The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Bliss Sanc­tu­ary for Wom­e­nat Ber­awa, Canggu, close to a beach and 10 min­utes’ drive north of Seminyak, has seven-day pack­ages (pay for five, get two free) for solo trav­ellers from $3735 or $2875 twin-share, taxes in­cluded, with suite ac­com­mo­da­tion, all meals and snacks, daily mas­sage and un­lim­ited yoga, in-house cook­ing classes, per­sonal drivers, air­port trans­fers and per­son­alised itin­er­ary plan­ning and book­ings. More: bliss sanc­tu­ary­for­ fact, she’s happy to pre­pare al­most any­thing from scratch at any time.

Ev­ery morn­ing I take a five-minute scooter ride with Ko­mang to Desa Seni, a se­ri­ous yoga vil­lage-re­sort. In 93 per cent pre-mon­soonal hu­mid­ity, it’s all hot yoga here and a rare chance to sam­ple prac­tices I’ve never heard of, with im­pres­sive teach­ers. I sweat, in­hale and chant my way through 90-minute ses­sions of kun­dalini, hatha and ash­tanga yoga, sound med­i­ta­tion and an ex­hil­a­rat­ing dance-like-no-one’s-watch­ing hy­brid known as NIA (non-im­pact aer­o­bics), com­bin­ing mar­tial arts, yoga, night­club­bing and med­i­ta­tion. ‘‘You’re a starfish, you’re a war­rior, you’re a pow­er­house of pure light and en­ergy,’’ urges Saf­fire, our ex­trav­a­gantly dread­locked teacher, as we writhe in the stewy hu­mid­ity.

Ke­tut drives me to Tanah Lot at sun­set as the tide rises around the is­land tem­ple, and next day shows me around his vil­lage, in which he is the head­man, and in­tro­duces me to his fam­ily. Wechat about the com­pli­cated Ba­li­nese cal­en­dar (pre­scrib­ing the best days in a 35-day month to fish, cut wood and get mar­ried) and, amid ram­pant devel­op­ment and change, he ex­plains the undi­min­ished im­por­tance of fam­ily and tem­ple life. ‘‘We are happy,’’ he says, and his sense of duty and hu­mil­ity give me pause for thought dur­ing my en­tirely self-cen­tred pur­suits.

There’s a first time for sev­eral things: a dragon-pant­ing yoga pos­ture; the afore­men­tioned com­mu­nal starfish­writhing; a tarot-card read­ing, which I find un­can­nily, fas­ci­nat­ingly pre­scient; and a di­ag­nos­tic mas­sage by Sami, a well-re­garded tra­di­tional Ba­li­nese healer. He iden­ti­fies my mi­nor ail­ments and anx­i­eties, but sug­gests my­biggest chal­lenge is spir­i­tual well­be­ing. ‘‘You think too much,’’ he ad­vises, and rec­om­mends daily med­i­ta­tion. ‘‘To be happy, you need to know your­self.’’

Du­ti­fully, I be­gin med­i­tat­ing next morn­ing with a menu of mono­logues on the villa’s iPod. I can’t seem to switch off the shuf­fle mode, so I’m just set­tling into mind­ful­ness with Deepak Cho­pra when, midaf­fir­ma­tion, I’m sud­denly man­i­fest­ing an­gels with Doreen Virtue, then just as abruptly nur­tur­ing my in­ner child with Louise Hay. I come to think of it as my ADHD med­i­ta­tion.

I sip a cou­ple of elab­o­rate cock­tails on a 1950s retro lounge at the Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak one evening, but oth­er­wise choose an al­co­hol-free week (guests are wel­come to BYO). With 10 hours sleep a night, hot yoga, daily mas­sage, the fresh­est food and some moth­erly fuss­ing over, I feel bet­ter than I have for a long time. My body is a tem­ple. I am a pow­er­house of light and en­ergy, weeks later. I am happy. He­len An­der­son was a guest of Bliss Sanc­tu­ary for Women.

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