Still floating from a very magical weekend in Ubud at a Yoga Retreat put on by
We spent a full weekend nurturing our minds, bodies, and bellies at the ever so peaceful, Villa Madu, tucked in the jungle just above the hustle and bustle of the heart of Ubud.
Nina, the creator of my light + bliss, and organizer of this yoga retreat, did a beautiful job at making sure we all felt the light, bliss, and love for the entire weekend.
Truth be told: this was my very first ever yoga retreat! Yes, I had gotten my 200 hour yoga teacher training back in January 2015, but that was an intensive 13 day program where we put in a lot of work, and not much relaxing. This was all focused around being gentle, easy, and relaxing. It was such a beautiful change of pace, as I am naturally a busy lady and don't take much time off of my busy pace of life. And let me tell you, it lived up and beyond what I had anticipated for any retreat.
Everyone attending arrived midday friday where we were each shown around the grounds and gardens of the breath taking, multi home villa. We then shared an opening circle with the evening sun dropping steadily in the distance behind the hundreds of vine wrapped palms. The yoga shala was an elevated outdoor area, covered with a natural palapa roof, with dark wood floors that had fresh flowers in intricate hearts reminding us that abundance, vibrance, and love surrounds us.
After our first yoga class together we shared a large home made dinner inside the main house at a large farm style table. You could tell the dinner was made with a lot of love, it consisted of traditional Balinese style dishes with a gourmet spin. We were definitely spoiled the entire weekend with the meals, there were so many options and definitely plenty for everyone to have second servings, which we all did.
The next morning we started bright and early with the sun, a warming yoga flow at 6:30 am. The sunlight was dancing in divine synchronicity with the misty morning dew. The birds were waking up singing us songs of self love and simplicity.
We shared a bright and vibrant breakfast together to match our spirits. The table bursting with colors from the tropical fruits and flowers laid upon it. We took our time sipping on fresh fruit juices and eating a traditional Balinese breakfast consisting of rice flour pancakes with coconut flakes and nectar as well as banana dumplings.
We then had a few hours to spend as we pleased. We found ourselves soaking in the sunshine, a sweet surprise considering we were attending in the middle of Balis rainy season. I spent some time exploring every corner of the Villa finding so much to be grateful for with each and every step I took. My heart was so very full.
For lunch, we were picked up at the Villa and dropped off just a short drive away to a paved walking path along the rice paddies in Ubud. This is something I love so much about Ubud... The tucked away little secret passages like this. Suddenly it seemed we were miles away from any street with just a walking path wandering it's way through the rolling green hills of the rice fields.
We found our way to Sari Organic, a beautiful open air cafe, with elevated floor seating with lots of cushions and a vast view of the green rice fields in every direction you looked. It was challenging to appreciate the beautiful buffet of vegan food and bottomless kombucha when we had such a view in front of our eyes. The clouds rolled in and we enjoyed a show as mother nature dropped thousands of water blessings down into the fields.
After lunch we headed to a Batik art studio to learn about this traditional Balinese art technique and create some art of our own. I had no idea what Batik Art was until I arrived and quickly noticed that I had seen this art all around the Balinese markets! Batik art is a textile art that includes dripping hot wax in a design on white cloth fabric, and then using natural dyes to paint the fabric. The wax is then washed off in boiling hot water which leaves you with a beautiful, stained glass looking textile. It felt so good to be creating art again and back in a studio. This was such a special opportunity for myself, as I absolutely love learning local cultural practices and we got to create something we can take home with us to remember the beautiful experience.
After a few hours, or days, at the art studio (couldn't tell you really, I completely lose track of time while in my art flow) we made our way back to the Villa for an evening yoga nidra class. This was a very relaxing class, where Sandi, our ever so lovely Balinese yoga teacher for the weekend, led us through a guided meditation. We were brought back from the depths of deep relaxation to the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls. The candles were the only light visible illuminating the darkest corners of the shala. A reminder that even tiny bursts of light can illuminate the darkest of areas much larger than the light itself.
We shared our last dinner together in such peace. We were all so relaxed and zen'd out from our day that flowed so well. Sweet music was filling the air mixing with the smells of traditional spices and flavors awakening all of our sense.
Sunday morning was another early morning in the Shala. I was grateful to share another morning with the rising sun and beautiful souls around me in the sacred space we all created together. Sandi's playful, yet grounded spirit, worked us into a good sweat, and left us with smiles that we carried with us much longer.
We ended our practice with a special closing ceremony. At the beginning of the retreat we were asked to write a little note of our intention for this weekend, mentioning anything we were letting go of or releasing. For this incredibly beautiful ceremony, we were each handed a canang sari, which is a tradition Balinese offering basket made from woven leaves. Flowers were placed inside along with incense, creating a trail of delicate smoke that danced it's way up into the heavens. Our notes were then lit on fire as we watched these emotions and attachments we carried with us finally be free.
Our last breakfast together left me speechless. We sat outside together at a large rustic table with orange marigold flowers hanging above. I crave visual appealing moments like this, I drank in the sweet nectar of the beauty that surrounded me.
After heading back to our rooms, and packing up our things, we said our goodbyes. I felt so much appreciation and connection with this group of kindred spirits that I had just spent the weekend with. I knew that it wouldn't be the last time i'd be seeing some of these faces, as I was leaving with new friends. I slowly drifted away from Villa Madu with a full heart, light shining from within, and a feeling of wholeness that filled every last thought in my mind.
Thank you Nina for the beautiful weekend.
I am so grateful.
If you are interested in attending another retreat put on by Nina with My Light + Bliss, she will be hosting another on this magical island of Bali in June 2018. You can read more about the retreat here. She is also offering anyone 10% with the promo code: SOSHEWAS (you just have to email her when registering for the retreat).
Who knows, you might see me there again.
Most likely, still smiling and glowing from this beautiful weekend experience.
ALWAYS ALL WAYS