March 31st – April 15th 2015. Put those dates in your diaries, folks, because BaliSpirit Festival is returning to Ubud for its 8th annual event. The showcase features some incredible musicians and some of the world’s best dance and Yoga instructors, placing them all at the capital of Balinese spirituality.
Year on year the festival summons spirituality seekers, young and old from all corners of the globe, to join together in a celebration of the spirit, in whichever form they deem worthy. Whether you find peace through ecstatic dance, mellow music or tantrik Yoga, there is something for anyone who wants to join in the collective life-affirming love affair.
BaliSpirit encourages its attendees to take the spirit of the festival and the things they learn back home with them into their own communities, to spread the love beyond the boundaries of Bali.
This year, the event was held at two of the Ubud region’s most beautiful venues. The daytime workshops and seminars took place in the Purnati Centre, twenty minutes South of Ubud and the evening music performances were held in the Agung Rai Museum of Art, situated near the center of Ubud and home to some of Bali’s most famous and important pieces of art.
Tickets for 2015 have recently gone on sale, so grab them as quick as you can here. In celebration of the announcement, InBali is presenting a retrospective look at some of the talent and activities that drew the crowds to this year’s event.
Ubud is arguably the modern Yoga capital of the world, so where better to invite some of the world’s best Yogis to share their passion and skills? Bali is already home to some of the best Yoga, but they were joined by an exciting array of experts across several disciplines and mantras. Here are just a few of the Yoga masters that were in attendance:
Les Leventhal – Vinyasa Flow (USA)
Author of Two Lifestyles, One Lifetime, in which he documents his road to his current position as a world-renowned yoga instructor, Les Leventhal has been through it all. His earlier life of meth-addiction, alcoholism and work as a porn star ensured Les hit rock bottom before he could dramatically change his life and climb his way back up to the top.
Now based in Bali, Les’ sought after classes promise to put those who are willing to the test. He asks you to be prepared to sweat and promises that his Yoga “will give you an opportunity to heal your heart, laugh, cry, dance and just let go.”
Umaa Inder – Tantra (India/Bali)
A graduate from the American Institute of Ayurveda, Umaa Inder is a renowned Ayurvedic Practitioner and seasoned teacher of Laya Yoga. After entering a 14 year secluded study when she was 20, Umaa has refined her practice and been initiated into the kundalini awakening practice of Tantra Yoga and medicine.
Umaa guides her students through regimens that extend beyond Yoga alone, to include work on diet, meditation, lifestyle, herbs and pranayama.
Katy Appleton – Apple Yoga (UK)
One of the UK’s best, Katy Appleton is perhaps most famous for her work with spicy pop sensation and Yoga enthusiast, Geri Halliwell. Co-creator of Geri’s best selling Yoga DVD ‘Geri Yoga’, Katy’s momentum has been unstoppable, releasing several Yoga books and DVDs of her own.
Through her Apple Yoga, Katy offers help in complimenting the life you already lead. Regardless of your current state of health, Katy believes her Yoga can be the driving force that deepens and improves your relationship with everything around you.
The free flowing fitness choice of fun lovers, dance in its myriad forms awakens the spirit and frees the mind. Whether choreographed or spontaneous, relaxing or profound; dance channels energy and encourages positivity and life-affirming fun. BaliSpirit festival plays host to a fantastically varied range for all flavours. Check out some of what was on offer below:
Graduodo Noko – Capoeira
Capoeira is a blend of martial arts, dance, acrobatics and music that plays together in a hypnotic game. Based on Brazilian traditions, this flowing form of movement is not only a solid self defence mechanism, but a challenging and meditative form of fitness.
Since taking up the sport in central Java in 2000, Noko trained under highly skilled instruction until 2006 when he and his tutor set up Bali’s first Capoeira group. In subsequent years, they have hosted Bali’s first international Capoeira events and Noko has taken his study to Brazil, the home of his art.
Today, Noko teaches workshops in Bali and around Asia.
Jocelyn Gordon – HoopYogini™ and Bhakti Boogie
Jocelyn gave up a high flying New York life as a stylist to the stars for what she believed was her true calling in life. Throwing herself into over 5000 hours of training in massage, yoga therapy and meditation, Jocelyn found her passion in combining these elements with her love for dance. She is the creator of HoopYogini™: a holistic fusion of hula hooping, meditation and Hatha yoga, and Bhakti Boogie: a booty shaking blend of positive spiritual awakening and sweaty life celebration. Jocelyn now teaches worldwide and trains a new breed of movement educators to spread the word and keep the energy flowing.
While the days were filled with bends, twists and shakes of channeled energy, the evenings showcased an eclectic range of musicians from all over the world, whom share the common themes of spiritual, philosophical and cultural exploration. Here were some of the big names:
Niyaz – Sufi Music and Dance
According to the Huffington Post, Niyaz are an “evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music”. With three number one selling albums on iTunes since they formed in 2005, who are we to argue? Between vocalist Azam Ali, instrumentalist and composer Loga Ramin Torkian and producer Carmen Rizzo, the band explores the music of Azam and Loga’s native routes in Iran with a musical fusion that has seen worldwide success. Their music promises to take its listeners on a philosophical journey that transcends the boundaries of culture and time.
You may have heard some of their creations in film and television scores, as they have been featured in successful shows such as True Blood.
Debuting in 2002, Xavier Rudd introduced his percussion heavy, narrative journeys of deeply Australian music. He has recently released his seventh studio album, ‘Spirit Bird’. and continues to explore thought-provoking themes through his uplifting blend of reggae, blues and folk.
Xavier considers himself a musician of conscience, and asks his listeners to follow him on his journey of philosophical and spiritual exploration, blending genres and influences to create tender pieces of heartfelt expression.
What else was on offer?
BaliSpirit festival keeps its customers busy. If you manage to find time between boogying and stretching your way to happiness at next years festival, there are always plenty of workshops and presentations on offer for the more experimental tastes:
- Catch a Reiki workshop and learn the ins and outs of healing your life force energy.
- Enjoy healing and meditation workshops from celebrated practitioners.
- Catch seminars on everything from health and nutrition to astrology, witchcraft and shamanism.
And next year promises to be much bigger, brighter and spiritual. Hopefully we will see some of these faces again, and we will keep you updated when the line up is announced. For now, keep an eye on the official site.