Journey to Bali

Journey to Bali

Hi everyone! My name is Meghan Hynson, and I am a yogi and ethnomusicologist who has spent over a decade living in Bali studying the music and the spiritual lifestyle of the Balinese. In 2015, I graduated with a PhD in ethnomusicology from UCLA and am currently a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, I teach courses in World Music, Music and Religion, Global Popular Music and the University Gamelan Ensemble and will be leading a study abroad programs to Indonesia in Spring 2020. To balance out my academic life, I teach yoga healing and vinyasa yoga classes at Yoga Love and School House Yoga in Pittsburgh and have nearly 12 years of international yoga teaching experience. My experience living and studying the yogic, spiritual lifestyle of the Balinese, has led me to develop a yoga teaching style focused on subtlety, breath, patience, and healing, and I am so excited to join Levi Redcross and lead an amazing group of yogis to Bali this May 2019. 

Bali is my favorite place on the planet—one of the very few where I think magic really still exists. I moved there in 2007 after finishing my undergraduate degree to study the music for the shadow puppet theater. Little did I know that my avid interest in yoga and the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, would align so well with the ritual, folkloric and musical aspects of Balinese arts, as the Balinese are Hindu and lead a daily life of yoga and offering. For several years, I lived in Bali, teaching yoga at the esteemed Bali Spirit Yoga Barn, learning Indonesian, and studying music with my 83-year-old teacher. Ten years later, I am now fluent in Indonesian and am very excited to provide a unique experience into the culture and people of this magical island. 

While in Bali, I met and worked with musicians, dancers, priests, shaman, and lived with a Balinese family. Many of these people are sure to cross your path and inspire you. Everyone in Bali is an artist in their own right, and I think the island is an amazing place to reconnect with your path, your creative potential, and your inspirational fire. Everywhere around you is nature (we will visit temples, the monkey forest, the beach, and have the option to sunrise hike a volcano), the architecture is hand carved with ornate flowers and mythical beings, and temples resound with the playing of the local gamelan orchestra. The town where we will be staying is called Ubud, which means obat or “medicine.” The area is known for its healing properties and has become a mecca for yoga, massage, and spiritual transformation. We will visit several temples during our stay, but one of them, Tirta Empul, is a water temple. You will have the option to use the offerings from our offering making class, submerging yourself in the waters of the temple, placing an offering at each spout, praying, setting intentions, and being cleansed of anything you’d like to let go of. If you are really looking for a transformational experience to set goals, re-center, and return to self, Bali is the place to do it. 

Our retreat will take place at the Surya Kembar retreat center, just on the outskirts of the main center of town. The location is excellent for navigating into town, around traffic, and for getting south to the beaches and airport. The yoga space, which is semi outdoor because of the tropical climate, is situated on a river. We are sure to have some magical practices with the sounds of the water rushing and of local birds. The retreat center has incredible facilities, food, and services. Daily fruit, tea, coffee, and brunch will be served at the villas, allowing participants to take advantage of the variety of local cuisine for lunch and dinner within their own budgetary desires. Ubud is well known for world-renowned raw, vegan, and international cooking, and the exchange rate allows for some of the most incredible meals at very reasonable rates. Food is one of my favorite things about Bali, as it is so healing and charged with energy. It is part of the healing process!

This 9-day retreat is what I take myself on each time I return to Bali. I always feel like I have a year of physical and emotional gunk to detox from whenever I return, and everything about this retreat is designed to cleanse your whole being. Daily yoga, great food, and massage are part of your package. Extra massage and spa services are incredibly affordable and are great for that bit of hands-on adjustment and release. As you arrive, you will watch the layers peel off, the internal clock slow down, and the incessant chatter of the mind begin to quiet. It takes time and patience to let the nervous system heal. Give yourself this retreat and kick start the next phase of your life with renewed energy, clarity, and inspiration! See you in Bali, yogis!

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