Why We Have Expiry Dates and Cancellation Policies

At The Kali Collective Yoga Studio, we understand it can feel frustrating to lose out on classes that have been purchased because of our cancellation and expiry date policies. So we would love the opportunity to clarify our position on this matter. 

The reason we have a 12 hour cancellation policy is to ensure we are allowing the maximum number of students to participate as possible. When someone signs in to class and does not show up, or cancels without much notice, other people are prevented from coming to a class as the class may be full. We are now in a place with our studio that full classes are a common occurrence and feel it is only fair that people who sign up stay committed to attending or be penalised for taking another person's spot.

Signing up in advance is not mandatory or enforced so the act of booking and the consequences of not coming to class is the full responsibility of the person who made the choice to sign up in the first place. We understand things come up and will make exceptions for illnesses or a force majeuer. 

As for expiry dates, any pricing option other than a 1 time drop in rate will have an expiry date of either 3, 6 or 12 months. This is because the classes are sold at a reduced rate and therefore have less flexibility. This also allows for the studio to run with manageable cash flow which is imperative in running a steady, stable business. 

We feel our expiry dates are fair and allow for enough flexibility should something arise in the time that it has been purchased. We provide several different options to empower our students to make the best decisions for themselves. As with our cancellation policies we do make rare exceptions for illness and a force majeuer. 

We hope this helps to clarify our policies around this! 

How I Sold Out My Retreat In Bali

Steph Bali

I had a major shift recently while promoting my latest yoga retreat to Ubud, Bali. Long story short, I overestimated the ease of people signing up for this yoga adventure and with only 3 months to go, I had a mere 3 people signed up. Which is grand, except for the fact that I was paying for 10 people, whether 10 people showed up or not. Which meant at the time, I would be about $6,000 in debt from running the retreat. It was time to have a serious conversation with myself. 

I will confess, I let my ego guide me too often and for a long time I was running retreats with the wrong intention. With selfish intentions. It was a way for me to potentially make more money and a way to travel and adventure with my expenses being paid for. I also think there’s some false belief that if a teacher is running a retreat and people are signing up for it, they must be a good teacher and I wanted to join that club. 

So when I realized that what my ego wanted was going to cost me a lot of money I had to sit down and get really clear on what the hell I was doing this for. Underneath my selfish desires, there was something bigger being created, I just wasn’t fully connected to what that was yet. I sat down with my journal and wrote at the top something along the lines of “what the fuck am I running retreats for?”. Then I reconnected with what really lit me up about past retreats and I was overwhelmed with excitement at creating that again. It was all about the intimate connection that gets created when a group of like-minded people spend a week together somewhere gorgeous and do my favorite thing, yoga. It was about arranging a trip where people who might not otherwise feel comfortable, can join a group of people and have the logistics taken care of to experience Bali. I zoomed back to what I loved so much about Bali and honestly, felt so passionate about it that I truly wanted others to experience it. 

I looked at my branding and description of the retreat, all that I had put out into the world and realized none of it was connected at all to what I held most dear to my heart. All my communication about the retreat came from a really egoic place of sell, sell, sell, and "you should do this because…” honestly, it was fear driven. It might as well have said, "come on my retreat so I can live a crazy dream without having any deep connection as to why I'm doing it at all!" Not cool Steph. So with only a few months out, I completely removed old posts and descriptions and started fresh with a deeper connection in mind. 

2 things happened; first, my fear about losing money on this trip dissipated. I felt that even if those 3 people who signed up were the only ones to come, for me to experience that with them would be worth the loss. I saw it as a small trade-off for what we would experience together. But that wasn’t what happened because the second thing that happened was that a big flux of interest came my way about the retreat. People weren’t connecting to it before because there wasn’t much to connect to, but once I put out on social media the value of the experience and what my intention was, well it would be hard not to connect to that. I sold about 1 spot per week up until a couple weeks before I took off and wound up with a group of 10 incredible women to share a week in the Balinese rice fields with. 

This was a huge lesson for me that when you put things out into the world that are soulless, driven by fear and good only for your ego you’ll get a little nudge that you’re not moving in the right direction. If you are like me and want to live a life of passion, creativity, heart, and soul then don’t think for a second you can get away with trying to do anything less than that. What you do with the little nudge is up to you, you can blame the lack of flow on everyone and everything but yourself.

Or, you can hear the call and transform who you are and the work that you do to elevate yourself, your students and your community. 

