Have you taken a yoga class and want to deepen your practice? Have you never tried it but always wanted to? Or do you just want to relax, unwind and connect? All are viable reasons to spend time on a yoga retreat. You don’t need to be an expert( but you can be), you don’t need to have ever even taken a class to get the full benefits of a yoga retreat.
Deepen your practice (or start your practice)
Spending time on an ashram had been on my bucket list for quite some time. I have been on and off with yoga for about a decade but two years ago after an emotional trauma I got back into it in full force to help deal with anxiety I was experiencing. It greatly helped me deal with panic attacks and emotional stress I was going thru. I felt like going to a retreat would really align my chokras and get me in touch with how I wanted to feel.
I was intending to go to India to do it when I got an offer from Shanti Toya. I am so glad that I choose Indonesia. Bali is a deeply spiritual place with people who are truly endearing and welcoming. Spending time but off and on the retreat helped me have a better understanding of my practice.
Since I have been practicing for a long time this helped me concentrate on a variety of new practices such as laughing yoga and mediation techniques. Sometimes in your day to day life it gets hard to find time to learn these new things. Now I can bring them back with me and implement them into my daily routines.
For the most part, everyone on the retreat had been practicing for sometime and knew what they were doing. However there was also someone who had never done yoga before but really wanted to learn. She had been a dancer and was athletic but never found time to start taking classes. It was amazing that she had been drawn to start an intense practice so quickly but inspiring to know that you need no prior knowledge of yoga to participate in the retreat.
Sometimes associated with a yoga practice is veganism. I was a strict vegetarian for 5 years and then ate meat occasionally for awhile. I truly enjoy not eating meat sometimes I get lazy. The entire time I was in Bali I avoided meat. It is so easy in a place that has so many none meat staples such as tempeh. I have fallen head over heals for tempeh.
The retreat was vegan. It was so nice to wake up to fresh banana puree with granola or eat many of the tofu/tempeh dishes that were prepared for us daily. Since my return I have abandoned meat again as well as drinking a lot less. I sort of put my body thru a detox and now it seems to be in a much better place.
I had been looking to restart my eating habits and this ended up being the perfect platform for it.
Learn About a New Culture
Every day outside of two yoga classes there was a cultural event. Everyone working on the retreat was Balinese and from the surrounding areas.
We were able to learn more about the culture and people directly from locals. For some people staying on the retreat would be the entire time they can take off so it is nice that it doesn’t just include yoga but encompasses a lot about the area.
We took Balinese dance classes, learned how to make healing drinks and cook local cuisine and also spend a day in the local village.
Between working on your yoga practice and learning new things there is plenty of time to relax and rejuvenate.
I spent sometime on my porch listening to the sounds of the jungle or reading a book. The retreat is off the beaten path and surrounded by nature. There are rice fields for exploring or birds to watch. ALSO spiders the size of your hand in your bathroom but it is to expected. Fair warning you are in the jungle and you will have bugs and wildlife interacting with you.
The retreat includes a Balinese healing massage and offers the chance to spend one on one time with a Balinese healer. I have an incredibly tight and problematic left hip. He sensed it and worked on it, telling me the pain I was experiencing was the “sickness” leaving my body. You know what? My hip has felt more open and less painful since. He just might be a magic man.
Last but not least there is a pool. A total benefit after a humid ninety minute yoga class. The pool is also organic being pumped and drained into the spring so no chemicals are used for it.
After nearly 3 weeks in Bali I came home feeling completely different. My final week was spent on Shanity Toya and it was the perfect way to wrap up the journey I was on. I came home feeling refreshed and a new. I believe that whether you are a long time yogi or never even attended a class you can reap the same amount of benefits from spending time on a retreat.
Shanti Toya is family run by locals and you feel it the whole time. Ari is one of the best yoga instructors I have ever attended a class for. I am infinitely in his debt from his kindness and help.
You also wont find a better price for the experience. It is a budget retreat with more amenities that you can imagine. In a location that is worth its views alone.
I would like to thank Shanti Toya for inviting me. If you are interested in booking time with them check them out here.