Today, I got married. I wore a white outfit that was borrowed from my yoga teacher, and a frangipani (plumeria) behind my ear. I was surprisingly nervous. Do I look dressed up enough? I didn’t even bring any makeup or products to Bali. I hadn’t even written my vows.
But as the rest of my Kula (“family”) stopped in to visit me in my little wooden bungalow, excitement began to kick in. I knew this was the end of a big chapter, and the beginning of a total unknown. When I left for Bali, people would ask what the “plan” was. My hasty response was that I was going to a yoga teacher training, and after that, I had no plan. But now the day had come. The training had finished. And I need to figure. it. out. Its time to move on.
I took a few more moments to look myself in the mirror. My body had become so toned from 25 days of yoga. My skin was so clear from eating a solely vegetarian diet. No meat. No alcohol. My heart was overflowing, what seemed, through my eyes, from the weeks of self reflection and support from those near and far. I looked fucking gorgeous.
One by one we entered the yoga shala, which our teachers had decorated with an aisle of flower pedals, tea candles, a beautiful altar of crystals, and a mirror at the end of the aisle. Upon walking in, we were blessed with a sage smudge – the last of our time together. In my hands I carried my journal with 9 vows to myself – of health, of love, of confidence. I took my seat in the circle, facing the aisle, and let the beautiful guitar music and kirtan singing of my teachers surround me.
One by one, my Kula members walked the aisle up to the mirror to read their vows to themselves, as we went on singing to support their celebration. I closed my eyes and sang my heart out to the sanskrit songs we had learned throughout the month, sending love to each of the members. At one point when we were out of songs, I lead Mariah Carey’s “Hero” – a classic ❤ As with most of our ceremonies and rituals, I allowed myself to go last in the group, giving time to really let the moment sink in. My chance was now. I stood up and approached the aisle, handing my gold ring to my teacher. “Give me this after” I smiled. I asked for my favorite of our song on the guitar, which goes:
Blessed are we, to walk on this ground
With the rhythm of saints, to carry the sound
Prayers for the Earth, and those yet to come
May we walk in beauty, and remember our song.
I remember, why I came here. I remember, this life is sacred.
Heya heya heyaayo. Heya heya heyaayo. Heya heya heyaayo. Heya heya heyaayo.
I took my place in front of the mirror and again, was stunned at the reflection. How beautiful it is to feel so beautiful. Inside beauty shining outwards. I read my vows, the last one ending in “I promise to try my hardest to stay present” and with that the chorus kicked in. I shot up and danced my way down the aisle, putting the ring back on – this time – my left wedding ring finger. I embraced my three teachers and hugged and smiled, allowing one of them to shove a piece of cacao (chocolate!) in my mouth (my new absolute favorite treat).
I did it. Not only am I now certified to teach yoga, but I’m a wifey! The kula stood, we danced, we hugged… and then we ripped out of our white clothes and jumped in the infinity pool under a full moon, singing and laughing all the while.
Our yoga teacher training graduation ceremony was totally beautiful. Intentional, emotional, inspiring, and transformational – and in that sense- it was just like the rest of the 25 days we spent together. Wow, I will miss the people, my Kula, my family, and the safe space that was created here for open honesty, growth, and healing. But I’m leaving here knowing that I have changed (I’m a married woman now!). Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe the time spent away to work on myself, the people that helped along the way, Mother Earth for providing such a beautiful healing physical space for the journey, and my own inner guidance.
And now, I move forward, with an open heart and wide open eyes, out onto the open road with no plan. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I vow to allow myself to eat chocolate every day”