A visit to some of Bali’s best healing retreats. Kaya Peters visits the best in Bali healing.
Bali, the Island of the Gods, has long been one of the world’s top travel destinations. With the lively town Ubud at its cultural centre, the Indonesian island has a particular pull for those seeking healing and spiritual growth. Its community of wellbeing enthusiasts, the lush jungle-like surroundings and its abundance of health food restaurants, yoga studios and healing centres, make the well-known town and its neighbouring villages, a must-visit for anyone looking to improve their physical, mental and spiritual health.
DESTINATION 1: VILLA GAIA, A DETOX HOME AWAY FROM HOME
A peaceful oasis located just a few kilometres from Ubud’s busy towns centre, Villa Gaia runs group Yoga and Raw Food Retreats several times a year while the remaining time is used to facilitate private and family tailor-made detox retreats.
Overlooking the rice fields, the villa has seven beautifully decorated bedrooms, a private spa with infrared sauna, a cosy dining area and a salt-water infinity pool. The loving attention of the well-trained staff and home-style setting of the villa create a pleasant ambiance and are a great support in making those on a program feel totally at ease.
A unique feature of this retreat is the in-house herbalist Gabrielle Schultz, who provides consultations at the beginning of every program and tailor makes herbal drinks to the health needs of each guest. Regular detox weeks at the villa consist out of herbal jamus, green juices and smoothies and raw food if requested. Supplemented by oxygen therapy, massage treatments, emotional healing sessions, Yoga, breathwork and daily use of the infrared sauna, this program is guaranteed to bring on increased energy levels, weight-loss and general health improvement.
In addition, Villa Gaia is linked to Gaia Holistic Centre, where guests can have colonic hydrotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine sessions, amongst other treatments for body, mind and soul.
Kaya Peters provides private tailor-made detox retreats at Villa Gaia. Go to www.kayapetersretreats.com for more information and bookings. More information about all the programs at Villa Gaia can be found at www.gaia-holistic.com.
DESTINATION 2: ONEWORLD RETREATS, YOGA FROM THE HEART
The signature, six-day ‘Escape the World’ retreat run by ONEWORLD Retreats offers the beginning yoga practitioner a dynamic program of quality yoga classes, Balinese culture and a community experience.
The two daily yoga sessions, led by passionate teachers Iyan Yaspriyana and his assistant Wayan Partawan, are an energising combination between conscious breathing techniques, strengthening postures, restorative sessions and guided relaxation. In between yoga sessions, guests are pampered with treatments of choice in the in-house spa or in the privacy of their own en-suite rooms. The program is supplemented with several supporting activities, like yoga at sunrise behind the volcano Batur and a purification ceremony with a Balinese priest at the Tirta Empul, a holy water temple.
Meals are healthy and delicious, carefully planned based on the food preferences of each individual participant. The retreat is very well organized and the team’s dedication to delivering something of value touches the heart of many practitioners who join Iyan and Wayan in this six-day Worldy Escape.
This retreat is highly recommended for those who are beginning Yoga practitioners, love to learn about Bali’s beautiful culture and have a love for delicous food with a healthy touch.
More information can be found on www.oneworldretreats.com
DESTINATION 3: FIVELEMENTS, HEALING IN STYLE
Set against the backdrop of the sacred river Ayung, the beautiful Balinese decor of Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa is the ultimate place to experience wellness of it’s highest class.
Founded upon Balinese healing traditions and supported by a specialized cuisine of high vibe living foods, this one-of-a-kind boutique retreat offers a series of wellness and detox programs designed to support their guests in a love-filled life transformation. Guided by Balinese Philosophies, Fivelements aims to share the Balinese way of life, nurturing a greater harmony with spirit, the environment and one another.
The resort has nine suites, five of which are named after each of the elements in the Balinese language: Pertiwi (earth), Apah (water), Teja (fire), Bayu (air) and Akasa (ether). Decors of each room are carefully picked in harmony with nature; outdoor open-air bathtubs, wooden elements, hand-woven fabrics, and the mezmerizing sounds of the flowing river, provide the perfect space for pure relaxation and a deep healing experience.
The retreat offers an extensive menu of beauty rituals and healing treatments, which take place in the exclusive Spa rooms with view on the river. Sessions begin with a signature foot- bath ritual and close with a healing tea offering, while performed by skilled Balinese therapists and healers.
Fivelements Sakti Dining Room™, serves gourmet vegan and raw living foods according to the highest culinary standards. Signature dishes like the Raw Zuccchini Pappardelle Alfredo and a homemade assortment of raw chocolates, add a whole new dimension to the concept of detoxing.
Granted several well-known awards in the field of luxury spa and wellness travel, Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa suits those on a healing journey with a need for aesthethic excellence, ultimate comfort, and true healing from the heart.
More information can be found on www.fivelements.org
HEALING ‘MUST DO’S IN UBUD:
HAVE A HEALTHY BREKKIE AT ATMAN KAFE: Located on Jl. Hanuman, this cafe serves some of the best organic coffee in town. Some breakfast favourites are the poached eggs on gluten-free bread with avo-feta mash, or the grain-free porridge served with coconut milk.
GET PURIFIED AT THE TIRTA EMPUL: One of the most famous holy water temples in Bali. Make sure to go early in the morning or late at night, to avoid large volumes of tourists. It’s preferable to be guided by someone who knows the bathing ritual and can instruct you on what to do and what to wear.
TREAT YOURSELF TO POWERFUL GEMSTONE JEWELLERY AT ANANDA SOUL CREATIONS: Find out your unique healing stone on founder Christina’s website and receive a free affirmation to support you in living your dreams. Alternatively just visit one of the shops in Ubud’s town center. More info can be found on www.anandasoulcreations.com
Kaya Peters is a Dubai-based yoga teacher and holistic coach, to find out more about workshops and coaching with Kaya in both the UAE and Bali, go to www.privateyogaindubai.com and www.kayapetersretreats.com or call +971 56 212 5878.