 

Interested in joining me for a retreat in Bali? 

We are going back again March 3rd - 10th 2019! Click here for more details! 

 

5 Ways to Invoke the Energy of the Goddess Kali

Written by Steph Wall

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I will confess when my friend and I decided to name our studio The Kali Collective, we didn’t fully understand the depth of this goddess or exactly we would call on her for, other than the obvious which is self empowerment and transformation. I didn’t even understand the potency or power that would be brought forth by invoking the energy current of this archetype into my life. But my goodness did I ever find out hard and quick shortly after creating a community space in honor of Her. She wasted no time with me. Here is a brief description of her, but do not be fooled, a few lines of description only scratches the surface of her depth, complexity, and power. 

Kali is the Goddess of time, change, and destruction. She is the energy current inside of you that is wild, empowered and all loving.  This energy is deeply involved in the life/death / life cycle to keep you growing and transforming, as does the rich practice of yoga.
The Dark Mother in all her love and ferocity will guide you through transformation by dissolving all forms and time. She will tear things up to help you see what is needing to die inside of you, such as self limiting beliefs or attachments to the past that prevent you from moving forward. These deaths then create a fertile field for growth and creation of the new.
She’s the darkness most of us fear. She is fierce. She is loving. She will transform you.

Kali is not an energy to invoke lightly but from personal experience, I can say she will make changes in your life where they are needed. Examples of how she transformed me were the following:

  • Destroying lifelong beliefs that my voice is not worthy or valuable 
  • Dissolving intense bondages guarding me against vulnerability and authenticity 
  • Opened me up to find a deep, meaningful love for myself 
  • Transformed my habit of living in fantasy and instead helped me find a true love rooted in truth and reality
  • The courage to follow my dreams and run a yoga studio and yoga school in a far away, magical land 

Not bad! My life has been completely transformed but don’t think for a second it was easy. Who I was even 1 year ago is completely different to who I am now and the person I was for so many years was hard to let go of. My life as I knew it completely changed and the pain that came with it was intense. So make no mistake, it’s not as if I named my studio after her, meditated on her a few times and that’s it. It took much more work than that!

Here are some reasons why you would invoke her:

  • Dissolving limiting beliefs
  • Self empowerment 
  • Facing fears
  • Releasing egoic constructs/beliefs
  • Changing perspective on life and death 
  • Liberating yourself from old attachments 
  • Invite the wild, divine feminine into your life 

Ways to invoke Kali:

  1. Meditation - visualise her image and see what arises
  2. Self reflection - ask yourself questions like, where are you suppressing your wild, feminine self? Or, is there somewhere in your life you are playing “nice” instead of expressing a more truthful, angry, enraged self? 
  3. Asana - Take goddess squat and let out several primal roars from the belly 
  4. Offer your negative beliefs to Kali. Visualise bowing down to her and offering her your limiting beliefs for her to destroy. 
  5. Journal with Kali - ask her the following questions: What do you have to teach me? How do you express yourself in my life? How are you suppressed? What do you think needs destroying in my life?

Remember, Kali is not an energy to take lightly but she is loving. If you are ready to come alive, wake up and live your life fully, She is a necessary force to guide you there. 

Not good enough | by Steph Wall

What you’re worth. 

The majority of the years I have spent on this planet, I have spent feeling like I was never good enough. For certain people, places or experiences. For things I owned, for gifts I received. I constantly felt guilty of what I had because I never felt worthy. And you know what? That feeling is really shitty. 

Although I chose to not dwell on the past, there are certain experiences that contributed to my current teeter tottering of self worth. The biggest contributing experiences where those with the opposite sex. The way I allowed myself to feel during and after a relationship. Several times I allowed myself to be treated poorly and instead of smartening up and realizing it was their own insecurities and issues that led them to that behaviour, I instead internalized it and took it personally. I allowed myself to feel as if that was the way I deserved to be treated.

It’s funny how situations you thought you dealt with actually linger on and plant a deeper seed. Over time, I finally felt the weight suffocate me and split over into other situations. After personal successes in the yoga world however, I started to question the way I thought of myself. Although it was hard for me to acknowledge I was even feeling this way deep down, I eventually realized how wrong I was. So I dealt with it on my mat. I focused on the good, reflected on the positives, acknowledged the tiny accomplishments and let everything else slide off my back. But I’m not writing to tell you my story, I’m writing to talk about yours. 

