Healing, Heart and High Vibes
Where to start in explaining the BaliSpirit Festival…
A temporary portal to a different dimension created by the vision and vibration of all involved?
A naturally beautiful place in Bali to meet other members of the soul traveling tribe?
A waterfall of inspiration provided by workshop facilitators, teachers, musicians?
A coming together of a conscious community from all over the world?
An immersion into yoga, dance, healing, music and more?
A beautiful union of Balinese with worldwide cultures?
An indicator to a future that’s possible for us all?
Yes, yes and yes.
There is so much more to this festival that makes it special, soulful and spectacular.
In this series of blog articles, I am excited to explore the many facets of the BaliSpirit Festival, as I am taking you along on my personal experience of it. The intention is to keep the Bali spirit alive, long after you have left the festival grounds. And for those of you who weren’t here (yet) I am hoping that this text spreads the spirit to you as well, giving you an impression of this fascinating festival.
The first article in this series is called Healing, Heart and High Vibes because the amazing abundance of all these elements acts as a red thread throughout the festival.
#1 Healing, Heart and High Vibes
Opening of The Festival and Heart
The official opening ceremony of the 11th BaliSpirit Festival took place at the one and only Yoga Barn. A sense of anticipation in the air was followed by a powerful performance by Balinese Kecan dancers who were featured in ‘We Speak Dance’, a documentary series about how dance connects people across cultures, by dancer Vandana Hart who was also at the opening. And this connection is exactly what we could experience as the evening culminated into a high vibe dance party with the most contagious music, celebrating together with fun, funk and freedom. An amazing atmosphere.
The BaliSpirit ‘Bliss Bubble’
I can still vividly visualize the first day I entered the festival grounds. The lush green surroundings, the palm trees everywhere and then the small and soulful shops, selling everything from enticing yoga and goddess wear to consciously cool clothing, to healthy snacks and drinks, no-plastic water bottles and so much more. Noticing the other BaliSpirit Festivalgoers arriving at this temporary little village location as well. Whether already intuiting it or not, we were about to enter the experience of a transformational week together.
What struck me most though, was the warm and loving atmosphere. There was almost palpable prana in the air… such a nourishing energy of serenity, love, peacefulness all around. Nourishing in a way that, despite lack of sleep or forgetting to eat at times, I always felt fully energized. Anyone else had this experience? At one point I remember thinking to myself, so this is how breatharians manage to survive and even thrive! Prana all around.
That’s why at some point I began calling it the Bliss Bubble. It makes you want to spend all day just soaking in the good vibes like sunshine, ‘addictive’, as someone said. In the good way though!
Beginning with Beauty
After arriving at the venue, I easily found my way to the ‘Amphitheatre’ marked by a big sign that spelled LOVE, definitely a good first sign for the journey. About to attend the Kundalini Yoga class led by Sophie Sôfrēē whom I had experienced before as an excellent Ecstatic Dance DJ and who turns out an equally talented Kundalini Yoga teacher. And of course, the class also contained some ecstatic elements… but first things first.
Beginning with expressing our gratitude to Bali for welcoming us on its lands, a moment of grace which I loved and which would often be repeated throughout the festival in so many sessions, honoring Bali for hosting us with open arms. We then started out with a set of kriyas all directed at the theme of the day ‘Walking in Beauty’ accompanied by heart-touching music by Raio, who is also an amazing Ecstatic Dance DJ.
The theme of beauty, and in particular grace, allowed us to connect with our own inner beauty and grace, then seeing the same qualities in those with us, and eventually seeing it all around. During one of the activities we teamed up with our neighbor in order to share our experiences of grace here in Bali. Eye to eye and heart to heart, we shared moments such as, simply seeing the stunning nature surrounding us, a scooter ride through lush surroundings, the helpfulness of the Balinese people. All adding up to a full feeling of love and appreciation.
Another highlight was of course the moment where we were invited to come off of our mats and into a moment of celebrating life together in… Ecstatic Dance!
What a way to start the day, and the festival.
‘The Grace found in every moment ~ the beauty in a sunset, the kindness of a stranger, the gift of breath. Living from an attitude of gratitude ~ the highest yoga of all!’ -Sophie Sôfrēē
Takeway: A takeaway from this first workshop was the beautiful practice of sharing our moments of grace. It’s something we can do back home as well, sharing it with our partner, with a friend, or simply with our journal. As a quote by Oprah Winfrey perfectly puts it ‘The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate’.
From Deep Fear to Deep Presence
The next workshop happened to be at the same location and was given by Rick Smith, teacher, education consultant, and international presenter. The workshop description spoke about moving from inner apology to inner authority. Being someone who says ‘sorry’ slightly too frequently, this workshop seemed like a great idea. Little did I know that this workshop would be so profound, that inner authority is basically about being you, that the stage is one of the tools Rick uses, and that I would be spending a few minutes on it.
That last part happened as Rick invited some volunteers to: simply walk on stage, stand in front of everyone as themselves, and receive feedback, to then be awarded with a big applause. Seemed simple, if only this wasn’t one of my biggest fears, which of course I knew I needed to face it in order to grow. So shaking I walked across the amphitheater to enter the line of volunteers. Once on stage (well actually I had to walk on a second time as I was walking too fast) Rick asked how I feel, I said: ‘shaky’. He recommended to shake it all out, literally, and I did. After another coaching cue, I experienced what it was like to stand in front of many people and see them from the heart and to be seen in the same way. What a beautiful experience. When Rick asked again how I feel, I answered that something transformed. He said, how about saying: ‘I transformed’. It was true. I had.
‘Being in front of a group consciously, with kindness, can massively accelerate our moving through unconscious patterns’ -Rick Smith
Takeaway: What I take away from this workshop is that as Rick says it ‘often, all we need to do is bring our awareness to where we are in inner apology, to shift toward inner authority’. An exercise Rick recommends to grow this awareness, is to write down all the factors that bring us into an apologetic state, such as not having had enough, sleep, food or being around intimidating people. And also, that it’s less about what we do and more about who we are, in order to cultivate connection with ourselves and each other.
An All-You-Can-Eat Menu For The Soul
These were only two workshops out of 58! options today (ahem, yes, I counted) with alluring themes such as a Chakra Breathing Meditation, Yin Yoga, The Wisdom of Tarot, Enhancing Your Health Through Meridians, Thai Yoga Massage, Reggae Dancehall, Yoga & Writing. Just to name a few.
The astonishingly abundant schedule of the BaliSpirit Festival offers so many possibilities for inspiration, healing and movement that the mind might go a little wild and want to do it all. Anyone relate? Thankfully it’s the BaliSpirit Festival and letting Spirit lead was a lesson many of might have had to learn. I will share more about that in the last article of this series ‘Bringing the BaliSpirit Back Home’.
Article by Nicky de Koning, Social Media and Soul Coach, Supporting Soulful Entrepreneurs to Shine Online at www.nickydekoning.com