Ayurvedic retreat in Bali: Sukhavati
During the Balinese chapter of my journey, I visited the Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat. In the past, I have been to several yoga, meditation and detox retreats, but this is the first time I’ve been to an Ayurvedic retreat and this was also my first approach to this healing system with Indian roots.
Ayurveda, literally meaning knowledge of life and longevity, it is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It provides an integrated approach to preventing and treating illness through lifestyle interventions and natural therapies. The ayurvedic approach includes body healing treatments, massage, a specific vegetarian diet, yoga, meditation and specific supplements.
Me and a friend have taken part in the program at Sukhavati Bali for 4 days and 3 nights.
Since the resort is vegetarian and not purely vegan, we have contacted the reception beforehand saying that we are both vegan. However, the first night we got served a meal containing Ghee, a form of clarified butter. Therefore, if you travel to Asian countries I suggest you to specify that being vegan means not consuming any animal product (no dairy, no honey, etc).
When you sign up for the program you can choose a custom program and ours included ayurvedic treatments (Abhyanga and Shirodhara), twice daily yoga sessions, massages, a consultation with the ayurvedic doctor, fresh juices, herbal teas and freshly prepared ayurvedic dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Sukhavati Resort is located in a quiet area of Canggu, far from the busy and touristy roads. When we arrived the staff welcomed us with a garland of frangipanis and a fresh drink with ginger and mint. The atmosphere of the resort is pure magic: Buddha statues, little fountains and altars with scented incense, everything surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
When we were brought to our accomodation, we were speechless: for those days we would have a villa with a pool all for ourselves. The outside shower which was hidden between the plants was definitely my favourite part.
This was what our daily schedule looked like:
I was very curious to try the ayurvedic cuisine and I wasn’t disappointed. During our stay we took part in a Gala dinner with a breathtaking location, followed by a lovely performance of traditional balinese dance.
Every day we had ayurvedic treatments and massages. My favourite was the foot reflexology. The spa is located along a river and surrounded by nature. Listening to the birds and the sound of the river while enjoying the treatments was very relaxing.
Overall the experience was more than positive and I will have a lovely memory of it.
The only thing that has confused me was the consultation with the ayurvedic doctor (note: it’s not a western medical doctor), who kept telling me to reintroduce dairy yoghurt and ghee in my diet. Those things are against what I believe both from an ethical and a health point of view. Therefore I invite you to always to always question everything and do your own research.
If you are interested you can find more information on their website: www.sukhavatibali.com