One of the many things I enjoy about teaching yoga, is the opportunity I have to really see the most raw and pure form of a person. When someone expresses themselves on the mat fully, I see them. I connect with them. I understand them. What I see all to often are students watch in defeat as others float, balance or fly into more challenging poses. The one’s who prefer not to try something new for fear of failure. The one’s who laugh as if it’s a joke that they should ever be able to do an inversion. Those are the one’s that bother me because I so badly wish I could open up their brains, change some thought and behavioural patterns around and stitch them back up so they could realize that they ARE good enough. When I see these students, I see myself. I am reminded of the person deep down inside that spent years feeling unworthy. 

I’m here to tell those of your questioning your self worth that there is nothing in yoga and nothing in life that you are not good enough for. I have taught paraplegics, quadriplegics, students with injuries and I myself managed to practice daily when I physically had everything against me. And not a single one of us isn’t good enough for yoga. Not a single one of us is not good enough for the things we want in life. 

But no article or words from a stranger can change years of accumulated thought patterns, so maybe instead I’ll say this; I feel you. I’ve been there and as I slowly crawl my way out of this self made hole, I’m starting to see what true and honest self worth looks like. It looks like relaxed shoulders, a proud chest, a lengthy breath. It looks like a dedicated effort doing handstand kicks. A wobble leg in tree. A subtle topple in balancing half moon. A determination towards achieving the possibilities. To gaining what we deserve. 

It looks like an image I have in my head of the first time I saw a lion up close in Africa. He was powerful. He was fearless. He was strong. A thick layer of stillness, calm and peace poured over him. Nothing in the world bothered him, not our jeep, not our cameras, not our excited giggles. Nothing in the world could shake him.

Nothing in the world could take away the fire in his eyes. 

Steph Wall Yoga - Gentle Evening Yoga

Investing in rest is a key element of living a balanced life. Steph Wall speaks about our own evening rituals, and takes you through a gentle evening yoga flow to help you create the best foundation for sleep.

"People often ask me which poses are best to do before bed. Well, here are a few of my favourites! I often have troubles falling asleep but I find a short yoga practice before bed really helps me get into my body and ready for my rest. So grab yourself a cup of sleepy time tea, get the lights nice and low, turn off your phone and enjoy preparing yourself for a lovely rest."

We offer many evening classes at the studio. Check out our time table here and join us! 

Who is Kali?

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Kali is the Goddess of time, change and destruction. She is the energy current inside of you that is wild, empowered and all loving.  This energy is deeply involved in the life / death / life cycle to keep you growing and transforming, as does the rich practice of yoga. 

The Dark Mother in all her love and ferocity will guide you through transformation by dissolving all forms and time. She will tear things up to help you see what is needing die inside of you, such as self limiting beliefs or attachments to the past that prevent you from moving forward. These deaths then create a fertile field for growth and creation of the new. 

She’s the darkness most of us fear. She is fierce. She is loving. She will transform you.

Body Scan Meditation with Steph

Want to meditate?

Meditation is a process to be more still in the mind. It can create a sense of stillness and calm, away from the stresses of life. There are no expectations with meditation, you do not need to sit completely still or have an absolutely still mind. Life is much more complex than that and meditation understands this. All we are trying to achieve in meditation is a slowing of the mind. A great way to begin meditating is with a guided meditation. Here are two videos by Kali's owner Steph to help you on your way!

If you are interested in learning more about meditation, why not try a slower yoga practice such as Yin, Restorative or Nidra to introduce you into a quite space? 

The Gift of Yoga | by Steph Wall

What yoga gave me. 

By far, the best thing that has ever happened in my life is yoga. It saved me. This is how. 

Yoga gave me my body back

When I first stepped on a mat at 19, I was physically and mentally deteriorating. I didn't realize at the time but looking back, I see how small I was. My shoulders slouched, my skin was dull, my head hung in worry, anxiety, fear and stress. My hair lost it's lustre, my heart lost it's vigour. At such a young age the years of built up stress from zero confidence, zero self worth, zero self love, dumped onto a pile of regrets took it's toll mentally and also physically.  It's no wonder I developed a disease in my back. I carried a heavy load for a very long time. My back finally collapsed on me at 23.  Three doctors urged against me to do my yoga teacher training, which was five days away, but I was still pushed to stay with my practice. I mentally gave the doctors the middle finger, tossed my prescriptions for painkillers, listened to my gut and hopped on that flight to Nicaragua for my training. 

