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kula Desa Seni, A Village Resort Volume 6 路 April 路 May 路 June


Manifestation Embrace Humanness ... To experience the power of compassion, we access and embrace humanness, both our own and that of others. I know you’ve heard the saying, “Walk a mile in my shoes...” Well, the second you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you begin to connect to the heart of the matter, and therein lies innate compassion. By choosing to feel our own vulnerability, we can then accommodate the vulnerability of another. By putting compassion first, you actually regulate the reactions that historically have triggered upsetting emotional responses. You can re-wire your impulses. The next time you become aware that you are emotionally triggered by someone’s unskillful behavior, immediately visualize a crying child. Bring a lost, lonely child to mind. If the image of a lost child or the little crying child instantly connects you to your heart, then commit it to memory. If neither of these images does it for you, then find a “heart connecting” visual that will. You can manage yourself in the heat of any intense moment by shifting your focus to a broken-hearted child. It doesn’t matter whether the child you see is a boy or a girl. Whichever connects you to your heart is the one you will use to regulate yourself. When you focus upon a mental image of a child in pain, you will find that no matter how upset you were a moment ago about whatever happened... now, it just doesn’t have any impact. You’ll find yourself literally laying it down, as you embrace the heart of the matter. Our purpose in life is to make a difference. Compassion doesn’t solve problems, it gets you into the best frame of mind and heart to reach beyond where you’ve gone before. It allows you to find new, creative, peaceful and healing solutions. Kindness is nice, but compassion gets the job done! Compassion is... The capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy for you too. – Frederick Buechner


“I don’t regret a single excess of my responsive youth. I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace” Henry James


YOGA MUSIC DANCE A THON After a week of torrential rain the clouds finally part, bathing Desa Seni in the glow of the emerging sun – an auspicious start to the second annual Yoga, Music, Dance A Thon. I arrive to find brightly hued umbul umbul (Balinese flags) flickering in the breeze and the path strewn with frangipani and hibiscus – at Desa Seni the road to wellbeing is always a colourful one. But today our practice has an even higher purpose, as all money raised by the event is directed to Ayu Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS, a program that promotes awareness through a series of workshops aimed at Bali’s youth. It is estimated that the number of people infected with HIV has tripled over the past five years; Ayo Kita Bicara aims to stem the spread of the disease by targeting Bali’s youth through a series of workshoshops. Last year’s Yogathon event raised over $15,000 for the cause, an amount that we hope to match today. It’s 8.00am, and with a full 12 hours ahead of us, Daphna raises our energy with an uplifting kundalini class. Jocelyn Gordon then gets us into the swing of things with hula hooping on the lawn – the hoops bringing a whole new dimension to yoga practice. Workshops are spread over three different areas, with 30 presenters signed up to lead the way. Cherie Rae enthusiastically leads a workshop entitled ‘Peace it’s an inside job,’ “Yoga is for the world, not just skinny people,” she calls out. I catch her afterwards at Jeff Von Schmauder’s Union Yoga – which results in some rather amazing feats of balance, and some spectacular topples – “ I am so high right now,” she shouts. Late in the morning dark clouds dance menacingly around us, before slinking off to the horizon – there is no place for rain today! Following a healthy organic lunch courtesy of Desa Seni kitchen in Rumah Uma many of us join Awahoshi who lulls us into a blissful state with crystal sound, succinctly summing up the vibe of the day when she says “You are here because you are amazing.” I join some friends in the pool but I am soon drawn out as “Another one bites the dust” rings out – it’s Charlie Patton’s Dancing Extravaganza and it looks and sounds like way too much fun to miss out on. When I told a friend I was going to a Yogathon she said “Oh that sounds like fun” in a tone dripping with sarcasm – if only she knew… I haven’t laughed so hard or for so long in ages, and herein lies the beauty of the event, we are supporting a worthy cause – and having an awesomely good time while we are at it. EVERYONE is smiling! Desa Seni is in its element today, we truly are one! “How amazing it is when the Kula (community) of Bali, from all over the island can come together and truly represent the meaning of Kula” says Desa Seni’s founder, Tom Talucci. As the sun sinks into the horizon flaming torches are lit as we join Kevin and Mel for inspirational Kirtan chanting. Finally, Hamanah Drum n Dance lead us in a high energy, butt shaking dance to the beat of the djembe, ending twelve hours of yoga, music and dance with a bang!

YOGA as Therapy


ince I was a teenager I suffered from lower back pain, when I was 25 it was often so bad that I couldn’t even get out of bed. A few years later I began practicing yoga and my lower back pain never came back. I became a yoga teacher and want to share my experience with everyone! Why Yoga is a Therapy? In the world we live in we have a tendency to separate things: work, household, the family, partner, children, one’s spiritual side, human side, passion, the physical body, health, mental etc. As a society we have difficulties integrating the different aspects of being human. We are actually all things simultaneously, a viewpoint, which can be understood through Yoga as a therapy, that shows us how to experience integration into all these diverse perspectives. Today with all the advances in medicine and technology and with increasing precision, scientists are able to look at the brain and body and detect the sometimes subtle changes that practitioners of yoga and meditation experience. Yoga has been shown to increase strength, flexibility, and balance; enhance immune function; lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels; and improve psychological well-being. One of yoga’s most prominent effects, of course, is stress reduction. What is stress? The job of the nervous system is to monitor environmental signals, interpret them and organize appropriate behavioral responses. The system that mobilizes protec-

tion against external threat is called the HPA axis, which stands for the HypothalamusPituitary-Adrenal axis, known as the fight or flight response. The hypothalamus reads the signal from the environment, whether it’s positive or negative and then gives a signal to the Pituitary gland (also called master gland) which tells the adrenal gland to release Cortisol (stress hormone). Once the adrenal alarm has been sounded this stress hormone is released into the blood vessels of the digestive system, forcing energy and providing blood to nourish the legs and arms. This situational response results in an inhibition of growth. The visceral organs stop doing the life sustaining work of digestion, absorption, excretion, and other functions that provides growth of the cells and production of the body’s energy reserves. The whole immune system, when it’s mobilized, consumes a lot of energy. The adrenal hormones repress the action of the immune system. The HPA axis also interferes with the ability to think clearly. The processing of information in the forebrain, the cortex, the center of executive reasoning or logic, is slower than the activity of the reptilian brain. In an emergency situation you have to react fast, adrenal hormones constrict the blood vessels of the forebrain, reducing the ability to function, reducing the ability of our conscious center, reducing intelligence. The HPA system is good for handling acute stress but it wasn’t designed to be continuously activated. In today’s lifestyle we may not experience concrete “threats” that can be easily identified but we are continua-


lly subjected to a multitude of subtle and not so subtle worries about our life. These worries activate the HPA axis, resulting in chronically elevated levels of stress hormones. We don’t realize that many things in our environment, such as pollution, noise, fear, illness, worry, etc, all contribute to triggering our fight or flight response, releasing bigger amounts of Cortisol into the body. How yoga helps? The whole body is mainly controlled by the reptilian brain, that is the lower part of the brain, the part that is in charge of all the automatic things of the body, like breath, blood pressure, temperature of the body, heart beat, working together to ensure our survival. So, the body is much more than our unconscious mind that resides in the reptilian brain, it is our “automatic pilot.” Yoga, meaning “movement with conscious breathing,” allows us to by pass the reptilian brain. Through the breath we begin to connect to our frontal cortex, the part of the brain where consciousness is developed; where we can plan the future, and where we can draw our attention to. By moving attention and consciousness to certain parts of the body, we realize where we hold tension and learn how to release. With awareness, we can open the layers of the body, stimulating the flow of blood and oxygen and repairing the tissues. The movement of the muscles massages the synovial capsule of the joints, stimulating the exchange of necessary nutrients. The most important thing is that body and mind start working together in the same rhythm, stimulating healing.


