03 Apr Digital Yoga Detox Retreat – Be Kind Retreat Bali, Canggu
Today I started with a digital detox at @BEKINDRETREATSBALI in Canggu, Bali. So let me tell you about my experience…
@BEKINDRETREATSBALI is based on the digital detox concept, which means no wifi, no tv’s, no digital devices at all. It’s a women only retreat where the overall focus is on self-love; young women who are trying to find their way in life. They offer 4 different retreats:
- Self-love retreat
- Surf and yoga retreat
- Spiritual retreat
- Yoga and juice detox retrea
I did the digital detox yoga and juice detox retreat. Which means I enjoyed 2 daily yoga classes and drank 5 juices per day. They offer different yoga styles: yin, vinyasa, Kundalini.. Every yoga lessen includes a meditation. In our retreat there was more time for other options, so we booked some extra massages and a surf lesson. Everything is possible at Be Kind (as long as it fits in the schedule) and they are able to create personalised retreats based on your wishes and needs, like coaching sessions, healing sessions, surf lessons, day trips etc.
Some background: when I arrived in Bali I was looking for a short retreat just to get into the Bali vibe, to disconnect with the outer world, and connect with myself. Well like a miracle;) I received a message from ‘Be Kind Retreats Bali’ on Instagram. We started talking and I found out the retreat was led by Loes and Suzan, two Dutch ladies who live in Canggu.
They invited me to join to the retreat, and my friend and I signed up for the digital detox and juice detox. We went all in! Our retreat started Saturday lunch time until Tuesday lunchtime. Each day, we had two yoga sessions, six juices, a relaxing massage, and that’s it! No phone, no internet, no distractions: just a notebook to write stories and questions to think about. We had a
lot of time to really connect with ourselves.
The retreat is a bit out of the center of Canggu. The beautifully designed space has four rooms. It is a small and cosy villa, where you immediately feel relaxed. I had planned on taking a scooter into town during downtime, but then I remembered…no Google maps! Disconnected means disconnected. I was a bit nervous about getting to and from town on a scooter without a map. The roads here are tough!
Friday night, the day before we would officially start, I could not sleep (probably because I was working on my phone too long). But sleeping is also not my best habit, so it was no surprise for me. Sleeping is not really my thing, I just always have better things to do… (NOT GOOD I KNOW!)
In the morning, even though we weren’t supposed to drink coffee three days before the start of the detox, I could not help myself. On my way to the retreat center, I cheated a little and ordered a cappuccino with coconut milk (pro-tip: ask for a coconut water on the side, apparently this is really good to drink next to your coffee!). This cappuccino…. it was DELICIOUS! Maybe because I knew it would be my last one for a while… My feet made the happy-dance while drinking it, and nope I did not feel guilty. I uploaded my last post on Instagram…
Fast forward to the start of the retreat…
Our first adventure got started with a tour to Canggu center WITHOUT GOOGLE MAPS (!!!).
I am terrible with directions…but now I had to figure it out. It’s like a survival feeling: YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. So my directions skills could not let me down now, especially because we couldn’t remember roads (or directions) either. Between the two of us, we were in trouble. If you’re not in for an adventure Be Kind also offers transfport to all the hotspots in Canggu. But I would recommend to have at least 1 adventure tour;P
During our little road trip into town, we could already feel that no phone makes a big difference:
- Not having Google Maps: “wow we need to use our brains… remembering the road?!”
- Not taking 100 pictures of everything you see: The funny thing here is, on one hand I felt like: “shit these moments are so beautiful I want to capture this.” On the other hand, it’s so nice to just make pictures with your mind and live in the moment: “what will you do with 200 pictures of ricefields when you’re home?! NOTHIN! Exactly…” So you can easily skip them and just take some at the last day.
After our road trip experience we returned to enjoy our first yoga class. It was a slow yin class: if you don’t know what yin is, it’s a very slow style of yoga where you hold poses longer. I love yin – but I didn’t always. I used to think yin was too slow and I needed to sweat when I work out. Yoga has taught me something new, and that it’s not all about sweating. Ever since I started to do more yin and less movement (yang) yoga I feel better in my mind and body.
After our slow flow class we decided to stay at our retreat read. What else do you do with all that extra time when you don’t have a phone to just get lost in all the time? We chatted, we had our juices (a super yummy vanilla almond drink), and relaxed until bed.
SUNDAY – DAY 2
7.00 alarm – yikes!
7.30 – YOGA
An early morning started with a very loving vinyasa flow, taught by my friend, Daphne! It was such a funny coincidence: Daphne and I did the same yoga teacher training in Ubud! And surprise: she was teaching my class at the retreat! How small is this world??? It was amazing to get a class from someone you know!
After our class we took our breakfast juice. As my brain woke up, the first thing that came to my mind was: WOW I slept so good yesterday… Normally I don’t fall asleep that easily, but this time…“hmmm… maybe I use my phone just a little tooo much before I go to bed….”
My friend and I thought about going to Canggu center and then we looked at the time again and thought… Hmmm it’s still very early. So my friend suggested for the morning maybe we should just go back in bed for a moment and chill a bit. I felt a bit strange doing that – I never just hang out in bed, not on holidays, not on the weekend, never. When others are power-napping, I’m always taking that time to do some work. I always feel that I don’t need the sleep and just read some things, write some or answer emails. But now, it was still only 9AM and there was nothing on our schedule for this morning with the retreat. But I could also not work myself.. Why not?
