Cultural Immersion to Magical Bali

Debi Robinson and Five Pillar Experiences Present a Yoga Inspired Cultural Immersion Journey to Bali - A Life Transformative Journey


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I would like to invite you to join me on a very special journey to Bali, one of my favorite places in the world! Every time I go I fall in love all over again with the beauty, aromas, tranquility and most importantly, the people. I have been fortunate to explore much of the country and experience many of the traditions, rituals, and customs and I am always able to find a deep inner peace on each visit. The Balinese “live” their spiritual practice on a daily basis and you will learn how to develop your own daily practice as they share their customs with our group and we integrate them into our own practice each day.

In Bali it is so easy to find peace and connection as you practice yoga, meditation and partake in some of the most decadent body treatments I have ever experienced. I will teach a private yoga practice every morning that focuses on aging gracefully by keeping your body strong, limber, mobile and fluid as you age. In the evenings we will have either a private group discussion, a restorative yoga session or guided meditation as we learn to integrate the practices we learned from the Balinese during our daily excursions. There are free afternoons and evenings to get body treatments, shop or explore on your own.

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Bali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Bali is known as the “Island of the Gods” and I call it heaven on earth. We begin our journey with 5 nights in Ubud which is the “artistic capital” and the perfect place to visit local villages, see the local art and cultural dance performances, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop and get a traditional Balinese massage. Our accommodations are in a beautiful location with our private yoga space to practice yoga, meditation and integration daily.

We head to the coast in the North of Bali to Pemuteran for our next 3 evenings. Our Journey to the North is beautiful as we wind our way through the rugged central mountains of Bali. This will be a more calm part of the island with the ocean on one side and majestic mountains as the backdrop.

A major aspect of our journey is cultural immersion as we visit villages and a Woman’s Center where we will be educated on Balinese customs and traditions. My partners on this journey will be Five Pillar Experiences. I was introduced to them through a friend who has co-hosted several retreats to Bali and was so pleased with the experience. In December, I met with one of the directors to discuss and plan this trip and I am confident that we have created a life-changing journey for you! Their mission is to develop sustainable eco- and community-inspired adventures that create economic opportunity for local communities while also raising international awareness around local Balinese values.

We will be supporting the people of Bali in everything we do on our journey with a donation from our group (included in your fee) and we’ll have the opportunity to help when we visit the villages if you would like to purchase items or bring a little something from home. This aspect of our trip is what excites me the most because Bali is truly a magical place and I want it to remain that way for the people of Bali and for the world. When you travel you raise your awareness about the locals’ traditions and practices and learn to respect their observances. You may also learn something from them to incorporate into your own lives to find peace and equanimity. I look forward to guide you on this adventure!

Daily Itinerary - 10 days and 9 nights

Daily Itinerary - 10 days and 9 nights

Day 1: Warm Welcome from the Prince of Peliatan

On our first evening we will have a special welcome from the Prince of Peliatan. He lives in Peliatan Palace in Ubud and he would love to invite us for dinner, share his family’s stories and give us a tour of his home. We will learn about Balinese philosophy, traditional life, and religion on the island. Peliatan Palace is one of the oldest palaces in Ubud. It was built in 1769 and holds the concept of Tri Mandala in the architecture.
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Day 2: An Introduction to Balinese Culture

We begin our journey by visiting a village to learn about Balinese culture. In the village, we will meet a local family and one of the members will happily share his family’s traditions, daily rituals and a tour of his house. We will also visit Pura Samuan Tiga Bedulu where we will learn about this 10th century temple.
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Day 3: Visit a Local Women's Community

Women play a critical role in sustaining the Balinese culture. Their roles in society are usually preparing offerings, raising children, working at home and in the rice paddies. We will visit KIM Women’s Center and meet Ibu Sari who is the founder. She created this organization with an intention of providing local resources to help women cope with the demands of life.

The centre offers programs in cooking, sewing, stress management, self-esteem, public speaking, yoga and meditation, fashion, computers, and English. We will have the opportunity to better understand feminine spiritual perspectives in Bali and how this community works to restore the balance between men and women in society.

This evening we will finish the day experiencing a Balinese traditional dance at one of the temples near Ubud.

