If you’re looking for an experience beyond a handful of cheap sarongs and Bintang tanks, Oneworld Retreats in Bali may be just the ticket. Veering off the beaten track in Ubud the Ayurvedic Detox and Yoga retreat is located at Kumara, a centre which has been transformed by it’s vibrant and larger than life owner Claude Chouinard into a haven of relaxation surrounded by positive energy.
As soon as you arrive, the smell of frangipani fills the air and you’re offered a thirst-quenching welcome drink that tastes like it has only just fallen from the large coconut tree positioned beside the reception area. The pool is glistening and you are ready to jump in.
Once checked in, you’re guided down a set of stairs to reveal a gorgeous private room which instantly makes you feel comfortable and at home.
The accommodation is lush and traditionally minimalistic, each room having a large balcony overlooking Ubud’s green fields for an instant eye-popping nature-fix.
There are no televisions in the room but instead you’ll find water colours, paper and brushes, you don’t need to be an artist to get creative, it’s all about amusing yourself as a way of focusing on being in the NOW. There are also tools for mandala creation, incense sticks and pretty local flowers for mandala making.
A table and comfortable sink-into arm chair on the deck offers a cozy place to kick-back and relax, a tempting hang out area, particularly as the sun goes down, as you listen to the low hums, buzzes and chirps of the native wildlife.
In the morning, the aroma of Bali offerings and incense still lingers in the air, and a piping hot teapot with aromatic herbal blends arrives on your deck at rooster o’clock. It’s a welcome pick me up as you stumble out of bed, before ambling down the steps to the magnificent locally built yoga shala, complete with jungle backdrop, to salute the sun at a morning yoga session.
Wayan brings a unique teaching style to the yoga classes and has a gentle approach and nature which is soothing and nurturing.
The retreat is run by Dr Aparna and Dr Joshi who are experienced Ayurvedic practitioners from India. They are excellent facilitators and do a wonderful job in bringing Ayurveda to guests in an accessible way.
During the retreat you will partake in workshops which cover living the Ayurvedic way, principles and dietetics, daily rituals and also an introduction to the Panchakarma detox or PK as it is affectionately known. Each day is dedicated to an element, which allows you to appreciate, honour and become more aware of the earth, water, fire, air and space around you.
Do Go Chasing Waterfalls
Just beyond Ubud, Balinese worshippers have been gravitating towards Pura Tirta Empul which translates to Temple of the Holy Water, a place where the sacred springs are said to hold healing properties. For centuries and still today, Balinese have been bathing and praying in the holy water. Oneworld Retreats offer you the chance to immerse yourself in this ancient ritual and leave with a lighter spirit and sense of peace.
After the bathing ritual we’re given a front row seat to a further purification situation, where a holy man presses rice on your forehead and secures pretty little flowers into your hair. You’re offered a cotton bracelet and instructed to wear it until it falls off.
What I loved about the retreat is that it feels like the real Bali, one that is steeped in rituals and where you are constantly engaging in the glorious rich culture.
Take a walk on the wild side
Pack your trainers for an approachable adventure into village life. We joined our guide Tokok, a Balinese local for a pied-piper inspired single-file walk through narrow rice paddy fields stopping as women rode side-saddle on motorbikes and a passing parade of smiling drivers carefully navigated the slim pathways.
Not so squeezy!
Weathered farmers in straw hats waded knee deep through water-logged rice plots anticipating their next harvest.
The sound of frogs and smell of rice and frangipani invaded your senses. I loved the look into village life that the nature walk provided.
During the Ayurvedic retreat you are given daily tonics, an Ayurvedic consultation with the doctors and two detoxing treatments which leads on to a fully supervised Ayurvedic detox day.
The day is a good opportunity to have a stay at home day as it involves taking Ayurvedic preparations and then staying close by a loo! The doctors monitor you every hour to make sure everything is running smoothly!
During the special detox day a digital detox is also recommended which serves as the perfect time to channel your inner Van Gogh utilizing the art supplies and flowers for creative play.
Throughout the retreat you’re tempted by beautifully crated Indian and Indonesian inspired dishes. This is paddy to plate eating at its best.
The retreat showcases local ingredients with generous amounts of flavour and freshness.
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A trip to Oneworld Retreats Ayurvedic retreat will have you travelling home richly rewarded and rejuvenated.
The retreat runs for seven days and six nights and includes healthy balanced meals, daily Ayurvedic tonics and herbals teas, an Ayurvedic consultation, two detoxing treatments, four Ayurvedic workshops, a cooking demonstration, a fire cleansing ceremony, nine yoga sessions, a nature walk, one fully supervised Ayurvedic detox day, an offering class and a guided nature walk.
You can find out more about Oneworld Retreats here.