My four days at Serenity, in Canggu, are the closest I’ve ever been to attending a proper yoga retreat (if you discard the infamous Indian ashram Katrina and I escaped from after less than 24 hours back in 2011). And it wasn’t even really planned as such! As James’s imminent arrival approached, I caught myself already thinking about his departure and about how going on a bit of an epic journey to get to the Gilis at that exact point in time might not be the best idea. So I booked a dorm bed at this eco guesthouse called Serenity that happened to offer yoga classes and various activities such as surfing and massages, with the idea of being cocooned for a few days and indulge in a little wallowing.
As I mentioned in my previous post, arriving at Serenity was a little shock to the system. Somewhat spoilt by a couple of weeks in relative and actual luxury, it was an adjustment to sleep in a dorm, deal with various non-human dorm buddies (I even found a small crab!), and get used to my own company again. I was also rather intimidated by the regulars, with their skimpy outfits and beautiful yoga bodies. But, as my first day came to an end, things were already falling into place and a sense of calm took over. My Balinese healing massage was incredible and I attended 6 yoga classes in 4 days – quite a change from my usual once-a-week business back home! Needless to say, my muscles also noticed but the soreness only contributed to a satisfying sense of achievement.
My favourite classes were aerial and restorative, taught respectively by Mano and Nikki. The first is such a laugh but also a hell of a workout, the second, at dusk, to the sound of crickets and frogs, was so relaxing, soothing and comforting that I couldn’t help but shed a few tears at the end, from sheer gratitude and contentment. And let’s not forget the food! I quickly became a regular at nearby Recovery Rooms, where the Healthy Bowl is to die for, and is best served with a fresh young coconut. Yum!
Finally, the main point I want to make here is about the lovely people I met. I was only at Serenity for four days but was surprised at how many generous, kind, warm and like-minded ladies I encountered. Lea, Rosie, Gussy, Bianca, Jane, Tanith and everyone else – thank you for making my time at Serenity so fun and enjoyable, I wish you all the best.