Review Sukhavati Bali - How 10 Days in an Ayurvedic Retreat Reset my Body, Mind, and Soul
Are you feeling burnt out? The Sukhavati Bali is an extraordinary place to heal, nurture and brings back your inner balance. A holistic experience you won't forget...
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to visit the Sukhavati Bali, an Ayurvedic Yoga and Detox Retreat in Indonesia. I've always wanted to try one of those retreats to cure some of my health issues.
Before I visited the retreat I had a terrible daily schedule. I used to work until 4 AM in the morning, sleep until noon or later, have my breakfast when most people already finished their lunches, and eat my dinner very late at night.
I use to wake up tired, and often needed hours to get going. Without a couple cups of coffee, I was not able to start working on my blog or concentrate on any of my tasks.
Frankly, my daily routine was a mess, and I knew I had to change it.
I always thought I'm a night owl and work better when it's dark and quiet, but I guess I was wrong. Turned out, working until early morning and sleeping until afternoon made me depressed. I had no idea how damaging this can be.
Obviously, I wasn't happy with my schedule, and as much as I tried to change it, I always fell back into my old pattern. I knew I had to fix this, and I was hoping some retreat would help me finding a healthy routine. And this is how I got to Bali, a wonderful green and lush island in Indonesia, and possibly one of the greatest islands in South East Asia if you're looking for a spiritual experience.
The Sukhavati Bali - An Ayurvedic Wellness Retreat
What is an Ayurvedic Retreat? Let's clarify that first. Ayurveda comes from India and means "Science of life." It employs natural methods to prevent diseases and health problems. Ayurveda encourages complete relaxation of body, mind, and soul. In short terms:
Ayurveda will heal you, and bring back your inner balance.
Nowadays, Ayurveda has spread far beyond India and is worldwide acknowledged as a holistic system of healing. The Sukhavati is an extraordinary five-star retreat in Bali where you can experience Ayurveda and its benefits in a tranquil environment. This place is not only about luxury, but the resort is also a piece of paradise that will make you forget the rest of the world and let you focus on healing yourself.
All principles of Ayurveda are present at the Sukhavati Bali, it's all about eliminating stress and rejuvenating your body, mind, and soul. The retreat offers its guests an individual healing program, including daily massages, yoga, meditation and healthy Ayurvedic meals.
Furthermore, the Sukhavati Bali is also a place where you can also experience Panchakarma, one of the most essential detoxification treatments of Ayurveda. It removes deep rooted stress and eliminates all toxins from the body. The goal is to detoxify the system, feel energized and relaxed.
Arrival at Sukhavati
I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, and as soon as I got off the plane, someone was standing there with my name on a sign. I was welcomed by a friendly representative of the Sukhavati Retreat, who helped me to pass through immigration and picked up my baggage.
After an hour drive, we reached a small Balinese village called Mengwi. As soon as I stepped off the car, I entered into a different world. It was so peaceful, words aren't enough.
The Sukhavati Bali is a stunningly beautiful estate, surrounded by a lush tropical jungle. It literally looked like the garden of Eden. I had a feeling that something magical was going to happen there...
Cheering staff came over to me and greeted with a fresh coconut and a garland of frangipanis. Instantly, I felt I was in good hands, I had no doubts that this was the perfect place to relax and unwind for a while.
After checking in, I was brought to my pool villa which was pretty spectacular. Actually, that's even an understatement. Travel & Leisure mentioned this place as one the 50 most romantic villas in the world, what an honor to stay in one of them.
I opened the sliding doors and was in awe. Spacious rooms with marble floors, high ceilings, open air bathroom with bathtub, a large terrace with a big lounging couch, plenty of pillows, my own private pool and a garden with a panorama view over the property, and the surrounding rainforest. It was just breathtaking. How could anyone not relax in such a fabulous place?
I was thrilled to call this place my haven for the next 10 days. Words can hardly describe how stunning it really was, it looked like the film set of a fairy tale and I was the princess living in a beautiful villa with a lush garden. Unreal.
Ayurvedic treatments and therapies
On my first day, I had a detailed consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor at the Sukhavati Bali, to determine the right treatments for my condition. Frankly, the session was quite bizarre, in a good way. Doctor Raju was holding my wrist while telling me the story of my life.
"You are always thinking, you're never relaxed...
You don't have a routine, you work all night...
You wake up tired, and you can't fall asleep at night...
You have sinus problems, and you sometimes get rashes..."
I was puzzled. He seemed to get a lot of information just by feeling my pulse. I have no idea how he could possibly know all these things. Later that day I got my personal designed treatment program for the following day, which looked like this:
From now on, the following 10 days were filled with yoga in the morning and in the evening, daily Ayurvedic massages, facials, meditation, walks through the gardens, and in between I got to enjoy the most delicious and nourishing meals. More about the cuisine later, that's a whole story itself.
