I haven’t laughed so hard or for so long in ages, and herein lies the beauty of the event, we are supporting a worthy cause – and having an awesomely good time while we are at it.
2012 Yogathon, article published in Kula magazine 2012
After a week of torrential rain the clouds finally part, bathing Desa Seni in the glow of the emerging sun – an auspicious start to the second annual Yoga, Music, Dance A Thon.
I arrive to find brightly hued umbul (Balinese flags) flickering in the breeze and the path strewn with frangipani and hibiscus – at Desa Seni the road to wellbeing is always a colourful one. But today our practice has an even higher purpose, as all money raised by the event is directed to Ayu Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS, a program that promotes awareness through a series of work shops aimed at Bali’s youth. It is estimated that the number of people infected with HIV has tripled over the past five years; Ayu Kita Bicara aims to stem the spread of the disease by targeting Bali’s youth through a series of workshops. Last year’s event raised over $15,000 for the cause, an amount that we hope to match today.
It’s 8.00am, and with a full 12 hours ahead of us Daphna raises our energy with an uplifting kundalini class. Jocelyn Gordon then gets us into the swing of things with hula hooping on the lawn – the hoops bringing a whole new dimension to yoga practice. Workshops are spread over three different areas, with 30 presenters signed up to lead the way. Cherie Rae enthusiastically leads a workshop entitled ‘Peace it’s an inside job,’ “Yoga is for the world, not just skinny people,” she calls out. I catch her afterwards at Jeff Von Schmauder’s Union Yoga – which results in some rather amazing feats of balance, and some spectacular topples – “ I am so high right now,” she shouts.
Late in the morning dark clouds dance menacingly around us, before slinking off to the horizon – there is no place for rain today! Following a healthy organic lunch in Rumah Uma many of us join Awahoshi who lulls us into a blissful state with crystal sound, succinctly summing up the vibe of the day when she says “You are here because you are amazing. ” I join some friends in the pool but am soon drawn out as “Another one bites the dust” rings out – its Charlie Patton’s Dancing Extravaganza and it looks (and sounds) like way too much fun to miss out on.
When I told a friend I was going to a Yogathon she said “Ooh that sounds like fun” in a tone dripping with sarcasm – if only she knew…. I haven’t laughed so hard or for so long in ages, and herein lies the beauty of the event, we are supporting a worthy cause – and having an awesomely good time while we are at it. EVERYONE is smiling! Desa Seni is in its element, today we truly are one! “ “How amazing it is when the Kula (community) of Bali, from all over the island can come together and truly represent the meaning of Kula ” says Desa Seni founder Tom.
As the sun sinks into the horizon flaming torches are lit as we join Kevin and Mel for inspirational Kirtan chanting. Finally, Hamanah Drum n Dance lead us in a high energy, butt shaking dance to the beat of the djembe, ending twelve hours of yoga, music and dance with a bang!