Meghan Pappenheim, 37, moved from New York City to Bali 16 years ago, after living for six months on the island as a university exchange student. A mother of two, she runs the Yoga Barn in Ubud that she built with her Balinese husband in 2007, as well as the annual Bali Spirit Festival. Meghan shared her day with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.
When I wake up at 7 in the morning, the first thing that crosses my mind is that I need to get my daughter to school and I better get my cup of coffee. My morning entry to the day is running around with my kids trying to convince them to get in the bath and have their breakfast.
I try to get my daughter off to school and that’s very complicated. It takes a lot of energy as she doesn’t want to wake up; she doesn’t want to comb her hair or eat her breakfast. If someone else asks her to do it it’s not a problem; it’s just if mom does. I don’t know how mothers do it; I haven’t figured it out yet.
We live behind Kafe, our restaurant, so we order breakfast there as we don’t have a kitchen at the moment. Our kitchen is our restaurant. We have our scrambled eggs on toast and some coffee with milk and sugar.
My husband takes my daughter to school and I start working at 8.30. I spend a lot of time emailing, especially now I’m working on the Bali Spirit Festival. All of my emails and communications are dedicated to that right now. I’m organising workshops, presentations and calling people all around the world. We have musicians coming from Africa, Holland or Sweden and teachers coming from Japan, China and from all around the globe.
I spend more time watching our restaurant as in Yoga Barn I have a wonderful team of people, some of whom have been working for me for years in different capacities, so it’s pretty much managed.
At 11 I’m controlling staff and making sure everything is working properly at Kafe. Then, in the afternoon, I walk down to Yoga Barn. It takes me about 10 or 15 minutes. I don’t have time for yoga, so at least I walk. It’s my exercise.
I’m a certified yoga teacher and I did yoga up until the day my daughter was born. I used to do it at least four times a week but then I stopped. It wasn’t on purpose; it’s just that first it was her, then too much work and then my second child. I’m hoping to be able to do it again very soon because yoga gives you a clear mind and things fall onto place easier. If you consistently do yoga there’s no drama, decisions just come to you and it’s easy to work things through.
I’ll have a good salad in the afternoon. I particularly like Greek salad with yummy feta cheese, olives and cucumber. I drink an iced latte and then I’ll have a cookie for dessert.
I watch the yoga classes and meet very interesting people that come to us. They often ask for information or want to take classes, so I’ll often be sitting in this beautiful garden just meeting new people; it’s really nice. The idea behind Yoga Barn is that you walk in and you feel like you drop down. It’s probably the nature around and the rustic, warm and friendly atmosphere.
I’m an ideas person and it’s the excitement of seeing an idea flourishing what drives me. If you put your mind to something it can really happen. My fantasy is that when I’m 50 years old I will teach yoga again. All of my best teachers were in their 50s. So I thought I’d build the studio and then I’ll have a place to teach; that’s my retirement plan. I manifested the place I want to hang out, but now I just don’t have time to hang out in it.
I’m on site until 5 and then I walk home. I turn on the TV and watch the news, usually Al Jazeera or the BBC. I hang out with my kids, read with them and I take them to the pool at any of the hotels in town. We also love going to Candidasa Beach.
I personally enjoy travelling off the island, especially to Kalimantan or Sumatra. It feels like going back to Indonesia. When I initially came to Ubud I fell in love with the people, the community and the calmness of everything. But the calmness is completely gone at the moment – my God! Ubud has changed so much. It was a quiet little town but now I have to go further away to find the ethnicity and uniqueness that attracted me years back.
At 7pm, we order from our restaurant Balinese food like nasi campur or I’ll just have some salmon as I love fish. I spend my evening with my husband and kids and read books. Travel books are my favourite and that’s my last ritual before I fall asleep at 11.Filed under: One Day