NATARAJA: Dance of Shiva “If one had to select a single icon to represent the extraordinarily rich and complex cultural heritage of India, the Shiva Nataraja might well be the most remunerative candidate.”


ou can see this curiously intriguing sculpture in many yoga studios around the world, or perhaps in your in-flight magazine while traveling through Asia. The beautiful Nataraja has come to be appreciated by many outside of the Hindu faith. There is even an enormous two meter Nataraj in front of the large particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva Switzerland, where some of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds are working to expand our understanding of the universe. What is the Nataraja? In Sanskrit, narta or nata means “dance” and rajan or raja means “king” or “lord.” So Nataraja translates to “Lord of Dance.” In the Hindu tradition, Lord Shiva represents the “destroyer” aspect of the divine trinity. Like other religious systems, Hindus celebrate three aspects of the divine in the form of Creator, Destroyer and Preserver (represented by Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu respectively). But this powerful god who has been worshipped since pre-Vedic times, has as many celebrated as feared aspects. In his yogic depictions, Shiva’s austere side is represented in his more ascetic role. Seen sitting in deep meditation, he is the quintessential Yogi. Engrossed in his practice, Shiva is unbothered by the conventional adornment of a god, and wears only the ash

from cremation grounds smeared on his body and a tiger skin loincloth. As the Lord of Dance, Shiva’s matted uncut hair is wildly shaken loose to expand out like two wings, the expression of his dance taking flight. Unlike the fearsome destroyer or the devout yogi, as the Nataraja, Shiva is awakened by the divine play of Shakti, the creative feminine energy which gives Shiva the power to merge with the Absolute simply by opening up to that aspect within himself. Through his blissful dance called Aananda Taandavam, he embodies the creative power of transformation and moves from being a stern and fearful yogi to a beautifully expressive and graceful dancer. There are a variety of depictions of Shiva Nataraja. Some with more or less arms or heads, additional mudras, animals and other varying features. In the most common depiction, Shiva has four arms. These multiple arms represent the four cardinal directions. Two of the hands each hold an object and two are in mudra (gesture). The upper right hand holds an hour-glass drum (called a damaru in Sanskrit) which symbolizes creation. This drum is believed to “beat the pulse” of the universe. It is to the universe’s rhythm that Shiva sets his dance. The upper left hand contains Agni (fire) which symbolizes destruction. Quite literally, Shiva is simultaneously balancing the power to create

or destroy in the palms of his hands. In a gesture of fearlessness, the bottom right hand holds a flat open palm towards the viewer. This mudra (abhaya) literally means “without fear.” It invites the viewer not to be afraid of this blissful dance. A feeling reinforced by the calm and relaxed expression on Shiva’s face. A result of being in perfect balance. The lower left hand is extended out like the trunk of an elephant in what is known as gaga-hasta-mudra. Symbolic of Shiva’s son, Ganesha, it invokes his power as the “remover of obstacles.” Below Shiva’s right foot is the body of a dwarf named Apasmara-Purusha (the man of forgetfulness). By dancing on Apasmara (who also represents illusion and ignorance), Shiva is showing us that in order for the creative energy of the universe to flow man must overcome complacency. The ring of flames that surrounds Shiva’s body represents the entire universe. The lotus flower that is at the very base of the statue represents the heart. As viewers, we see the ongoing dance reaction and destruction lives within the whole expanse of the universe. We experience this cosmic dance in a yoga class, a science lab, or in a cloud-gazing moment on an airplane, our understanding grows from the foundation of our heart.




History of Ashtanga


shtanga Yoga is a system of yoga, most well known for its dynamic physical practise, which follows a predetermined sequence of asana, which is guided by the rhythm of ones breathing, turning static postures into a continual flow. In this way the transitional movements between the postures also become important, following a rhythm, developing and strengthening the breath and body, as well as maintaining an internal focus to help quieten the mind. Although potentially a physically demanding practise, the Ashtanga system purpose, with its eight limbs of practise, is to cleanse and purify the mind and body. In this way, it keeps the physical body vital, but also brings an internal awareness and mental focus in preparation for meditation. The Ashtanga system was first taught in the early 20th century, later being popularized in the West by the teacher Sri.K.Pattabhi Jois. It is said that the system originated from an ancient text called the Yoga Korunta compiled by Vamana Rishi. This text was given to the teacher Krishnamacharya by his guru Rama Mohan Bramchari.

Krishnamacharya began teaching based on information in this text when he was working under the convalescence of the Maharaja in Mysore in the South of India. He set up a shala in the grounds of the palace where he began to teach the young boys there. One of these students was Pattabhi Jois, who’s first experience of yoga was at the age of 12 when he attended a demonstration of yoga at the Jubilee Hall in Hassan, South India. Here he met Krishnamacharya, and this would be the start of 25 years of study with him as his student. Pattabhi Jois later went on the study Sanskrit at the University in Mysore, finally becoming the professor of Sanskrit studies there, and going on to assist Krishnamacharya to translate the Yoga Korunta texts further.

In 1937, Pattabhi Jois began teaching yoga at the University, and in 1948 opened the AYRI( Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute) in his home in Laksmipuram, Mysore, to examine in more depth the healing qualities of the practise. Ashtanga was first introduced to the West in the early 1960’s when a Belgian named Andre Van Lysbeth spent 2 years studying with Pattabhi Jois , later writing a book about

pranayama which mentioned the AYRI. This opened the teachings up to a western audience, and from then on, students from first Europe and America, and later all corners of the globe flocked to the tiny shala in laksmipuram to study with Guruji, as he became affectionately known. Sharath Rangaswamy, the grandson of Pattabhi Jois, and his student since the age of 7, began assisting his grandfather in the shala after completing his college studies, taking on the role of assistant director. In more recent years Ashtanga yoga has become so popular that in 2002 a new larger shala was built in Gokulum, another area of Mysore. Here daily classes are still held, now under the directorship of Sharath, and under the new name of KPJAYI (K.Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute). Sadly Guruji passed away in 2009 after over 70 years of teaching. However, his love and knowledge for the practise lives on in the many students following his teachings around the world.

THE CHAKRAS The chakras are vortexes of energy located within our physical and energetic bodies. These chakras are the way we take energy into the body and how we use and integrate the energy in our bodies and in our lives. Each chakra needs to be clear, energized and properly spinning in order to establish a balance between these energy centers, which in turn promotes health and a sense of well-being.

FIRST CHAKRA - MULADHARA The first chakra is our root chakra. It is located at the perineum, at the base of the spine. The color is red; the element, earth. The pancreas is the gland corresponding to the first chakra. When we connect to and activate the root chakra we come into our feeling consciousness. This is the chakra of connection: of groundedness and security. When this chakra is blocked or neglected we fall into insecurity; in terms of resources, money and survival issues. The quality here is self-acceptance. This is where we literally accept our existence on this earth. With self-acceptance we relax. With acceptance things open up: the tightness in our lower bodies / lower backs releases and tightness with our resources eases up as well. SECOND CHAKRA - SVADISTHANA The second chakra is located between the pubic bone and navel center, around the sexual organs. The color is orange, the ele-

ment water. The gonads are the correlating glands. This energy is about fluidity. The quality talent here is creativity and openness. The metaphysical manifestation of blockages in this area is fear. When we tap into the energy of the second chakra we tap into our creative potential, which is important to live our lives as artfully and gracefully as possible. Our goal here is to expand our inner energy so we feel less need to fill ourselves from outside energy, to reach out to the outside. This keeps our energy from getting scattered so we can cultivate a sense of creativity, expansiveness and security from within. When your second chakra is in balance and alignment you feel good about yourself and your uniqueness and as such you are open to go with the flow of light and life. THIRD CHAKRA - MANIPURA The Manipura chakra is located at the area of the navel center. The color is yellow; the

element is fire. The gland of the manipura chakra is the pancreas. This is the chakra of personal power, self esteem, commitment. When we are aligned and strong in our third chakra we are able to act and make choices; we have the presence to maintain a course of action, the energy to sustain it, and the ability to integrate and assimilate the challenges and the experiences of life and growth. When the power source of the navel center is consistently engaged it activates spontaneously to generate the energy we need throughout the day and to keep us present. When this state is reached, the breath becomes fluid and deep. When we tune into that incredible source of energy and strength within us, we start to feel and experience ourselves as bigger and broader than this physical body. FOURTH CHAKRA - ANAHATA The heart chakra. The color is green (the


