Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bali Spirit Festival & Paddy's Day re-tox in Sanur

Detoxing in Ubud...

My doubts about the Yoga Festival were founded. I tried. I went with the best intentions: let's try something different, let's be healthy for a few days, detox a bit, discover something new.

But no, I wasn't converted. The vegetarian life is not really for me. Herbal drinks replacing coffee, salads replacing meat, basically (too) healthy stuff replacing the good, sinful pleasures of life.

Did you know that even dairy can be unhealthy? Worse than wheat they say :) Cooking food? Not good either. Vegetables served were “cooked” at no more than 58 C.

But there were also some good things. Mojitos were served at night, and i enjoyed a few glasses... and a few classes too! Here's a quick summary.

The Belly Dancing class class was indeed pleasant to look at; of course I didn't ruin it by trying it myself - that could be a niche huh? Male Belly dancing.. The Sufi Chanting one was.. well let's just say I was glad I was just observing.. I took a session of West African dance instead; lots of fun but very intense on the physical side: lactic acid made my legs sore for the next 4 days!

The session I enjoyed the most has to be Laughter Yoga. Not difficult to guess that laughing it's good for your health, but the founder, Madan Kataria, which was the one giving the class, proved it from a medical point of view. For example when we breath there's a good part of stagnant air that we don't exhale, and one the goals of yoga is of course correct breathing and exhaling all air. We do that though when we laugh. So Laughter Yoga it's a less boring way than traditional yoga to exhale all air and be nice to your body and mind. So what do you do? Sit around and just laugh? Yes, exactly! The idea is “fake it until you make it”, after all for your body fake or real laughter doesn't make any physical difference anyway. And after a while of course some “real” laughing inevitably arrives. Did I made you curious? Check out more at the Laughter Yoga website!

laughter yoga
If you're looking for info on the Bali Spirit Festival it's all on their official website, don't let my unhealthy review get in the way :)

Some related posts:

Ubud, Bali and Nyepi

Authentic Happiness

Lombok, Bali's little sister island

And now let's move to the real unhealthy part..

Retoxing in Sanur

Although the first day of the festival was good fun I thought that for the second day - which happened to be my birthday - I deserved something more in my style, so i treated myself to an hour of Balinese massage, Indian food (to which I am lately simply addicted) and a bottle of Hatten white wine.

Paddy's day was approaching, and of course a Yoga festival is not the best place to celebrate the patron Saint of Ireland. So i decided to move south of Bali, to Sanur, which is supposed to have a good nightlife; a good place for some re-tox, I thought, after all the exercise and the vegetables I got at the Spirit Festival. Kuta Bali is supposed to be the worse place for touts; well I haven't been there, but Sanur was definitely touts paradise. Impossible to go on the main street without receiving literally hundreds of offers. Taxis and bemos will start beeping at you from hundreds meters before approaching you, then slowing down, following you for few meters, and the hardcore ones will even stop to offer you “transport”. I made an experiment and counted how many offers I received in a minute walking around.. well between people on the street, taxis and bemos I got 20 !

Good news though.. there's an Irish pub. Normally I wouldn't care too much, but hey, it's Paddy's Day. So Cat & Fiddle pub it is, with Indonesian band playing away all Irish classics. Amazing to hear "Whiskey in the jar" played by a fiddler from Papua and with tropical percussion on top..