Kirtan, karaoke, cats… and why I am just not spiritual enough…


I was doing OK at tonight’s Kirtan session at The Yoga Barn, until the hippy with a sleeveless shirt and more beads than a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade walked in with some sort of blanket round his shoulders, wearing sunglasses. I don’t normally laugh in these situations because it’s rude and let’s face it, if you can’t take things like Kirtan seriously you really shouldn’t be somewhere called The Yoga Barn, (or in Ubud for that matter), but there’s something about being confined in a small dark room… and seeing men wearing too many beads… that makes me nervous. When I’m nervous I laugh.

So yeah, I laughed and then I felt terrible because I went to Kirtan with the sole purpose of embracing my new spiritual side, which I have been discovering thanks to eating healthy, organic food, doing Pilates four times a week and wearing leggings with OM on them. I’ve been trying really hard to be a spiritual person lately because I really, really want to be one, and to be full of radiance and freedom and song.20130707-233324.jpg

But the moment I laughed at Mr Mardi Gras I realized I’m not quite there yet… and maybe I’ll never be there… and I felt a bit silly… like I did when I moved into a house with two cats because I thought I was a cat person and then I discovered I’m not a cat person… and that actually my house smells like a Whiskas factory and so do I, probably, and that if I wasn’t at Kirtan being spiritual I don’t know what I’d be doing, quite frankly, because no one wants to hang out with a girl who smells like cat food.

Anyway, I digress. Mardi Gras sat down and our Indian Guru started the first chant, and I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and waited to grow up and stop laughing. In the end I actually got into it… it really was very soothing, until the lady in front of me decided it was nap time and laid down, blocking all of my personal space. She was practically snoozing on my lap. This just made me sad.

Sometimes hippies do selfish things like this, which saddens me every time because they’re supposed to be all nice and at one with the world and selfless, and when they’re not it bursts my little bubble and I think, well, why would I want to be like you? You were my inspiration, my northern star, but now you’re just a knob who thinks you can sleep with me without asking. You’re sleeping in my space and you’re making me realize I’m about as spiritual as Freddy Krueger because I want to smack your face and go home to my cats, who I don’t even like.

Just as I was thinking I should probably leave Kirtan and be thankful that someone thought to build a bar on my spiritual path tonight, the man to the right of me started impersonating an opera singer. It was quite sensational. He had the full vibrato going on, like he was channeling Luciano Pavorotti. Maybe he was – it was a room full of very open people after all. I’m not sure if he was there purely because there’s no karaoke club in Ubud yet and he thought he’d just belt out a few spiritual hits in the name of Ganesh instead, but he lifted my mood instantly and it wasn’t long before I found I was harmonizing… with my eyes closed.

So there I was, feeling MUCH better, harmonizing with my eyes closed, leaning up against awall in a yoga studio, with the head of a sleeping woman practically on my lap (which I didn’t even mind once I’d got into the groove of things, thanks to Pavarotti) thinking man, if this doesn’t render me spiritual I don’t know what the hell will.

It won’t be the cats.

But maybe I could buy some beads…

**You can read more spiritual plunders in Balilicious if you want.