + Guidelines for Balancing the Doshas, Nourishing the Physical Body + Ayurvedic Diet, Food Plans to Balance the Doshas

ETHER: Liberation – Ishvara Pranidhana, Transformation into the Infinite

  • The Psychologically Healthy Teacher, Teaching as Art, Skill, & Service, Staying Inspired as a Teacher, Teacher Mission Statement, Teaching to the Heart of the Student, Creating a Safe & Sacred Space, Assessment of Class Energy, Mood, Style, The Essence of Great Teaching, Teacher & Student Relationship, Honoring the Sacred Seat of the Teacher, Ethical Relationships & Boundaries, Alchemy of Communication, Learning Sanskrit, Languaging, Class Theme Preparation, How to Theme in a Psychologically Healthy Way, How to Guide Students to Their Own Experience, The Art of Sequencing Vinyasa Flow, Wave Theory & Choreography, Energetic Anatomy, The Psychology of Yoga + The Chakra System ,The Business of Yoga & Sustainability

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Under the Etruscan Sun in Prato

There’s just so much to do and see in and around Florence and it’s worth it to explore surrounding cities. The city of Prato, sponsoring wonderful and free day trips from Florence called “That’s Prato” in spring and fall, offers the opportunity to do just that.

Only 30 minutes from Florence. Prato has a population of over 200,000 and is the third largest city in central Italy. It is trying to change its image from industrial to emphasizing its museums, monuments and cultural heritage.

See more by Victoria de Maio and her beautiful photographs.

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