Although I saw the affects of yoga from the moment I first started, the real excavating began during my training. I did three hours a day of practice without being able to do a forward fold. But I still did it. 99% of the time in the back corner with tears in my eyes but I still freakin' did it. I wonder what would have happened if I took my doctors advice and popped pills, refunded my teacher training and became another person that goes through life with back pain. 

Yoga gave me the strength mentally to take control of my body, face my challenges, and chug along with my very imperfect, wonderful body. Not only can I wake up and fall sleep without pain in my back, my skin glows, my hair shines and curls into a crazy mess, my heart pumps fuller and harder, my lungs expand wider. 

Yoga gave me the chance to be me again. 

For many years I floated through life not sure of who I was. I allowed myself, as many of us to, to be defined by what others thought of me. People said I was shy, so I became very introverted. I got made fun of for my skin colour and big eyes so I forever avoided mirrors in shame of what I looked like. I was told I wasn't funny so I stopped making jokes. The list continues. Yoga however, allowed me to discover who I was. Actually, It forced me to. It chiselled and chipped away at all the layers of who I believed I was, until I was faced with the inner, deep, buried, chunk of gold which is me. 

The process was ugly, ungraceful, and hard. I cried many times on my mat, I've had to run out of the studio to throw up during practice, I have dealt with inner anger, resentment, frustration and many more ugly things on my mat. But I discovered who I really was. The first time a teacher offered up “letting go with every exhale” I was like really? I can let of my junk just by breathing? I'll tell you, I let go with every damn exhale after that. 

As I exhaled I found a new space that needed to be filled. The tiny speck of gold that was at the core of my being began to grow and filled all the empty spaces. I didn't know who I was until I was ripped apart, chewed up and scattered all over my mat during this thing called Power Yoga. For me, only once the bits and pieces of who I thought I was were laid out in front of my eyes, did it become clear. The gold was put back together into something brighter and strong, and all the rest was taken out with the trash. 

Yoga allowed me to be the most imperfect person on the planet. 

Yoga gave me power.  I quickly discovered that who I was on the mat was who I was becoming off the mat. I liked yoga a lot initially because I found it was the only place where my monkey brain would shut up. It was the only place I found quiet in my chaotic world. It was the only place I was relaxed. Without even trying, I saw this transcend into my daily life. Slowly, this calm and peace carried on with me after practice, longer and longer until (after a couple years) I found that there was no difference to who I was on or off the mat. Once I allowed myself to calm down and de-stress, the fun began. Who else could I become in the studio? What else could I create? If I could be powerful, strong and steady on my mat, could I be that person when I left? Damn right I could! I could be a fierce warrior, a steady tree or a still lotus in the studio, and no one said I couldn't be that after I rolled up my mat. So I became that. I found the power to take control of who I was and I allowed myself to live out all the great qualities I found in myself as I breathed, stretched and sweat. 

I'm not trying to make myself sound tough and awesome. I fall a lot in practice. I fall a lot in life. I cry on my mat sometimes. I cry in my bed a lot.  Sometimes I don't know how I'm going to make it through practice. Sometimes I don't know how I'm going to make it through the day. I get scared, feel vulnerable, and doubt myself, as I do also in my daily life. But what yoga gave me was a nod to carry on, keep my chin up and keep moving. Yoga gave me life. It gave me the power, strength and confidence mentally, emotionally and physically to experience all that life has to offer. With passion. With vigour. With courage. With audacity.

Steph's SUPER DUPER BALLS

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These are the most amazing balls. I am no calorie counter and I am no vegan however I can assure you that these balls are so healthy and delightful you will end up making them weekly, like I do! They are quick, easy and filling.

I do not like being told what to do, so I do not follow recipes. However I have attached the two recipes I kinda, sorta, very loosely follow to make sure I don't end up with bad balls. Something that is not on the recipe that I always add is Neat Nutrition Protein powder. 

Enjoy your yummy balls! 

FROM DELICIOUSLY ELLA

COCONUT CHOCOLATE BALLS

– 1 cup of desiccated coconut

– 1 cup of almonds

– 1/2 a dozen medjool dates

– 4 tablespoons of cashew butter

– 2 tablespoons of raw cacao

– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Start by putting the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blend for a minute or two, until a flour starts to form. Then add the cashew butter, coconut oil and cacao blending for a few seconds before slowly adding in the dates.

