Every year in March thousands of spiritually enlightened individuals flock to Ubud for the Bali Spirit Festival. This 7 day event promises everything from yoga, ecstatic dance, workshops, meditation, sound healing and so much more. I was beyond excited to be taking part in such a special event, so with yoga mat in hand I boarded a plane to Mother Bali.
The Spirit Fest began in 2008, and has continued to gain popularity, attracting thousands of visitors each year. This year was no different, with over ten thousand people in attendance over the seven days and eight nights. Upon entering the festival your senses are immediately overwhelmed by brilliant colours, heavenly scents, exquisite hand made bamboo structures, and scantily clad yogis and yoginis. I couldn’t but help feel a little inferior as I took in all these goddesses traipsing around. Luckily for me there was a self love workshop about to start, so I plastered on a smile and sidled on down for a bit of personal appreciation.
Over the next 7 days I attended workshops on self compassion, shamanism, shiatsu, meridians, Ayurveda and goal setting. I ecstatically danced, did what felt like a million cacao ceremonies (because who doesn’t love chocolate!), a myriad of yoga classes, meditation, sounds healing, not to mention enjoyed all the brilliant live music that was splashed throughout the event. It really is a buffet of holistic modalities with the soul purpose to raise vibration.
Having said that I couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed. Perhaps it was that the workshops lacked any real take home so to speak, and left you wondering what to do next. Or that some of the classes seemed a little convoluted, or for lack of a better word, just a little bit wanky! Saying that, there were some brilliant standout facilitators that had really honed their craft, and delivered their teachings in an intelligent and non pretentious manner. In a sea of big personalities, this was refreshing to see.
What I loved most about the festival is that the organisers hire local workers who build all the sustainable bamboo structures by hand. They ask local students to assist at the event, and then write them recommendation letters to help them acquire jobs in the future. The food providers are all local, and the event is hosted in March so that income is still received during a usually low period.
All in all I think everyone should experience what the Bali Spirit Festival has to offer. It’s one of those events that truly gives back as much as you’re prepared to put in. You’ll hug countless strangers, find your body in positions you never thought possible, be sharing your inner most workings with people you only just met, dance in a sea of hundreds of bodies, and that’s only on day one! Whatever path you choose to go down, be prepared for a wild ride into the depths of your own spirituality!
THREE STARS OUT OF FIVE
Photos By Katelyn Rew