The Top Three: Sunsets, Tops Off and Smoothie Bowls

Since I got back to the UK, lots of my friends have been asking me the same thing: “What were your top three moments?”

I think they might be bored of me harping on…

So, in order, here’s a BRIEF run-down of the “Top 3”:

Number 1: Sunset at the end of my first yoga teacher training.

At the end of the month-long course, we sat cross-legged in the hilltop shala, watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean in front of us. I was completely overcome with emotion.  We all were.

The trip had been an escape for me. Back in the UK, somewhere along the way, I’d lost my sparkle.  I saw this trip as a way for me to find my smile again.  My whole-hearted laugh.  I had come so much further than that.  Further than I could ever have imagined.  I had a whole new perspective on life.  In that month, I had connected with some truly wonderful people, I had opened my mind in philosophy discussions and I had stretched my body to places I never thought humanly-possible.  I was so completely grateful for the whole experience.

I had found the decision to leave my job a tough one. I was grateful for having been brave enough to trust my intuition and venture into the unknown.  This special moment had made it all worth it.  I was blissfully happy and I felt full of love, inspiration and hope for the future.  So much so that it gives me tingles just thinking about it.

Number 2: The moment I realised I’d forgotten to put my top back on.

I was taking an early morning vinyasa class at Bali Spirit Festival when I suddenly realised I only had one top with me for the whole day. I was wearing it and it was getting very sweaty.  I winced at the thought of having to wear a sweat-drenched top all day.  So I took a breath, stripped off and joined the Stick-Insects who practice yoga in just shorts and a sports bra.

First off, I would NEVER have done this in London six months ago – I was far too self-conscious about my oversized arms and the three rolls of insulation (yes, I’ve counted) that appear when I slouch or bend forward – but it was hot and I figured I’d never see these people again.

It wasn’t until the evening that I realised I had completely forgotten to ever put my top back on. I’d spent the whole day walking around in just my sports bra (with most other festival goers doing the same).  For the first time in my recent memory, I didn’t feel self-conscious.  I didn’t hate my body.  In fact, I hadn’t really given much thought to how I (or anyone else) looked all day.  Instead, I was so so so grateful for my body’s strength, power, flexibility and stamina that allowed me to play around with crazy yoga moves all day.  I felt so free.

I was so excited that I even messaged a friend back home: “I’ve taken my top off and it feels so good!”

Having thought about it more, although I absolutely loved taking my top off that day, I’m not sure I’d pursue it as a career option or anything.

Number 3: Smoothie bowls and raw chocolate balls.

You find them everywhere in Ubud and they’re probably the most delicious foods ever. I’m a genuine sugar-addict, so I see the fact that the former is mostly fruit and the latter mostly nuts as a convenient excuse to ignore the sugar content and treat them as health foods that form part of my daily diet.  Please don’t tell my dentist.

I’ve since been experimenting at home, and I find that kale smoothie bowls taste particularly good if you add chocolate drops on top.

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