A sanctuary for all things I love, Shankari's Balian Yoga Retreat and Studio is a magical destination by which I've found my second Home. A place of spiritual healing & blissful solitude, Shankari's offers a variety of activities to appease the mind and allows one to retreat in to whatever creative mindset desired. I Awoke with Vinyasa Flow Yoga with my favorite Balinese yoga instructor, Nicki, where we sweated and centered ourselves in a surrounding of mosaic mandalas and spring pools. I'm a pretty new to the Yoga community, so my practice isn't as strong as others. Though, through Nicky's wise guidance and poignant sentiment, "...to focus on the self, and no one else Around," I've found that my practice has gotten stronger. The staff at Shankari's is more like family, as they take the time to care for your personal needs, whether healing, Yoga, Surfing,Adventuring and/or just relaxing. And, also offering a unique insight into the Balinese culture as a whole, These beautiful people have reminded me to 'Hati-Hati' (take Care), take it slowly, and to be present in the moment, which I feel is one of the great things I've learned and can be applied to all avenues of life.
Shankari's Balian yoga retreat was started by a jewelry designer, Shankari, who is an eccentric world traveler with an incredibly talented Eye and design aesthetic. Across the Balian River, Lies the Shankari Palace, where her jewelry line is produced. The palace reminds me of the mansion from the Charles Dickens "great expectations" film rendition of 1998, a mystical & sacred environment with hand-laid mosaics of mandalas and serpents all around the property. I was given a tour by Diiyan, Shankari's daughter-in-law, who showed me around the palace and production studio, where 7 Balinese employees make all of shankari's Amulet-like Jewelry Pieces. It was so Inspiring to watch their magic hands & collaborative process at work. I was very lucky to be introduced to the designer, Shankari, who exuded a similar flare to Miss Havisham, though Bali-style. If you are familiar with Miss Havisham, then you'd probably agree that she is the grandmother we've always dreamt of. And if you can believe it, Shankari tops it! Diiyan explained that they were in the process of building a jewelry school at the palace for visitors and anyone interested to come learn the art-form. Yea!!! A dream come true...I will definitely be returning to Shankari's Palace.
I have tried hard to keep this blog chronological & updated, but in being so caught up in the moment and adventure of this experience thus far (plus the lack of Western "fast streaming" internet access) , I'm finding myself back-tracking in sharing this with you all. But, in retrospect, I think this may be a great thing because IF I hadn't I'd spend most of my Bali lifetime in front of my computer, which seems to defeat the purpose of this experience, altogether. After several Weeks involved with my silversmithing studies in Ubud & traveling around Bali & Lombok with my dear mermaid friend, Sadie , I returned to Shankari's with something i really needed help with. I had been suffering from hauntingly graphic nightmares, some of which I couldn't differentiate from dreams and reality. They welcomed me with open arms, and directed me to Pak Komang, one of Bali's greatest healers. After having two sessions with this incredible man, I experienced not only better sleep without a nightmare , but also a physical impact that left me with an ability to breathe deeper and stronger. It would appear that my stomach and blood circulation was really suffering, But thanks to Pak Komang and his intensive healing abilities, I feel stronger and more lucid than ever. I am forever grateful to Shankari's Balian Yoga Retreat and its incredible team of hard working individuals. I highly recommend this sanctuary to anyone coming to Bali. It is a true G.E.M. for all walks of life. Namaste!