color of healing, the color of prosperity). The gland is the thymus gland, the mainstay for our immune system. The element is air. The frequency of the anahata chakra is represented by the symbol of the 6 pointed star, symbolizing the center of balance for the ascending energy of matter into spirit, and the descending energy of spirit into matter. This is the place where we move from the ME to the WE, where we bring the sacredness of oneness into human form. The awakened energy of the heart is the embodiment of boundless compassion and the recognition that the most powerful energy we have is love. At the heart we open up to another dimension. With an activated and cleared heart center we are able to act with clarity, compassion, and contribution to the highest good in all. FIFTH CHAKRA - VISUDDHA The visuddha chakra is located at the throat center. The color is blue, the element ether. The glands are the thyroid and parathyroid. The quality here is that of truth and the shadow emotion here is denial. This is the place from where we can speak and vibrate our truth. Mantra (sound current) helps activate the throat center. The word mantra comes from the sanskrit words manis, meaning mind, and tra, meaning to protect from or free. Mantras produce vibrations that liberate our minds from thoughts and patterns which are no longer beneficial to us and tune us into higher frequencies where we can choose new thought patterns and habits which support who we are and

how we want to think. When we vibrate a thought, a concept, we are literally putting it out energetically into the universe. The universe is one big magnetic field, so if we say or express positive and truthful things we create light and truth around us. Negative and hurtful vibrations only create fear and hate in that magnetic field. This is the spiritual lesson embodied in the visuddha chakra, our seat of true expression. SIXTH CHAKRA - AJNA The sixth chakra is also known as the third eye center. There are no more earthly elements associated with the 6th thru 8th chakras. the element here and is light. The gland: pituitary. The color: indigo The sixth chakra is our seat of intuitive sight and wisdom. When we open the third eye and learn to concentrate within ourselves, we are able to have our mind serve us instead of being a slave to the whirlng and swirling of millions of thoughts that go on inside our minds. Here we can learn to act on internal direction. It is important to develop our intuitive power, which we do through meditation, because without it we fall prey to doubt, which leads us to duality, which leads us into confusion and crises in our lives. When we develop our third eye center we attain inner vision, can relate to the world, can sense the world and others from a place of inner awareness and clarity. SEVENTH CHAKRA - SAHASRARA The seventh chakra is also known as the crown chakra, or the tenth gate, our connec-

tion to the cosmos. The color here is purple, the gland is the pineal gland. The seventh chakra represents our connection to the transcendent dimension of life. We funnel in the light and energy of the universe through our connection to the cosmos at the seventh chakra. We open up to the love from above, divine inspiration, mystical connections. Our other chakras must be activated and aligned when we open up the crown chakra, so we stay grounded and can integrate that universal energy and manifest through it in the physical body. EIGHTH CHAKRA In the tradition of kundalini yoga, as well as some other traditions, we recognize an eighth chakra: the aura or magnetic field. The color is white, which encompasses all colors of the rainbow. The eighth chakra is the culmination of the alignment and activation of all the seven chakras. The magnetic field is that energy of projection and of protection that surrounds us. It is the energetic manifestation of our light projecting, radiating and encompassing our being. Hence, the quality of this chakra is radiance. When all our chakras are in alignment, when we are in alignment, we can shine our inner light glowingly, vibrantly. This light protects us from negative influences and is healing to those we come in contact with. When you have a strong magnetic field you have the power, the light to move through challenges life may present with greater ease, strength and grace.

Anna OM Namah Shivaya Gurave Sadchitananda Murtaye Nisprapancaya Santaya Niralambaya Tejase OM NAMAH SHIVAYA GURAVE I honor the essence of being, the auspicious one, the luminous teacher within and without. SADCHITANANDA MURTAYE Who assumes the forms of truth, consciousness and bliss, NISPRAPANCAYA SANTAYA Is never absent, full of peace, NIRALAMBAYA TEJASE Ultimately free and sparkles with a divine luster.

Kate OM Vande Gurunam charanaravinde Sandarshita Svatmasukavabodhe Nishreyase jangalakayamane Samsara halahala mohashantyai Abahu purushakaram Shankhacakrsi dharinam Sahasra sirasam svetam Pranamami patanjalim OM OM I bow to the lotus feet of the guru who awakens insight into the happiness of pure Being, who is the final refuge, the jungle physician, who eliminates the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of samsara [conditioned existence]. I prostrate before the sage Patanjali who has thousands of radiant, white heads [in his form as the divine serpent, Ananta] and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man holding a conch shell [divine sound], a wheel [discus of light, representing infinite time] and a sword [discrimination]. OM





Lokah samastha sukhino bhavantu.

ONG Infinite creative consciousness in its manifest form, NAMO I call upon you, GURU DEV divine wisdom, divine teacher within, NAMO I call upon you, reaffirming reverence.

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May the thoughts and actions of my own life, contribute in some way, to the happiness and freedom for all”


In its fifth year the Bali Spirit Festival unites hundreds of presenters and participants from around the globe in a five-day spectacular of yoga, music and movement.

Forget any preconceived notions about a yoga and dance festival having to be serious and studious, the path to enlightenment these days can be filled with joy, laughter and cool music. “Live life as art…. Dance through your life…Move in a way that brings you joy and pleasure.” Bouchelion Sapphire BaliSpirit Diary Day 1 I have to confess, I am a BaliSpirit addict. I wait eagerly all year for the physical and spiritual fix that will leave my body finely tuned and my soul soaring. As I walk through the gates this morning my face breaks into a smile, all thoughts of the outside world are left behind. It feels like coming home. The grounds of the Purnati Arts Centre provide inspiration at every turn, from delicate pink lotus flowers, to soaring palms

and lush heavily laden banana trees. White marquees rise from manicured lawns scattered with colourful bean bags, beyond Ubud’s famous rice fields ascend in gentle terraces. Heading over to the Desa Seni sponsored Tri Murti Pavilion I join a kundalini workshop with Bali Spirit regular Rebecca Pflaum.“This is my favourite place to teach in all the world,” she tells us, “You know when you look forward to something for so long that you almost don’t want it to begin, because once it does you know that it will soon be over.” I know exactly what she means. “Kundalini will change your life,” she adds, if you don’t want to change your life go now.” Her comments are a catalyst for the festival itself; I hate to pull a cliché, but it really is a time of transformation – with more than 100 gifted and inspired teachers and presenters from around the world – how could it not be? It’s a personal journey for

each of us, but as we weave our way through the festival, we connect in a series of fleeting exchanges, and random moments, creating memories that will last a last time. In a true melding of global community; together we are Bali Spirit! Day 2 This is yoga with a contemporary twist, with opportunities to dabble in all kinds of modalities, from Vinyassa Flow, Ashtanga, Anusara, Acro Yoga, Kirtan, Hoopnotica, martial arts, massage, meditation as well as an ecclectic array of dance workshops. Each day brings the excitement of new discoveries that challenge the way I think and move. This morning the ritual sound of tribal percussion, leads me to Bouchelion Sapphire teaching Nia technique – the joy of movement. This enigmatic man radiates with raw pure energy – and it’s utterly contagious. With his lyrical voice singing over the

drum he tells us to “Live life as art…. Dance through your life…Move in a way that brings you joy and pleasure.” Our bodies become instruments for our souls as we dance to the four directions, bloom like flowers, walk on the moon, and laugh long and hard as we experience the sheer exhilaration of liberation! Community lies at the heart of BaliSpirit and since its humble beginnings five years ago, over US$ 55,000 has been raised for a number of island-based initiatives including the festival’s own “Ayo! Kita Bicara (Let’s Talk About) HIV/AIDS teen educational outreach program. Honouring the festival’s ‘greenness’ there are water refilling stations and recycling bins everywhere. NGO booths offer displays of various projects supported by the festival, which launched a green initiative in 2011, partnering with East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) and the Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF) to support reforestation and community development in the East of Bali. More than $US 5,000 has already been raised to plant bamboo trees and bring relief to struggling villages. Day 3 My inner child gets a workout at Vinn Marti’s Soul Motion workshop. “Dance with infant eyes and ears, move with a sense of awe and discovery,” he instructs us. I cool down in the infinity pool perched on the edge of the ravine, then wander about the grounds taking everything in. There are little scenes everywhere, people giving and receiving massages, eating organic nasi campur on banana leaf plates, devouring raw chocolate (my newest addiction,) wandering about the booths selling yoga clothes and jewellery. Everyone is smiling, enjoying the sunshine and the good vibes. I also make it to the evening concert in the stunning gar-

