Nourish, Move & Love on a retreat in Bali!
Yoga and travel changes you. As you move through this world, you change things slightly around you. You impact this world either in a positive or negative way. You leave marks behind, small pieces of you and in return yoga and travel leaves their marks on you.
We got in touch with South African yoga instructor, Alka Martine, to hear all about her personal journey to Bali as well as what you can expect on her upcoming retreats!
Alka’s introduction to yoga is a very funny story. “I was in the fast paced corporate world where I worked crazy hours and made no time for anything else, but work” said Alka going on to explain that a friend of hers had recommended that she take up yoga. A week later, Alka found a flyer for an Ashtanga Mysore Bootcamp. Not knowing what Ashtanga or Mysore was, she signed up as the word “bootcamp” appealed to her – sounding challenging and fast paced. “After 30 days I was hooked!”
Five years later, she completed her 200hr Vinyasa Teacher training at The Shala in Cape Town. During one of their morning practices, she smelt Bali (anyone who has been to Bali will relate to the smell of Bali) and knew she had to be in Bali once she completed her training. “A day after completing my yoga teacher training we were on a plane to Bali”.
“On our fourth day in Bali my three year old turned to me and said : “Mamma we should live in Bali” Well that was the final nudge I needed to pack up and move to Bali eighteen months later. I am still not sure what my purpose is in Bali 100%, but I know this is where I need to be at this stage of my life.”
Nourish Move Love Bali was born from Alka’s own personal journey of a disconnected relationship with food, her body and herself. This motivated her to start empowering human beings today to have a gentle approach to nutrition, movement, love, health and wellbeing. “My vision is to empower someone to listen and honour their body’s by being kind.” says Alka, explaining that she strives to be YOUR biggest support to empower you to accomplish the BEST version of yourself.
“Living and teaching in Bali has taught me so much, It was scary – change is never easy. It was messy some days, but there is nothing more empowering than standing in your full power in your purpose.” Here are some of the valuable life lessons that Balinese culture has taught Alka.
Show and celebrate your gratitude every morning for being alive another day! In Bali they do daily small offerings of fresh flowers, cake and incense as a constant reminder to show your appreciation of another day and to live your life fully.
Drinkable water from a taps is a luxury enjoyed by a small portion of the world’s population. Honor it.
Always be friendly. It might get you some business, it might not, but it’s certain to leave everyone feeling a little happier.
Acknowledge people: remember their names. I was constantly amazed by how the Balinese remember people’s names after meeting them just once, and briefly. They make you feel seen, valued, and honoring the divinity within you.
First world situations – Living in Bali has really given me a new perspective on the world problem. Seeing human beings live such humbles lives the colour of wallpaper or the new hairstyle or the latest fashion items seems so unrelevant. Or being a part of a nation after a natural disaster like earthquakes, tsunamis and volcano eruptions makes you realise how protected we really are in a first world country.
“The energy in Bali is magical and allows you a safe space to travel to a foreign country – solo or with a friend. “
Alka hosted her first yoga retreat three years ago in South Africa and loved the intimacy of a retreat. She was most drawn to, not only the connection with those around you, but also the reconnection with yourself. After moving to Bali, many of her South African students were wanting to visit her in Bali. This inspired Alka to start offering retreats in Bali. “You can’t help but be influenced by Bali’s charm, its spirituality, and the way that everyone always seems to be smiling”
Although Alka spent some time exploring the tropical paradise of Bali, it took her a while to find a retreat venue that truly connected with her. After a crazy couple of weeks, she decided to take a week to herself and reconnect. That is where she stumbled upon Puri Bagus in Lovina and she just knew this is where she wanted to connect. Lovina is situated in the north, out of the hustle and bustle of the busy South of Bali. The energy there allows you to slow down, breathe deeply and simply just be! The staff are kind and caring – no request and details is left unattended to, which makes you feel cared for and loved.
In 2019, Alka will be hosting two Bali retreats; in February and in October. Besides daily yoga practice, those who attend this retreat can look forward to plenty of down-time during the retreat, allowing for some discovery. Every morning will start with a 90 minute yoga class overlooking the ocean with meditation. There will be an hour daily activity after breakfast like a snorkelling trip, Balinese offering making and offering ceremony, a massage or a cleansing ceremony. Guests can arrange trips to the temples in the surrounding areas, rice fields or diving excursions.
“My highlight of hosting my retreats at this venue is watching the sunrise over the ocean during the morning practice and watching the sunset during your practice in the early evening.” says Alka, going on to explain that she also loves the offering making – something so magical by taking the time to make your own offering – and then offering it as a sign of gratitude for this new day.
Alka has discovered that a lot of her clients and students feel they can’t do meditation, because they don’t have an hour or two to sit and meditate. This retreat will focus on bringing meditation into your daily life through mindfulness – a meditation practice looks different to each one of us. On crazy busy day, it can look like 10 x 10 minute meditation practices throughout the day and on calmer days it can be 3 x 30 minute practices. You will be given the opportunity to explore techniques on how to “tailor make” your mindfulness and meditation practices on a daily basis. Guests can expect to learn techniques on how to bring mindfulness into our daily lives, in our eating habits, our social media, our children, our relationships, sex any area that we normally tend to “escape” with our minds.
When asked what she was looking forward to the most, Alka highlighted that a yoga retreat is focused on facilitating healing and total transformation. “ As we reconnect with our true self we get clear on values, passions and desires.” says Alka, highlighting that she is most looking forward to seeing what delicious change this retreat is going to offer each one of us with the support of the other guests.
This is not your regular yoga retreat ……. While yoga is part of the retreat we are not just working with the body, but also with the subconscious and the conscious mind and with our hearts. We will connect to our biggest dreams and desires and how to start making them happen! The focus is on holistic healing and creating the BEST version of you!
If this resonates with you, read more about the retreat here