Change likes and follows for deeper human interactions. Swap your mobile-centric way of life for sacred blessings and natural waterfalls. It’s time to embrace slow living for a clearer mind and a positive outlook. Here’s how...
Everyday life is consumed by technology. Whether it’s your phone beeping with Instagram notifications or emails flooding your laptop, it can all get a little overbearing. Now that most of us are staying at home to work or be with family, it seems even harder for everyone to take a break from technology without it dictating our every move. Connection is permanently in the palm of our hand – the problem is, we can never switch off. Even on holiday, it’s tempting to fall into a pattern of over-stimulation, exploring as much as possible in a matter of days, and documenting it all on your smartphone.
Let’s put our phones down and find a slower pace, rediscover ourselves by discovering a new environment. Go to fewer places and stay longer. Soak in the essence of a destination. Remember scents, sights and feelings rather than the photo you wanted to take.
Reconnect with yourself and find a moment of calm in Bali. The verdant, serene forests, lush from their volcanic soil, trail down to pristine beaches and coral reefs teeming with life. For a place to really ‘get away from it all’, Bali has myriad options. Just leave your phone in your bag.
Surrounded by leaves, vines and ferns, reaching the Petitenget Temple can seem like your very own personal discovery. The Oberoi Beach Resort Bali, situated on the south of the island near Seminyak beach, can take you on a special Sunset Blessing at he nearby Petitenget Temple. Founded in the 15th Century, Petitenget (meaning ‘sacred box’) is built on the local legend of a travelling priest with a holy chest who implored villagers to construct the shrine in order to ward off evil spirits.
The shrine has done its job perfectly, with the surrounding area known for its particular sense of tranquility. As dusk settles in so does a mystical aura. Shadows form on the dragon-like statues and the last of the evening’s light catches the warm orange glow of the redbrick and sandstone walls of the myriad shrines and pavilions. Listen to the comforting hum of the head priest’s blessing as his offerings of incense envelope you like a warm hug. Afterwards, take in the magical history of the place as a local expert guides you through the myths and legends of this place of healing and protection.
Further north along the south-west coast is Tanah Lot (meaning ‘Land in the Sea’), a rocky volcanic outcrop shaped by and reaching out into the Indian Ocean. It is home to the Hindu pilgrimage destination Pura Tanah Lot, one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast.
The temple is said to have been founded by 16th Century Hindu traveller Dan Hyang Nirartha, who rested there overnight and told fishermen who had brought him food and gifts to build a shrine to the Balinese sea gods where he had slept.
It’s time to cut yourself off from the world further in land with Capella Ubud’s ‘Confined to Quarters’ day of rest, reflection and self-care. Ideal for couples, it’s the perfect environment to strengthen your connection with each other. Start your day with a Balinese blessing ritual on your private deck, before a morning session of Pranayama and tandem yoga to both ease and refresh aching muscles, and deal with any latent stress. Float to a two-hour Senja massage and Swadhisthanan chakra balancing, which aims to re-right any upended energy across your chakra system – the end result is a sensation of being centred, grounded and energised.
The day ends with a feast outside your villa, complete with tailor-made cocktails, for you to enjoy the jungle surroundings and reflect on your experiences. Finally, the next morning, take part in an early morning purification ritual at the Wos River Temple, an important community hub, where you are invited to bathe the body and the spirit. Within 24 hours, you’ll feel closer connected to nature and each other.
Nearby in the jungle, you can drift into the most nourishing slumber of your life at Four Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan. Indulge in an afternoon ‘air nap’ suspended in an aeriel silk from the ceiling of the bamboo tropical yoga pavilion, Dharma Shanti Bale.
Rock gently to sleep in the silky cocoon away from the stresses of the world, listening to the life story of Buddha as told by Ibu Fera, the hotel’s resident health mentor, a former nun and a woman deeply connected to her Buddhist faith through a continent-spanning study of the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha).
Deeply soothing and nurturing, this is an incredibly effective technique that will leave you feeling relaxed and revitalised. Cocooned in the tranquility of the Sayan Valley, you will have only the birds and leaves to listen to as you drift off.