Final Days at Konalani


Finals Yay!

“I am so over these geckos!” I exclaim to myself as I clean massive gecko poop droppings. These beautiful creatures were so fascinating in the beginning but they have become the biggest nuisance of my life. They poop everywhere, and my bathroom is covered in it. I am in full Pitta mode now. I am trying to find someone at the Ashram to blame for this. “Really?” I ask myself. As if anyone has control of the gastric contents of these reptiles.

I decide that I need to take the Yoga class before our final exams, not caring about any physical limitations today. I need to burn this off and to find some good meditation. Being that it is Independence Day, Satyam has come up with a theme class based on freedom. We start off with a gratitude flower meditation, just what I need.

We each had to randomly select a peak pose for our 15-minute final. This was to be taught to our fellow classmates. Of course, I picked shoulder stand. My back will definitely not allow me to do this so I have JP and Miko on stand bye to step up and demo the pose as I cue it to the class.


I got bonus kudos from my ratings for this. My key needs for improvement were that I moved too fast and my voice was too low. My key strengths were using breath, my explanations of arms in Salabasana and the foot massage I added to Butterfly pose.

Yet, I still felt defeated. I felt like I got my ass kicked throughout most of my teaching. Though some would say I was too into my head, others would say that I was making so much improvement in getting out of my head. Most said they wanted my story when I taught, rather than the quotes I added throughout my teaching. It’s all good. I didn’t expect to be this awesome teacher at the end. Just a good beginner teacher and I was not sure I had achieved that.

Satyam explained to me that what I had learned during teacher training was like the first draft of one of my blogs. He wants me to use that and sprinkle my personal finishing touches in a way that everyone would be able to comprehend the published writing. I felt better, knowing I was up to the challenge.

Spirit had made a special lunch for all of us and it was delicious. At the table, Satyam and Abhaya said they could drive us down to the parade if we would like but we would need a ride back if we wanted to watch the fireworks. Most of us just wanted to stay back at the Ashram and have some downtime. So we all gathered in the living room and watched Kung Fu Panda III, per Satyam’s suggestion. It was an enjoyable night of just hanging together. I am glad we chose to do so.

Later that night, I was awoken by the loud fireworks. I headed to the bathroom and it was really dark. Some strange looking animal was coming at me. I thought it might be a young boar, but it turned out to be a bulldog that had wandered onto the Ashram. I was a bit scared at first but he just walked up to me and smiled like a bulldog would smile. Then he followed me everywhere. When I got to the bathroom, he tried to go inside with me but I had to say no. Then he wandered off toward Satyam who was walking around handing out ear plugs.

Satyam said to pay no mind to the dog. I thought the dog must have been scared by the fireworks and felt the good energy of the Ashram. He was gone by morning.

Graduation Day

We started out with meditation, then breakfast. Afterward, we were given an hour to clean and pack. Then we did our final craft assignment. The first being a braided necklace made from some of the plants that grow on the Ashram land. I am not good with my hands so I stopped at the first string and turned it into an earring.

I had better luck with the headband and I just loved it. Satyam wanted us all to get together for a picture and of course, Angela went right into a full headstand. “Angela, unless you can hold one of these branches with your toes, get down and take a picture with us!” I scolded. She laughed and joined us.

After another break to clean up and change for graduation, we each met outside the shrine. “I can’t believe it is over.” Alexa smiled sadly. We hugged. We were then taken into the shrine and organized in a circle. We all sang a song together, then Satyam and Abhaya presented us with our certificates and lovely kukui nut necklaces.

Satyam and Abhaya took turns sharing something about each of us and it was truly a beautiful experience. I am now a certified Yoga Teacher!

Afterward, I was more than ready to spread my wings and fly…or at least take a bus to the next part of my journey: the Hilo side of the island.

My Konalani Ashram experience was over and it was a worthwhile and meaningful part of my story. I will always look back on it with bliss!

Random Thoughts From the Ashram

Today was filled with learning, laughter, comradery and creativity.  I love being a part of this particular classmates. We alla bring various yoga experience and spirituality.

A few of us have begun meeting after dinner and showers in the Yoga tent to work on cueing up poses. It is here that I realize I have already lost my mala. We made them today out of Rudraksha seeds that have fallen to the ground on the Ashram land. So far, I have lost my mala, my lip balm, 2 pens, and the paper I was given which my chore instructions were written.

Plopping down in my tent, I am grateful that it is dark so I cannot see the mess in there. I have very little time to make it to each session every day, let alone clean my personal living space. We get Sundays off so I plan to take a few minutes to straighten up.

6:10 PM and we yoga teachers-in-training are totally spent. We learned 5 poses today and none of us had energy after dinner to do any homework sessions. Everyone else has gone to shower, then bed. I feel I must write now while I have a clear mind.

If I had a chalkboard right now, I would write the following words on it 200 times:

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you hinge at hips.

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you hinge at hips.

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you bend knee.

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you bend knee and hips.

Inhale, press through sit bones and feet to lift heart. Exhale as you hinge at hips.

Inhale, press through sit bones to lift heart. Exhale as you lean back and work legs together.

Inhale, press through floor to lift heart. Exhale as you tilt the hips and bend to side.

This is our new language…If it were possible to tattoo it on our brains, it would already be done.

It is very humid and by the end of each day, I totally smell like ass, which makes the shower all that more enjoyable. It was raining tonight as I was showering under the Bamboo tree. The rain out here is nice. Not cold and frigid like home, which makes me cranky. This Kona rain brings me into a state of blissfulness. It felt like I was getting a much needed double cleansing. I felt so lovely and peaceful. Surely, I smelled better afterward…


Today is the longest day of the year! Summer Solstice. We awoke to the most beautiful moonlit ocean view.

As I had hoped, our Yoga class was focused on Sun Salutations. It was a lovely practice, honoring the Sun and all the energy it provides creation.

The back was kind enough to let me partake in this Yoga celebration. At the end of class, I gave myself a big hug and thanked my body for all it does for me.

Though it was hot and humid, making me sleepy, I took my break over at the grassy slope under the Bodhi tree and laid down inverted. A wonderful sensation flowed through my back and I even got in a nice snooze!

My biggest challenge for the week is staying awake during meditation.

Fallen leaf on the grounds of Konalani

From my creative writing challenge “40 Days and 40 Nights”

Leaf flickering as it falls from the tree.
It is red as fire and smaller than a bird’s feather.
Arriving to the ground, it has found it’s new purpose – to feed the hungry ants, who will feed the hungry gecko.

As demanding as this schedule is, I know I will miss it when it is over. So I choose to remain present in each moment, remembering to keep a soft bend in my knees while standing. I have been told that doing so honors the intention.

Stay Blissful my friends! – E