As a Canadian, I live in a beautiful land. We have endless trees, rivers, mountains, lakes and wild areas to roam.
But it has a different feel to it. One that is noticeably different from other parts of the world.
It’s grounded and undeniably earthy. Although the land is just as old, it somehow feels newer. But it’s powerful in a colossal way.
If you walk through any part of Europe, you can feel the human history that lies there. It’s full of the energy of war, love, and honor.
So when I got to southeast Asia, what did I feel? Peace, calm, and serenity.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been endless war, death and sadness, but the land flows with the energy of the people and their beliefs.
A Walk through Bali Paradise
Many cultures of southeast Asia focus on their gods, and the connectivity of family and roots.
Many of these people never leave their village their entire lives. This builds an energetic root system like no other. And you can feel that energy drawing you in. It envelopes your soul in a surprisingly welcome hug.
I walked into Bali with expectations and I usually always regret this. The placing of expectations, I mean. I find this always places limits and expectations on experiences, and this can sometimes disappoint. But in the end, Bali cannot disappoint. There is too much magic in the soil, in the people, and even in the air.
I spent a week taking a small group tour of Bali and saw so many beautiful parts of the island over that week. My go-to small group travel company, G Adventures, did not disappoint. Everywhere I heard the stories of the past, and of the present. Then I walked the steps up a mountain to a shrine in the sky while sidestepping monkeys.
I even stood at Heaven’s Gate.
Then I sat still in silence as I was blessed in a ceremony for the gods.
I walked the busy streets of Ubud and tried to get lost in tiny winding roads full of life.
I walked unsuspecting down the street and lost my ice cream cone to a brave monkey as I lost it in a fit of laughter.
There are waterfalls, temples and places of offering around any and every corner.
THIS, is Bali.
That lucky, perfect, first time Yoga Retreat
For my second week, I had booked 4 days at a yoga retreat. This was to be my very first retreat and I was truly excited for the experience.
I found Blooming Lotus Yoga via endless research (as I love to do). I settled, and by settled, I really mean, fell in love with the pictures and reviews. But honestly, part of it WAS based on the amazingly reasonable budget. But the reviews and undeniably beautiful pictures and setting drew me to it immediately.
You enter Blooming Lotus at the top. The parking lot holds the glimpse of the beauty held behind it.
I stepped out of the cab and wandered into reception and stared in awe at the view. It was every bit as lovely as the pictures showed it to be. Blooming Lotus yoga retreat truly had me the moment my feet stepped onto the main desk overlooking the ravine that housed it.
Set atop one side of a large ravine, it sits in tropical jungle paradise. Full of life, sounds, relaxation and teeming with jungle and human life. The top level houses the front office/desk and the main general / communal outdoor gathering and eating space.
The gathering space sits at the top of the hillside, overlooking the vast ravine below, filled with tropical trees, the sounds of birds, animals, wind, water and “life”.
To one side is a small walkway that leads to the yoga / mediation floor, separated by a small water feature.
All of it is beautifully designed to connect you with the breath, energy and flow of Bali.
The Ease of Retreats
Looking down, you gaze upon the rows of “rooms” with a main staircase down the middle to connect them. Each row houses a collection of either single and private “rooms/cabins” or larger spaces with 3 plus rooms.
Each section has its own small infinity pool to lounge and enjoy. They also each have an outdoor kitchen/communal space to relax, connect, or just lounge away the day.
The bottom level of the resort has a large pool for all to enjoy and the rooms for massage etc.
The retreat itself can be booked for either 4 or 7 days. Those who choose the 7 day option get a special water temple visit with a purification ritual to cleanse the soul after an amazing week of bliss.
As I said, I booked 4 days there….within hours of being there, I had canceled my other nights at a $25 a night room, and booked 3 more nights at Blooming Lotus. While I missed the last day trip to the water temple due to my flight time, I had no regrets with my instant decision to stay longer.
The days at this retreat include 2 vegan meals (breakfast and dinner), morning meditation and yoga practices and then evening restorative yoga.
The morning yoga (sunrise sequences) teaches you the postures and breathwork that builds on itself each day to give you 2 full asana sequences.
There are daily workshops and other teachings covering topics from meditation and self love to Ayurveda and healthy diet and life rituals.
After breakfast and the day’s workshop you are free to grab the shuttle into town (Ubud) for a few hours to shop, stroll or just enjoy lunch.
The Connectivity of Humanity
Each day every participant in my group added calm and strength to their character. As we got to know each other during meals, throughout the classes, and throughout each day, we connected on a spiritual and soul level.
Everyone who worked at the retreat was open, inviting, caring, and helpful. Our yoga teacher, Lisa, was this little ball of energy who had given up the corporate life and moved to Bali with her husband…. I am a bit jealous of that still to this day!!!
As a side note, as with many retreats around the world, the teacher is not always the same every week. I feel like my leader was a youthful, gentle, breath of fresh air and her calm and gentle ways made the week that much more amazing.
Bali has an energy of its own. It flows through the land, the trees, the water, the people.
It’s calming, serene, powerful, happy, joyful, and full of energy and love. Blooming Lotus has gifted each of us in my group with the connection to this energy. It is what ultimately connected me and my retreat mates.
And that’s a connection you don’t leave behind.
Blooming Lotus strengthened my connection and love for yoga and gave me a need to try a retreat just about everywhere!!
Have you done a yoga retreat? Where is your fav?
(And YES this post includes an affiliate link to my fav go to travel company 🙂 )