“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” – Mark 8:36 (KJV)
Falling in love with the book Eat, Pray, Love written by Elizabeth Gilbert and a basic love for yoga led me over to Google in search of Balinese yoga retreats. Blooming Lotus had rave reviews from Trip Advisor and was located on a five star properly. Each villa had a full kitchen, filtered water, lap pool and area to bask in the sun. The gong was rung at 7:00 a.m. daily and morning mediation as well as yoga commenced soon after. During the week we practiced hatha flow and yen yoga followed by Savasana practice. I was also introduced to yoga nidra which used breath techniques and body awareness to promote complete relaxation.
Blooming Lotus provides vegan dietary options. After our first session we were given fresh granola, sliced fruit and an array or coffees and teas. After breakfast we had four scheduled workshops spread throughout the week. We discussed topics such as:
The Four Paths of Yoga
- Karma Yoga (Service)
- Bhakti Yoga (Devotion)
- Raja Yoga (Discipline)
- Jnana Yoga (Wisdom)
Eight Limbs of Yoga
- Yama – Ethical standards and sense of integrity
- Niyama – Self-discipline and spiritual observances
- Asanas – The postures practiced during the physical yoga practice
- Pranayama – Breath control and breathing techniques
- Pratyahara – Sensory transcendence
- Dharana – Concentration, limiting distractions
- Dhyana – Meditation, uninterrupted flow of concentration
- Samadhi – Having a profound connection to the Divine
The middle of the day was left to your own curiosity, to wonder the town of Ubud on a free shutter or venture out on some type of excursion. At 4:00 p.m. we joined together for tea and at 4:30 p.m. we started another session of mediation and yoga. Dinner was some type of vegan dish, items like vegan burgers, jack fruit tacos and tempeh with a peanut sauce glaze.
My teacher Anisha was absolutely beautiful inside and out. Anisha explained the principals of mediation and yoga to me like no one ever had. For example mediation, people say “Om” because it is believed to be the original sound on earth, the sound of the first vibration. You have two options for hand movements: Chin (palm up) invites in more energy and Jnana (palm down) is used when you feel disconnected from the body.