2019 BEAUTY THAT TRANSFORMS - BALI
This retreat & training was a most extraordinary journey of 20 women from around the globe to Bali. Why? To Awaken, Embrace, and Celebrate individual and collective Inner Fires... Inner Beauty... Wisdom and Beyond, all while earning 50 CE Credit Hrs and graduating as certified NeuroSomatic Flow Practitioners! What an epic journey this was for us all! We feel so incredibly blessed and grateful to have created so much magic together with these beautiful souls. Scroll down for the inspiring stories and gorgeous photos of our deep dive on the island of 10,000 temples and 10,000,000 smiles.
The Full Story of Beauty that Transforms BALI, 2019:
CHApter one: FIRST DAYS
About 5 months ago, we sent an email and invited reflections on these first days at the Bali Beauty that Transforms retreat. We re-discovered that email today and have included those reflections below.
We so LOVED being reminded of these reflections! So often, we move so fast through life and forget precious moments like these...
"...inclusive and non judgmental. Complete acceptance from my future sisters." ~ Kelley (Denver, CO)
"Very first impressions before meeting anyone was the lush tropical beauty, the color green, the beautiful lotus flowers blooming in the pond and the warmth of the sunshine!" ~ Mama Nance (British Columbia)
"y first days at the retreat were defined by the feeling 'I am exactly where I should be even if I feel fear the same time'. As the extatic dance was a huge opening of my heart and the first victory over my fear I would mention that as one of the very first transformational experiences. Hehe. One sentence? Not possible. It was all an every minute life changing retreat." ~ Mareike (Germany)
"One of my favorite ‘first days memories’: Delighting in taking in this image (opening circle before everyone arrived) The space and container where possibilities and memories would be created for a lifetime. Where we would join in circle and allow Spirit to Move Feel Breathe Create Release and Let itself go through us. Powerful, cherished memory" ~ Tracy Knowles
"- Magical starlight swim with soul shimmey sisters. - morning sun lighting the palms and yoga deck, sounds of Bali morning symphony of roosters, birds, motorbikes and prayers. - each day inspired by the beautifully adorned sisters in the many colors, jewels and body art. - first circle initial eye gazing connections. - Ubud ‘wander-walk’ from yoga barn when we were going in wrong direction from main streets but perfect direction for true connection and bonding with new soul sisters. - baby kitten love !!! - unexpected connection deep into my body with yin practice. Am sure there are many more ! " ~ Heidi (British Columbia)
"I arrived out of sorts due to uncertainty surrounding pickup, and felt alone alone in a country halfway around the world. Took a deep breath and trusted the universe, made it to beautiful Purnati, and was met with a welcoming spirit by the group! These ladies, many already knew each other, greeted me with warmth and love and sweaty hugs! This only increased throughout the retreat! I am so glad I came! Loved the adornments-flash tattoos and bindis and hip scarves, so fun! I was struck by the power of this group of women! Lots of compassion and love going around, we held each other through vulnerable moments and lent strength when needed, and no mean girls! " ~ Karen (Colorado)
"I remember the first day we arrived at Purnati and everyone was still getting settled but there were quite a few of us over at the pool just having great conversations and swimming and tanning and eating. I just remember really taking in the beauty of the place and feeling like I was going to be at ease my sisters and really help me get out if my shell a bit. Plus those spring rolls were to die for!! " ~ Shayna (Colorado) "
A note about sharing photos:
Please feel free to repost, and we respectfully request you credit appropriately and include the following tags if you do:
High Res files available to purchase directly from Cadencia Photography here.
CHapter two: balinese temple dance nights
BTT BALI Chapter 2, the story continues. Talk about extraordinary examples of flow state & art... Balinese Temple Dance is as unique as its history. These photos, captured by Cadence Clare Feeley, showcase two very special Balinese dance events we had.
The first was a performance. Instead of taking everyone into Ubud for a super commercialized performance, however, we decided to create a more intimate experience with this art by having the dancers and musicians come to us for a private performance. (So glad we did - suksma Yayasan Bali Purnati for assisting in this!)
The next night, we had a Balinese Temple Dance class taught by one of the lead dancers (at the age of 14) in the entire village of Bedulu (the spiritual center of Bali). She started training at the age of 4 with her mother, Made, who also started training at the age of 4, and so on and so on.
This night was REALLY special as the teacher, Abel, is also one of the many amazing Aunties who helps take care of Sekai. You may have seen videos of me sharing glimpses of my private lessons with her as well.
What makes this night extra special, however, is the story behind why we invited Abel to come teach at our retreat. At the age of 14, most Balinese teen girls are expected to begin phasing out of dance so they can prepare to go to work and eventually get married and have children.
One day I asked Abel what were her dreams. She said something along the lines of possibly getting a job in the hotel industry. I struggled to feel her heart in that answer.
I then asked, "What if you could keep dancing, and teach dancing and make more money than you ever could working at a hotel?"
