There has always been something exotic about Asia, with cultures and beliefs so far from our traditional Western ideals, which creates an air of mystery to it. Add to that the tropical climate, unique environment, and the forever-smiling locals… it makes one wonder “is this what’s missing in the Western world?”.
But this is just one of many reasons why Asia is now attracting millions of visitors each month, to the lush environments of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and many more destinations. And foreigners continue to arrive in huge numbers month after month and with many different purposes whether it’s a short holiday or a permanent move. For me personally, I’m infatuated with their religious beliefs and their daily offerings to the gods and their ancestors, I have great admiration for their ceremonies, their many ceremonies celebrating, life, marriage and death to name a few, the way the women dress in traditional clothing and the complete lack of conforming to the ways of the west impresses me to end.
Yoga in Bali
Yoga is big in my life, and the varieties that are available in some of the most spiritual spaces, especially in Bali are unbelievable. You could choose a cliff top location with the expanse of the ocean being your mirror on a bed of grass, or on the beach with the crashing waves bringing its own rhythm to your sound senses and the sand under your mat bringing another challenge to your balance and the breeze of the ocean cooling off the sun rays energising your body. They even have Bikram Yoga, which was fine for me in London but here in Bali, leaving that class and walking out into 36 degrees of heat was a killer. That’s just in South Bali, you need to visit Ubud to experience Yoga at the place of all places in Indonesia, a magnificent natural traditional construction with several levels offering alternative styles in each room called “The Yoga Barn”, equipped with several shops, selling supplies and books it also comes with an amazing cafe offering all the types of food and drink your body requires before or after one of your sessions. All are welcome from complete beginners to experienced instructors people come from all walks of life to experience “The Barn”. Another unique Yoga option is East Bali in a small village called Amed, you can do a 3 day workshop which encompasses Yoga and free-diving, for me when i did this course it blew me away, it was another reminder of how important breath is and how we can use Yogic techniques in other areas of our lives. My personal favorite is Vinyasa flow, I’m far from an expert but I found it brings a peace and serenity to my life and to do it here in Bali and walk out and order a real coconut and watch them chop the base to make it balance then take the top off and slip a straw in and hand it over for 10,000rph, which is around $1AU or 0.45pGB it just makes my day and makes me want to put only good things in my body and there are plenty of options for healthy food on the island of the gods.
With many well accredited schools doing teacher training, Bali is an amazing place to come and sharpen your skills and walk away with an international accreditation, on top of that there is retreat after retreat on offer, detox is probably the most popular retreat over here, with many places offering their own unique versions, you just need to google it to see the variety available. You can even bring some more intimacy to your relationship by enlisting into a week long Tantra workshop about connecting more with your loved one. I’m no spiritual guru but I must admit I have become intrigued with all that’s on offer. I’ve visited a traditional Balinese healer for advise and he was spot on, i didn’t say a word –he just read my energy and touched my skull and was able to diagnose what had taken western doctors months to diagnose and offered healing advice.
Bali, Indonesia and Asia is many things to many different people it can fulfill a purpose, a dream, or a quest, but without a shadow of doubt it is an exotic place to visit and experience, and as i would say to most of my friends who are new to travelling – to truly experience the uniqueness of the culture steer clear of the tourist hot spots and get out there and discover it for yourself, interact with the locals, get lost amongst the rice paddies and the small lane ways, it doesn’t matter. The enduring attitude of acceptance amongst the Balinese means nothing matters. Namaste.