OmUnity Bali is a Yoga retreat in the North of Bali. I want to tell you more about the Yoga retreat and the things you can do around the area.
It took me around 2.5 hours drive my scooter from Ubud to Sudaji village in Buleleng. Yes, I am a slow driver, but I couldn’t drive faster for several reasons. First, I didn’t really know where Sudaji was. Secondly, the winding road made it difficult to drive fast.. You know, zig zagging left right up and down, but the road itself is in a good condition. The last reason, I passed Lake Beratan and Lake Buyan on the way to Sudaji, a picturesque area with beautiful views.
Anyways, relying on my google maps and the power of asking local people along the way, I successfully arrived at OmUnity Bali. This was a place that I had wanted to visit for the last three months. I had wanted to see the place after Zanzan, the founder of OmUnityBali, gave me his business card when we met in Sumatra.
Is OmUnityBali hard to find? There are no obvious signs of OmUnityBali except for one on the main road (I guess it was in Singaraja road); it stated 7km to OmUnityBali. This made it a bit tricky to find. However, finding a sanctuary has never be an easy task, right?
When I arrived in OmUnityBali it was almost dark. Zanzan welcomed Gala, my Russian friend, and me very warmly. We also met Zanzan’s mother and two young ladies, one of whom was called Kadek. I immediately felt at home and was very comfortable. If you love nature, you’ll feel the same like I did. Oh I should tell you this… At dinner time, Zanzan gathered us together and asked us to “Om” 3 times together and it continued with a prayer from Gala, which was made in Russian. Though I didn’t understand the language (I guess none of us apart from Gala understood), we all listened respectfully. I like that, respecting each other.
So, you must been asking about, what it is this Om thing about? Ok, let me tell you.. OmUnityBali is a project led and founded by Zanzan that focuses on providing a future for the next generation of residents of the area. The model is a simple one. You have OmUnityBali, located in Sudaji village, with Om Stay as the center of the project and supported by Om Village. Om Stay is an area that consists of several cottages and public areas such as: pool, wantilan (area of meditation and healing), garden and much more that is all built with sustainable materials. Ah, have I mentioned that their swimming pool is really nice? It is not like an Olympic size swimming pool that you can do serious swimming in. This pool is more like a lovely and simple swimming pool where you can relax. There is also a natural jacuzzi that even make your relaxation feels perfect. You can stay with OmUnityBali and do many things that I bet you wouldn’t do in the other places in Bali.
The other highlight besides the community itself and Om Stay is trekking to the local waterfall. You can read about the waterfall. Besides this, you can also go trekking through the community rice fields and palm sugar farms. You can also do a trip to a traditional market (I can say that this is one of the best ways to experience Balinese life; you should wake up pretty early though), visit local public baths, attend traditional Balinese ceremonies (If you are lucky enough to be in Sudaji at the right time.
Other things you can do include taking part in a traditional ceremony, dress in traditional Balinese temple outfits and join in the procession), learn how to make canang/banten/traditional Balinese offering or even visit a local school (local kids are happy to meet foreigners; probably you can show your talent a bit by being a teacher). All the activities are just naturally there, local people doing their daily activities and offering you a fantastic opportunity to experience traditional Balinese culture at its best.
Zanzan and the community are trying their best to create a sustainable tourism project that supports the local people in Sudaji. Beyond that, this is an eco-friendly place with organic fields, with many environmental initiatives that always have the aim of working with nature. It reminds me a lot of Ubud. Rich in nature and culture. That is why I simple love it!