Continue to blend until everything has been combined together to form a sticky mixture. This mixture can then be rolled into balls and covered in more coconut and left in the fridge to firm up for an hour or alternately you can enjoy it with a spoon straight from a cup, or be like me and eat it straight from the blender! Either way you’ll love it! If you can resist not eating the whole mixture then keep the remaining bites in the fridge in a container.

 

ULTIMATE ENERGY BALLS 

They also only take 3 minutes to make and require almost no washing up, which is always fantastic!

Makes 15 – 20 balls, depending on size

– 1 cup of medjool dates

– 3/4 of a cup of almonds

– 3/4 of a cup of walnuts or any other nut

– 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

– 1 tablespoon of hemp protein powder

– 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

Start by placing the almonds, walnuts and chia seeds in your food processor. Blend for 1 minute, until the a flour forms and the nuts have crumbled.

Then add the remaining ingredients, pitting the dates before adding those. Blend for another minute until a stick dough forms.

Use your hands to roll the mixture into little balls, place in a bowl and store in the fridge.

Bite and enjoy! Just try not to eat them all at once!

What is the Core?

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What do we mean when we say "core"?

Everything stems from your centre. Who you are, what you do, all that makes you unique starts from the very core of who you are. Our movements should be the same! Therefore, we define the core as the centre of our body, that which encompasses the area around the spine. 

When we take a deeper look at the anatomy of the core we will see that it’s much more complex than thinking it’s just our 6 pack muscle, or rectus abdominus. When we peel back that layer we also see that the transverse abdominus, pelvic floor, diaphragm, multifidus and obliques all play a big role as well, along with a few others. 

Why should we care about moving from the core?

Because this allows us to move with efficiency and in a way that keeps the spine safe. By having an awareness and access to these muscles we can properly stabilise the spine to take us safely into backbends, arm balances and to flow with grace through our postures. Also, functionally speaking it’s important to have stable core so we can move, run, play and engage in life without worrying about putting our back out. For those of us with back pain, understanding the core and strengthening our stabiliser muscles can really help ease any discomfort. 

Benefits of strengthening your core include:

Improved posture and balance

Help with back discomfort 

Graceful yoga transitions 

Arm balances

Inversions

Functional movement 

Running

Weight training 

And much more! 

 

Why is yoga so good for the core?

In yoga we do many postures that help activate our deep core stabilisers such as plank, cobra, locust and side plank. Almost all of the postures require some sort of core stabilisation so it’s hard to get away without doing core in yoga! 

We love and appreciate the core so much we have dedicated an entire class to it called Core Flow. What to expect in this class are exercises designed to help strengthen your center. By combining practices such pilates, ballet and yoga you will be sure to leave feeling strong and empowered in your centre!

Steph Wall Yoga - How to do Sun Salutation A and B

Whatever your level, beginners or advanced, Steph Wall, The Kali Collective owner and principal teacher, takes you through the basics of Sun Salutation A and B.

It's really important to do these poses with integrity and proper alignment - Steph Wall

I get asked all the time how to properly do a sun salutation A and B, so here you have it deconstructed! We do this sequence many times over in a vinyasa class, so it's really important to do this poses with integrity and proper alignment! This video is great if you're a beginner but also useful to get back to the basics if you've been practicing for a while.

For weekly opportunities to practice with Steph, head over to our schedule: http://www.kalicollective.com/timetable-and-bookings/

Any questions or comments, please email hello@kalicollective.com

Steph Wall Yoga - Quick Core Blast

What is the core? All teachers will answer this differently but I believe the core is much more than just your "6 pack abs". It's important for us to have a strong core which requires a toning and strengthening in the front, sides and back of our centre. In this short video we will be working on the muscles that surround the spine to help you feel strong, steady and stable! This video is also great for anyone that may have back pain but please be mindful to take it slow and modify where you need to so you can feel strong and healthy in your body!

Check out our Core Flow and Pilates classes for the perfect core workout: http://www.kalicollective.com/timetable-and-bookings/

Any questions or comments, please email hello@kalicollective.com

Steph Wall Yoga - Quick Vinyasa Yoga Flow

This one is for everyone with a busy, hectic life... Take your practice where you are: at home, in an airport lounge, your hotel room or in a cottage by the sea on a weekend break! 

