Moment of gratitude

Sharing with you moments of bliss and gratitude from our latest retreat in Bali...

This beautiful Mindfulness and Yoga retreat north Bali started a day after Nyepi, the Balinese day of silence, which marks the commencement of the New Year according to Balinese calendar.
When I arrived to Bali huge Ogoh-Ogoh's were spotted everywhere, what a sight! Ogoh-ogoh are statues built for the Ngrupuk parade, which takes place on the eve of Nyepi day, they normally have a form of mythological beings, mostly demons and are very impressive! 
I walked in the evening to watch the parade and reveled in the colors and music, experiencing once again that mystical and sacred feeling I get every time. I then went home, dimmed the lights and shut all the curtains, as everyone is expected to do on this day. It was so quiet, no music, no sound of people, no cars, no phones, no internet, motorbikes, planes, and no one allowed to walk on the streets for 24 hours.
I find it precious to have at least this one day of silence, an opportunity to completely stop and listen. And I this day is even more precious and called for in this fast-paced life we are living in, and the fact that everything around us stopped as well made it just easier to join the silence.
Birds were singing and I was able to hear the waves from my house, ,everything was still and beautiful. It was only me and the loving cat, Mamma sitting in the house. 
It turned out to be a wonderful preparation for the upcoming retreat, taking the time to sit in long meditations, practicing gentle yin yoga, and enjoying the soothing light of candles, feeling every moment, slowing down and looking inwards. I realised how much I needed this as the past weeks were full of excitement, preparations for the upcoming yoga and diving retreat, I found myself running around and coordinating all, and it felt like Nyepi, the silent day came just at the right moment.
And to make this week just perfectly perfect, the last day of our retreat marked one of the biggest religious festivals in Bali, Galungam, so as we were driving back, we marveled at picturesque villages all decorated with beautiful Penjors (bamboo poles weighed down by offerings), smiling as we inhaled the fresh mountain air all the way back!
What a beautiful way to end a retreat, what a beautiful way to come back to myself, to come back home…

Sending love and gratitude, 
Mei