Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali 2025 Dates TBD

Yoga Dance Music Healing

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Melting Into the Esalen Massage

Well folks I have to say this really was a difficult gig. I could summarise it in about 25 words or less if you like – it goes a little bit like this. Choose to cover the Esalen Massage workshop… get massaged… fall asleep… struggle to write blog.

Got it? Good. So here I am all oily and relaxed and smelling of essential oils (beats how I smelt after Michiko Minegishi’s Vinyasa Flow class – but that’s my other story) and doing my best to give you a synopsis of what may have happened from the other side of the table.

Ellen Watson floated to the centre of the amphitheatre in a cloud of ping clothes, silver hair and sparkling blue eyes. In her soft Californian accent she told us about the roots of Essential Massage in the practice of Esalen Massage which was developed in Esalen on the west coast of California. She has added techniques incorporating essential oils, sound and working with the chakras to create a unique massage experience which I happily put my hand to experience.

Introducing her trained Indonesian students the lucky few were invited to choose a massage table covered with pillows and to lie face up. 

My masseuse then discreetly asked me if I had any injuries, made me comfortable and began… well I’m not sure really. I think she began by massaging my right leg. Perhaps it was my left leg. Actually she could have just said the word massage and i would have been out like a light… It’s been a big day mind you.

As I write this from the steps of the amphitheater watching the practitioners continue I can tell that yes, she did begin with my right leg. Long, flowing strokes with oil rhythmically sooth the recipient in to a state of deep relaxation, easing out the tension and gently encouraging the muscles to release.

There is an atmosphere of calm and quiet concentration amongst all the practitioners as they lovingly attend to the bodies on the table. And I’m certainly feeling pretty loved up myself. It’s been an utterly pleasant end to the day and I’m looking forward to taking my limber and relaxed body to the performance tonight to put the dance floor through its paces.

See you down the front!

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Written by : Russel Price


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