dens of Arma where magnificent Balinese gates create an ornamental backdrop to the stage. Delhi to Dublin are back by popular demand after rocking the festival last year, and once again they have the crowd leaping around with their unique mix of infectious bhangra electrica. “We felt the energy field from the audience was so strong, the sensation was euphoric, it almost brought tears to our eyes” says Tarun Nayu from the group. Day 4 I arrive early and make my way down to the secluded amphitheatre tucked into the hillside. Incense wafts from the temple and the flowing river makes the perfect sound track for the gentle flowing movements of Jane Chen’s Intro to “White Crane” silat. In a moment of serendipity I have finally discovered that iconic marital arts movement where you dance like a crane – I always wanted to learn this, and here I am discovering it by total accident. After lunch the Tri Murti Pavilion is packed as Daphna Dor represents Desa Seni with a Kundalini workshop, “Unlocking the Infinite power of the Heart,” an uplifting experience that culminates in a giant circle as she leads us in a heart opening meditation followed by a healing circle that leaves us all in a state of bliss. Over in the lawn pavilion the crowd is going off as Aby Niang and Hamanah Drum n Dance lead a high energy West African dance workshop which ends in a dance off with some of the festivals grooviest dancers shaking it up party style! Tonight’s line up at Arma includes fire dancers, festival favourites Susu Ibu and USbased Luminaries with their unique consciousness expanding Hip Hop that speaks of peace and hope! The stage is packed with people dancing, including a lot of kids, setting the tone for tomorrow, family day!

Day 5 Hari Cinta Keluarga (We Love Family Day) is a free day for all, honouring the Balinese community, with entrance donations going to Ayo! Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS. Workshops have a strong family influence, and after days of indulging our own “inner child” it’s great to see so many real kids about. The Tri Murti Pavilion sets the stage for Desa Seni’s Manuela Herreros with her inspiring workshop “Exploring the Brain Space,” and for a transcendental crystal sound journey with the luminous AwaHoshi. Here too, the Yoga Mala gathered us together for 108 sun salutations accompanied by live music, with 14 of the festival presenters leading the way in a heartfelt harmonic culmination of the festival. We are all different threads that make up the same cloth,”says African reggae star Rocky Dawuni who headlines the concert tonight. For me it was one of the MC’s from the Luminaries that summed it up best. “There is no difference between you and I, there is only us,” he called out, “So lets give ourselves a round of applause.” The festival may be over for another year, but the spirit lives on….

Desa Seni 2012 Events MARCH


Yoga Dance Music A Thon


13-15 28-29

“Deepen Your Personal Practice through the Ashtanga Method” with Kate Graham “From Where Comes Yoga” with Angela Farmer



“Heart Center Transformation” with GuruJivan Kaur & GuruWant Kaur (Daphna Dor)


with KULA (Community)

“ Desa Seni Summer Series” Stay tuned! “Desa Seni Summer Series” Stay tuned!



“Anatomy for the Yoga Body” with Anna Kolacny & Special Guest


“Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Training” with Lei Sadakari, A senior RKY Trainer


“Desa Seni Summer Series” Stay tuned!


“Kundalini Yoga Immersion” with Daphna Dor


“Mensana Yoga Retreat” with Manuela & Dr. Susanna Zito, Clinical Psychologist

21 22-23

“Destiny and Freedom Principle”Community Event


“Therapeutic Yoga” with Judy Krupp


“Desa Seni Signature Pavayati (cleanse) Retreat”



“Kundalini Yoga Immersion” with Daphna Dor


“Destiny and Freedom Principle” with Wendi Blum




Develop and Deepen Your Yoga Practice Through The Ashtanga Method

HEART CENTERED TRANSFORMATION With GuruJivan Kaur & GuruWant Kaur (Daphna Dor) *=UPD PD


The art of ancient yoga with modern therapeutic strategies 0ALPAI>ANPD OP








Desa Seni, A Village Resort Jl. Subak Sari # 13, Canggu, Bali Tel + 62 361 8446392 -


Are you too busy to get to class? Do you find yourself waking up in the morning wanting to practice but don’t know where to start? Do you have a desire to explore your internal awareness? If your answer is yes to any of the above; This immersion is for you! Using the traditional Ashtanga teachings we will explore the asana (poses), pranayama (breath ) and the discipline of meditation through movement. In this immersion, you will attain a solid foundation and understanding of a yoga sequence which you can practice at home.Suitable for all levels!

Join us for a transformational Kundalini Yoga Retreat in the spiritually charged island of Bali, Indonesia. We will be working on opening our hearts and releasing what has been holding us back from reaching our full potential as human beings. Join teachers GuruJivan Kaur and GuruWant Kaur (Daphna Dor) to experience the light which shines bright within each of us in order to share it with others and to help uplift the vibration on Mother Earth.

Through the practice of yoga, conscious breath, mindfulness meditations, group sessions and utilizing evidence based therapeutic strategies, you will explore how to deal with difficult patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviors to enhance everyday living. This hands on practical retreat in the peaceful setting of Desa Seni. Meditation, Yoga and Clinical Psychology will be use to impact participants learning in a deep and lasting way. This retreat is for anyone wishing to develop strategies and behaviours to live life wholesomely.



editation is becoming increasingly popular in the West as a form of holistic stress reduction. Many people think about meditation and link it with religion, however it is increasingly used by doctors for their patients who are hypertensive or stressed and need to relax. It is a great way to find answers to pressing problems and concerns and get in touch with true inner desires. It has been found to improve the immune response system, facilitating a healthy lifestyle. Because meditation takes us out of our minds – literally – it means that we get to a point where we become more able to co-create our reality; as we drop our limiting beliefs and get in touch with our core self, we free ourselves to experience life in a more expansive way. Meditation is the process of concentrating the mind with the intention of bringing about a state of clarity and serenity. There are different forms of meditation, each having its own proponents and each bringing different benefits in terms of what one wants to achieve from it; such as increased concentration levels, greater self awareness and, for many, improved spiritual development. The Transformational Meditation Sessions at Desa Seni take the form of traditional meditational practices and integrates guided visualisation, chakra balancing and tratak, to a few techniques that are utilized with the intention of accessing different aspects of the Self.



Meditation Benefits of Meditation: Meditation is increasingly being recommended by doctors to sufferers of stress-related illness. When practised regularly, it has been proven to lower high blood pressure, and calm the mental state. Meditation tends to carry over into everyday life. Similarly, the physical relaxation experienced during a session results in less muscular tension. Improved concentration: During meditation, we focus all of our attention on one particular thing, concentrating in a relaxed manner (rather than straining to hold our attention). This practice allows us to focus more easily in other areas of our daily life. Greater self-awareness: While our mind is quiet during meditation, it is easier to notice communications that might otherwise be blocked out. We become more aware of our physical and mental state. We might notice a persistent pain, or that we are feeling quite stressed, or alternatively relaxed. Our emotions and thoughts are more open to us. This level of self-awareness tends to become more continually present during our daily activities and we begin to feel more accepting of ourselves, developing a stronger self-esteem.

Improved Sleep Patterns: When we learn to relax and calm our body and mind through breathing and concentration exercises, the mind and body become aware of the signals of when it is time to relax; all that is needed is deep breathing and letting go of tension. Transformational Meditation Types: Pranayama Breathing focuses on the breath and bringing in the vital force of prana or chi. This can be felt in very real terms as the body and the brain become vitalised through oxygenation of the physical body, while at the same time the mind becomes stilled and the body relaxes as concentration is focused on breathing and release. This has benefits on all levels; revitalising the whole system enabling the energetic body to rebalance itself. Transcendental Vipassana Meditation is a popular and simple form of stilling the mind, offering an exceptional quality of rejuvenation in terms of releasing stress and tension. It is a very practical and straightforward form of finding relaxation, particularly for those that lead hectic lives. It takes as little as 15-20 minutes daily, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It can easily be incorporated into an everyday habit and can be practiced anywhere.



