“Inhale ‘I am’…exhale ‘Amazing’.” Ebony Smith’s main mantra in her “YOGA N DA HOOD” class was only one of many inspiring workshops available at this year’s BaliSpirit Festival, which took place from April 2-8 at its original location, the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Ubud.
The 11th edition of the festival centered around the theme “Return to Source” and included six days of full programming including yoga, dance, meditation and breath work workshops and seven nights of nighttime concerts. The annual festival offers a great opportunity to relax, re-center, meditate and meet likeminded people. Here are 4 reasons why you should not miss out on next year’s Bali Spirit Festival.
4 Reasons to Attend the Annual BaliSpirit Festival
4. Countless workshops to choose from
Aside from Texas-based Ebony Smith’s Yoga N Da Hood, a non-profit organization dedicated to making wellness accessible to everyone by using yoga as a tool to develop compassionate, healthy and mindful individuals, families, organizations, and communities; other inspiring BSF 2018 instructors included Shamanism & Ashtanga Yoga teacher Danny Paradise, German-Korean yoga instructor Young Ho Kim, Singaporean Kundalini Yoga teacher Sophie Sofree, Chinese Taoism and Qi Gong teacher Ronan Tang, Embodied Dance instructor Daniel “Sonic” Rojas, African Dance instructor Malaika Maveena, Jamaican Dancehall instructor Latonya Style, German Author & Seminar Leader Ilona Selke and countless others.
Every year, the festival invites a variety of well-known instructors in the fields of yoga, meditation, dance & movement, music, personal development, healthy living and spirituality to offer countless workshops to the festivals’ attendees.
3. Nighttime concerts
The music lineup promised “a constellation of ceremonialists and soul-healers, sound alchemists and truth-speakers, voices of angels, voices of the forest, voices of roots sunk deep, voices of ancient wisdom, expressed through a rising underground of spiritually-inspired artists gathered from the four corners of this sacred planet.”
Unlike last year’s BaliSpirit Festival’s music nights, this year’s musical vision was to create a more connected and intimate concert experience, to ignite the quality of attention and heart-centered presence that leads to a deeper connection, brighter joy and truly sacred celebration.
The festival’s nighttime entertainment offered diverse and spiritual music from around the world. Reminiscing about her childhood, American devotional medicine music singer Tina Malia explained that at the age of nine she had decided to become a pop star. As an adult however she shifted her goals and found her purpose in spiritual music. Her passion and devotion for her work and music has previously led to collaborations with India Arie, Kenny Loggins and others.
Additional music night performers included Papermoon Puppet Theater, a contemporary puppet theatre group from Indonesia, American urban folk & sound healing singer Haji Basim, BaliSpirit Festival co-founder and DJ Raio, British deep soulful folk singer/songwriter Samuel J, New Zealand-based Matiu Te Huki, American spoken word artist and DJ Kamau Abayomi, Serbian world music performer Estray, Indonesian organic drum & bass duo Rhythm Rebels and many others.
2. The cacao ceremony
Highlights of the festival were the various cacao ceremonies taking place throughout the week. Especially the midweek nighttime cacao ceremony drew in an inspired audience that celebrated the night through this powerful visualization practice.
Cacao ceremonies are a popular ritual in yoga communities and especially Ubud. They have been around for thousands of years, originating to Mayan and Aztec traditions in Central and South America, used for spiritual, medicinal and ceremonial purposes for inner awakening and creative guidance. When attending the BaliSpirit Festival, make sure to stay for the two-hour long evening cacao ceremony that will undoubtedly blow your mind.
BaliSpirit Festival 2018 nighttime cacao ceremony
1. The festival’s outreach programs
The BaliSpirit Festival is a non-profit event operating 3 year-round outreach programs: AYO! Kita Bicara HIV & AIDS (HIV & AIDS awareness and education program for schools in Indonesia) Bali Conference (A music and arts education and community program) and Bali ReGreen (A bamboo reforestation program in impoverished areas in Bali). By attending the festival you support their various outreach programs and give back to the local community.
The annual festival usually happens around March/April each year and brings together people from all around the world to practice yoga, breath work, mindfulness, meditation, dance and conscious and healthy living.
For more information about the festival and the 2019 dates, visit:
Bali Spirit Festival
Twitter / Instagram: @balispiritfest