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 sanctuaryforwomen.com. 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.