We have been home from Bali for just over 2 months now, and we still hear the sounds and smell the smells of that beautiful tropical island.
As we drove back to Canggu from Ubud one evening, the sweet fragrance of the Frangipani flowers mixed with burning incense from the offerings left on the roadside, and the sounds of Gamelan Orchestras ringing in the distance washed over me.
I can conjure up those sounds and smells in my mind today, sitting in my dining room in Northwest Washington – transporting myself half way across the world to a place of serene tranquility, filled with those lovely Balinese.
Our week at the beautiful Desa Seni Resort Village was even more wonderful than I could have imagined. We felt so welcome, so comfortable, so much at home there, that we did not leave the grounds for the first four days.
The resort was built with recycled, repurposed or sustainable products from local sources. The guest “rooms” are all individual structures – beautiful old teak wood cottages – deconstructed in Java, brought to Bali, refurbished and reconstructed amidst organic gardens and winding stone pathways to create Desa Seni.
Rather than altering or reshaping the natural land structures, they respected and worked with existing elements, placing small bridges over creeks and waterways. The setting is sublime.
The food was amazing. Forty percent of Desa Seni’s land is dedicated to organic farming. The vegetables growing alongside the paths from cottage to pool to yoga studio go right to their restaurant, and from there, straight into our happy bellies. Each day as you are walking to and from your room you cross paths with the smiling gardeners as they tend to and pick the spinach or carrots or herbs for the meals the chef will prepare for us.
And then of course there was the yoga! The yoga studio was a spacious open air pavilion with flora abundant all around. The palm fronds, the flowers, the rich fresh tropical smells all created a peaceful welcoming practice space. Our six foot round mats adorned the space gracefully.
Whether we were doing the morning full flow class or the gentle yin class in the afternoon as the sunlight sparkled on the foliage, the moment we entered the space we felt blessed, special. Delighted to be there, we were present and committed to our practice.
This first retreat was so good for us, so well-received by all – of course I had to start planning our next retreat!
For ten years Desiree Kleemann had the opportunity to dance with Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, studying and performing the works of many well known teachers and choreographers. Upon moving to Vancouver B.C. she continued to collaborate with other professionals while creating and performing works of her own. After years of living and working with a variety of dance-related injuries, she found the healing and strengthening effects of yoga through the study of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow. Running her own studio for the past 14 years, she draws upon her dance background & Hatha yoga poses to create her own unique style of yoga flowing from one pose to the next with breath and intention.
Checkout her upcoming retreat: Mandala Yoga Retreat in Bali, August 2014