“I could not work on my phone, I could not email people or text or write or do anything, we did not really need to do stuff so…….. “
We went to our beds and started reading, not very long after that I started to fall asleep again, but like half asleep half waking up, I got such a happy feeling. The feeling like “WOW this feels SO GOOD… why do I never do this? Why don’t I ever go back in bed and just give myself a chill moment? This is soooo sooo good. Not having a stupid phone was so much better than I thought it could be.” It really opened my eyes… This relaxing moment might be the best I’ve had since like forever. We received a little guide book, so I wrote down my experience and that I want to start bringing this in my life. Just switching the phone off and lie in bed for a chill moment sometimes.
After a short rest, we had the day to enjoy in the most chill way. We did some writing, went for a walk, had a 60-minute yoga Nidra class, which is basically a 60-minute guided meditation class. Very relaxing and to make us even more relax: it was time for massages!
And WOW, it was such a delicious Balinese massage! During the massage, I was enjoying myself, but I also felt guilty –guilty for being so lucky to enjoy this moment. I felt so happy and at the same time I felt a bit like I shouldn’t be enjoying it as much as I was. I felt like I wanted everyone to have a massage! I was so grateful, but also so aware that not everyone can have this experience. It was so nice and such a moment of awareness.
After our massage we went home an easy evening: AGAIN ;P My friend and I chatted about our experience of not having a phone. We both have a very different ways of using our phones. My friend noticed that for her, she would waste time on her phone. There were many moments when she would take her phone out to do nothing important – Whatsapp or check social media. It becomes a way to fill space in a day, like after a massage, or when you can’t sleep. But when you don’t have a phone as your crutch, you fall asleep faster, or have interesting conversation, or notice things in the world you might not otherwise have seen while staring at your screen.
That same evening, I fell asleep so easily. It was SO NICE.
MONDAY – DAY 3
8.30 kundalini yoga
Kundalini is one of my favourite classes! This is the style I practiced at first, and how I got introduced to yoga. I was 18 years old, in the worst belated teenager years, and my mom sent me to yoga. If you know this yoga style you will understand why that’s funny! Cause kundalini yoga is one of the most extreme yoga styles. It’s not about movement at all, it’s about breathing: WEIRD BREATHING exercises and chanting! Plus, often the extreme kundalini yogis only dress in white and wear a headband. So when I at my most awkward phase…I was not interested in doing more awkward things.
Ten years later, it’s my favourite yoga!! It’s just amazing how this yoga can make you feel. The music is super healing and powerful, and I was super excited to start the day with kundalini.
After the class I decided to stop juicing. Honestly, the juice cleanse was too much for me. I really felt like eating food, and if my body wants food, I need to listen to that!
The day flew by! We went for a surf lesson after breakfast, had another massage, and finished the day with another slow flow yoga class and coconut water at sunset. Sounds like the perfect day right?? While we did miss our phones sometimes for some nice pictures, we took pictures with our minds ;P
That evening, the retreat hosted a Woman Circle. We joined six women to talk about different things: that happened to you during the day, what made you feel happy, or not happy. We talked about the digital detox, about how we feel about the role of our phones in lives.
This was my first experience of a “Women Circle”, even though it’s become trendy in the Netherlands. I thought it was a very empowering experience, especially in everyday society where men tend to dominate. I can really recommend this to ladies who feel a bit stressed –try it! My yoga school in Amsterdam-Den Haag does this a lot: sign up for their delight yoga to participate.
Our last evening came to an end, filled with some tea, chatting about our experience and describing all the food we would eat the next day… that’s something you do when you do a detox, think about what you will eat after! Even though I was already eating, I can always talk about food;)
TUESDAY – DAY 4
8.30 YOGA Kundalini
We opened our last morning at Be Kind Retreat with a final yoga class: a Kundalini class. A beautiful class, with my favourite kundalini songs:
- “Ong Namo – Snatam Kaur “
- “Mul Mantra – Snatam Kaur”
- “Ra Ma Da Sa – Snatam Kaur “
And all of a sudden, that was it! We could switch on our phones again. But, my friend and I decided to wait a bit longer. In the fridge the ladies had a delicious chia-pudding and a healthy shot waiting for me, since I already stopped with my juice detox. My friend and I decided to share it. I think this was the best chia-pudding I had in my whole life… Fresh mango, cacao nibs, homemade with coconut milk. Super yummy. After sharing this break, we hopped on our scooter to find a place with wifi and delicious cappuccinos 😛
I learned that food and drinks taste so much better if you don’t overdo it: this is something I’ve learned from doing juice cleanses. The coffee taste SO MUCH better if you did not drink it for a couple of days!
And finally: the big moment when it came time to switch on our phones. Do you think we missed a lot those days??? Nope… not a thing.
This experience showed me a digital detox is so valuable, and something I plan to continue in the future. Whenever I’m on holiday, my goal is to switch off my phone for at least 3/4 days (depending on how long I’m taking off). Imagine how much quality time you can have with the person you’re with if neither of you are on your phone the whole time! There’s something so delicious about being able to be bored together, to sit at a table and not say anything. Imagine not taking 100 pictures of the same thing, but buying a disposable camera with only 25 images for those 3 to 4 days…your pictures will be so much more meaningful!
If you’re thinking about spending less time on your phone, a good place to start is the Be Kind retreat. Having some activities to help you quit your phone can help make it less painful to switch off. They also offer different retreats, take a look on their website! However, if you aren’t in Bali, try digital detox Sundays! For one day each week, put away your phone and see what the world can show you beyond the screen.
For more information about the retreats:
Website: Be Kind Retreat Bali