Sitting at the communal table of the Yoga Barn’s Garden Kafe, I order a ginger, lemon and honey hot pot as I take a look at my surroundings. The Yoga Barn is a beautiful space. Rustic but chic and as green as it gets. With high-end yoga facilities, perfect lighting, high ceilings and comfortable areas to chill and relax between classes, the barn offers a wide and open space set amidst terraced rice paddies and nestled in the bustling mountain village of lovely Ubud in Bali. As I keep looking around, I am stunned by the people – fucking beautiful people: perfect bodies everywhere wearing the most fashionable Lulu Lemon yogi outfits, perfectly tanned and simply gorgeous… Many tattoos all over the place: infinity signs, lotus flowers, Oms, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti… Lots of blondies with dreadlocks… and, the crystal healing necklace seems to be the barn’s uniform. I need to get one.
People from all over the world, true, but the diversity is somehow inhibited by the ruling class of the barn: top 1% without a doubt (they do offer “community free classes”… I don’t mean to overlook this initiative with my comment).
The Kafe Menu explains The Yoga Barn was one of the first veggie cafes in Ubud including “some non-veggie options for those who believe they need them”. Aouch!
As I am one of “those people”, I decide to order a chicken breast with potatoes. They offer only free-range chicken; happy chickens! So, as tables are shared, we all sit close to one another and it’s inevitable not to glance over my neighbors’ orders: kombucha, raw bowls, tofu in its different presentations, tempeh… I see no other happy chickens, uh-oh…
After a couple of minutes, the smiley waitress arrives with my order and says out loud, “one chicken breast with potatoes, pleaaaase!” … My neighbors look at her… and I say: “here” (a small, small here), my neighbors look at me. I feel as if my dealer has just delivered my cocaine order which I am receiving in front of many kinder garden kids… I look back at my beautiful neighbors and smile. It was a happy chicken!
My neighbors change, I finish the (delicious and happy) chicken and two girls sit next to me. I open my book, Dune, and I am ready to immerse myself in it but the conversation distracts me.
- Are you doing The Dance tonight? – gorgeous girl #1
- Of course I am, SO excited! – gorgeous girl #2
A stunning guy joins them and asks: “how are you girls?”
- SO GOOD, what about you?
- AWESOME! – gorgeous guy responds
I am quite surprised about how good people feel around here, note to self: maybe I should go vegan. Conversation continues:
- Hey so, we are grabbing a bite, do you want to order something? – GG#2
- Noooo, I only eat breakfast! Big smile on his face.
- SO GOOD for you! – GG#1
- I know, I feel wonderful. I have to get going but I’ll see you tonight riiiight?
- HELL YEAH! – GG#1&2
They take their hands to their hearts and then to their mouths, they do a little bow and he leaves…
I take a vinyasa class that day, probably the best vinyasa class I have ever taken, and, when the class ends my neighbor smiles at me and asks me about my tattoo. I tell him about it and he smiles again. Mannnn he is good-looking!
- Did they use vegan ink? – he asks
WTF. I try to analyze the question. Vegan ink means?
As he sees my startling eyes, he just says:
- It’s ok if you don´t know, they probably didn’t. I mean if you are not into that…
“Not into that” seems to mean: “if you are more into the let’s-kill-everyone thing”.
After the class I decide to sit in one of the comfy puffs at the lobby and wait for my next class. You can hear everywhere “the dance”, “the dance”, “the dance”. Fuck it, I might as well just do the dance.
The Ecstatic Dance is a free form dance event that recognizes itself by being a “talk free space” and by featuring a live DJ and electronic dance music with little to no direction to how people should dance. The events are drug and alcohol-free and most important, it is a space of non-judgment where people come together to “share a movement experience”.
The barn issues the dance tickets 1.5 hours before the dance starts and people just get all crazy pushing each other to get one of the golden tickets. And yes, I pushed as well.
As I wait for the dance floor to open its doors, I sit in the lobby area having a detox energetic juice before the big event. I would prefer to have a few beers to be ready to loose myself to dance but let’s see what this beetroot drink can do.
People come to the lobby and yogi outfits are gone: beautiful dresses, necklaces, flowers, hippie pants, make up, “OMG, you look amazing!”.
I realize I am still wearing my sports bra and the same sweatshirt I’ve used all week… (…)
An older guy is wearing a “Vegan means Peace” t-shirt and as he walks into the lobby, he gets high-fives from people “al righty!”, “I hear you man!”
- You vegan? – he asks a girl
- Of course!
- How long?
- 14 months. How about you?
- 11 years. – smile, hands to the heart, bow, he walks away
As the lobby gets more and more crowded, I put away my book and decide just to watch. The average height is 5.10” and damn, how pretty they all are!
A new conversation starts close-by.
- Hey, did you invite HER? – cute guy asks a cute girl
- No way, I didn’t.
- I mean, she eats caviar, I can’t even…
- I know, I don’t hang out with people who eat caviar.
- So wrong!
- Hey so, is George coming?
- Noooo, he is water fasting and he is in his 6th day so he is at that stage where he can’t move.
- Wow, I SO wanna do that.
19:20 the dance floor opens… Music starts… people begin to dance, music gets louder and a strong and shared woohoo explodes in the studio… No drugs, no alcohol and people are just dancing like there is no tomorrow. B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l people.
And so, as the music gets louder, I start to dance… cautiously… a few slow movements, and then a little more, and little more… and…
Fuck it! I close my eyes and I just lose it.
So there I am – quoting Hugh Grant – “dancing with my eyes closed and making a complete fool of myself”, sweating like a pig, jumping, moving and twisting every little part of my tiny 4.11” body and, I feel just AWESOME.