I’m sitting here in the Balé (a beautiful relaxing sitting area filled with cushions and books to read - see photo below) while enjoying the view of the rice paddies reflecting on Kari On Training’s Bali Fitness Retreat at Sharing Bali.
There were so many fantastic moments, and it’s hard to explain how a 5-night 6-day retreat could feel like a month in some ways, and yet it also flashes before your eyes.
When you arrive at Sharing Bali and walk down the path each moment feels like you’re immersing yourself into this beautiful village, enough to call it home.
We met Karen at the same Balé that I’m sitting in now to go over what the week will look like, then shown to our own hand constructed Balinese bungalows to quickly settle in before meeting at the Dining table for our first of many delicious and mouth watering Balinese meals.
When I explain all the amazing things that this retreat has I always can’t stop talking about the food. I then realize that it probably sounds a bit odd to go on and on about the food when primarily it is a Fitness Retreat. I can’t help myself though, the food is so clean and yet flavorsome that it definitely is the fuel to be able to get in all the activities that come with this retreat.
Each night tends to lead to earlier and earlier bed times. Because we get up fairly early and get so much in each day after dinner everyone is eager to head to their bungalow, possibly have another Lemon and Ginger tea (there’s an endless supply at each bungalow) and start to make their way to bed knowing what activities are coming tomorrow.
Everyday is different; the first day went a little something like this:
Early morning Run and hill sprints, Training session, Breakfast Jamu (turmeric, ginger and lime health shot) with Banana pancakes, Jungle Trek, Lunch over looking the rice paddies, back home to shower and use a beautiful cleansing Balinese Body Scrub, then a Massage or Facial treatment, some down time, a Boxing Session, dinner with a little dessert, and then start making our way to bed.
I can hear you asking, “How do you fit it all in one day??” It does sound like a lot but since you have the whole day without phone or work distractions it’s amazing what we could get in and yet it always felt relaxing going from one to the other. No rushing, not even quickly walking from one place to another. Every moment is time to take it nice and slow, unwind and relax those shoulders a little more each day.
The next day was almost the opposite, yes we got in a training session and enjoyed our delicious breakfast with all the sides but the girls went White Water Rafting before individually sitting down with me going over their goals and plans regarding Fitness, Health and Nutrition. It was really beneficial to dig deep into their fall backs, and finding ways to make fitness and eating well more of a lifestyle than having ups and down during their busy lives. After each discussion I put them through an individualized one on one training session of exercises that they each need to work on. Then we went into a relaxing and rejuvenating Yoga class instructed by Melissa who is now a resident in Bali originally living in New York. Everyone really enjoyed the class; it was different than any Yoga class I’ve been to and one that worked more for active and fitness enthusiast than full Yoga poses and extensions that can be overwhelming at times. Then of course we enjoyed even more delicious and nutritious dinner while going over the highlights of the day.
Yet again the following day was even more diverse. We set our alarms extremely early (or late depending on how you look at it) to meet at the Balé at 3:45am. We were about to embark on our Volcano Climb so that we can enjoy the sunrise when we got to the top. The trek wasn’t too difficult and we had smiles on our faces when we could see from afar all the other climbers trekking up a different (and extremely over crowded) volcano climb. The feeling of getting the to top with only a small village around you felt like we were the only ones who were able to enjoy the sun come up with such beauty. This morning was by the best sunrise I have seen. We were so lucky with the conditions. The sky was blue, the mountains were clear and it felt like we were looking at a painting. Along with that we had fantastic people around us. Our guide Jiro was yet again so much fun and focused on making sure we had the help we needed over somewhat slippery slopes. We also had Agung and other lovely people organize a delicious Breakfast for us to enjoy while enjoying the views.
We made our way back down and found some swings at the bottom - there’s always time to play - before we hopped into our own private boat to be transported to the stunning Hot Springs. It was the perfect remedy to relax and recover our tired legs after the first couple days of exercise all while enjoying breathtaking views.
After enjoying lunch out at Sari Organik we got home for some more down time of massages and / or facials and then participated in a cooking class learning how they have been making some of our favorite dishes.
The following day started out like the first with an early morning run followed by training and breakfast but then we went into town and had a day back in civilization with Wifi, shopping, people watching before going to Nur Salon for a Balinese Scrub and Massage. After our treatments we went to a refreshing restaurant for dinner called Clear Café. It was fun, colourful, and had a great fresh feel to it. It felt like our farewell dinner with plenty of laughs and reflecting on what this week has meant to us.
As soon as we were leaving it started to pour and while we were making our way to our small comfortable village the rain started to disappear.
The last day was a lot of fun. Of course I had to put them through a pretty tough session. It is called “The Challenge” because no matter what it’s a challenge to everyone
It was a fun session and everyone rocked it, including Chantik, Karen’s Balinese Pomeranian Pup. He was exhausted from it!!
After the work out we washed up and enjoyed our last breakfast at Sharing Bali. Banana pancakes of course with our boiled eggs and Mango juice.
Once breakfast was finished it was time to start packing up and getting ready to head back into the real life.
A lot of hugs and laughs later Karen, Chantik and I walked them to their car with many waves to say Good Bye for now.