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A Shake up for Global Peace: International Global Mala at The Yoga Barn

By Bex Tyler, participant and yoga teacher 

International Global Mala at The Yoga Barn

Early on in the morning of Saturday July 19th, the earth shook beneath balancing feet, and the rice paddies trembled as the power of the magma sphere we call 'Home' vibrated through our bodies.  An intense reminder of our impermanence and dependence on our Mother Earth.  The 6.4 earthquake in Bali was a timely and 'peaceful' shake up 'wake up' on the United Nations International Day of Peace. 

Less than an hour after the morning tremble, yoga teachers and practitioners from countries all around the globe gathered at The Yoga Barn, in Ubud, Bali, to share their energies and intentions of peace. 

International Global Mala at The Yoga Barn

Organized by Bali's Daphne Tse (an orignal co-founder of the international project), The Global Mala Project purposefully coincides with the International Day of Peace.  It aims to unite the global yoga community from every continent, school or approach to form a "mala around the earth" through collective yoga practices based on the scared cycle of 108 Sun Salutations.  The series of yoga poses are practiced with meditations for peace and with awareness of our joined Humanity which transcends borders, skin colors and religious belief.

International Global Mala at The Yoga Barn

The annual event at the Yoga Barn was open to the general public and based on donation.  All proceeds raised were donated to two local charities: The WINS Project: Yayasan Widya Gunan and the Breath of Hope Foundation. The children from the Breath of Hope Foundation opened the event with a beautiful demonstration of Sun Salutations, setting the stage for nineteen yoga teachers to begin leading over 100 participants through their individual cycles of peace.

As always, with a yoga practice, it is incredibly important to explore how to bring the philosophy of love and compassion off the mat and into everyday life. With that in mind, the 108 rounds of Sun Salutations were separated into four different cycles representing air, fire, earth and water with appropriate dedications for personal transformation and realization, for friends and family, for the World, and for Source.

Incredible rhythmic beats flowed from the drums, guitars and voices of musicians who played throughout the entire practice, creating a truly united and supportive environment.  Meanwhile, local and visiting children shared three hours of mini mala, yoga games, dancing, Acro Yoga and Capoeira while exploring the themes of 'Why Peace is Important?' They were encouraged to participate in supportive partner yoga poses emphasizing the importance of trust, cooperation and friendship.

International Global Mala at The Yoga Barn

Ubud's Global Mala ended with some powerful Laughter Yoga, as participants and teachers doubled over, celebrating in the joy of life with cackles of contagious laughter.  They finished the day in the garden eating a vegetarian meal as one community.

Little K - International Global Mala at The Yoga Barn

Thankfully the damage of Saturday's quake was minimal but the trembles stayed as powerful reminder of the urgency of Global Peace for the sake of our humanity all around our sacred World.  Even though International Day of Peace is just once a year, what an incredible world it would be if we could continue to choose peace over conflict throughout every day of our lives?

We invite you to continue the spirit of Peace, Joy and Laughter whatever each day of life brings to you…

Save the date foe Global Mala in 2010 - Late September!

with love,


Global Mala & Yoga for Peace History

A project of New York CitiWorks, Yoga for Peace was an idea awakened by the events of September 11, 2001 and strengthened by the world's both violent and peaceful responses to this human tragedy. Bali, like the rest of the world, yearns for peace, and for the second year in a row, Yoga for Peace has come to Bali through the vision of Meghan Pappenheim, founder of Balispirit.com, as a response to the terrorist bombings in Bali of 2002 and 2004. This event will be used to raise awareness in the local yoga community, both ex-pat and Indonesian, to promote the path to Peace. The Balinese people, who practice a combination of Animism and Hinduism, are arguably one of the most peaceful cultures on earth.

Set in a massive Archipelago, the Hindu island of Bali lies amongst a group of 14,000 islands that practice a combination of Animism, Christianity and Islam. Indonesia has been largely secular for the past 70 years or so, but since 9-11 there has been an increase in extremism and militancy pops up on occasion. Beautiful Bali has been caught in the middle of the 'global war' between militant Islam and the West. We have had two terrorist bombings on this otherwise peaceful island, resulting in a young generation of Balinese youth who have become depressed and angered by this experience, coupled by the reaction of their elders who simply can not understand what is happening to them - what is breaking the mold of their simple, village lives with violence. However, in Balinese culture, there is a natural tendency to seek out the goodness in others… a tendency to seek forgiveness and follow a path to healing. Typically, the reaction of the island, after both terrorist bombings, was for the Hindu high priests to hold massive island-wide cleansing ceremonies and to ask forgiveness from the powers that be.

Next Event Scheduled for September 2010

This event is free but donations are encouraged, see below for information on what non-profit this year's event will support.

  • Participants will move to powerful drum beats while completing an invigorating practice of 108 sun salutations, or mala in Sanskrit
  • Upon completion of the mala, participants will rest in svasana, a lying meditation, to form a human mandala, or peace wheel
  • Prominent figures in the yoga communities around the world will lead the Kirtan, chanting, that signals the commencement and closure of the celebration

This is Balispirit's second year hosting this event and we plan to see it grow and grow!

What is Yoga Mala?

In India, yogis celebrate the arrival of Spring with 108 consecutive sun salutations, accompanied by devotional chanting. The mala is intended to mark transition and celebrate change.

The number 108 carries varied significance in Hindu and Buddhist traditions; it is the number of beads in the mala (meditation prayer beads) and the number of Upanishads (sacred vedic texts). 108 is also the product of multiplying 9 and 12, two propitious numbers in Indian culture.

Hundreds of yoga studios and health and spiritual centers around the world have hosted malas to serve social causes, including cancer research, domestic violence support organizations, and charitable funds, including Twin Towers Orphans Fund and the World Wildlife Fund.

Yoga malas mentioned in the press in recent years include those by It's Yoga in San Francisco, CA and Miami, FL, All People Yoga in Indianapolis, IN and Body and Soul in Kansas City, MI.

Please understand that the Yoga Mala is a physically challenging practice. Everyone is welcome to participate, but you must know your limitations and take responsibility for your own well-being. Please stop and rest when necessary. You should not do anything that is more than you can handle. Your presence at the event is in itself a wonderful demonstration of support for the cause.

What You Should Bring to the next Global Mala (scheduled for Sept 2010):

  • Your own yoga mats, water, and towels
  • Fruit, food bars or any other refreshments you will need over the course of the four hour event
  • Wear light, comfortable clothes and sunscreen
  • Be prepared for all possible weather conditions. Yoga for Peace will happen rain or shine!
  • Your registration form and payment if you do not register on-line. See the Registration Section for full details.
  • Your signed Release Form. See the Registration Section for full details.

Where to go

The Yoga Barn - Map

The Yoga BarnŠ is located about 10min walk South from KAFE in the area of Ubud called Pengosekan. When you see a restaurant called Siam Sally, you walk down a small path into the ricefields beside the restaurant, then you see a Spa called Zen and a homestay called Ubud Aura.

For more information, call Tel: +62-361-970-992 Fax: +62-361-970-581 email us at: answers@balispirit.com

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