DEEPEN Your Yoga Practice Retreat


t has been rewarding to see that the Desa Seni Deepen your Practice Yoga Retreats have been met with success and acknowledgement from Guests who have experienced our programs. It’s an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to yoga if you are a novice, or to develop and deepen your current practice. Whether you have been practicing for years or are a beginner, this retreat offers individual instruction. Our programme allows you to spend time focusing on your asanas with private yoga classes and to really get to know your body and how it functions within and beyond your yoga practice; through body work designed to get to the core of improving your alignment, flexibility and strength. There is an opportunity to focus upon and improve your preferred approach, or to try some new styles that may catch your interest but you are not sure about. The programme is designed to give you individual attention and get to know what changes are required to rebalance your body and advance your Yoga practice. On arrival, an initial consultation is given

to determine personal requirements and yoga preferences. This is a thorough consultation that looks at physical limitations, current fitness level and specific goals regarding the retreat. As a result of the consultation, relevant body work is chosen that will be best suited to achieve an improved approach t0 practice and address problems that may be causing limitations. This could be classical osteopathy to realign the body, myofascia work focusing on the tissues, or remedial massage therapy which removes residual tension at both physical and energetic levels. Choose from our relaxing and cleansing massage techniques such as the Crystal salt Scrub to increase metabolism, enhance circulation and draw out impurities; or a Balinese Boreh, a traditional healing art used to soothe aching muscles. Heaven after practice! This intensive programme focuses on bringing a greater understanding of your body structure and increases awareness of your body’s requirements whether you are looking for greater mobility or healing previous or current injuries. This will enable a more balanced alignment both on and off the yoga mat. Therapists keep in close com-

munication in order to ensure that you get the best personalized treatments possible that build upon each other. Transformational Meditation brings in another dimension to your practice helping to bring calm to the mind and the body through breathing and meditation. This session is held in the peaceful environment of Trimurti Yoga Pavilion where you can take time out to relax and center on yourself, bringing in a greater level of body and mind awareness. There is also the opportunity to join the regular morning meditation classes. The programe is designed to give you an intensive yoga retreat where you will focus on yourself. You have the choice to practice privately and take it slowly or to join in our daily yoga classes. There is time to take additional treatments such as energy work on the chakra and body system, or to simply chill out, swim in our saltwater pool, feast on our local organic food and wander around the luscious tropical gardens.

Wellness Bites Desa Seni is pleased to welcome Dr. Thomas Sladek, M.D., Dipl. Acup., as Director of Wellenss. Dr. Thomas was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, where he also studied at the University of Vienna, School of Medicine. He graduated as During his studies, he developed an interest in Acupuncture while working part time in a Pain clinic. It was there where he witnessed firsthand what astonishing results acupuncture can achieve. He became fascinated with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, a fascination that has not left him up to this day. After finishing his postgraduate medical training, he began studying acupuncture and TCM, (Traditional Chinese Medicine). His studies took him to France, Switzerland, Germany and finally China, where he spent two years at the TCM University in Nanjing. After more than three years of study and research he was granted the Acupuncture diploma by the Austrian Medical Association. He started treating patients with acupuncture well over 25 years ago, first in his practice in Vienna and later in England, where he joined a large G.P. practice. He also continued his research in the relatively new field of Auriculotherapy as well as Chinese herbology. He has treated well over 10,000 patients with acupuncture, Auriculotherapy and TCM. He is member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society as well as the Austrian Society for controlled Acupuncture. He has updated his knowledge in numerous seminars, conferences, workshops and research projects. In 2007 he moved to Bali, where he opened an acupuncture clinic and continued treating patients from all over the world. Desa Seni will be further developing its holistic approach towards wellness with Dr. Thomas offering a variety of new treatments along with a variety of programs. Welcome! Selamat Datang!

Garden Bites Great tips for teaching children about gardening! Get your children started early on planting. These are some tips on different vessels one can use for children where they can nurture and watch their seeds sprout. It is fun for them and they get to take care of them on their own. 1. Old egg cartons are great as they have pre made wells where one can put the dirt into the existing wells, poke your finger into the center and place the seed. They work great as they are carton and will help keep the soil wet. Children can put these on the windowsills at home and watch the seedlings sprout. Once about 10cm tall, transplant into the garden. Take a pair of scissors and cut out of the section of the carton and plant. The carton is bio degradable and will eventually disintegrate. 2. Using old toilet paper rolls is another great way for seeding. Take the toilet paper roll, cut in half and follow the same instructions as above, the only difference is we suggest taking a cookie sheet and using this as a liner. 3. Old plastic water bottles work well also. Take a bottle and cut in half, on one of the ends you will have to put some small holes for drainage. We suggest using a liner for these also. The only difference here is you do not want to put the plastic into the earth when the seedlings are 10 cm tall. By squeezing the outside of the container, one will loosen the soil which will make it easy to remove. Have fun and Happy Spring! If you need seeds, feel free to stop by Desa Seni, we will happily supply you with some!



ou’ve probably seen the word JAMU hundreds of times in your everyday life in Bali – on spa menus, advertisements and at the local apotek. But do you really know what Jamu is? The simple answer is, it’s Indonesian traditional medicine made from herbs that comes in the form of a drink, pill, capsule or even a paste. The skin is the largest organ of the body, so anything that is applied on the skin and left to absorb, enters into the blood stream. Centuries ago, long before aspirin or antibiotics were developed, the indigenous people of Indonesia were using plants for healing. But with the influence of Chinese, Indian and Arab cultures, the tradition grew into a fine art. The Jamu culture reached a pinnacle during the Majapahit Kingdom in Central Java, when the now famous beauty treatments were created in the kraton. But after the arrival of Islam to Java, the Hindus fled to Bali, bringing their books, culture and customs. Surviving in the Surakarta Palace Library is the best ancient reference on Jamu called Serat Kawruuhbab Jampi-Jampi (A Treatise on All Manner of Cures). Within 1,734 formulae made from natural ingredients, with information on use plus many stories about the daily use of jamu. Traditionally, it’s always been the women who prepared the jamu. In Java, as part of a marriage trousseau, a bride was given a beautifully decorated square or pyramid shaped wooden box with many drawers full of medicinal herbs. A wife was expected to not only care for her family, but also to heal

their illness. Making jamu is a very time consuming task, usually prepared each morning; but with more women now going out to work, no one has time to prepare jamu. For many years, the gendong has filled this role of supplying people with their daily jamu. She gets up early each morning to make her brew, often with the help of family members. After filling several large bottles with favourite concoctions, she fills a large basket, straps it on her back and trundles off with her heavy load to administer to her regular clients. Now, often you will see a gendong on a bicycle or even a motorbike. Today, I saw one with a large wooden box attached to her motorbike, stocked with several large bottles and a small pharmacy of sachets of various cures. During the war for independence, western medicine was in short supply, leaving doctors to turn to traditional medicine, converting many of the doctors into accepting jamu as an effective medicine. Recently, the Ministry of Health in Indonesia has started to push for jamu to be used as the first medical treatment before Western medicine. Maybe soon, we can go to a doctor and get a prescription for jamu rather than antibiotics. There are more than 300 different jamus for a wide range of cures from arthritis, cancer and diabetes to enhancing sexual performance using hundreds of plants. Most jamu makers use a standard 100 plants, however, the mainstay of many concoctions are seven herbs, all coming from the ginger or Zingiberaceae family. They are: turmeric

