Magisa Lee visits Escape Ritual for a total workover.
When you get an invite to a retreat in Bali, there is only one answer – ABSOLUTELY!
Many times I have visited the “Island of the Gods” and it has always provided me with the respite and peace I crave from living and working in a big city. I’ve been lucky through the years to experience retreats throughout South East Asia and I even hosted a fitness retreat that one time!
Escape Ritual, a wellness retreat offering four unique programs, was beyond my expectations.
The 7 bedroom villa is located on the outskirts of Canggu surrounded by rice paddies and bordered by a river. Canggu is a popular area for villa renovations and so there are less and less green paddie fields to view. It was refreshing to wake up to that bright Bali green again.
The rooms are gorgeous – all with huge ensuite bathrooms and designed in that delightful way that only the Balinese seem to create. Fresh, open, wood, modern and the special touches that assure you that you are going to have an amazingly restful time.
I was signed up for the FIRE Retreat which meant that we would participate in a mix of yoga practices and fitness classes, all hosted at the villa. I’m a fitness chick so this was right up my lane.
The Yoga classes were held in the evenings as the sun set in a purpose built yoga shala over the river. Can you see it now? You can hear the water, the twilight sounds and the soft breeze as we were guided through the poses and breath towards meditation. Some of the retreat participants had never tried yoga or mediation but our yogi was so aware, open and accommodating, that she had a “full house” every session. I was also treated to my very first “sound healing bath” and this
was really incredible. The vibrations created by the sound bells close to your body awaken the senses to how sound, vibration and human bodies are connected.
AND I slept like never before!
The fitness sessions were in the morning on the sprawling lawn, right next to the equally large swimming pool. Circuit style high intensity exercises led by a certified and experienced coach who kept us motivated and entertained throughout the workout, meant we were able to work up a damn good sweat and appetite!
FOOD! It was perfect – leaning on “detox” but plenty of it and so healthy and tasty. The food was locally grown, vegetarian based and prepared by our very own Brazilian chef. The menu was well balanced, colourful (it’s all about those colours!) and so tasty. The mealtimes were some of my favourite moments at the retreat as I was able to chat with everyone else – some people I knew and others I was meeting for the first time.
The villa has so many special spaces to converse – lounge areas, poolside, decks. And so while my body was being nourished, so was my mind and soul through the amazing conversations and laughter throughout the four days.
While each program is curated to represent one of the Four Elements – FIRE, EARTH, WATER, AIR – there is an a la carte menu to choose optional activities such as cycling, surfing, shopping, tours and massage. I enjoyed the most heavenly massage in my room and my only regret was not having another!
The retreats are 6 days long with the option to stay extra nights. I had 4 days and felt amazing and
definitely could have stayed longer. If you are looking for a “reset”, Escape Ritual is just that.