Digital detox and silent retreats are two rising trends in the wellness and travel arenas as we step into 2020. Perhaps you are intrigued by these experiences and the benefits they offer? However signing up for a week-long retreat without your devices or in complete silence may feel like a little too much of a leap! Great news, you can dip your toes into a digital detox and day of silence during our beautiful Nyepi retreat week in Bali at Escape Haven.
Nyepi is the most important Balinese celebration which marks the turn of the Balinese New Year. While many cultures around the world celebrate New Year with dynamic and extravagant festivities, the day of Nyepi is dedicated to complete silence. Everyone stays indoors, no cooking takes place and no lights or technology are used. Without the hum of motorbikes or the daily bustle and chit chat of Balinese life, the soundscape is dominated by the blissful sounds of roosters and the hum of cicadas as nature basks in the opportunity to prevail for the day.
Despite Bali being a popular tourist destination, all shops, cafes, businesses and even the airport close their doors on this day to allow the Balinese people to spend time with their families, enjoying a quiet day of reflection, ritual and inward contemplation. It is indeed a special experience, not only for the Balinese people, but also for visitors and guests that are in Bali during Nyepi.
On our Bali retreat, Nyepi is acknowledged and celebrated traditionally, allowing you to experience the beauty, culture and magic of this special ceremonial day. Often the Nyepi retreat is a highlight on the retreat calendar and guests love being part of the special day, as well as basking in the opportunity to embrace a little extra quiet time, dive a little deeper inward and reflect on where they are in life and what is next to come.
While on retreat, you are invited to respect the Balinese traditions on this day by remaining within the lush and expansive retreat grounds and enjoying a day of activities that offer a little more time for inner contemplation. You are offered the opportunity to take the day in silence to see what that feels like, and to also take the day away from phones and technology. Of course, these are both up to the individual, however we do find that many guests relish in the chance to take a break and dive a little deeper, without the everyday distractions that modern life dictates. Ultimately, you are encouraged to adopt the elements of the holiday that you feel drawn to and excited to experience.
The retreat schedule still offers a range of activities during Nyepi such as candlelit meditation in the beautiful yoga shala, flower mandala making that inspires mindfulness, restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra to encourage a more inward journey, and journaling to allow you to capture the insights that may come to you throughout the day. Delicious meals are served as usual and spa treatments are also enjoyed. Reading in the sunshine, cooling off in the pool or taking a siesta in your air-conditioned sanctuary are all activities that are also welcomed and enjoyed. We often find that the ‘imposed’ day of rest is almost a relief for many guests who really need to be given permission to slow down completely.
During Nyepi, you are also invited to experience the ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ parade which takes place on the evening prior to Nyepi. At this time the Balinese people- adults and children alike- line the streets with the ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’- giant colourful statues of fantastical monsters made of bamboo and paper. The Ogoh Ogoh parade aims to scare any evil spirits far away from the Island. Following the noise and festivities of the night, the entire Island then goes into quiet hiding for Nyepi, fooling the evil spirits into believing that Bali, enveloped in an atmosphere of complete tranquillity and peace, is a deserted island and the evil spirits will pass directly overhead. The parade and festivities are a feast for the senses and spectators are always enthralled by the extravagant displays and sounds- it is a true sight to behold! Our Balinese team escort guests to the parade and can help to explain the different elements and meanings also.
While every retreat week is already focused on rejuvenation and restoration, there is something about the nature of the Balinese Nyepi holiday that inspires you to relax into the simple art of being, rather than doing. The day of Nyepi is also enjoyed alongside other cultural activities on retreat that allow you to see and explore more of Balinese life and culture. Visiting the Tanah Lot temple at sunset, making sambal with the head chef, cycling through the picturesque rice fields at sunrise, experiencing a traditional Balinese blessing ceremony or a chakra therapy session with a Balinese healer- these are all options available to you.
The day of silence and introspection that comes with Nyepi is often a welcome respite for guests, many of which come seeking a period of healing, transformation or even just the chance to switch off from the demands of daily life. Nyepi takes the retreat experience even deeper and invites you to not only be part of a truly unique Balinese cultural event, but to embrace the chance to exist in a pure space of silence and stillness.
Modern life is characterised by constant movement and the perceived need to be switched on 24/7. Our day to day lives are rules by meetings, appointments, obligations, reminders and we have little time to ever simply just be. Nyepi is like a mini immersion within the retreat experience where you can truly let go, unwind and perhaps explore your inner terrain a little deeper, all within a safe and supportive environment.
After a full day of quietude and a deep nights rest, you wake to retreat activities as normal the day following Nyepi; surf lessons, Ayurveda treatments, Pilates or yoga classes, personal training sessions, shopping, exploring and taking advantage of the plethora of options on the retreat program. The day after Nyepi always has a festive and celebratory atmosphere that is a joy to witness. You complete the rest of the retreat week as normal, but with a new perspective and greater appreciation for the Balinese ways of life and also feeling a little more connected to yourself and perhaps with a newfound clarity for the important things in life. You also have the invitation to take a few of the lessons of Nyepi back home again with you too.
At Escape Haven we welcome guests to join us this year for Nyepi which falls on Wednesday, March 25th 2020. Embrace a day of silence or peaceful reflection and experience the power and insights that come without the distractions of daily life. Contact us here for more information.
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.