You don't need much time at all to get into your body and feel better physically and mentally - Steph Wall

"I often get asked for tips and tricks on how to fit yoga into a busy day. It really is simple, you don't need much time at all to get into your body and feel better physically and mentally. Doing even a few minutes of yoga is better than nothing. So find a quiet space and enjoy this quick 25 minute vinyasa yoga flow in the comfort of your own home!"

For our weekly class schedule to fit your busy life, head over to http://www.kalicollective.com/timetable-and-bookings/

And for questions or comments, please email hello@kalicollective.com

My disease, my crutch | by Steph Wall

What defines me who I am today, as I live and breath. Pure, raw and true.

Let me tell you about the most conflicting best news I’ve ever received.

A few years ago I injured my back in yoga (I hadn’t been enlightened on this “ego” thing yet), subsequently discovering I had Degenerative Disc Disease. Several doctors confirmed. The x-rays were proof. There I was, five days before my yoga teacher training, unable to do a forward fold and in agonising pain. Not liking being told what to do, I ignored my doctors advice and went to my training. I persevered, I conquered, I eventually folded.

The prognosis was heartbreaking. I was told no more impact. No snowboarding, no running. Oh and this whole teaching yoga thing? I was told to revisit that idea in five years once my back was “better”. I was now at risk of compressing my spine because of the lack of cushion I had between the vertebrae in my low back. But within two years I was physically feeling freakishly fantastic. Pain was minimal, folds were deep, core was strong. So the other day, out of curiosity, I visited a new physio to get a little check up on my back. Although I felt great, I wanted to be sure my discs and spine were happy. That’s when I got the worst best news ever.

“Who the heck told you you have DDD?” he asked after 30 seconds of doing a spinal range of motion test.

“Three doctors confirmed....why?” I replied, curious.

“There is no way you could have Degenerative Disc Disease with this range of motion in your spine. It’s phenomenal. There’s just no way. I’m not sending your for x-rays, if you feel fine, there’s no point.”

I left feeling over the moon. I called my parents right away and I texted my besties. Then I realized something awful with this great news.

Over the last two years, I unknowingly began identifying myself with my disease (notice I even call it my disease, as if I owned it). I let the DDD become a part of who I was. My recovery, proving to the world the healing power of yoga and using my story to inspire others was my thing. Now I was being told there’s no way I could actually have it. I felt like my story was taken from me. I felt like a fraud.

A light was now shone on to all the excuses I made because of my DDD.

“Of course I can’t do inversions, what would happen to my back if I fell wrong?”

“Of course I can get into a deep forward fold, that’s how I slipped a disc because I have DDD!”

“Look at me, I’m the teacher that was told I’d never do yoga again!”

Except now maybe this wasn’t the truth. 

One would think I would feel relief but I did not. I felt confused and apprehensive as I saw all my justifications and excuses fall through my fingers. I felt like I was standing on the ledge of a very deep pool without my water wings on. No floaties now. No safety net.

It’s funny the excuses we bring onto our mats. It’s crazy the excuses we make in our lives. All the crutches we fall back on. My realisation extended beyond the physical as I started to rethink the chunk of me I attached to this disease. Shit, if I allowed this part of me to be associated with a label I had for only two years, what other stories did I let become me? Instead of trying to dig up old bones and find more discoveries, I cultivated one massive piece of wisdom that I chose to carry with me from now on; I am not what I have.

Two things either happened from my physio appointment. Either my diagnosis was wrong the entire time, or I beat my “disease”. Regardless of what the clinical conclusion is, my truth it is this; When I strip away my titles, my stories, my labels, my diagnosis, what’s left is just me. In my most true, raw and pure form.

I went through the pain. I dealt with the challenges and often times still do. I healed through yoga and have inspired others with my story. I know this would not have happened without my injury and for that, I am grateful. However, my past stories are now irrelevant. I want to inspire people with who I am today. That is, a a pain-free body that supports my active lifestyle. Mountains of experience. A dedicated practice. A deep gratitude and respect for my body and it’s limitations. A shrunken ego.

The wisdom I gained from yesterday I speak with my words. My physical and mental strength I gained from rebuilding a broken body and heart. I have many things; labels, stories, relationships, money, objects. But they are not who I am. They do not define me. Alternatively, a lack of what I have also does not define me. What defines me who I am today, as I live and breath. Pure, raw and true.

There’s nothing to be frightened of | by Steph Wall

"We have all been in situations that grant us reasons to be cautious of repeats in our future but I wonder what life would be like if we just lived it."