Her eyes opened wide. She lit up from the inside out and said, "Wow, I don't know if this would be possible but yes, that would be a dream!"
I then declared, "Okay Abel, we have your first professional dance opportunity... "
And here are the glimpses from her first, paid teaching job.
We plan to have her working at NaiAsa Institute as our resident Balinese Temple Dance teacher when our center opens. (can barely wait!!)
We are eternally grateful to everyone (the team and all our participants) for playing a part in making the beginning of this dream come true for Abel.
chapter Three: truth bomb beach day
Leading up to the Beach Day, many things had been swirling in the group - some women had experienced past issues coming up and some came face-to-face with unresolved trauma. The circle that morning was one of clearing - truths spoken, stories revealed, and tough loved shared. Many of the women opened their sarongs and bore all while a few held space. In the end, the group was ready to have fun in one of our favorite beaches in northeast Bali.
The Truth Bomb exploded but all were left intact.
Chapter four: balinese family dinner & nyepi
Since moving to Bali, we were committed to eliminating the divide which typically exists between foreigners and locals.
Because of this, we’ve gotten very close to our hosts on this island, the Balinese people. In less than 2 years, we have earned the privilege to proudly say that we’ve been adopted by 3 different Balinese families (keluarga) from different villages (banjar) around the Ubud area.
In its most basic form, we get invited into their homes for family ceremony (upacara keluarga) which is very intimate. We dress in traditional Balinese outfits and pray with them in their family temple (pura keluarga). We share stories and Nova Dasalla speaks in the best Indonesian that he can. Sekai plays with their kids, many of whom he sees on a weekly basis.
For all of them, they’ve never had family who are bule (“boo-lay”) or foreigners. They tell us that we’re a rare breed of bule; in fact, they’ve said they don’t even consider us this anymore.
We’re really proud that we've created a village of locals who help, protect, guide, and care about us.
We feel their Aloha.
And so, we wanted to share this with our retreat attendees by inviting them to an authentic, Balinese (vegetarian) dinner at one of our family’s home in Bedulu so they can experience this in a small way.
And not only was this special by itself, but also occurred on Sekai's birthday, and on Ogoh-ogoh, which is the eve of the most important day of the Balinese year . . . . Nyepi . . . . their New Year. This day is so important that it’s a day of silence throughout the entire island, when families stay home, and anything requiring power is left off. The airport is even shut down and no planes are allowed to fly over Bali at this time.
For many at the retreat, the family dinner was the highlight of their entire visit to this magical place that we call home.
We hope you can experience their Aloha one day.
chapter five: the yoga & flow
When we created Soul Flow Arts (the grandmother of NaiAsa Institute) and dreamt of having retreats, our vision was to create a curriculum which weaved yoga, dance, and the flow arts as the primary focus, and then neuroscience and life coaching as additional components.
From humble beginnings with our first retreat in Hawai’i in 2015, the 2019 retreat you see photos of was our 5th, and the upcoming Bali retreat in 2020 will be our 6th. Today, our retreates now incorporate:
YOGA - DANCE - ART OF FLOW - POI - HOOP - NEUROSCIENCE - SACRED SISTERHOOD - CEREMONY - NAIASANA™
It is the only retreat in the world we know of which weaves all of these elements.
chapter six: the circles
Everyone knows that the gathering of a community in a circle has been used for thousands of years across all cultures to talk story, share information, air grievances, express opinions, hold hands in unison. For women especially, communing with other women in a sacred circle - even with those she’s only just met - allows them to share in safety intimate things that may be unknown by their best friend, husband, or partner.
Each morning at 9 a.m., we had our own “Sister Circle” equipped with a “Talking Hoop” (it’s an actual, small hula hoop) that, when held by one of the attendees, gave them the freedom to share whatever was in the space for them, while others listened and held space. When done, she would say, “I am complete.”
chapter seven: the love, the fun, and the rest
We’re all so busy with our “normal live back home”, that even getting an hour of goddess time a week is a challenge. While the main focus of our retreats is on transformation, we ensure there’s equal time for fun and play in the island of the Gods.
If not, then why even come?
chapter eight: fire night
It was in January 2012, on the last evening of a semi-private, 6-lesson Poi Flow program in Boulder, CO, the plan was that Jinju would perform a poi dance routine with fire.
But then the download came . . . . “Let them meet the fire.”
So, expecting to simply witness fire being spun before them, these women witnessed themselves spinning their own fire, putting their fears aside, and connecting with the only element on this planet that cannot be polluted.
Much like the “fire” within these women - and all of us - pure, unapologetic, and ready to move us to great things, when lit.
And so, this is a tradition in all of our retreats. Each participant gets the opportunity to meet & dance with fire, emblematic of that which lies within.
Before their dance on the last night of the retreat called “Ceremonial Fire Dance Night”, Jinju says to them individually, “May the Fire within, be the Fire you spin.”
Keep yours lit.