Read on to find out what it is all about and practical tips for a successful festival.
Almost everyone I know anywhere in the world is going through some kind of transformation. Whether it is about changing job, relationship, mindset, body appearance, ... Something collective has been going on for the last two years where It seems that everyone is undergoing a personal transformation or wish they were.
Bali spirit festival is a great place to reflect, learn, grow and prepare that transformation
What is the Bali Spirit festival?
Bali Spirit Festival is a week-long celebration that is held in Bali end of March or Early April. Thousands of yogis and music lovers gather to do yoga and lift their spirits. The week-long festival comes with a lot of opportunities for fun and family bonding over as the days and nights are equally enjoyable there. Everyone can find something that he/she loves irrespective of age and interests as the festival has a vast range of activities. The festival is full of such calming and relaxing activities as well as some exciting endeavors. Let’s get a peek of what to expect when you attend the festival this year.
The first time I came, I only attended the last day as the festival had sold out and I couldn't get tickets for the other days.
It was transformational. While at first, it looked like a Yoga Circus, I quickly managed to get over the selfie-taking crowd. I found a lot of good teachers, profound moments and special energy.
I have been back ever since. While every year is different, it is consistently good.
The amount of good presenters is overwhelming. At every moment of the day, there is at least ten classes or workshop going on. The fear of missing out can kick in easily.
My first week-long festival, I tried to do everything. I studied the program and had a plan of 4 or 5 classes to attend every day. By day 3, I was so sore that I could not move anymore.
TIP: Pace yourself. The event lasts seven days. Try and mix physical classes with workshop and meditation.
This year, I had a different approach. I had a few teachers that I wanted to see, but apart from that, I kept my schedule open and wandered through the festival.
This allowed me to listen to my body needs at the moment and to feel the vibes of the class.
Overview of the Bali Spirit festival classes and workshops
Satsang, Dharma Seminars and workshops:
Some spiritual talks and seminars on Satsang and Dharma are lined up for you at the festival. Keynote speakers from all over the world including Mark Withwell, Noviana Kusumawardhani, and Soma Temple are making these talks informative and impactful.
I heard Mark Withwell tell us to stop looking for enlightenment as we are already perfect beings. It was a nice way to end the day, and his simple yoga practice is actually very powerful.
I also attended Cat Kabira class on biodynamic energetics and learned to read someone else energy for the first time.
Yoga and Meditation:
What is the point of a spirit festival without yoga workshops? Yoga remains the core of the festival, and you can practice with the best yogis from Indonesia and the rest of the world. The breadth of classes is mindblowing, and it is hard to choose every day which ones to attend
I started strong with Melody Isis Henry and her black metal yoga. Who would have taught yoga and black metal yoga go well together? But black metal is truly quite meditative. And the quote of the festival so far is " don't rotate your head too much or you might snap it like in the exorcist."
I did the therapeutic shoulder workshop with Gwyn William. Great workshop but I ended up with more pain on my shoulder after the workshop than before. I might need to go and have a massage.
We mapped our Pelvis and learned about sacred geometry with Uma Dina More Tulli.
I worked on my Faschia in a workshop with Rusty Davis. The main learning was that fascia is connecting different part of our body. Some amazing experiences during that class: If we massage and relax our ears, we can move our neck to a larger angle. Try it out. Magical! We spent most of the class trying to feel connections.
I also did a few “regular” yoga classes. Don’t miss Amanda Koh and Nadine McNeil. Their classes are great and full of energy.4
The spirit festival has so much more in terms of healing and rejuvenation than yoga. The festival offers its attendees some excellent sound healing exercises and breathing workshops. These are teaching techniques which will help you relax and concentrate more but also working with the more subtle energy of the body. Your ears will be treated with sounds of different frequencies which will affect your mind, heart, and soul in different ways. These sessions take the spirit festival to a whole new level and should not be missed.
