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Yoga Dance Music Healing

Ubud, Bali May 19 - 22, 2022

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What Happens When It Rains at BaliSpirit Festival?

I saw trouble on the horizon when I first woke on the second day of BaliSpirit Festival. More correctly, I saw nothing on the horizon but grey and rain. I immediately felt a bit deflated. What happens at an outdoor yoga, music, and dance festival when the tropical rains of Bali roll on in, and stick around?

One thing I have found to be true is the notion that humans are adaptable. We have adapted over generations, we can adapt in our own lifetime, and we can even adapt in a single day. Adaptation was every where at BaliSpirit Fest.

Admittedly, it was a slow start to the day, as yogis on motorbikes drove south of Ubud, perhaps taking a little longer than otherwise to get their day started. The more fortunate arrived in cars and Festival Shuttles, perhaps slightly more dry. The Dharma Fair was wet, but vendors started to set up their booths, breakfast was served, and music began to play from the different pavilions. The workshops went on, and we were required to adapt.

During Les Leventhal’s Vinyasa Basics class, yogis squeezed together tightly, despite the wet floor and water logged bodies. Before class he blasted Kool & The Gang’s Celebration, determined to get people off their mats and dancing. It worked. His vibrant energy cut through the grey skies and re-energized the rows of eager participants. The dampness of the rain gave way to the beads of sweat as Les offered, in typical Les fashion, a basics and then some class.

While listening to Nadine McNeil’s discussion on karma and dharma from the Bale Up pavilion, I could see festival goers hooping in the distance, some who were content to dance around in the misty rain, twirling in their hoop with not a care in the world. A perfect image of what happens when it rains at BaliSpirit Festival. The Kirtan continued at the Dharma Fair. Free one minute massages continued to be enjoyed. A Thai massage was given while a friend held an umbrella overhead. Children ran through puddles.

It was the perfect day to see yoga theory truly at work, even off the mat, with everyone practicing Santosha, or contentment. As Mother Teresa said “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” On this rainy day, people managed to find the joy, to laugh at it all, to adapt to their surroundings and the circumstances at hand.

As the afternoon wore on, muddy flip flops were replaced by muddy bare feet, as people quickly realized that they were less likely to slip if they were going au natural. Children colored at the ReGreen booth, in bright colors, with blue skies and yellow suns, always content, and always optimistic.

Extra wood flooring was placed to create new walkways. Vendors added tarps. Even the “toileteers” managed to keep the toilets in great shape for the day. By the time lunch arrived, and the rain slowed to an occasional trickle, it seemed to be business as usual at the BaliSpirit Festival. Yoga mats were rolled out for seating, food was eaten, and music was enjoyed. All with a sense of contentment.

By the late afternoon, as the last workshops of the day began, the sun started to shine a little more. People shopped at the Dharma Fair and lounged on the giant bean bags, enjoying the company, and the atmosphere. Everyone adapted to their surroundings, and continued to be content, and even relish, in a day at BaliSpirit Festival.

Written by : Amber Hoffman

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