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Blissful retreats in Bali

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Sep 12, 2023 5:00 am

We love to travel, but there are trips that leave you exhausted. Those are mostly the sightseeing, adventure and shopping holidays. Trips that rejuvenate and renew you are more like retreats that are calming and centering. 

Some places, though, are naturally blissful. Most of the time these are in nature enclaves, mountain resorts or beach havens. Some can argue that you can meditate and practice mindfulness even in the confines of your own room. While that is true, others may need a rejuvenating week away from their stress triggers. 

At first glance, you might say that nothing is special about Bali. But you cannot judge the island only by what your eyes can see. Many people keep on going back because of the experience—the warmth of the people who always serve you with a kind smile, their gentle demeanor, the delicious food, the creative craftsmanship, value for money, and the natural beauty of the island. 

Bali cuisine is not all about taste. The colors, texture, and presentation will impress you. It’s fresh and super-healthy, too. (@palmtreehousebali)

The mysticism of Bali is also due to it being a mecca for healing. Bali is the spiritual hub of Indonesia. Its population is 90% Hindu and religion is central to daily life. Ayurvedic healing, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and transformational programs that are traditional practices attract people around the world searching for spirituality and self-love. Bali is an island of at least 11,000 temples.

If you are familiar with chakras, you know that the body has seven main ones. These are energy centers that run along the spine from the crown of our heads. Mother Earth has chakras, too. These are Mount Shasta in California, Lake Titicaca in Peru, Uluru in Australia, Stonehenge in England, The Great Pyramid in Jerusalem, and the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet. 

A dragon-fruit smoothie bowl is a real Balinese treat. It’s full of antioxidants, too.

While these seven places are very high in energy, there are other high-energy points around the world: the Bermuda Triangle, Mount Fuji, Maui, Sedona, Lake Taupo, and Bali. Bali is said to be the heart of the Earth’s kundalini energy, believed to purify the blood of the earth. Hence, as the “world purification center,” it’s believed to be the place for the cleansing and rejuvenation of our body and soul as well. 

The sacred sites in Bali include Uluwatu Temple, which purifies the energy of the Earth element. Mount Batur cleanses the energy of the Fire element. Mount Agung, the most sacred peak, purifies the Air element. Tirta Empul cleanses the Ether element. 

Start your day by indulging your senses: Care for a floating fruit platter while you take a morning dip in the pool?

Even as a solo traveler to Bali, it is quite easy to choose a program for your well-being. First of all, make your intentions clear. Do you just want to relax? Do you want to improve your spirituality? Or are you looking for something to activate your shift to a lifestyle of fitness? A simple Google search will give you a plethora of various wellness packages for a duration of three, seven, or 14 days. 

There are so many choices in various locations on the island and with varying costs. Even those on a strict budget need not worry. Massage and spa services can be found on every street in the various city centers. You can even book yoga, surfing lessons, temple visits, and spiritual experiences on Klook or Tripadvisor. In short, you can DIY a wellness program if the existing wellness retreat packages are beyond your budget. 

Mindfulness meditation comes easy in such a calming and peaceful place like Bali: Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation known as “yogic sleep.” It’s a guided practice aimed at relaxing the body into a state of blissful surrender.

You should extensively research the prices, though, because while you might think some of the packages are expensive, you have to compare it with your total expenses, since the programs come with accommodations, meals, yoga, spa and massage services, cooking lessons, and excursions. 

One highly recommended wellness retreat place is The Palm Tree House in Canggu. They have weeklong (six nights) retreats depending on your goal. There is a Fitness Retreat to reset your goals and provide you the motivation to embrace a more active lifestyle. There is a Surf &Yoga Retreat if you want to learn or improve on these mind-body activities.


There is a Healing Retreat that incorporates Ayurvedic and other ancient therapies. There is a Yoga & Spa Retreat for a week of deep relaxation and renewal. A Detox Retreat focuses on cleansing and rejuvenation for that inner glow. A Pilates Retreat will jumpstart your physical transformation under the instruction of senior instructors.

Once in Bali, soak in the Balinese culture. Talk to the locals, enjoy local cuisine, and join the traditional ceremonies. Forget for a moment all the “noise” that does not serve you well. Rediscover yourself and just maybe you will leave Bali with a fresher, more peaceful, and more hopeful disposition.