A Tropical Oasis
I left the bustling art town of Ubud and rode for two hours across the island in a non-airconditioned van in sticky hot temperatures. I was on my way to a yoga retreat in Suraberata, a place so off the beaten track, not even my local driver knew exactly where we were headed.
Exhausted as I was, I arrived at the retreat and felt immediately rejuvenated and at peace. The sprawling compound sat in the middle of a tropical jungle, a short walk to a rushing river that opened into the sea over a wide stretch of black sand beach. I could feel the tingle of spiritual magic and divine presence and I was anxious to get settled and regroup.
A helpful staff member with a broad grin showed me to my bungalow. The room was decadent compared to my prior backpacker accommodations and still affordable on my budget at the $30 per night, off-season special rate.
My four-poster bed was draped in white mosquito netting and I had a private patio overlooking the jungle below. I unloaded my heavy pack and went to sit out there, letting the ringing in my head soften with the jungle’s heavy peace and quiet stillness.
After a delicious and nutritious meal in the retreat’s open-air dining room, I walked down to the beach. I stood in the river letting the water rush across my shins. I’d never seen the river meet the sea and it felt so indicative of my life at the time; like the current were trying to take me to a bigger and broader set of experience represented by the sea and I was in awe that I’d never seen the expanse of life's opportunities laid out before me this way.
I had come to Bali for a month without an agenda, looking for a lost piece of myself. Here at this quiet retreat, off the beaten tourist path, Bali began to heal me and help me reconnect with source. The place was working to shape me into a new version of myself; as if the current of this sacred river could soften the hard stones around my soul and erode the walls built up to protect my heart. I knew standing there in the river, looking out at the Balian Sea, that I would never be the same and that was exactly why I had come; to be changed.
Tune in next week to learn more about the history and the booming yoga culture of Bali!