A very intense concept has been lingering in my mind lately. It wasn't until I began studying about the brain in psychology that all the lose ends of my straggling thoughts came together. I was reading about "phantom limb syndrome" when the text book asked, "How can we feel something that's not there?" Bingo. My thoughts of fear came together.

Lately, I noticed something about myself. I stopped being afraid of things. I'm not saying I'm a big, tough, strong human that fears nothing. I won't even pretend, hell I still hate being alone in the dark. But I noticed that I haven't felt nervous, apprehensive or fearful of things coming my way. Death doesn't scare me. The future doesn't scare me. Fear of failure in any aspect of my life doesn't scare me.  Why? Well, I realised something key that goes hand in hand with "living in the moment". What we are scared of doesn't exist.

You've heard it before but here it is again; the only thing that exists is this very moment. If this is the only second we know we have, why spend it being afraid of something that might happen?

The best example I can use to explain this is relationships. I find that people, myself included, are so afraid of letting any walls down, of opening any doors, because of fear of something that could, maybe, potentially happen. Like getting hurt. Attached. Losing independence. Whatever. But here's what I realized. I was spending so much time and energy stepping away from any open doors and open hearts because of the fear or failure that I was living far from the present. I actually felt feelings and emotions for something that hadn't happened yet. Being hurt didn't exist, it didn't happen, yet I was acting like it was going to, or it already did. Like fearing a breakup when you haven't even started a relationship yet.

Now I know its rational to consider the consequences of certain things and I'm not saying it's wise to live balls blazing with no thought of the future but here's my point. How often do you actually feel the excitement of having massive amounts in your bank account when you actually don't? Or how often do you feel the excitement of falling in love with someone you aren't in a relationship with yet? Probably not that often. So why is it ok to feel scared or fearful for things that might happen in our future? If I could add up all the wasted hours of being stressed or worried about things that never actually happened, I would shake my head. Mark Twain sums it up nicely, "I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened."  How much time have you spent worried about something that never actually happened in the end? That's my point.

So why do we chose to be afraid of things? I’m not totally sure. If I had to guess I would say it's because we like to chose the path of least resistance. Better to be afraid of something and do what we can to protect ourselves from it than to live it out and see what happens. We have all been in situations that grant us reasons to be cautious of repeats in our future but I wonder what life would be like if we just lived it. If we used the wisdom of our past to guide us to an intelligent future. I wonder what it would be like if we paid better attention to why certain people come into our lives, to the opportunities that come into our lives, to the doors that present themselves. If we chose to see the positives of the what if's  instead of the scary and let that potential out weigh what frightens us.

The key is understanding that what we are afraid of hasn't actually happened yet. There are many scary things that could happen to us at this very second but it's not. We're just sitting behind a computer reading. Therefore, there is nothing to be frightened of.

How Bali Transformed my Life

And why I chose to do my retreat in Ubud, Bali 

I visited Bali in 2014 when I was doing my advanced yoga teacher training and it rocked my world. I was in a really interesting phase in my life. In a weird “in between”. At this point I knew I was wanting to live abroad, I just didn’t know where I wanted to go yet. I had already left my yoga teaching jobs, my part time job as a care giver and left university (again). I wasn’t really living anywhere, I knew the relationship I was in would be ending and all my things were already packed up, so I arrived in Bali knowing that after my trip my life was going to drastically change. In this “in - between” I was very uncomfortable. Anxiety tore through me as I began my journey into the unknown. I was filled with worry, doubt, insecurities and distrust in myself for what the future was to hold. I questioned everything. Here I was in the most beautiful place on Earth, worrying about the future. But Bali held me so sweetly as I was sick from fear and shedding infinite amounts of tears every night…

There’s something magical about this island. I can’t put it into words. The only other place I’ve felt this is India, Whistler and the Scottish highlands. It’s as if my breath was coaxed into becoming longer, deeper, more relaxed. And yet there’s this buzz in the air like you’re about to spot a fairy. And even though I knew there was medicine in the air, the landscape still managed to take my breath away. The water tastes, smells, feels more clear than you could imagine and it saturates your cells with the most perfect nutrients. Bali demands you to stop and see what is right in front of you. Not ahead, not behind, right in front. Her beauty demands your attention, you cannot ignore it. 