(kunir, curcuma domestica), greater galangal (lengkuas), resurrection lily (kencur), bitter ginger (lempuyang pahit), lempuyang wangi, temu lawak, (neither has an English name) and common ginger (jahe). Used for 2,500 years throughout India, China and South East Asia for cooking and medicine; turmeric curcuma is known as a wonder herb, with scientists taking an avid interest in this golden herb in the last few decades. It has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties but recent research has shown that it’s beneficial for the treatment of many diseases from arthritis to cancer. Turmeric is also known as antibacterial and antiseptic, making it a traditional remedy for cuts and wounds. Recently, I was peeling turmeric to make some jamu and sliced my thumb open. The bleeding wouldn’t stop and then I suddenly remembered that it’s effective in stopping bleeding. I sliced off a piece of turmeric and held it against the cut and within a few minutes the bleeding stopped. I wish I’d known that, years ago! Turmeric is also a liver detoxifier, helps to heal inflamed skin problems and may be effective in preventing cancer. This miracle herb is the main ingredient of the most popular jamu health drink Kuyit Asem, which is drunk daily by millions of Indonesians. The benefits of this drink are blood cleaner, health tonic and helps in slimming and you can drink as much as you like because unlike western medicine, jamu is completely safe and you cannot overdose. The heart of Jamu is in Central Java, where many companies have gone into the pro-


duction of jamu, packaging over a hundred blends into small sachets of powder, pills, capsules and skin care products. Some companies are exporting their jamu internationally, having undergone the rigors of government testing, which were set up in 1980 to standardize jamu. That hasn’t been easy with a multitude of various blends and the herbs having different values according to where they were grown. However, a ruling in the late 1990’s to restrict the essential ingredients to 5 has simplified the testing. The five major jamu companies are Nyonya Meneer, Mustika Ratu, Jamu Jago, Air Mancur and Martina Berto. Dr. Martha Tilaar is the giant in skin care products under the names of Sari Ayu and the popular Biokos, which is found in many spas in Bali. With over a hundred different types of jamu, the most common formulas rejuvenate health, improve the skin complexion,

slimming, reducing cholesterol, cleaning the blood and a variety of sexual enhancement potions, being some of the most popular. This may seem strange in a primarily Islamic country, but there is logic to this. As you know, Muslim men are allowed to marry up to four wives - he has to stay strong to please his women. Here in Bali, the healing knowledge was inscribed on palm leaves, known as Utama, which was considered sacred and passed down from generation to generation. Up until about twenty years ago, all Balinese families had a garden with herbs growing for medicine. Nobody needed to buy these herbs, everyone was willing to share. In Bali, the use of herbs has been for healing rather than beauty. Unless you are lucky enough to have a local gendong making the rounds near your home, as there are very few in Bali, you can

find jamu in many apoteks, supermarkets, local markets, jamu shops or small stands. I stopped by a jamu shop in Canggu to browse around and was told that about fifty people a day drop in to buy jamu, either by the glass or packets of powder. That sounds like a thriving business. Spas are in the health business and many offer their guests a cup of Kunyit Asem jamu or a cup a ginger tea, which settles the stomach and is good for health. Jamu Traditional Spa was the first spa to use traditional Indonesian treatments in Bali since 1988 serving international travelers. They started a trend, using jamu based products, which has led Bali into the limelight of the world of spas. Lulur and Boreh are now common treatments to be found on a spa menu here and internationally.



“Let my words like muffins be tender and sweet for tomorrow I may have to eat them.”


here is nothing like a cute cosy café and delicious home baked cakes to remind you of home, which is precisely what Gita and Marshello had in mind when they opened Butter Bakery. “We wanted to create something with a soul,” says Gita, who prior to opening the café would spend her spare time baking cakes and giving them away to friends. As for Marshello, he is better known on the island as a beach lifeguard (and star of the Australian television series Bondi Rescue: Bali) as well as being the vibrant front man of rockabilly band, The Hydrant. Butter is definitely a family affair, Marcello’s brother Christopher is one of the barista (as well as the drummer in Hydrant) and whips up a superb creamy cappuccino.

pot and tiny cups. There is also a station to pimp your coffee with sprinkles of cinnamon, cocoa powder and brown sugar.

Butter doesn’t just have soul, it has a sense of humour with lots of playful details waiting to be discovered. The setting reminds me of a doll’s house, with its Tiffany blue walls, dainty white tables and chairs, and pretty fireplace stacked with neat rows of logs. When I look closer I realise that the central chandelier is actually made from rows of spoons and forks, while a set of chimes hanging over the door features a tea

The carrot ginger cake is wonderfully fluffy and moist with candied ginger making a sneaky, but welcome appearance beneath the cream cheese frosting; the flourless chocolate cake looks like grandmas, but is actually as light as mousse with a taste that is smooth and deliciously chocolatey. It comes with a bowl of espresso cream on the side, making a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. The vegan lemon coconut cake is loved by ve-

Quotes adorn the walls, my favourite, “Let my words like muffins be tender and sweet for tomorrow I may have to eat them.” Another seems particularly apt “You will have your cake and eat it too.” And that’s precisely what goes on here, copious amounts of cake eating! The deli counter is brimming with delightful homemade creations that you can just tell are going to taste really good. “I love being able to create something that will put a smile on people’s faces, the look of bliss that comes from the first bite of a fresh baked cinnamon roll or chocolate cake,” Gita says.

gans and non vegans, while cranberry and white chocolate scones are just the thing to accompany a pot of tea, as are cookies crammed with chunky chocolate chips, or dusted in cinnamon. Crackly cellophane bags filled with pretty pink marshmallows are good at any time. A small range of savoury options include a dense bacon and egg pie topped with flaky pastry and a mushroom quiche that just seems to say “eat me.” Cappuccino’s have cute animal shapes – like polar bears emerging through the cocoa sprinkles, the lemonade is homemade, and milkshake flavours include toasted marshmallow, peanut butter and banana, and oats milkshake with flax seeds and honey. Butter keeps it real, a friendly neighbourhood café that provides a mellow place to chill out alone or with friends, and is ideal for those who like their coffee served with a side of words of wisdom. A small selection of books includes ‘Elvis Quotes and Trivia,’ flipping through I find this one, “When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” So simple, so true! I happily leave with a box full of cookies and a new mantra.


LITTLE Green Cafe Simple Pleasures.

“I love to play with colours, textures, and new flavours”


reativity underlines every dish served at the buzz café of the moment, Little Green Café.

and taste good. Colour plays a big part in my cooking and I love to play with flavours,” she explains.

Little Green Café has already contracted a new space across the road, which will give Joki the “green” she’s been longing for.

Opened just over 2 years ago by Croatian pastry chef, Joki, Little Green Café clearly hit a nerve as the simple warung-style café has been busy since they opened their doors.

Each day, Little Green Café makes up five large salads and invariably by the early afternoon they are sold out. The selection includes a green salad, three raw selections and a cooked salad, usually based on beans or potato.

“ I really wanted a garden and the new space has one, I’m really excited,” she says.

In addition she makes up a main special, a soup and vegetable burgers. Breakfast is light and offers fruit, porridge and a great range of fresh juices.

“ I love to play with colours, textures and new flavours, I just love to cook really,” she explains.

Joki says essentially she opened it because she herself, a vegan, wanted a place where she could find the food she wanted, fast, fresh, wholesome and affordable. She really had no idea there were so many others who felt the same. “ I was pleasantly surprised by the response,” she says. As a mother, wife and former pastry chef at Neal’s Yard Bakery, the group at the forefront of the wholesome food movement in England, she built what she wanted within her budget constraints. She cooks every day and loves it. “ It’s my passion, I love being creative. With vegan food you have to use your imagination to make it special, to make it look good

Joki became a vegan at 17. All her young life she suffered from crippling excema and once she changed her diet to become dairy free, she finally found relief. That was twenty or so years ago and she has been almost completely free of symptoms since then. Her real passion comes to its fabulous fruition with her selection of cakes, usually she will feature four; Vegan cakes without egg or dairy are dense and rich and she also includes gluten free cakes in the repertoire, without flour.

She also plans to introduce theme dinners in the new premises; Indian, Mexican and Japanese.

One thing is certain for sure; her loyal clients are sure to follow. The Little Green Café may be getting bigger but the philosophy that attracted her commited customers will remain – fresh, local, wholesome, healthy and affordable. It’s a winning recipe she has no plans to change.


