Rebalance at Desa Seni

The breeze that ripples through the rice fields feels like a gift from God as the scattered students increase their breathing in an effort to work through the discomfort of holding the yoga pose for the few remaining seconds. The large wooden platform shaded by a vast roof, overlooking a sea of waving green fields, seems to move with us on this brilliant morning at Desa Seni as we move through the poses of our kundalini yoga class. 

A wooden chime rattles in the distance as this group releases the pose and settles on their backs for deep relaxation. The class is nearing its end, but not before a long sat and a brief name rings out over the small resort in Canggu. Desa Seni is a small, beautiful resort that rests so gently on this former rice field that it seems to have risen organically, a joyful juxtaposition to the latest rash of hi-rise apartments that appear to have landed from outer space.

Yoga is an integral part of the life in this resort, made up of a collection of buildings; aged Joglos, brought from Java and given a stylish, new lease on life. It is not its only reason for existence however: the yoga bale, and other public areas are also used to retreats, meetings, meditation, even weddings and birthday parties. The modalities offered cover the gamut from classical styles like Iyengar Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and Kundalini to more modern styles of yoga, meditation and breathwork.

One of the partners (a former chef) has created a beautifully simple menu in the restaurant which, despite its obvious nod to healthy, organic produce and fresh preparation, offers a good variety of delicious meals from light and healthy to more decadent choices. The resort comprises ten original houses, sleeping a total of 26. Each has been insulated for air-conditioning and the bathrooms are delightful combination of the rustic features of the original buildings with modern amenities. A living museum and picture perfect example of recycling old buildings and artifacts and re-designing them.

The active partners overseeing Desa Seni are Howard and Tom. “We built Desa Seni in 2006 after having lived in Bali for 15 years and seeing so much modern development. We felt that people who are coming to this island are looking to experience its rich culture and history and we decided to create somewhere they could experience a traditional village and learn some Indonesian history,” they explain. “Desa Seni is also about lifestyle choices: slowing down, eating fresh home grown organic produce, and taking the time to breath. This is where the practice of wellness and yoga comes in.”

The mini resort offers a variety of different classes, trying to incorporate the likes of this diversified world. In addition, they also hold workshops and retreats where people can intensify their practices and evolve into their affirmation. Desa Seni, which translates as art village, is about creating a space where the whole place is a spa, a place to enter, relax, better yourself, experience, and even add to.

It puts paid to many concepts about ageing as this is place that exemplifies how over time layers are added: which practice, focus and attention to not only old buildings but ourselves, we can improve, grow and evolve. For a current calendar of classes check the website at www.desaseni.com or simply drop in for a swim, a meal, and a warm welcome.

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