Murni: Bali’s Own Yogini Master

“I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be real”

Meet Ni Made Murni, simply known as Murni .

Murni’s yoga journey began in the humble village of Gianyar, in the middle of a vast green rice field to be precise. While Murni was not a farmer, she was there to work with an army of ducks, herding them to roam on the field and bringing them back home at the end of each day. Yoga is a practice of training your discipline, and at that time, her ducks were the witnesses and testers of her discipline.

As her farm journey continued, Murni’s family began to need her help to also feed the pigs at the farm. The job was not as simple as just feeding the pigs. Murni was also responsible for finding food for them. In Bali, it is common to feed pigs with banana tree trunks, so everyday Murni went up a hill close to her house to cut banana trunk and chop it into pieces to feed the pigs. One day up on the hill, she grew tired and began to think about where she was… Reflecting on how her life must have more meaning than just feeding some pigs. She wondered if it would ever get better.

Her strong will brought her to a woman name Rucina, who hired Murni as her house cleaner. Rucina is a good friend of Kadek Gunarta and Meghan Pappenheim, who are the founders of The Yoga Barn and Bali Spirit Festival. At the time, they were looking for staff to work on the studios. Knowing that Murni had the the will to learn and develop herself, Rucina suggested that Kadek and Meghan hire her. At the studio, she trained herself and became a graphic designer.

Murni hated yoga. No matter how many times Meghan asked her to try to do a yoga class, Murni always rejected the offer. Not wanting to give up, Meghan made a deal with her – for each yoga class she joined, she would get Rp. 50.000. “Easy money” she thought to herself, so why not. And that’s how she took her first yoga class, not knowing that after several classes she would begin to fall in love with the practice. Graphic design and yoga became her daily companions. One day, she received a scholarship letter from Sosa Yoga Teacher Training. At that time, for her it was the exact same feeling as when Harry Potter received his Hogwart School of Wizardy invitation letter.

When she finally graduated from the Yoga Teacher Training, it was not very easy for her friends to convince her to start to teach. She was not confident enough, it was overwhelming for her. From duck herder to yoga teacher? This was surreal in her mind. But what are friends for if not for (tough) love and encouragement? Murni finally made it to her first yoga teacher class, overcoming all of her fears, her nervousness, and her worries.

Now Murni is a superstar yogi in Ubud – the number of students at her classes grows each day. She teaches from her heart and cannot think of a more sincere offer to others. Most of her students see her not only as Yoga Teacher but also a real friend. This year Murni will continue her yoga journey to another level, for the very first time she will teach at Bali Spirit Festival. If you happen to be in Bali during the festival, then her class is definitely something not to be missed!


Make this life a wonderful adventure.

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