BIG TREE FARM’S Excellent Adventure



t had to be made of sustainable materials, strong, beautiful to look at and soothing to work in; the result is Big Tree Farms Bamboo Chocolate factory, destined to be one of Bali’s most exciting new destinations. From small dreams big things can be achieved. In the case of Big Tree Farms, their commitment to quality organic ingredients in their purest form has won over food lovers and benefited thousands of local farmers. It began in early 2000 with a small plot on the slopes of Bali’s second largest volcano when Americans Ben and Blair Ripple pulled their first creamy potatoes out of the rich earth. Big Tree farms may have had humble beginnings but the company now works with over 9,000 farmers and sells a wide variety of products. Their biggest dream however is almost out of the box; move over Willie Wonka, hello Bali. Simply growing their own vegetables was just the beginning, their family was growing along with their dreams. They introduced their Firefly Supper Series in 2002, providing a chance for farmers, growers and food lovers to come together to celebrate the bounties of Bali’s growers with an earthy farm to table theme. By 2005 they had attracted some serious attention from international foodies, and ideas for expanding their family of growers and artisan producers began to take shape In their search for great produce they discovered increasing numbers of local producers and growers and shared this knowledge with their network of chefs and gourmands. They also inspired more growers to take up

organic farming practices. The first product marketed commercially under Big Tree Farms brand was handcrafted Balinese sea salt, the response was enthusiastic. As far as New York, people encouraged them to continue and next they packaged and marketed the unique Balinese long pepper. “This was exactly what we had been wanting and waiting to do, finding and supporting local creators, producers and artisans helping them to find a market so they could continue exactly what they have always been doing,” explains Ben on his Big Tree Farm website. In their search for quality producers they met Frederick Schilling who is now co-CEO and partner in Big Tree Farm. Frederick’s game was chocolate, he had founded Dagoba Organic Chocolate, which he went on to sell before making the move to Bali. In 2006, Big Tree Farms started to work with a small group of cacao farmers from Western Bali. The goal was to create a more transparent market access for these farmers, by helping add value to their cacao and selling to the global premium chocolate market. After much trial and error, Big Tree Farms became the first company to produce raw, cold processed, organic cocoa powder and butter in 2007 which has lead to their most challenging and exciting project to date; to create the biggest bamboo chocolate factory in the world, based right here in Bali. With over 9,000 farmers now working with Big Tree farms to bring their many quality products to the market, from the original salt and pepper to vanilla and honey, co-

conut palm sugar, raw nuts and cocoa, all packaged in their iconic unbleached boxes with the now well known logo, the company is now well established. The largest commercial bamboo building in South East Asia, The Bamboo Chocolate factory opened in August, 2011. The factory will is the region’s first bean to bar product facility, the space also offers retail outlets, a café and an event centre. The factory offers regular weekday tours due to the enormous interest they have already generated. Located in the village of Sibangkaja, about 5 minutes south of central Mambal, on the east side of the Ayung River, close to the Green School. “The tour offers the chance to experience the largest commercial bamboo building in South East Asia where we process chocolate from beans to bar, and of course you will have the chance to taste our delicious CocoMojo and our raw dark chocolate firsthand. You also will be able to buy our products by the end of the tour,” explains their Guest Relations Officer, Afi Nafisah Currently they are operating 5 tours a day between 10 am and 3 pm, Mondays to Fridays. The tour takes approximately 45 min to 1 hour and is a delicious and informative insight into what can be achieved through passion, commitment and imagination. It also represents another opportunity to take raw local products, often exported in their most simple form, and add value by creating high quality retail products that stand up to the toughest international competition. For more information, check out Big Tree’s website:


Cultural Diversity of Bali “Our rich diversity is our everyday reality and it is our collective strength” (Unesco Declaration, 2002). Cultural diversity is a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of our society. In Bali it encompasses, in addition to ancient traditions and beliefs, lifestyles and ways of living together – Balinese, Javanese, island migrants, Hindu and Muslims and last but not least - a multitude of foreigners, expatriates and tourists. A medley of communities, local and international, which naturally leads to a vast diversity of visions, values and practices; which all deserve equal consideration and respect namely: freedom of thought and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom to participate in the cultural life of one’s choice. The Indonesian coat of arms bears the motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” - Unity in Diversity – and the Balinese society intrinsically represents this as it is founded on the Hindu caste system, each with its own dialect and cultural tradition: the “Sundras”, the peasants who comprise over 90% of the population, the “Wesias”, the warrior caste, which also includes traders and some nobility, the “Satrias”, the caste of kings, and the “Pedanas”, the holy men and priests.

Having said that, the cultural diversity in Bali has recently emerged as a key concern. Some view cultural diversity as inherently positive but for others, these differences are the cause to lose sight of our common goals and are therefore at the root of numerous “conflicts” on the island. Bali’s fast growing internationalization, globalization and expansion has increased the points of interaction and friction between cultures and communities, giving rise to identity-linked tensions, particularly of a religious, social and business nature, which have become sources of dispute. Confronted by this diversity of practices and outlooks, the local administration finds itself at a loss on how to respond or how to take account of the fast growing diversity in the common interest of the island. It is therefore a very real challenge to attempt to persuade the different members of all communities to coexist peacefully. Consideration of social factors and cultural context are essential to sustainable development efforts to bring changes and integration across the island. Development efforts that should, for example, focus on environmental sustaina-

bility; cultural diversity has an important – though often underestimated – role to play in addressing current ecological challenges in Bali and ensuring its own sustainability. The exponential economical growth Bali has seen in the last ten years is a key factor that is influencing the ‘consumption’ behavior and the ways in which we all interact with nature. There is much to be learned from the environmental management skills embedded in local and rural knowledge and know-how, including small-scale production with little surplus and low energy needs, and the custodial approaches to land and natural resources, which avoids waste and resource depletion. While Bali’s inhabitants could play a crucial role in inspiring solutions to contemporary environmental problems, political and business interest constraints have restricted progress across the entire issue. Cultural diversity today represents a key challenge because of the multicultural composition of Bali. Cultural diversity, indeed is not just a natural fact that we need to simply recognize and respect. It is about plurality of knowledge, wisdom and energy which all contribute of improving and moving Bali forward.

ODANADI: Rescuing one soul at a time: In the South Indian language of Kanada, an Odanadi is someone who journeys with you through life. A “soulmate”



very day around the world, unsuspecting young people are lured away from their homes by criminal human trafficking networks. In the hands of traffickers, these children are sold, exploited and deprived of their childhoods. Many will end up in brothels, on the streets and living on the margins of society. In 2007, there were thought to be 27 million people trapped in situations of modern-day slavery, and 1.2 million of them are children. In India alone, 80% of all women and girls who enter prostitution do so against their will. In Indonesia, it is estimated that 100,000 children and women are trafficked every year. Is anyone doing anything to stop this? For the past 20 years Odanadi Seva Trust, a pioneering organization based in Mysore, South India, has been developing initiatives to combat human trafficking. Over the course of two decades, Odanadi has provided a safe place for victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation, slavery, domestic abuse and poverty. With little more than a small budget and big hearts, Odanadi has rescued more than 2,000 young men, women and children. Led by two humble, but visionary men, Stanly K.V. and Parashu M.L., Odanadi has brought more than 137 criminal traffickers to justice. Through their dedication to helping these women and children, Stanly, Parashu and a small team of volunteers work with communities, organizations and individuals across India to create a people’s movement against human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

At its two sites located on the outskirts of Mysore, Odanadi currently houses 85 women and young people. Every resident has a different story to tell. Many have been rescued from brothel owners and domestic servitude, others from abusive homes or child marriages. At Odanadi, residents who did not have a chance for a normal happy life, are lovingly provided with the skills they need to heal, empower and reintegrate themselves back into mainstream society. Education is is very important and the majority of residents are enrolled in schools and universities. Through self-expressive activities like traditional Indian dance and yoga, residents learn to how to take back and reinhabit their bodies in a proud and dignified way. Healing therapies using drama and art allow these women and children to discover that they can have strength, confidence and a unique inner voice. Today, many former Odanadi residents are thriving and have started up their own small businesses. Some are now working as lawyers, social activists and TV executives. Is there any way that I can help? Odanadi welcomes anyone to volunteer their time at the center in Mysore. Whether working one-on-one with the children, leading or facilitating group art, dance classes or constructing a new library. (there are so many ways to help) Spreading news and awareness of this great organization in your country can make a massive impact too. With the global event Yoga Stops Traffick (YST), now in its 3rd year, people around the world are gathering in yoga studios, city parks, beaches, temples and mountain tops to practice a “Yoga Mala,” (a series of 108

