If you’re anything like us, you relish in any opportunity to kick your wellness practice up a few notches. One surefire way to do this is through a wellness retreat. So, to clear up any misconceptions, or to give you the push you need to book that ticket, Laura McWhinnie from This Island Life shares her experience at one of Bali’s best yoga and detox retreats.
After receiving an invite to visit one of Bali’s best yoga and detox retreats, I packed my bags with my favourite workout gear and bikinis, and headed to Uluwatu to relax, reset and renew.
Perched high on the limestone cliffs in Uluwatu is Bali Bliss Retreats – a beautiful yoga retreat that we were lucky enough to call home for a relaxing five-day detox. Located in one of the most spectacular spots on the island, the retreat is an incredible mix of yoga, meditation, massage and blissed-out-good-vibes.
From the moment I arrived, my body, mind and spirit became the number one priority. I can honestly say that by the end of the retreat I was feeling incredibly relaxed and well rested. I was definitely more present and mindful, and even a little stretchier. The retreat helped me develop techniques for a healthier mind and body that I’ve been able to incorporate into my everyday life back home.
If you’ve ever wanted to do a yoga retreat in Bali, here’s a taste of what to expect:
Uluwatu is a 45-60 minute drive from Denpasar Airport, and a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the island’s busier areas. With limestone cliffs hugging the coastline, Uluwatu is famous for its spectacular sunsets and incredible views of the Indian Ocean. While most yoga retreats in Bali are found in the lush mountains of Ubud, Bali Bliss Retreats have tapped into a part of the island that has something even more Zen than fresh mountain air – THE OCEAN! They are one of the only properties in the area with exclusive access to their own private beach where you can paddle out for a wave. One morning we saw a pod of dolphins swim past and watching the sun go down is the ultimate way to end your day.
We started the day at 6am with sunrise morning yoga and meditation in the yoga studio. The yoga studio features a thatched-roof and traditional architecture, and is surrounded by perfectly manicured tropical gardens. After our morning pre-yoga rituals it was the perfect way to wake up before the Indonesian heat kicked in. With views of the ocean it was a picture perfect start to the day ahead. We finished the yoga component off each day with an afternoon class that was always a bit different. One day we did partner yoga in the studio, the next we did yoga outside on the grass where we were able to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean as we held our poses, and on one particular afternoon we tried our hand at AcroYoga – a form of yoga that incorporates acrobatics, which I’m happy to say is much easier than it sounds.
One of the things I liked most about this retreat was the cleansing rituals we took part in each day. At home I practice oil pulling and start most mornings with warm water and lemon, and on this retreat I was able to add a few more. We started each morning (in the privacy of our own bathrooms) with tongue scraping before we brushed our teeth. We also had a glass of warm water and lemon juice before our morning yoga class and neti potting – a practice that involves pouring salty warm water up your nose. While not an actual cleansing ritual, we also got a massage everyday – something I’d like to become a daily ritual back in the real world.
Raw food is a great way to gain more energy, improve mental clarity, lose weight, improve digestion and get glowing skin, so I was excited to try the raw food menu at the retreat. Breakfast is a choice of chia seed porridge, coconut pancakes or a vegetable frittata (the only vegan option). Lunch is an incredible smorgasbord of raw salads and dinner is themed around a different type of cuisine each night. On our first night we were treated to Indian with cauliflower rice, another night was Mediterranean inspired with zucchini pasta. We started our breakfast each morning with a delicious smoothie – the banana, papaya, spinach and coconut one rocked my world.
Laura McWhinnie is a highly respected advertising creative with over 10 years experience as a writer. Whether it’s through words, film or photography, Laura has a true passion for storytelling that she has used to build her brand THIS ISLAND LIFE. Based around the concept that it’s always summer somewhere, THIS ISLAND LIFE is a website that follows the warm-weather across the globe. From swimming with 40-tonne humpback whales in Tonga and flying into extinct volcano craters in an open-door helicopter in Hawaii, to shooting bikinis underwater with turtles on The Great Barrier Reef and under lush waterfalls in Fiji, a visit to thisislandlife.com is almost as good as a real holiday.