Last month, we had the chance to join the first Light & Bliss yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali. We were invited by Nina, the founder of Light & Bliss and organizer of these retreats, to capture beautiful images of the weekend and share our experience with you guys. First off, we aren’t getting any compensation for this article, although we were invited to the retreat, we wouldn’t be writing this article if the weekend did not live up to our expectations.
We had been in Bali for almost two months already but hadn’t yet taken the time to practice yoga. The retreat was the perfect opportunity for us to get introduced to yoga and all its benefits. Light & Bliss is a travel and wellness company which provides handcrafted experiences combining yoga, delicious healthy food, adventure and self-discovery in beautiful landscapes. From the moment we set foot in the beautiful villa, we knew Nina had put a lot of time and effort into making this weekend as perfect as possible. We couldn’t believe it when she told us that this was the first retreat she had organized!
The retreat was held at Villa Madu, an incredible location surrounded on all sides by the lush green jungle of Ubud. We each had our own bungalows and a large house made for the communal area, with a kitchen, living room, dining table and beautiful pool. One of the best features of Villa Madu is the peaceful open-aired yoga shala where all our practices took place. Is there anything more relaxing than practicing yoga with the sounds of birds and light patter of rain as a soundtrack?
Our schedule was a great balance of organized activities and free time to relax and get to know the wonderful people that formed our group. On the first day, after checking in and relaxing by the pool for a few hours, we had an opening circle and first yoga class. We then had a delicious vegan communal dinner with the group before getting an early night’s sleep.
Saturday morning started off early with a morning yoga class at 6:30 am. It was such a great way to start the day, with the morning light creating the most beautiful atmosphere to practice in. After an energizing class, we all joined for a delicious breakfast before having a few hours to ourselves. We took this time to explore the property and take many photos, as every single corner of Villa Madu is picture-perfect.
Right before lunch time, two vans were waiting to take us to our lunch location, nestled in Ubud’s beautiful rice fields. After a short walk along a beautiful path, we arrived at Sari Organic, an organic vegan restaurant that serves up delicious balinese food.
After eating lunch while watching the rain pour over the rice fields, the weather cleared up just in time for us to head towards our next activity. Nina had planned an art workshop at Five Art Studio where we would each create our own batik paintings. Batik is a traditional Indonesian art form in which you use dye-resisting wax to draw patterns on a piece of cloth and then cover them with color. The wax is then removed, revealing the pattern. The workshop was the perfect way for everyone to just focus on this one thing and let their creative juices flow for a few hours.
After enjoying a few traditional Balinese snacks back at the villa, we headed to our last activity of the day, a yoga nidra class, during which you lie in a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping by following verbal instructions from the teacher. With our bodies completely relaxed and our minds at ease, we all got together for our last dinner before turning in for the night.
Sunday started off with out fourth and last yoga session in the shala. Before going any further, let us just say how amazing Sandi, our Balinese yoga instructor was. Sandi is very knowledgeable when it comes to yoga, yet he has this way of not taking himself or his classes too seriously. This allowed us to feel comfortable in the classes even though we are both very much beginner yogis.
Our last yoga practice was followed by a short blessing ceremony where we each made a Balinese offering. This was the perfect way to end our weekend and start a new chapter! Our last meal was shared outside in the beautiful gardens. The setup felt like it was straight out of a movie!
After enjoying the pool one last time, we said goodbye to the beautiful group of people we now get to call friends. We can’t thank Nina enough for giving us the opportunity to join the retreat and we definitely hope to see her again at one of the Light & Bliss 2018 retreats!
If you’d like to know more about Light & Bliss and the next retreat, click here! Nina was kind enough to offer 10% off the price of the retreat to anyone who books with promo code MAPPINGALONG. Just mention the code in your email when booking.