Let me start with the daily massages. The spa rooms were located along the river with serene views. Just sitting there and listening to the birds and the sound of the river - while getting a foot scrub - was truly magical.
The spa staff was extremely skilled, caring and kind. Every day I received synchronized massages by two gentle massage therapists. All of the Ayurvedic treatments that I received were outstanding. Incomparable to any other massages I had before, it was pure bliss.
One of the best treatments that I experienced is called Shirodhara. It helps to relieve stress and anxieties. Warm herbalised oil was poured over my forehead for about 20 minutes. It was absolutely amazing, I think I even passed out. I never felt so deeply rejuvenated, it was pure relaxation.
Eating the right foods is one of the most important aspects of Ayurveda. If you change your diet to Ayurvedic nutrition, you can most possibly cure your body without taking any medicines. The key to a healthy life starts with the right food. Let me show you a few images of the meals that I was served at the Sukhavati Bali...
I've been a vegetarian for more than a year, so I was really looking forward getting a taste of the vegetarian Ayurvedic cuisine. Everything was prepared with love, care and attention to details, with ingredients from local markets.
It was food for the soul. Simple, but delicious and nourishing. Every dish I tried tasted heavenly, and I started to feel better with every meal I ate.
I bet a lot of people turn into vegetarians after staying at the retreat, the cuisine will open a whole new world for you. For those who are actually getting into Ayurvedic Cuisine, you can pick up a cookbook at the Sukhavati Bali and learn how to prepare all those wonderful meals at home.
One of the things that I loved was the unlimited supply of herbal teas, smoothies and fresh juices during my stay. I drank at least 3 coconuts a day and it made me feel so good. I also started drinking tea after my meals, as the doctor said it will help my digestion.
The Sukhavati Effect - A Review of my Experience
Did 10 days really have an impact on me? Absolutely yes. Amazing things happened at the Sukhavati Bali. Frankly, when I arrived, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I didn't feel good in the beginning.
The first two days I had terrible headaches, a result of not drinking coffee anymore. I felt tired as my body started to release the toxins. I had problems adjusting to my new schedule of waking up at 6 am, but Doctor Raju advised me not to take any naps during the daytime, which was quite tough.
Another thing that was taking all my energy were the endless stairs. My villa was located on top of the hill. I had to walk 93 steps down, every time I would go to the spa, the doctor's office, the yoga pavilion, or the restaurant which were all located down in the garden.
So basically I walked the stairs up and down up to five times a day, that's almost 1000 stairs, half of them going up. As someone who does not do a lot of sports activities, this was extremely exhausting.
But then, after 3 days something happened. The tiredness was completely gone. I use to sleep 9-10 hours a night, but now it seemed my body needed much less sleep. I started to wake up naturally at 5 to 6 AM, feeling rested and energetic. It was quite a miracle as before I couldn't do anything before I had my daily dose of caffeine.
I stopped drinking coffee and never felt more energetic than ever before...
I literally jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera and ran down 93 steps to the gardens, to take photos of the sunrise. And then I would walk back, all the stairs up to my room without losing my breath...
I'm impressed how changing my diet had such an effect and gave me so much more energy. Not only the food, but also the daily yoga and the excellent massages had a massive impact on me.
After 10 days I felt nurtured and energetic, but most of all, I felt like I had reset body, mind, and soul. All the stress and tensions that I felt when I arrived, were gone. This was not just a spa vacation, my stay at the Sukhavati Bali was truly a holistic experience that put me in the most peaceful state of mind.
The people working at the Sukhavati Bali were some of the kindest and most caring people I've ever met. Thanks to Doctor Raju for all the positive life lessons, and for teaching me how to incorporate Ayurveda into my everyday lives.
I feel an enormous amount of gratitude for the wonderful spa staff, who had taken care of me in all possible ways. Every treatment was served with attention and dedication. They always made sure to respect everyone's individual needs.
Who would have thought that 10 days could make such a difference?
When I left the Sukhavati Bali, I felt relaxed, cleansed and healed. I fixed my sleep pattern and kept my early schedule. From that day on, I started to rise with the sun, every day until today. And I'm not planning ever to fall back to my old schedule.
My time at the Sukhavati Bali was truly awakening, and I'm really grateful for this wonderful experience. I will do my best to maintain all the things that I've learned from the wonderful people there.
If you have never been to a retreat, you should add the Sukhavati Bali to your bucket list. Certainly, this is not the most budget-friendly experience, but how important is your health to you? For all what its cost, it's worth it. It will not only improve your health and heal you, but it's also a deeply, life-changing and a transformational experience you surely won't forget... I wish you a happy journey.
Thank you for reading.
Thanks to the Sukhavati Bali for this truly incredible and deep experience.
If you're considering to visit the retreat, you can find more info on www.sukhavatibali.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
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