Yesterday, for the first time ever since I do yoga, I felt like crying at the end of my practice.

I was not sad.

I was actually feeling wonderfully relieved!

Truly, what I felt is harder to describe… I have to admit I was confused about what was going on inside.

I went on this trip with the intention of experiencing feelings I never had before. And it happened, right there, on this tiny mat, in the middle of a luxuriant forest.

We came to Ubud after that crazy night we had in Kuta because we felt like we needed to purify our souls and cleanse our bodies from the intense rhythm of life we were used to in the city.

What I found here exceeded my expectations.

Ubud is a little inland town, surrounded by rice fields and known as the artistic center of Bali.

I’ll mostly remember it for its green spirit.

First, my heart skipped a beat when we found the Yoga Barn. At the end of a small alley, down a wooden staircase, there was this beautiful open-air center. Maybe it’s a vibration thing, but I immediately fell in love.

We started by attending a challenging and yet very amusing Acroyoga class given by Carlos, a handsome Venezuelan guy that makes you feel comfortable with a simple
and charming smile. I don’t know much about the journey that brought him from the corporate life to the holistic one, but I’ve truly been inspired by his devotion. He has such a vibrant and positive energy that I couldn’t help thinking he had found true harmony here in Bali.

With that in mind, during other classes taught by him, Carlos significantly touched me by sharing some of the most powerful thoughts I’ve heard.

He talked about the importance of being fully present in the now and the power of being connected as one. It’s the kind of speech you might expect hearing on repeat in every yoga class, but there was something about the way his voice carried us. For the first time, I fully experienced and understood the importance of letting go.

I was nowhere else than there, physically and mentally.

I could hear the sweet melody of the birds, feel my heartbeat, the wind kissing my skin and even a drop of sweat slowly running down my cheek. I was neither hungry nor thirsty, nor was I thinking of anyone. I was experiencing the art of connecting your mind and your body to the exact same place.

Isn’t true, that in the world we live in, our mind is always running ahead of where our body and heart actually are? We are whether planning the future or worrying about the past… And just like that, many precious moments are lost and we wish we could have them back.

Yoga is about taking the time to be, rather than to do. It might sound easy, but, honestly, in our fast-paced society, this is an underestimated skill that demands a lot of practice.

Right now, while reading these exact words, straighten your back, stretch your spine till the tip of your head, lower your shoulders and open your chest. Take a deep inhale and exhale strongly.

How does that feel? Gooood, yeh!

“A beautiful day begins with a positive mindset. When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start to feel like one. Time spent appreciating, is time worth living”

Another thing that enlivened me in Ubud for being totally aligned with the “staying wild” spirit, is the quantity of places offering real fresh food!

Mmmmm food…

Ubud is all about healthy, local, organic restaurants & markets and that’s what made me want to sing out loud while clapping my hands! To find a place where you can grab a refreshing pineapple, coconut water, ginger, mint and aloe vera juice on every corner, makes me believe there is still hope the fast-food industry won’t wipe out mankind.

So all those beautiful places (Garden Kafe, Alchemy, Down To Earth, Soma, Sari Organik,  Bali Buda) are offering creative and delicious raw vegan concoctions boosted with superfoods. The price for a smoothie and a hearty meal is a
round 7-8$. I just wanted to try everything! Seriously, if you are not familiar with this kind of food, it’s time for you to go and try it out in a place like Crudessence in Montreal; I promise you’ll be impressed my friend. It is savory, fresh, crunchy and will fill you up… Oh! They even make pizza and burgers, so screw your preconceptions!

And, for the record, I’m not vegetarian, vegan or a raw food activist. I simply love firing up my body and my mind with the best fuel there is! What contains more energy than ingredients that are still alive and that haven’t been cooked or transformed?

All that being said, I know perfectly why I felt so overwhelmed that morning on my yoga mat: because I finally found a place that connects with my true spirit.

I’ve been trying to convince myself for the past 5 years that I felt fine living in the city. On one hand, I love the friends and family that surround me there. On the other hand, if you put me on an island in the middle of nature, with enlightened people, great fresh food and some of the most beautiful spots to practice yoga, to surf, to kite-surf and to scuba dive, I suddenly feel like the sky has never been so blue.

Why in heaven’s name would you want to live anywhere else? You and me, we actually have the choice…

However, it is also very, very terrifying to realize I might never be able to go back to the life I used to live. Am I ready to forget about my so-well-implanted habits and my usual safe grounds?

That’s probably what stops people from moving away.

But I’m the one who just wrote about the importance of being able to jump, right?

As for today, let me be grateful for being right here, right now, in a really happy state of mind. I’m feeling totally blessed for having stepped on the “Island of Gods”.

“She was gracefully dancing in the waves. She finally understood how you could feel so detached from the world, yet be at one with it.”

And you, what are you grateful for today?