Bali - a perfect spiritual retreat
What makes Bali an ideal spiritual
The way we travel has changed. Instead of just exploring a foreign country and snapping a few pictures by the
great landmarks, people started seeking for a deeper experience. As a devoted yogi, I too belong to this group of
travelers. To me, yoga was never just a way of handling stress and staying in shape, but also a part of finding
balance in my life. I became aware of how little time I devote to self-care, and knew it was time to prioritize and
reconnect with myself.
|The natural beauty of Bali lends itself well to being
a spiritual destination
At first, I was thinking about choosing Rishikesh in India as my spiritual destination,
because of its reputation of being the yoga capital of the world, but the fact that it’s a continental city was a
bit off-putting. I chose Sanur in Bali instead, and traveled across the island. Best decision I ever made: Bali
turned out to be a perfect location for a spirit-renewing experience, and here’s why.
Spiritual ceremonies and festivals
There is something really intriguing about the Eastern philosophy and how it constructs a specific lifestyle,
filled with gratitude for life and respect for the tradition. Balinese people are very devoted when it comes to
religion. They practice Bhakti – a thoughtful way of living filled with gratitude, which is something that’s
deeply rooted in their culture and can be strongly felt.
Spirituality is reflected in every segment of their lives and it is simply beautiful. I’ve witnessed quite a few
temple processions, and they happen on a daily basis. As I’ve learned, the greatest role of rituals is to ensure a man (as a microcosm
of the world) is in harmony with the whole system: Universe, himself and gods. Everyday religious practices of
the Balinese were a great part of the charming and authentic scenery for my spiritual quest.
|It's called "island of gods" for a good reason,
featuring thousands of temples across Bali.
No wonder Bali is called the “island of the gods”, being a home to thousands of different temples. I traveled
across the island on a scooter, and it turned out to be a fun and cheap (only $3 per day!) way to explore.
Obviously, there are numerous temples you can visit, but the most exciting - for me - were the Goa Gajah in
Ubud and the Tanah Lot in an offshore setting that looks completely surreal. However, make sure to show respect
and wear covering clothes or a sarong when entering the temple.
If you point your finger to any location on the map of Bali, rest assured – it’s got a great yoga offer. I
stayed in Sanur where I practiced Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, but also discovered Bali yoga which included teachings
about microcosm and macrocosm, counting chakras during focused breathing (pranayama breathing). If you are
interested in becoming an instructor yourself, you can attend the Bali yoga teacher training that really focuses on incorporating the spiritual
dimension to practicing yoga. Usually, these teaching courses are intensive and are designed as 200 hour or 300
|Compliment your spiritual visit to Bali by taking up
Bali yoga at your retreat
Waterfalls, hot springs, and the ocean
Water does have healing properties. I’ve discovered quite a few waterfalls in Bali, all of which the Tegenungan
waterfall was the most mesmerizing. It felt as the water washed away all the negativity that’s been piling up
inside my body. You can use swimming as a meditative activity and it honestly has a healing effect. When you slow the tempo of your
breathing, you heart beats so peacefully and it creates a serenity you’ll remember forever. The air freshness
and surrounding nature create a relaxing feeling that turned out to be crucial for my transformative journey.
Batur natural hot spring (in the Batur lake) was another amazing experience, as well as the off-beaten Nyang
Adopting the locals’ way of life
If you let yourself go, you will see just how the Balinese way of life can get under your skin. You’ll find it
easy to forget your tech gadgets and simply be present. I’ve renewed my connection with nature, I walked barefoot
after a long time and it made me so incredibly happy. Exploring Balinese cuisine, their culture, nature and
wildlife is definitely worth a trip.
|Balinese people are very connected with nature - seen
here working in rice fields.
Going on a spiritual journey helps you level up and get a fuller understanding of your spiritual practices,
right there - in locations and sceneries where it all started. Consider Bali as your spiritual destination: it will
truly transform you.
Nicole is an avid traveler passionate about yoga and healthy living. She always seeks
new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. You can find her on Twitter and FB.