Awareness and healing in Bali with Eka Kailash, a yoga teacher at the famous Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, Eka Kailash is also a very gifted healer. His sessions are profound yet fun, and in this interview he shares with much wisdom and intelligence his journey. Born in Bali, he was first a broadcaster and scholar in Indonesia, Singapore and the USA, then went home to live a mindful material life, while connecting to oneself, others, nature and God.
Dear Eka, how would you like to inspire people in this interview?
To come back to their body, to spend a little more time feeling their body. The more time we spend in the body, the less time and energy we waste from being lost in the train of thoughts and stories of the mind, allowing peace and joy to become more accessible in our day-to-day life.
What led you to teaching yoga?
Well, the physical pain and heavy emotions that came with studying and working very hard to get my scholarship and live my American dream led me to yoga, and then the owner of Yoga Barn “forced” me to teach. The first class was nerve-wrecking but I enjoyed it very much and decided to carry on. I had no intention to teach Yoga, even after I completed my Yoga teacher training! I guess it’s just life… it’s filled with the unexpected…
What was your dream job as a kid?
Ahhhh… I had many dream jobs. I always wanted to be a doctor because doctors help people heal. I also wanted to be a priest: when I was a kid, my mother assigned me to make and do the daily offerings. From this I developed a deep spiritual connection with the spirits and nature of the island. I guess in a way now I am doing those two jobs, but in a different way: I help people with their body, mind and soul, and at the same time it keeps me connected with the spirits of nature.
And you also help people in your clinic, where you give sessions to help them heal on all levels, right?
Yeah, absolutely, I now have a healing clinic like other doctors… but a different kind of doctor (laughing) and a different kind of clinic… so yeah, dreams come true, we just have to wait and… flow…
When Balinese have something wrong in their bodies, what do they do?
There has been a big shift in our lifestyle. When I got sick, as a kid, my Mum would give me a massage with special herbal oils that she made herself, that she learned from her parents. If needed, she would give me herbal medicines to ingest that she made herself from leaves and roots, easily found in our garden. Modern medicine and doctors would be the last option. Resting the body and healthy home cooked food was also an important part of the healing process. Unfortunately things have changed, I guess everybody wants to get rid of illnesses as fast as possible. It might be one of the reasons why western medicines and modern doctors have become people’s first option. Perhaps it’s easier, and faster. Better? I’m not sure.
In Balinese families, is there somebody that knows these remedies?
Yes, at least my parents’ generation, it was how they were raised. These remedies are very simple and affordable as well. They also know the kind of food that should be avoided, or consumed, to improve our health. It’s like knowing how to cook rice, it’s that simple!
Do you meditate every day?
Yes, as much as I can! Meditation has become a need, like eating. It doesn’t always have to be done seated quietly. We can meditate every second, every day, which we call “awareness practice”. Bringing awareness, as often as possible, to sensations in your body, to your breath, thoughts and emotions, is taking a step back from all that is happening. We become still, we see with better clarity, we stop reacting automatically. This is when healing and transformation start to happen.
What is your view on the volcano currently erupting in Bali?
I see it as a reminder of the constant changing of life, the ups and the downs, and the flatness in between… the dark and the twilight and the brightness. And the ultimate way to deal with it is with complete acceptance. This powerful nature event has triggered many things: fears, worries, anger, sadness, frustration, judgement, our desires to control, attachments to people and things, and other forms of old patterns and old wounds. Can we really slow down this time, and look inside, feel… and reflect? And then perhaps ask ourselves, how can we learn from this so we can be a better human being? Every life event is an opportunity for us to study, to transform, to heal, to put our spiritual study into practise.
Do you have some routines that you do first and last hour of the day?
Before doing anything, as soon as waking up, start with awareness. Ask: “How do I feel today? How are my emotions? How is the mind, is it quiet? Is it busy? How is the body? Is it limber, is it tight, is it in pain?” And then choose which tool to use to bring balance and harmony back into your life. One thing, that I try not to do, is to check my phone as soon as I get up (laughter) and that’s quite difficult… yeah, I try not to start the day on the phone, and to close the day before bed, checking on the phone again. I fail sometimes… often times… but each time I fail, I try again the next day.
What does positive living mean to you?
Positive living is giving our best to every moment that life gives us, and to stop looking for perfection. We give our best when we are present. For example when we are with our friends, be fully with them, with all of our senses. Switch off the phone, or put it away. Everything in life is temporary. We never know whether or not this opportunity will be given to us again in the future.
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About Sophie Wenger
At college studying French, English, Latin and Philosophy, Sophie always loved writing assessments and presentations on a wide range of subjects. When she continued her studies at the Swiss School of Osteopathy, she joined the students’ journal team with great enthusiasm, yet she put writing aside as soon as she opened her first clinic, except for her patients’ medical history and notes on the sessions.
She realised how much she missed it only years later, and then started sharing events, thoughts and dreams on a diary, and recently as a way of coming out of her nutshell, publicly on Instagram and Facebook.
She is passionate about life, consciousness, the earth, the universes and all their beings, and feel it’s an honour to share and grow with fellow seekers of Truth, Peace, Love and Happiness. Osteopath D.O., blogger and self-development enthusiast, Sophie has lived in 4 countries and loves science, spirituality, fruits (including durian!!) and positive living. Her goal is to inform, empower and positively inspire people to live a happy peaceful life in harmony with our dear planet.