Four Seasons Sayan, Bali: wellness break

Josephine Price attempts to realign her chakraWednesday, March 9

By Josephine Price

The verdant oasis of Ubud, Bali's cultural capital, is well documented. Hollywood hit Eat Pray Love made sure of that. It's a destination that has long been associated with wellness, and its bustling streets are laden with signs for yoga, tai chi, juice bars and raw food eateries.

After exploring the quintessential rice paddies, we head to the Sayan Valley, a 20-minute drive from the centre, where the Four Seasons has commandeered one of the most idyllic locations I've yet to see on this picturesque island. The hotel is geared up for a dramatic welcome. From the reception area, it descends into the valley and staggers its way down to where villas are sprinkled along the riverbank alongside the hotel's very own rice paddies and yoga bales.

We drop our bags at our impressive villa overlooking the energetic Ayung River and head to the day's first pit stop: the Dharma Shanti yoga bale. We're thrown straight into the hotel's wellness programme with a class of the all-new Anti-Gravity Yoga. We stretch and swing suspended from silk hammocks in the open-sided bamboo pavilion. The view across the rice paddies and to the gushing river looks just as idyllic upside down. The class is rounded off with some laughter yoga led by our cheery instructor Wayan to produce an extra rush of endorphins for the day.

After lunching at the poolside restaurant, we retire to laze on our villa's terrace before a meditation session at sunset. I slip into a meditative state while the sun drapes the view in a dusky cloak to the hum of the Thai drum played by Ibu Fera as she chants the class into the practice. I accidently drift off, but take this as a good sign.

The following morning, we join a walking tour of the Sayan village to learn more about the Balinese and their steadfast traditions, before a trip to the Sacred River Spa rounds off our time in the peaceful valley. Rini leads me through reception to the floating spa villas.

There are seven chakra ceremonies on offer and I choose the Manipura chakra, which aims to rebalance the navel chakra. This is said to be our centre of vitality and vibrancy and governs our capacity to grow and develop. My therapist, Padmini begins by refreshing my skin with a fresh ginger and lemongrass scrub. It invigorates me after a morning in the sun and is followed by a bio-energy mud wrap. I'm caked in the unctuous green mineral clay and lemongrass mixture, before I head out to shower off in the villa's private garden.

An energy massage with hot Himalayan Salt cloth wraps ends the two-hour session. The treatment aims to restore a sense of purpose, self-worth and confidence. It's worked, too. I'm feeling revitalised and energetic, but after such a pampered 24-hours, I think it'd be hard to feel any differently. I can only imagine how good you'd feel after a week here.

Read more: Defying gravity: yoga in Bali

Essentials

Six nights' B&B in a one-bedroom villa from £3,273, including yoga, meditation, cycling and other activities.

fourseasons.com/sayan



Read More