There’s coconut H2O using down my face, flicked over my conduct by a priest. It trickles over my “third eye” that a healer has noted on my front and soaks into a rice she pulpy into my throat chakra to redeem “my truth”.
Cross-legged in front of a banana root brimful with distilled flowers and blazing incense, we “wash” my face as educated in a honeyed smoke.
I wheeze a mantra, firstly to a sun, secondly to a week ahead, and a thirdly with dull hands – to bond to your soul, we urge customarily as we entered a world, empty-handed.
Only 24 hours progressing we was praying a sleet in Auckland would stop.
Now we am soaked in coconut and persperate and magic. we am praying in my yoga pants. Hello Bali.
This is how Escape Haven – a women-only surf, yoga, wellness, fitness, detox shelter set in a oppulance private villa in hip roller encampment Canggu – welcomes a guests, with a normal Balinese clarification ceremony, led by a villa’s in-house healer, Iluh and her husband, a priest.
I am one of 7 women from around a world, from all walks of life and ages.
The rite sets a intentions for a week.
I’m not certain what cave is.
Some women exhibit they have arrived during Escape Haven to redeem from bereavement, recharge a silent batteries, recover femininity, correct relationships, or face a crossroads in a career.
I feel distressed that my associate yoginis will hook like pretzels in Lululemon while we onslaught to hold my toes in my Warehouse Ali Baba pants.
The asocial publisher in me wonders what’s in a scent that has got me merrily saluting a object with pleasant flowers when we haven’t even unpacked my bag.
Over-analytical inner discourse (I learn after this is my “monkey mind”) falls divided when we am shown to my room, a magnificent villa, (called Dharma, truth) surrounded by dual rivers, with a church behind.
On a outrageous bed my name is spelled out in frangipanis.
I travel by a private overpass to strech an outside showering and Jacuzzi unaware a water, white sofas, handwoven cushions and wall art. Sofas in a bathroom. Why not? First goal already set: new lavatory goals.
When a servant – Escape Haven comes with 24-hour servant use – presses a cold lavender towel into my palms and asks if Miss Annemarie is happy with her room, we consternation what Iluh did to my throat chakra, as we can’t speak, customarily smile.
Renee, a retreat’s personality with a pretension Chief Happiness Officer, says a Dharma room was designed for a goddess.
“Which one?” we ask, as yet we know several.
“You!” she replies.
Outside my villa there’s a overwhelming pool, sensuous pleasant gardens and riverside spas where a operation of recovering treatments are offered.
A party awaits: Indonesian baked fish, lentil and pumpkin curry and sharp sambal sauce, followed by cacao and chia chocolate mousse.
This enchantress in Warehouse yoga pants has landed in paradise.
If Bali is a island of a gods, afterwards Escape Haven contingency be their heaven.
The Balinese trust Bali is a enchanting island, a place of manifestations. This was positively loyal for Escape’s founder, 43-year-old Kiwi Janine Hall, when she initial envisaged Escape Haven 8 years ago on a yoga pad in Ubud, Bali (famous given Julia Roberts’ characterisation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s devout awakening in Eat Pray Love).
A workaholic, burnt out from an general selling career, Hall knew success in element terms though was not happy.
“I didn’t know what we was doing with my life. Something led me to Bali. we didn’t even like yoga though we done myself a guarantee that we would spin adult on that pad any day.”
In Bali, Hall schooled to quieten her gorilla mind. It was afterwards she saw her “truth” – a job to yield women event to reconnect with themselves and “rekindle their sparkle”.
Hall wanted to offer some-more than your unchanging sauna break. Instead, Escape serves adult a smorgasbord of holistic recovering use packaged into a fine week-long rejuvenation holiday.
Women select from a operation of packages covering surf, yoga or aptness programmes. The week includes an “indulge and light day” with options trimming from eco cycling tours, cooking classes, trinket making, or a visionary high tea and tarot reading.
Hall believes any lady has a intensity to freshness into a many eager chronicle of herself given a support of an fortifying environment. Escape Haven has welcomed some-more than 3000 women by a doors, with word of mouth about a sorcery swelling with any guest.
This year Hall will extend a Canggu location, as good as open a second Bali Escape Haven on a clifftops of Uluwatu, where she will supplement life coaching to a repertoire.
The courtesy to fact Hall has poured into Escape Haven positions it during a reward finish of a rival marketplace for wellness holidays, quite in Indonesia, where retreats earnest life-enhancement are apropos as synonymous with Bali as scooters and Bintang.
Escape Haven has a priestess as a designer – Hall designed it in and with Iluh, who suggested on a plcae – a dedicated site on dual rivers circuitously a temple, with a considerable yoga shala positioned in a right devout instruction for saluting a object and meditation.
It is not customarily a high-spec skill and naturally noble sourroundings that make Escape Haven a five-star oppulance resort, it’s also a people.
Staff have a present of intuition: my any need was met, even ones we didn’t know we had.
