“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin
In the realm of exceptional travels, perhaps the most exciting journey to go on is the one that starts with the discovery of the self. What we experience and what changes us when we travel are the results of the plans we make. We take planes, pack clothes and book hotels but it is the effects of our actions that become our travel.
In the world of spa and wellbeing, the journey has always been the goal, to discover the multitude of ways in which we can address and balance our nature and our constitution with our desires for wellbeing, balance and optimum understanding of our energies. A first step on a journey to health is the cleansing of the vessel in which we travel, our bodies, and the freeing of the constraints that bind us to old thoughts and beliefs in our minds.
Where better to start this exceptional travel journey than on this island of nurture where attention to physical and mental wellbeing is inherent to the culture and the application of natural remedies is still in practice. Here in Bali the opportunities to travel back to ‘ourselves’ is available through the spa therapies that are on offer in the most exquisite of locations. This month, NOW! Bali will take you on an exceptional journey to the island’s most beautiful spas and leave you there to find what lies within.
Located in the forested groves of the Sayan Ridge about ten minutes from Ubud, the Four Seasons property opens out like a lotus and descends the sloping hillsides in a glorious cascade of modernity and simplicity.
The Spa here offers a comprehensive range of treatments that include healing massages, facial treatments and the chance to meet with a traditional Balinese healer. To start an exceptional journey though there needs to be some freeing of the body and mind and where better to do this than at the Bamboo Yoga Bale where you can be led in a class of revolutionary anti gravity yoga. Hung with silky cocoon like yoga swings, the bale faces the river adding a cleansing air to the yoga practice that takes place. Simple movements turn you upside down safely balanced and dissolve all pressure from the spine and hips. Floating and flying in poses that look amazing become liberating and it is hard to return to earth after such lightness of being. The final pose of relaxation, furled up in a silky cocoon brings on a state of near bliss.
Following the experience, you are led to the spa villas, set over lily ponds, and into a private room for a cleansing treatment. The Muladhara Cleansing Ritual rebalances and cleanses both the physical and emotional being. A Muladhara ritual is ideal for grounding as it works predominately on the base chakra, the root of feelings of safety and security. The treatment combines a cleansing Balinese ‘kemenyan’ smoking ceremony, the use of sound resonating bowls and a deep, slow massage using locally grown ginger and cinnamon, blended with vetivert and oils. The deep aroma of the smoke and oils as well as the steady pace of the massage slows down the body and the mind, a sense of returning to centre is one of the benefits of the treatment and will leave you ready for the next stage of your journey. One that takes you back in time.
At the DaLa Spa, located at the Alaya Resort in Jalan Hanoman, Ubud, you can experience the rituals of the ancient Malay and Majapahit Kingdom. The Bunga Rampai Ritual is an inspiring two-hour treatment that promises to rejuvenate the mind and uplift the spirit by practicing the beauty traditions of ancient cultures. The ritual begins with the feet, reverential and devotional, the treatment uses natural betel nut and is followed by a floral infused coconut body scrub that contains pure jasmine extract, grated candlenut, and fresh kaffir lime. This leaves the body cleansed and the mind relaxed in readiness for the meditational bathing of the Bunga Rampai Bath. Strewn with rose petals, tuberose, cananga, cempaka flowers and enlivened with fresh limes, the bath will literally soak away your cares.
Cleansed and now fragrantly inspired by ancient traditions, it is time to take on wisdom. Here in Ubud wisdom can be found in every corner, and sometimes in the words of the transport drivers, one recently and perceptively commented that many visitors arrive looking for something that is more than a destination. And he is not wrong…
So which direction to travel next? Ubud can offer you The Mansions, a five star luxury experience where you can discover Cosmic Yoga, a sequence of breathing and postures that can put you on the path to inner rejuvenation, or a Thai Yoga Massage that will, through a series of assisted movements, increase your physical flexibility and perhaps ultimately you will discover the Medical Spa where treatments can be taken that bring a new meaning to the new you.
Alternatively you can visit Fivelements the stunning bamboo eco-wellness retreat and spa to discover what changes can occur under their beautiful bamboo and thatch roof. Their Sacred Arts therapy is inspired by the ancient Balinese philosophy, Tri Kaya Parisudha, which encourages alignment to heartfelt goodwill and thinking with consistent speech and action. These holistic Sacred Arts therapies involve movement, creative expression and self-awareness and help to reconnect the authentic self. The therapies range from Meditation, Yoga, Somatic Therapy, Aikido, Dance, Vibrational Healing Music, Drama, Visual Arts to the freedom of the Healing Dance Aquatic Bodywork.
And there you are again, free in the middle of Mambul, aligned, alive and wondering where next…
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
Jalan Raya Sayan, Ubud
Phone: 0361 977 577
DaLa Spa at AlayaUbud
Jalan Hanoman, Ubud
Phone: 0361 972 200
Fiv elements Bali
Banjar Baturning, Mambal
Phone: 0361 469 260
The Mansion Resort Hotel & Spa
Jalan Penestanan No. 9, Sayan, Ubud
Phone: 0361 972 616