I couldn’t leave Ubud without writing a post called Eat Pray Love. For those who somehow missed the phenomenon, Eat Pray Love is a bestselling memoir written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book is divided into three parts, Eat finds her in Italy dining on pasta and pizza, Pray follows her inner journey while on an ashram in India, and Love finds her discovering traditional healing wisdom and romance in Ubud.
The book and subsequent Hollywood movie (filmed here in Ubud) have played a big role in boosting local tourism. Some deride this, (mostly the Western ‘bule’ or foreigners) while many Balinese have welcomed the extra trade it has brought to town. The book may even claim some credit for turning Ubud into a mecca for health, healing and self discovery, a magnet for women all around the world. Women are flocking here to do the yoga, self healing, inner journey thing (a few men too I guess, there are always several guys in my yoga classes).
My own Ubud version of Eat Pray Love has focussed mainly on the ‘Eat’ part. There are so many cafes, restaurants and warungs here that I could have dined in a different place every day for 2 months and still not scratched the surface. As I have written previously, the raw food movement has well and truly taken hold here and there are zillions of places to enjoy healthy raw, vegan or vegetarian food, juices and smoothies, as well as delicious Indonesian food.
For the ‘Pray’ part I have been doing my own mediation and attended some unique mediation classes at White Lotus, including moving meditation (where you stand and make repetitive movements and noises) and a Tibetan sound meditation which involved lots of ohmming (I had an incredible moment in this class when I felt an overwhelming sense of connectedness, the sound of everyone’s omh reverberated in a way that felt very spiritual indeed, I will never forget it). I have also discovered restorative yoga, which is a gentle yet deep, inward yoga practice which focuses on the mind-body connection, incredibly relaxing and meditative.
As for ‘Love’, well all I can say is a big thank you to my boyfriend who is patiently awaiting my return and continues to Skype me to hear about my latest ‘best day ever’. I will be returning even more happy and healthy than before and hope to bring him back here one day to make some more Bali memories.
Yes, I’m already dreaming about my next visit to Ubud. This place is good for the soul. I shall return.
Saya akan balik ke Bali lagi (I will come back to Bali again).