When a pleasant surge detonate from a sky, an powerful seemed above my head.
Each dusk an inspirational handwritten note in bullion ink was left on my sham with a mouth balm, candle or chocolate. Service is bestowed with such observance that staff seem like friends who honestly caring for your wellbeing.
That initial night, after dinner, a massage list awaited in my room where Balinese masseuse Natalie began her week-long goal of unknotting a physique that likes to twist over a keyboard. With her trust of how a body, mind and essence are inextricably linked, my daily two-hour sauna treatments were a best we have ever had.
At morning we rose to category with yoga enchantress Laura, who haemorrhaged certain appetite that eager us to open a hearts and minds to a advantages of “the practice”.
There was no need to worry about my downward dog or my pants; we were all beginners, and when Laura positive us that customarily 20 per cent of yoga is a postures/asanas, we exhaled gratitude.
After breakfast of black rice pudding and coconut milk, and clever coffee (my servant understands me), Chief Happiness Officer Renee presented me with a spreadsheet of my week mapped out with spas, massages and yoga, mount adult paddle boarding, recovering with Iluh, tarot, and a revisit to Tanah Lot church following full moon.
“What can we do to make certain we go home carrying had a best holiday we have ever had?” she asks we reply, “It already is”.
Days unfolded into a Hollywood film in that we am a star: coffee, yoga, eat, spa, swim, learn, talk, laugh, pray, sleep. Switch and repeat.
The distractions of life ebbed away.
The hardest preference we faced any morning was either to have a prohibited mill massage or a boreh physique scrub.
My daily playlist was a operatic cicadas and a entire gecko.
I had my possess gecko in my room a servant called Tick Tock. Balinese trust a sound of a gecko (a shrill cuckooing sound) is an relate after someone speaks a truth. Tick Tock thinks we pronounce a lot of truth.
Escape Haven doesn’t customarily uphold your essence – here, food is medicine.
There’s a “no craving policy” with menus designed by recovering chefs and sourced by internal organic growers.
Dishes are gluten- and sugar-free, with vegan options, and tailored to personal tastes.
Yoga with Laura was a highlight, that astounded me as, pre-Bali, we would to spin adult to classes in New Zealand to begrudgingly change my awkward physique from tree to cow, and use a imagining to weird out about my soaking raise and deadlines.
Laura taught me to breathe scrupulously and we finally “got” meditation, or Savasana.
We were upheld on a transformational tour by yoga styles including Vinyasa Flow, Power Flow, Hatha and relaxing and physic Yin.
As a week went on, we delved deeper into a practice.
I would never have believed that by a finish of a week we would be chanting in an ohm round while any of us took a spin in a centre to accept “good vibes”.
This was surpassed customarily by a generous “Yoga Beats” event in which, if we still had a gorilla mind (by now silenced), it would be doubt because we am smiling deliriously doing ninja lunges to Justin Bieber in a erotic heat.
Yoga Beats is pronounced to rivet your earthy senses and make we as high as a kite, that competence explain because during a finish of category we all joyfully jumped in a pool, yoga pants still on.
It reflected a suggestion of a week that allows leisure for introspection, or a event to hang out with a group.
You can douse yourself entirely into Bali’s recovering power, or drop in and out of a report and make time to try a boutiques, markets and foodie hangouts of a surf-cool Canggu village. A motorist is during your ordering if we wish to try to circuitously Seminyak if we can't live though that boho jumpsuit we keep manifesting.
Bonding with like-minded solo adventurers is partial of a Escape experience. There were times when we would cry with a form of swell delight that customarily usually surfaces among aged friends.
Groups of women lapse for reunions, says Hall. One Kiwi lady attends twice yearly, carrying motionless that Escape Haven is as critical to her wellbeing as waxing and highlights.
Did we find my truth?
Although I’m not going to grow my physique hair and give divided my possessions, we grown a adore of yoga and bargain of a how and a because of it. we detected a universe won’t finish if we don’t check a newsfeed any minute, and schooled to suffer “the now” though my phone glued to my hand.
I suspicion we couldn’t hold my toes, though indeed we can do a three-legged downward dog on a paddleboard in a center of a ocean.
My gorilla mind is still a chatterbox, though infrequently we can quieten it.
I remembered how to play, eat well, and giggle compartment we cry.
Despite holding out to be a final chairman in New Zealand though physique ink, we accidentally mentioned to a kids we competence get a tattoo. Of a gecko.
“Cool, Mum, though don’t do that Justin Bieber yoga in a garden.”
And we trust in magic.
Whereas we prayed with dull hands during a start, we left with a full heart and mind enriched with collection to lead a happier, healthier life.
Every lady needs a week during Escape Haven.
What happens in Bali, doesn’t stay in Bali.
Annemarie Quill gifted a Refresh (yoga) retreat. Escape Haven also offers roller and aptness weeks, that also embody daily yoga and sauna treatments.
Retreats during Escape Haven Canggu start from approx. NZ$2400 (flights additional).