The inner dance with Marta Komesa is a musical journey through different sounds frequencies that activate feelings. It was very quiet and peaceful but activates a lot. A few people in the room ended up crying.
I also experienced breathwork with Monika Reiman and Pablo Castro and what happened in the room was amazing. I can’t really describe the experience but suggest you try it out. It is amazing how our breath can alter our mind, feelings and even personality
The sound healing sessions are amazing. The Yoga Nidra with Uma Dina More Tullis felt special and hypnotising.
Dance and Martial Arts:
Dance is a huge part of the Bali spirit festival. At any time of the day, you can find hundreds of people dancing somewhere.
If you are into dancing, you can pretty much dance all day long at Bali Spirit festival. Between the live music, the ecstatic dances, the shamanic dance or the cacao ceremonies, the opportunities are endless.
The music nights are a great attraction of Bali spirit festival. A week full of different kinds and flavors of international music is something that you surely wouldn’t want to miss out on. Bands from India are playing the classical Indian music, and the ones from Indonesia will rekindle the spiritual flames in your hearts with the traditional Indonesian music. There will be other singers and bands from all over the world too which are going to entertain you on the nights of this amazing festival, making it more enjoyable and less forgettable.
Who attends the Bali Spirit festival?
About 1500 participants attend the festival every day for seven days. Many are yoga teachers themselves looking to replenish themselves and get inspired.
The participants come from all over the world. China is the biggest country with about 400 participants. The diversity of participants is mind-blowing. Many Europeans and Americans. I also met many people from all over Asia and Africa. The age diversity is also mind-blowing. There are various kids activities through the day and even a kids area making the Bali Spirit Festival suitable for families
Then it goes from 18 to 88. I do hope I can still attend and do Yoga when I am 80. I guess that about 80 percent of participants are women.
There are also 300 volunteers. This is a great way from the Bali Spirit festival to allow people who can't afford the festival to still attend. Volunteers work a few hours a day and can attend the festival. They are very present onsite and are super friendly. Finally, there are hundreds of presenters and artists. Most also tend to hang out and attend classes
TIP on what to bring: bring your yoga mat as they are not provided. Mosquito repellent is also useful. Mosquito repellent can be bought in any mini-marts and is better and cheaper than what we can buy in Europe. Bring an umbrella as at this time of the year tropical downpour can occur. And finally, a towel if you want to shower during the day.
Where to stay and eat in Ubud while attending the Bali Spirit Festival?
The festival is held in the countryside, and there are not many accommodations nearby.
A shuttle bus system from Ubud is provided by the festival. The most convenient shuttle stop is Coco Market at the intersection of Hanoman and Monkey forest road.
The best hotels nearby are the Alaya hotel. You can check rates and availability here.
Another great option is Samastiti Villa. It is located 5 minutes walk from the shuttle stop. You have the luxury of having your own private pool overlooking the rice fields in the center of Ubud. You can check rates and availability here.
There are 10-15 restaurants available on the Bali Spirit Festival. Most offer simple vegetarian/healthy food. If you feel the need for more gastronomy or meet during your week at Bali Spirit Festival, Click here for a list of my favorite restaurants in Ubud
What ticket to get for the Bali Spirit Festival?
The abundance ticket is the best ticket to get. It is only slightly more expensive than a normal ticket and gives you access to the shuttle bus and a quiet lounge to relax in during the day.
Check here for more info about the tickets and the Bali Spirit Festival.
TIP: Buy your ticket as early as you can as the early bird pricing offers a significant discount.
I met many people who have been transformed by this festival. This festival is great if you want to sample a huge range of some of the best teacher in the worlds. It should be a mandatory event for yoga teachers to upgrade their skills :-)
2019 is another strong edition for the Bali spirit festival, and I hope to attend it again next year.
Note: Out of respect for the participants and to avoid being one of the "selfie-takers", I took very few pictures while at the festival. Hence, most of the pictures in this article are official pictures from Bali Spirit festival 2019