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Day 4: Purifying Ceremony at Tirta Empul and Jamu Class

First we are going to experience a purification ceremony at Tirta Empul to cleanse ourselves from anything you wish to release from your body or mind. Tirta Empul Temple is an important temple complex and holy mountain spring built in 960 AD. The site serves as a legendary setting of a traditional tale about good versus evil and it is also a national cultural heritage site.

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We will next participate in a Jamu class. Passed down from mother to daughter since the days of the Javanese Mataram Kingdom around 1300 years ago, jamu remains an important part of the daily wellness routine for many Indonesians. Jamu is traditional Indonesian medicine, predominantly made from natural ingredients including roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. It dates back thousands of years and has some similarities to Ayurveda. In Indonesia, jamu is used to address a wide range of ailments, depending on the ingredients used, and we will learn some recipes to take home to create our own healing concoctions.

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The rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore Ubud.

Day 5: Balanese Cooking Class

In the morning, we will attend a cooking class where we learn about Balinese spices and foods. We will begin by visiting the traditional market to pick the fresh ingredients then have a little walk through a rice paddy to the kitchen to learn how to cook Balinese foods.
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We have allocated some free time to explore Ubud or get a body treatment. Dinner will be on your own.

Day 6: Journey to The North Side of Bali Through Bedugul

Bali has nine sacred temples dispersed throughout the island, representing the centre of Bali and the eight different directions. We will engage in a meditation ritual at three of the temples. Typically, the meditation ritual consists of showering flowers then is followed by a blessing of holy water from a temple priest. Sarongs are required and provided.

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, or Pura Bratan, is a major Hindu Shaivite water temple on Lake Betran, Indonesia. Built in 1633, this temple is used for offering ceremonies to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali. This temple is also called Bali Temple On The Lake because it looks like it is floating when the Beratan river water rises.

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Day 7: Melanting Temple and Visit Local Traditional Weavers

Representing the Northwest is Melanting Temple (temple of trader), located at the foothills of Pemuteran. This temple is dedicated to the god of prosperity. Businessmen visit the temple to ask for fortune and good luck. Because of its rich, historical architecture and its very special location, this is the best local temple to visit. Dating back to the 15th century, it is located on the slopes of Mount Pulaki and is surrounded by tropical forests and local vineyards. During a visit to the temple you can get a deep spiritual experience and enjoy the natural tranquility of its beauty without the hustle and bustle normally associated with visiting temples.
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Next we visit traditional weavers and have the opportunity to purchase naturally dyed hand woven textiles and scarfs. Revival of old weaving techniques, traditional ethnic designs and rare patterns, homespun fibers and natural dyes is spearheaded by a few organizations who want to preserve the traditional arts and dyes before they become extinct. Hundreds of weavers who live in remote, under-developed villages turn their unique textiles into badly needed income in a way that is environmentally sustainable, promotes cultural integrity and empowers poor women.
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Evening and dinner are on your own to explore or relax by the ocean.

Day 8: Relax at Banjar Hot Springs then Enjoy A Body Treatment

Situated in the middle of a jungle in north Bali, Banjar Hot Springs has three pools. The water flows from a geothermal spring and the people believed dragons are guarding this place so Banjar Hot Springs became a holy temple for purification by the people who lived there.
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The afternoon is free for body treatments, shopping in town or walking along the beach.
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This evening we will have a delicious farewell private group dinner by the beach.
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Day 9: Travel to South Bali for Our Last Evening in Sanur

We will take a long drive through beautiful Bali to Sanur to be near the airport for our departure home the next day. Along the way we will stop at Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. It is in the heart of Tabanan Regency and is the best example of Bali’s outstanding picturesque rice fields. It represent the Subak system as Bali’s Cultural Landscape which has been inscribed a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in June 2012. Heritage preservation around the world works to empower communities through heritage preservation. Striving for a future that’s beyond monuments, they partner with local people, communities, organizations, and governments to both preserve the timeless heritage of the past, and ensure that it is a vibrant and beneficial part of the present.
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We will spend our last evening in Sanur which is close to the airport. You will have a free evening to prepare for your journey back home.

Day 10: Safe journey Back Home

It’s time to say goodbye! I am grateful to partner with Five Pillar Experiences and know you will leave this beautiful island with a raised awareness, new friends, a calm mind and tools to keep you strong in your mind, body and soul.

Five Pillar and I hope that you will have safe travels and arrive back home safe to your loved ones.

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This is an amazing opportunity to visit Bali and learn about the people, their culture and to help support them as we tread lightly on their soil.