Why we loved the Bali Spirit Festival
After having heard about it here and there, this year we finally could discover the Bali Spirit Festival held in April in Bali. Now we understand better why everyone loves it: we tell you all about this week out of time.
But first, what is the Bali Spirit Festival?
The BSF (to your friends) is one of the largest festivals dedicated to yoga, dance, world music, and healing. A week of workshops, classes and discoveries that bring together people from all around the world.
The «mission» of this festival is to nourish all aspects of our being and to highlight the potential present within each of us, so that we can live in full awareness of its capabilities and especially to deploy them in our everyday life. The BSF is a bit of a super deep therapy to discover and learn a lot about yourself while having fun in one week flat.
According to the Balinese tradition and the Hindouism that accompanies it, the festival is based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana: that is to say the harmony with God (for the Balinese there are many), the harmony within a community, and harmony with nature.
Hundreds of animations, workshops, conferences …
The BSF is like a village. There are stages where you can participate in conferences on wellness, yoga, personal development or spirituality (the two are often linked). You can also find places to relax on big beanbag chairs, listening to – or not – a live band. Some will improvise an animation of their own free-will: dance, acrobatics, body painting or accro yoga. There is also a huge swimming pool where it is good to cool off when the sun gets too hot. There are lively places, quiet places, a market, a child area, a restaurant or bar area …. In fact there is everything! Everyone walks all day in the according to activities, you have time to make beautiful meetings, discover something you’ve never seen before, laugh, cry, sing. The festival is also a whirlwind of emotions that cross you and makes you vibrate to the rhythms of ceremonies, concerts and rituals. At the end of the festival you have the feeling of knowing a lot of people and having attended a big family reunion. It is a truly unique and nourishing atmosphere that contributes to the fact that many people come back to this festival from year to year. We even met a woman who is in her 11th edition!
During the day we had to be strategic to make the most of the festival! I can tell you that sometimes we had trouble choosing the option that we liked the most as the proposals were varied and attractive. So we tried to do a little bit of everything in order to have a complete experience. The program is divided into several categories: yoga, dance, music, conferences, practical workshops, massages or healing.
As I worked in a room where there was a lot of yoga, I chose themes that I was not familiar with like healing and conferences. I haven’t been disappointed:
– Inspiring speakers who boost your mood in an hour, which makes you want to move mountains
– Healing experiences that literally amazed me and that could surely convince the most skeptical one about alternative medicine …
– Human experiences and sensory experiences that have inspired us for our future retreats and workshops 😉
This week has been an opportunity for me to discover many energy treatments, to try to find what I like. We also met highly competent people, men and women who open their hearts without fear, with only one desire, to share their experience and their lives with you. From workshop to workshop we danced, we smiled stupidly to strangers, we connected with people from all over the world, we let ourselves go without fear of prejudices. There, put away your preconceptions and your fears, no one will point at you! Some days, we were damn hippies but beside other phenomena we seemed much more normal than that! Be open and receptive because there is everything, all kinds of people, cultures and lives. We love it because we can meet people with completely atypical lives, like people who are very “normal”). (Then, what is normality – that’s another debate !!).
The entertainment is in full swing by the evening and it’s even difficult to go home as we want to attend all events. We were able to enjoy the multitudes of concerts offered throughout the evening, and we also danced a lot! I believe we participated in cocoa ceremonies every night, including the memorable and big ceremony offered the second night of the festival: a ritualized dance, very beautiful which we will talk to you very soon!
We could also sit around a fire, participate in a tea ceremony or just sit in the armchairs and chat with all the inspiring people we met during the festival.
Our experience as a volunteer on the festival
There are many ways to participate in the festival: being a participant, an attendee or volunteering. The price of the festival being far too high for our traveler’s budget, we registered as a volunteer. The deal is simple, the entrance of the festival is 80 dollars to offset the impact on the environment and you give 5 hours of your time per day. This is, believe us, a great deal and experience! Being a volunteer was also an opportunity to live the festival in his heart, to know the backstage of this massive organization and to meet inspiring people (well, it’s also done walking through the festival).
There is a multitude of jobs, and everyone can find an occupation to his taste: administration office, animations for children, lost and found, carriers, management of the site, of the cleanliness, the social networks, photography, reception … the list is long since we are each year more than 250 participants to volunteer. What is nice is that we can by preference which position we would like to be assigned and at what time of the day (divided into 3 periods: morning, afternoon and evening).
We were fortunate to have one of our favorite positions; the management of the stages. On the site, there are various open or closed pavilions on which the activities take place. We were not affected together (NOOOOOOOO!) But we were facing each other while the site was particularly big hihihi. Our job was therefore to manage the entrances and exits of the participants and help the speaker to ensure that their session takes place in the best conditions.
We found this job perfect because it was just counting people and overseeing the smooth running of the pavilion while enjoying the session in progress. For example, depending on the course and the number of people, you can participate yourself. So I took the opportunity to do some yoga during class, or listen to lectures.
I can’t hide that this week has been intense. Between our volunteer work, the workshops during the rest of the day and the musical entertainment in the evening, our nights were short! We were on the morning schedule; so we had to be there around 7:15 am and depending on the day we would come back to the hostel in the middle of the night, around 2am. The nighttime entertainment was always very varied and sometimes, despite the fatigue, we couldn’t help but stay to listen to the next band and start a new dance!
There is so much to say about this adventure that we decided to make you dedicated articles about the experiences we had.
We would like to talk to you about the healing care that has marked us, the conferences that inspired us, and the people we met. We also had the chance to have an interview with the creator of this festival that was born more than 10 years ago (the festival, not the creator!!), to tell you a little more about his actions in the heart of Ubud. Stay connected!
The website: http: //www.balispiritfestival.com/
Direct link to be volunteer: http://www.balispiritfestival.com/get-involved/applications
Next edition from March 24 to 31, 2019
Location: Ubud, Bali