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Back to Bali! For yoga? And for good?

A year after my yoga teacher training in Bali and first ever solo backpacking trip, I am finally going back to Bali!

In less than two months I’ll be flying back to Bali, YAY! There, I will be assisting at a yoga teacher training in Ubud! I can’t believe it! 🙂 How did that happen?

me-infront-of-waterfall-baliWell, I recently sent an email to the founder of the yoga school, Yoga East+West, where I also did my yoga teacher training. He had recently sent out a newsletter to all students saying that they were always looking for assistants for their YTT’s. So, I let him know that I was hugely interested! This is THE DREAM!

Additionally, I also asked him about the possibility for a real job at their company. Since assisting wasn’t a paid gig. They call it a learning experience, which it is after all. And I was happy to be able to do that! He then suggested I come to Bali first, assist at one of their next trainings and “reconnect” with the team and that would would talk about it . once I got there. Okay, let’s go!

How much do you actually take with you after your yoga teacher training?

YTT-family-bali-ubud-2018I guess it’s different for everyone. And I remember that after the teacher training in Bali, I thought about how much I would like to do the training again. Why? Because you learn soooo much! Indescribably much. And all of that in a relatively short time span.

Do not underestimate how much you go through during a YTT (especially emotionally). And I believe that that somehow “blocks” the pure absorption of what you are learning, because you can’t take it ALL in. That’s hard to explain, but I hope you get a feeling of what I mean.

In my opinion, it is similar to reading a book that is quite difficult to digest or very complex, like “The Power of Now” by Eckhard Tolle. The first time you read it, you probably won’t get 100% out of it. If you then read the book again some time later, you suddenly perceive completely different statements and information or understand them better than before.

Because you are “somewhere else” now. You are not who you were yesterday. That’s how I feel about the Yoga Teacher Training. And that’s why I’m so happy to be there, to experience it again, and again in Bali! Yay!

Also, since my YTT I have been able to let go of a lot, including my attitude and (unconscious) beliefs. And because of that I am freer now. And therefore, more receptive than this time last year. That is why I think that being at the training again (but this time from a different perspective) is the best thing I can do to refresh what I have learned and to go back into the yoga bubble.

Aren’t you scared at all?

I am. I’ll be flying back to Bali in less than 10 weeks, where I’ll be assisting at one of Yoga East+West’s yoga teacher trainings – and then what? I currently have no idea what will be after that. But then, does anyone know what will happen tomorrow? No. One thing that worries me a little is that I don’t know what kind of possible jobs he has for me (quote: “I have a few potential roles in mind“), or what the pay is like. I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

But, since all this has come about at relatively short notice, I don’t have that much time left now to make and save a lot of money before departing to Bali. That means I will have about only about 2,000€ to 3,000€ in “reserves” after the training. Hmm. That is not a lot, I know.

My Plan B

bali-waterfallIn case it doesn’t work out with the job at East+West in Bali (woe!), my plan B is to work remotely (online) from Bali as a freelancer. Actually, that’s more like my Plan Z. Because I would much rather work for the Yoga Institute! So, to freelance is only an “emergency plan“, and I guess that’s typical “German” (it’s all about security, baby!). I almost started freelancing while being back in Germany already. I had gotten a job for a project, but then decided against it because of the high health insurance contributions that you have here as a self-employed person.

But now I know that it is possible and I can land a job as a freelancer within (at most) one month. Besides, I still have my blog, this one, which I have been working on for a while. My goal is to earn money with it within the next year as well, but we’ll see.

And what’s your long-term plan, anyway?

beach-in-IndonesiaFirst of all, I do not have a long-term plan. Never did anyway. At most, I have a medium-term plan. And this is to work for Yoga East+West. In Bali. And yoga.

For as long as possible and as long as I like. I want to have something to do with yoga professionally. This does not necessarily have to be a job as a yoga teacher.

At least not full time. I really don’t want to (have to) teach yoga every day. Teaching yoga is fun for me and gives me so much joy and happiness.

But if I had to do it every day, I think I would lose the joy and love for it, because it would simply become a “duty“. I know a lot of other yoga teachers that burned out while they were teaching classes every day, multiple times a day even, and they ended up not even practicing yoga anymore! I do not want this to be happening to me.

And, I strongly believe that you need to maintain a healthy level of energy to be able to teach “good” yoga classes. If you’re run down and exhausted, your students are going to feel that.

My mid-term plan in Bali


Me at the holy water temple in Ubud – Tirta Empul Temple

Anyways, back to my mid-term plan. I hope to be able to work in Bali for at least a year. Maybe even longer? Who knows. It’s exciting! I definitely don’t want to live in Germany anymore. I don’t even want to work here anymore, even if it’s “only” for three or four months to finance further travels. That’s what I did last year, but there must be other ways to do it!

Does this mean I want to leave Germany forever? Live permanently in Bali? I don’t know. I still hesitate to say “forever.” But I think so. It is a bit scary though. And it’s not so easy to admit it to myself. That I want to leave here forever. Because that means risk. Away from security. And away from the familiar. Just let it happen. And see where the path leads.

