Five minutes ago, I was swimming in the frigid torrent of a waterfall. Ten minutes ago, I lay in shavasana after a rigorous yoga class. Now, as I dry in the cool morning air, monkeys play in the trees above me, and bats retreat to their cave as the sun rises on another day in the Balinese countryside.
When planning my trip to Bali, I researched my options ruthlessly. With so many yoga retreats and eco resorts to choose from, it seemed like finding the best would be a crapshoot. But when I finally arrived in the lobby of Bagus Jati Health and Wellbeing Resort in Tegalalang, I applauded my research skills for a job well done.
The property, complete with luxurious wooden villas and manicured gardens layered on the side of the canyon wall, is a visual masterpiece. A picture beyond anything I could have painted in my mind.
The natural beauty of Bagus Jati is surpassed only by the kindness and attentiveness of their staff. Everyone, from the gardeners to the wait staff, wear a beaming smile, a staple of Balinese hospitality. They exude genuine bliss, steady through rain or shine, which forced me to reflect on my own disposition – why couldn’t I carry myself with such softness? How have I become so rigid? After a log journey to get here, a new inward journey was beginning.
I came here for silence, serenity, a place where I could sit with my thoughts and nurture my body with healthy food, daily yoga and meditation. I came for the clean air, the healing vegetation that surrounded me. This piece of land, all 5 hectares of it, isn’t scarred by the concrete lacerations of the city. No brown fields, strip malls or cinemas to fill the time. The intermittent thunderstorms provide enough entertainment.
Bagus Jati offers its guests eco-friendly, guilt-free luxury. They balance comfort with environmental responsibility in a subtle and resourceful way. Electric golf carts whisk guests between the dining hall and the spa. Cool evening breezes provide a perfect substitute for the raw harshness of climate control.
And the food, abundant and delicious, is sourced from the gardens on the property and the neighbouring village. Even the lettuce garden sits within eye-site of the dining room bringing a whole new meaning to the term “sourced locally”.
If you thought Ubud was the place to be, I will challenge you to think outside the box. Sure, the streets of Ubud feel like a bohemian utopia compared to the bustling, overcrowded Denpasar. But the deeper you venture into the heart of this island, the more it becomes apparent that there is something quite profound about what lies in the countryside.
Call it mystical, perhaps surreal. Bagus Jati places you here, in the land between wakefulness and dream.
I arrived feeling jaded and worn, and I leave here today feeling physically and spiritually renewed. When I reflect on the past nine days, I was reconnected with my inner goodness, an ode to my uncorrupted self. Hopefully I can sustain the feeling of bliss until my next visit.
Book your escape at www.bagusjati.com