By Susanne – Happy Yoga Travels
My experience – A YOGA RETREAT IN UBUD, BALI
There are places you’d rather not tell anyone about. Places that feel sacred and unspoiled, where only people in the know go to nurture their mind, body and soul. ONEWORLD retreats in Ubud, Bali is most definitely one of those.
Located in the rice fields just a 5 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of central Ubud, ONEWORLD retreats is a tropical oasis, the perfect escape for a week of yoga, pampering, relaxing and an immersion into Balinese culture.
A true tropical hideaway
My hideout for the week was a beautiful bungalow in the middle of a tropical garden, surrounded by lush greenery. I loved the little fish pond in front of it, so cute! The comfortable chairs on my terrace quickly became my favourite place to laze around, enjoy the stunning views and listen to the symphony of the tropical jungle around me. It was so peaceful, the perfect place to really let go.
The huge bed with crisp white sheets was very comfortable and small details like a water refill station, mosquito spray and even art supplies like water-colours added a unique touch and made me feel like I was staying with friends, not in an anonymous hotel.
A Yoga and Wellness Paradise
We practiced yoga twice a day, more energetic vinyasa yoga in the mornings and restorative yoga in the afternoon. The yoga was definitely more targeted for beginners and intermediate levels, but I wasn’t bored at all. Okay, maybe a little bit, which just shows I still have to learn a lot… But mostly I really enjoyed Iyans gentle teaching style.
Included in the retreat was a 2,5 house long Ayurveda massage – I was in massage heaven! The Ayurveda treatment was amazing and I felt like melted butter afterwards. I have to admit that the (very good) hour-long Balinese massage the next day left me thinking “oh, that’s been it?” From now on all massages need be at least 90 minutes long for me, I’m totally spoiled.
Delicious healthy food
The light, healthy food was definitely a highlight of my week at ONEWORLD retreats. It was some of the best food I had at a yoga retreat so far, absolutely delicious. We had for example freshly baked bread (gluten free option available too) with eggs and home-made jam for breakfast, fresh fruit juices, amazing salads for lunch, vegetable curries or fish baked in banana leaves for dinner. Everything was excellent, fresh and delicious. My favourite part was the hot lemon ginger honey tea the staff brought to my room every morning. Soooo nice! Oh, and the lunch at Sari Organic, a restaurant in the rice fields, where we munched on organic Balinese specialties. Yum!
An immersion into Balinese culture
The retreats at ONEWORLD retreats include a wide range of activities that give you a glimpse into life in Bali. My favourite was our visit to the Tirta Empul temple, Bali’s most sacred spring pools for a purification ritual with a Balinese priest.
The ritual started with a prayer with the priest. After the prayer we entered the large pool where we submerged ourselves completely in the holy water. There are different springs that promise different results, such as knowledge or fertility, and some are reserved solely for Balinese. After the purification we changed and sat down for another prayer in the temple.
The ritual is very personal and you can decide for yourself what you wish to receive from it. I asked for mother Bali to welcome me and for a new start on this magical island…
Visiting Mount Batur for sunrise yoga
On day four we got up early and departed for Mount Batur, one of the important volcanoes of Bali. Here we practiced yoga on a terrace overlooking the lake Batur and the volcanoes, watching the sunrise while doing our sun salutations. It was a truly magical moment.
After a yummy breakfast with all the good stuff from the retreat kitchen that the staff brought with us we bicycled 22km downhill back to Ubud.
By the end of the weekend, I felt rested and calm. The whole week was a perfect balance of yoga practice, meditation, spirituality and exploring Bali.
Susanne is the founder & chief blogger of Happy Yoga Travels. She spent a lot of time in Bali, training as a yoga teacher, practicing yoga, learning many new things and soaking up the tropical lifestyle. Today she is traveling full time, working as a yoga teacher and digital nomad. Read more…