Where Wellness is the Best Souvenir: The Bali Spirit Festival

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Some people say that travelling is a mental state, beyond the physical moving of your body from one place to another, and indeed, there are places on the Earth that fully coalesce the spirit of exploration with the urge to nurture our soul. Bali is one of these places.

Visiting this Indonesian island will bring harmony and energy to the body, peace to the mind and love to the heart – especially if you hit one of their most popular events, the Bali Spirit Festival.

This  is  a global celebration of yoga, dance, consciousness raising and World Music attended by thousands. It recently celebrated its 10th edition in 2017, and so a range of improvements and extensions were made to the festival’s habitual programme to enhance its life-changing qualities. Participants embraced the benefits of over two hundred daily classes in yoga, meditation, healing, dance and music, along with seminars focusing on healing, health, spirituality and personal development.

Set in the spectacular grounds of Bhanuswari Resort & SPA in verdant Ubud province, the location offered a spectacular backdrop for spiritual practices and festival entertainment, surrounded by rice fields, beauteous tropical  vegetation and bewitching river views. This new edition included five days of group wellness classes, an extra community day and seven nights of music programmes.  A variety of workshops were offered, such as the Dharma Fair which helped enlighten participants about conscious shopping.

Kids are very welcome at the event, and could be found  in the Healing Huts area, the Kid’s Zone, or chowing down at the healthy, local organic food stalls. The Coco-Love Stage showcased World music throughout the daytime festival, and world-class musicians animated the devotional Bhakti Nights and its vibrant One World One Stage  in the evenings.  

Ever since its foundation in 2008, the goal of the festival has always been to awaken and nourish each individual’s potential for positive change within. The intention was to become a premier international and holistic wellness and world music destination event that would contribute to the ecological and social vitality of Bali and all those who visit it.

Founders Robert Weber, Pak Kadek and his wife, Meghan Pappenheim have strived  to provide financial, logistical, and organisational support to local charities, with a special emphasis on children’s programmes, multicultural education and performances, healthcare, HIV& AIDS awareness, and environmental conservation in Bali and greater Indonesia. The Festival has worked alongside partner organisations to raise more than USD $65,000 for its  annual Karma (Giving Back) outreach initiatives.

The BaliSpirit Festival is now the longest running festival of wellbeing in South-East Asia and consecrates   the purity of the environment and kinship between people of all nations. Participants have described it  as a “life changing experience, that blends energy, passion, personal awakening, social consciousness and high quality entertainment.”  It fully embodies its motto of sending out “Good Vibes,” which is certainly the best souvenir  you’ll take home with you after experiencing this extraordinary  event.

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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