Sun Salutations). Last year YST brought together 3,000 people in 95 different locations in 38 countries around the world. This year, New Zealand is making a country-wide effort with over 35 events scheduled alone! Now that’s grassroots organizing in action!! It’s easy to set up a YST Event in your city with a small gathering of friends. By donating a nominal entry fee, or asking friends to sponsor you, all funds raised can support the excellent programming and rescue efforts of Odanadi. Even a small donation of US $30 can provide a year’s worth of school books for one child or help buy new uniforms. Several countries have already set up collaborative NGOs (UK, Netherlands, USA) to help gather and distribute funds for Odanadi so that donating is a simple click of the mouse. Each event helps to raise awareness about this worldwide problem. This year’s event held at Desa Seni, A Village Resort, in Canggu, Bali, will be the first of many in Indonesia to help raise awareness for this country’s growing trafficking problems. Desa Seni has generously offered to do a matching grant.This year, 2012, we raised Rp. 3,010,000 and Desa Seni has matched the donation. How many smiling faces can that bring? Too many to count.



he Sacred Childhoods Foundation has been working to support vulnerable children in Indonesia since 2008. It has developed 8 projects along 4 themes; Aid, Trade, Lend and Teach, believing that groups of children require different types of help and that it is necessary to support the families around those children in order to create lasting change. Sacred Childhoods now has three Slum Schools; one in Denpasar supporting the children who you see begging on the streets and selling bracelets in Kuta; one in Sulawesi, on a massive dump site (called Trash Mountain) where the children pick through the rubbish every day; and one in a rural location in central Bali. All the schools support extremely impoverished children who do not normally have the opportunity to go to school because of the demands from their families to work or beg. The Sacred Childhoods team works with families to show them the value of education as well as providing free medical support, activity days, clothes, vitamins and a healthy meal after class. Sacred Childhoods also has a trade project teaching the mothers of the children in the slums how to sew and make beaded jewelry which is sold through the ethical products shop ‘Suchi’ on Jl. Goutama in Ubud (oppo-

site Bar Luna). The mothers are paid for each piece that they make and if they spend just three hours working as a group whilst their children attend class in the adjoining room, they earn more money than they would have done by taking their children to beg on the streets. The mothers (and some of the fathers too) are also learning how to read and write, mathematics and being taught how to budget their money in order to save for the future. On Trash Mountain in Sulawesi, the parents are provided with micro-loans. Last year, Sacred Childhoods funded three families to re-build their houses after they burnt down in a fire. This year, the team will be providing a series of small loans to families who have a great idea for a small business and the motivation to make that business successful and repay the loan, enabling them to break free from the poverty trap. Sacred Childhoods is also supporting two local-run orphanages, one in Bali and the other in Sulawesi. By providing sanitary aid packages and helping with renovations, the team is able to keep an eye on the children ensuring their safety and creating a safety net to identify abused or troubled children. The foundation is also about to launch its most important project yet, Project Cocac which stands for Combatting Organised Crimes Against Children. Estimates

suggest that something between 100,000 and 400,000 children are being trafficked through Indonesia every year and this trend is set to increase. Research has also found that some children are being trafficked for the removal of their organs, whilst others fall prey to travelling sex offenders who are visiting Indonesia on holiday or living here as expatriates. During 2012 and moving forward, Project Cocac will be launching a nation-wide awareness and prevention program; it is working closely with local and international authorities to identify children who have been trafficked; and it is building an eco-village in central Bali which will provide safehousing and therapeutic support to children who have been rescued from brothels, factories and those intercepted on the trafficking routes. At Desa Seni, we agree with Sacred Childhoods that every child is precious and has a right to protection and support. We will be publishing further articles on Project Cocac as it develops so please look out for those. For further information you can visit the Sacred Childhoods website:


Bali Bites

CANANG SARI Offerings can be seen all over in Bali. You will often see them at the entrance to shops, on shrines and of course at every Balinese ceremony. Canang are the colorful small square trays made from coconut leaves and filled with rice, fruit and flowers. The flowers aren’t chosen randomly but they are usually red and white, and you’ll also see green in the form of the pandanus leaf. These are in fact the colours of the Hindu Triad; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. One will sometimes add candies, cigarettes or cookies, being offered to ones who have passed away. You will see them in front of every shop, home and business as well as on the dashboard of vehicles. The offering is not made and simply put in its place. A small ritual is carried out first. The Ngayah is made three times. This is the waving with the right hand, the essence, called Sari, offering toward God. This is usually done with some smoke, burning incense, to carry the essence of the offering and water for purification. Balinese believe that the forces of the invisible world dictate that offerings are created with a spirit of thankfulness and loving attention to detail. It is basically a ritual of giving back what has been given to you by the Gods. It is a sharing that is not based upon fear, but on gratitude to the richness of life. Offerings appease the spirits and bring prosperity and good health to the family. It is a duty and an honour at the same time and in Balinese perspective, a very natural and logical thing to maintain a good relationship between people and spirits. This is all done in order to make the world balanced. ( Tri Hita Karana : Parahyangan – Pawongan – Palemahan ), meaning God – Human – Nature.


Yayasan Kemanusiaan Ibu Pertiwi


(YKIP), Jl. Kediri No. 38, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia Tel: +62 361 759544 or +62 361 759544 - Donations can also be made via the website through PayPal.

The Coral Goddess is a living artwork dedicated to the health of our seas. The house reef outside Bali Taman Sari Cottages in Pemuteran Bali is home to the award winning Karang Lestari coral reef restoration project which uses Bio-rock速, a method that uses a gentle electrical charge to enhance coral growth and survival rates. Only ten years ago, this coral reef was almost completely decimated and the success of this project now draws eco tourists from all over the world. Our working partners and credits are Bio-rock centre, Karang Lastari ngo and SPONSOR A BABY CORAL program Hotel partner and host - Taman Sari Cottages - Dive Centre - Bali Dive academy - www. Follow us on Facebook @ The Coral Goddess Community

Come check out the lovely Chinese antique furniture, a new arrival at Folkart Gallery. This includes small Buddhist Altars, scholars tables, benches, cabinets, Mongolian trunks and much more.

kharisma Antique & furniture

Jl. Laksmana (Oberoi) 17 B, Seminyak - Bali

“Practice random kindness and senceless acts of beauty”

YOGATHON Desa Seni’s 2nd Annual Yoga, Music, Dance A-thon extravaganza was a joy. Thank you to the Kula of Bali for coming together and participating in this island wide event. We raised another $7,000 for the outreach program this year. “It takes a village to raise a child”

The outreach program “Ayo Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS” is a local charity that aims to raise awareness about the rapidly growing threat of HIV/AIDS in Bali. Now in its second year of operation, enough funding has been raised to support the program’s expansion to reach approximately 25 schools in Bali. The goal for the program is to continue outreach activities through the end of 2012, with an emphasis on targeting high risk high school children from areas in Bali with the highest HIV infection rate. For more information please go to:

Thank you to everyone who has continuously contributed and supported Desa Seni in staying true to its vision and philosophy. After 6 years of building Kula, we are honoured to be a part of the community, growing strong, evolving and developing amazing relationships. A very special Thank You to Miryam Faken our photographer; Allison, Anna, Sarah, Daphna, Kate, Shari, Sam, Marco, and the BaliSpirit Team, for the articles; Martina and Marco for editing; Our Kula members, Folk Art, Yoga Barn, Maru Gallery, Celia-biorockbali, Kharisma, Bali Spirit Festival, YKPA (Bali Street Kids), Yayasan Rama Sensana, The SacredChildhoods Foundation, Big Tree Farms, Buttery Bakery, Little Green Cafe and Bali. A very special THANK YOU to Manuela for all her magic! Matur Suksema! Terima kasih!

Desa Seni A Village Resort Yoga.... art.... accommodation.... community...

Jl. Subak Sari # 13, Canggu, Bali Tel + 62 361 8446392 -

100% Recycled Paper

Kula Magazine  

Kula magazine is a publication made possible through Desa Seni, a resort in Bali, Indonesia. The focus is to bring focus to like minded orga...

Kula Magazine  

Kula magazine is a publication made possible through Desa Seni, a resort in Bali, Indonesia. The focus is to bring focus to like minded orga...