And that’s just the elements. Then there’s the people, and the Balinese know what’s up. You will see offerings everywhere, on the streets, on the statues, they pray to their food, I even saw a ceremony to pray for their motorbikes! What an beautiful way to live, in absolute honour for what we have. And I got to be in the energy of that, of sincere and deep gratitude for life. 

While in Bali, I did some self care treatments that were really transformative. I saw Wayan from Eat, Pray, Love and she gave me herbs, foods and different natural treatments to help me heal. It was a 2 day process of one treatment after the next and ingesting all sorts of teas and eating the strangest things. I got rocked. I also did a 3 day colonics treatment which was actually life changing, and I'm not exaggerating! Years of built up junk, physical and emotional, was cleared from my body. It was an emotional process and I let go, in every sense of the word, and cleared myself of toxins. I left Bali a different woman. 

Being immersed in the sunshine, the jungle air, practicing yoga, ingesting beautiful foods and being surrounded by incredible humans rocked my word. Something changed not only on a physical and emotional level but it went right down to my cells. I came back to Canada different, in the greatest way. And from that place, I made my scary decision to move to Glasgow, which was by far, one of the greatest decisions of my life. 

This island is nothing short of magic, that really is the only word I can use for it. It helped heal me in ways I didn’t know I needed. Everything from the sound of the rain, to the crisp, sweet sun, to my favourite meal, Nasi Gorang, was magic. I promise this won’t be anything short of an experience of a lifetime. I promise, Bali will transform you too. 

There are still spaces left for my retreat! I'd love for you to come. 

  • When: March 10 - 17th
  • Where: Ubud, Bali
  • Investment: $1895 USD - Early Bird Special $1795
  • Contact steph@kalicollective.com for more info! 

My 5 Favourite Things to do in Bali

My 5 favourite things to do in Bali and why you should be joining me on my retreat in March! 

Bali is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been to. My favourite place on the island is Ubud. It’s saturated with the most incredible yoga, food, adventures and shopping! There is a lot to see and do, I promise you won’t get bored! Here is my list of my 5 favourite things to do in Bali. 

  1. Yoga. DUH. How about 3 hours of it a day? Yes please. Vinyasa, Yin/Restorative and meditation while breathing in the alchemic air and soaking our cells in the sweet energy of the Balinese jungle. My favourite avenue for self empowerment and transformation is the practice of yoga. An obvious #1 choice. 
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2. Relax in the sunshine. Another obvious one but seriously. March is the perfect time to get away and soak up some much needed Vitamin D after the winter. I feel instantly happier and lighter when I can be in the sunshine and it just so happens that our resort has an Ozone swimming pool and sun beds with our name on it! On the retreat you will have plenty of time to relax every day if you want to lay by the pool with me! Oh did I mention, you get one free massage on the retreat? 

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3.  FOOD. I love my food and I have to say, I think Bali tops the list for my favourite food on Earth. It’s fresh, clean and prepared with love. The cafes in Ubud are like none other, the smoothies, juices, coffees…soul food indeed! On the retreat all your meals are included and of course options for vegetarian are offered. I can’t wait to get some Nasi Gorang in my belly and have unlimited Kopi coffee at the resort….

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4. The healing. I spent a lot of time in Bali healing, which included seeing several different types of healers. I just had to see Wayan from Eat, Pray, Love and YES she rocked my world. I also did some colon hydrotherapy sessions which changed my life. Colonics will not be included on your retreat however you will have plenty of time to engage in many different healing treatments such as spas, baths, steams, acupuncture, qi gong, reiki etc. My favourite place for this is Radiantly Alive . I cannot wait. 

5. Nature. The elements in Bali blow me away. The night rain, the sweet breeze, the rice paddies and bright green fields. I can’t wait to go exploring with you. One of my favourite places is called the Tirta Empul Temple - it’s a beautiful walk and we can participate in purifying ourselves in the gorgeous springs. There’s also an incredible walk I did called the Campuhan ridge, which gives a stunning view of the town and landscape. We will have plenty of time for this on our retreat :)  

Those are my top 5 but a few other things to do include:

  • Shopping at the local markets
  • Cooking classes
  • Offering making classes 
  • White water rafting
  • Bike tours 

There are still spaces left for my retreat! I'd love for you to come. 

  • When: March 10 - 17th
  • Where: Ubud, Bali
  • Investment: $1895 USD - Early Bird Special $1795
  • Contact steph@kalicollective.com for more info!