Because what I long for the most is freedom. Freedom means many things to me, and among other things, it means this. I don’t want to do the same job for 30 years, not even five. I like change and new experiences. That is why I am going back to Bali.

The last year was a preparation for what is about to come


Me celebrating the completion of my YTT in 2018 in Bali

It’s funny when I think back to the fact that last year, exactly one year ago, I moved out of my apartment (which was really great!). I sort of broke down all the tents, but without the thought that I was now gone forever. I always said from the beginning “it will only be a trip of about three months” and “possibly longer, depending on how it goes.”

Now I see that I could have stayed away longer than three months. I still had some money left and I wasn’t tired of traveling yet. I could have kept going. But even after three months of traveling and the yoga teacher training, I still didn’t have a clear direction on where to go or what to do.

Back then I didn’t know what it was that I would really like to do. Except for more traveling, of course. It was more a lack of inspiration or clear decision and aimlessness that led me back to Germany.

Financial insecurities can be overcome

me-in-mexico-pyramidsAnd I did have some concern about the financial aspects as well. Yes, I still had some money left, but only for one or two more month, maximum three. And then? What would have I done then? With no money left at all? That was too scary for me at that time (last year!). Too much risk and uncertainty! So, I “had” to go back to work in Germany and save for my next trip.

After only a few months in Germany, I took off again. This time my path lead me to Mexico and Central America. And after a few months traveling around some beautiful countries and teaching yoga, this time I really did spent all my money, and I mean all of it! Only this time, I did not feel insecure or anxious about it, like I did half a year ago. How things can change!

Realizing what you really want

Sofia-namaste-mudraThis time, however, I really had to go back to Germany, because now my travel fund was completely empty. I must admit, I could have stayed in Costa Rica and work there. I had found a vegan restaurant by the beach that employs foreigners.

However, it was not “worth it” to me or, it just did not make sense for me. The salary was really low and it would have been just a “job“. And that was not what I wanted, remember?

A random job like that was out of the question for me at that time. In addition, I did not resonate with the manager of the restaurant, she didn’t seem to be the kindest person towards her staff and I didn’t want to work with someone like that! In addition, I also wanted to do something meaningful, not just work for the sake of money.

Also, I didn’t really like the yoga classes and yoga styles in Costa Rica. Somehow they don’t seem to do yin yoga over there, or maybe I just didn’t see it. However, I realized that I was more attracted to the Eastern teachings and thus, I wanted to go back to Southeast Asia.

Now I came to realize that what I really wanted was yoga. I wanted to learn more about yoga, be surrounded by like-minded yogis, preferably live in a yoga community, and just do yoga and live yoga. And Bali. Bali and yoga, what more do you need?! However, I would still need some kind of income too!

Aha. So now I was getting closer to the root of what I want. And finally this realization and East+Wast Yoga’s search for new assistants for their teacher trainings led me to reach out to him and tell him how much I want to work there!

A decision can also be a process


Arjuna statue in Ubud

I believe that the last year and my travels were part of the process. A “cutting the cord” process, as a friend of mine called it. Somehow I was not yet able to take such a big step last year, to just leave Germany right away and not come back every few months, but back then I was still too insecure and risk-averse for that. And all that despite the fact that I had already given up my apartment and was theoretically homeless in Germany! But all in good time.

As you can see, I simply didn’t know what I really wanted. And I think that only really became clear to me in the last two or three months. And I’m very happy about that! It may sound funny, but now I realize that back then, it didn’t occur to me at all that I could simply work somewhere else (and make good money, too). Yes, seriously. That’s why I kept going back to Germany.

And I do believe everything is possible (really!). The only thing that is necessary is a clear decision. Decide what you want to do and then do it. Where there is a will, there is a way. That’s not just a cliché.

Will I learn how to ride a scooter in Bali?

The only thing that still scares me about the whole thing is that I finally have to learn to ride a scooter in Bali! I avoided that very successfully last year. I am really scared of that!

Only once did I drive a scooter while being in Thailand. Although that went well at first, it did have a rather negative result. Yes, I had a teeny tiny “accident“. But no one else was involved. My bike just fell over when I suddenly had to stop at a turn and I forgot to put my feet down 🙂 I hurt my leg a little bit. But after that experience, I didn’t try it again. But now, I probably won’t be able get around it.

Update: 07/09/2019:

flight-back-to-baliI have booked my flight to Bali and also applied for the Indonesian 60-day tourist visa last week. And now, I am really starting to feel the fear / uncertainty / excitement!!! Madness.

In addition, I received another email today from Yoga East+West. An email with a Google Doc link describing the role and duties of a Yoga Teacher Training Assistant. I am supposed to read this one carefully. Heeeeelp, I feel absolutely not ready for this! And yet, it is exactly what I wanted.

Dear ones, keep your fingers crossed for me! I will keep you posted!

Much love ❤

Read the next part of the story here.