Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Breath .. consciously : It's the best thing I've learned from the good doctors and from studying Yoga and Meditation. Breathing is not new… Ha ... but, focusing on breathing can work wonders. When I began to really breath, it was like my first beer. The feeling was/is wonderful to feel your whole being oxygenated. I just feel pleased with myself knowing that oxygen is flowing better through my blood to all the organs that I depend upon for life. No lie, it's a great stress reliever as well. Test your BP before and after a good breathing session … proof positive that you can relieve stress all by yourself. It's a great exercise to do before making a speech or confronting your boss with your new passion.      

 This from Dr. Weil's daily wellness tips ~~ breathing exercise to relieve stress:
  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
"Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; but the ratio of 4:7:8 is. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. Practice at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass."

And NOW ! ~~see the yoga video below ~~ Laugh out loud ~~ then get back to work

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It’s all about Balance

pic is courtesy of AsianYachting.com (and no, it's not me)

Wellness for the average man and significant others.         
(Average man? Where did that term come from?)
We at BaliWellnessJourneys wish to address the curious men and women who have perhaps visited a Spa but are now curious about this wave of wellness around us ~ The balance of all things wellness. There's nothing mystical about it. Our Bali Journeys are designed for just that … to introduce the curious vacationers to the wonders of Wellness and "the best of the best" that Bali offers, at the most affordable place possible me thinks.
Curious? Or Been there, done that:
Career is a singular focus? As a hall-monitor / hotel quality control inspector pointing out defects for all to see, I was dwelling in the negatives of 14 hours a day and long into the night writing reports or dreaming of defects. Balancing corporate and owner relations (politics) to get the message out ~ My personal life? Entertaining executives, stake holders and providers which leads to … Too much food n' beverage for entertainment and stress release?
Personal interests first? I downsized myself and went sailing for 5 years with a singular focus on leaving and getting somewhere else safely. It was an extraordinary healthy outdoor lifestyle, wonderful cultural learning experience but, an exhausting cash flow exercise. The very true 'hole in the water in which to throw your money" story.
That's not balance !
Then we arrived in Bali and dropped anchor. A NEW inspiration… I started with "just a massage". Previously I didn't want anyone but my wife touching me but, I acquiesced to having a massage in the privacy of our home. Our pembantu (house maid for lack of a better word) was once a Bali Beach massage lady. She found, kneaded and smoothed out lumps and bumps I didn't know I had. "sama batu" (like stone) said she, "Blood stop" .. long hard strokes really helped circulation. With a weekly massage, my stiff neck (stress) went away. I was hooked. Gimme more. Now I enjoy experimenting with new-to-me massage modalities. Since then, I've been massaged throughout Asia, including 4 cities in China. All have been a unique experience.
Especially enjoyable were Thai Massages in Bangkok, Phuket and Krabi. (lazy man's yoga … assisted stretching and twisting with a strong rub) . My first Thai massage was a wee bit disturbing with a young lady on the bed with me pulling on my body parts but, I got beyond that while stifling my dumb fantasies. I feel fully restored after a good strong Thai Massage and a nice foot reflexology massage.  

After enjoying spas in Asia, I tried a day spa in Tucson AZ. Since the lady gave me no instruction otherwise, I undressed and covered myself with a sarong on the massage bed. When she raised the sarong finding me naked she shrieked in fear! My fellow Americans are a bit modest eh? Take it from me, it's really up to you. I personally don't like disposable 'panties' for men ? No, I ask for boxer shorts or take my own but, when in Rome .. what the heck… go naked. Good therapists do a fine job of 'draping'. We get undressed for a doctor right ?
Wellness is "more than just a massage"
More inspiration: I began reading and highly recommend Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Oz and Dr. Dean Ornish which led me to listen up to Deepak Chopra… my wellness heroes. The beginnings of understanding lifestyle balance starts here if ya ask me. I signed up for Dr. Weil's daily email special features. It's a great reminder to stay balanced since he reports on many aspects of wellness. It's also refreshing to know and enjoy the integrated medicine approach to wellbeing.         Great stuff!            \
Keep reading .. and, stay tuned for part two.

AND, just for the fun of it:

    CHEERS ! !

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Study Tours

Professional Study Tours & Buying Trips                

Showcasing Bali's authentic, unique, design, style, and artistic depth along with its' affordability, we can provide access to facilities, suppliers, staffing, raw materials, as well as inspiration and education that complement a Spa, Hotel, or Wellness location to enhance any ambiance and environment. Bali's atmosphere and culture is evocative of the best of Asia's gracious service style to inspire you to create a unique feeling, instead of just another 'Asian inspired facility'. We also have access to global resources for additional expertise for capture and closure of your concept.

We can serve small groups of Industry Executives which can include Spa Directors, Spa Owners, Hotel Executive Members, Buyers, and Procurement Agents. We can organize Familiarization Trips for Travel, Tour, and Hotel Sales people along with Recruitment Agents and Human Resource Talent Managers. To ensure whatever your reasons for visiting the Island are, we will follow the steps below:

  1. Consultation ~ We shall engage you, our professional guest, in advance (on-line) to work as a creative team to prepare 'bespoke' tours to satisfy your needs and interests.
    1. For education: There are a wide variety of Specialists, Consultants, and Skills available here in Bali along with our Consultant, Mary Darling, to ensure that you receive exposure to all of Bali's traditional offerings and traditions along with Fitness or Movement classes such as Yoga or Silat. We also can provide seminars in topics as diverse as Team & Leadership development, Concept & Menu development, Marketing Communication for Hotel & Spa Integration, Spa &Wellness Integration, and How to create a more Responsible Business Model. We may also assist you, the Professional in creating your own unique Marketing portfolio.
    2. For sourcing: Our local knowledge, coupled with Western perspectives, have access to craftspeople, fair- trade items, and manufacturers both here and abroad to ensure you find what you are looking for while creating a more Responsible business. We can introduce you to a wide range of more sustainable and environmentally friendly pieces to operate a more professional and profitable business. The evolving global LOHAS customer is seeking goods and services from the usd$2000 billion available market ~ let us help you bring health, wellness, and sustainability to your customer. ( source: http://www.nmisolutions.com/index.html)

Note: Looking at Art or supporting the Arts by attending internationally known Events such as the Balinale or the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival or the Bali Spirit Festival can also be scheduled along with the traditional happenings of Balinese Ceremonies like Nyepi, Purnama and, simple pleasures such as Kite Flying or sailing a Jukung in a lagoon ~ You may wish to enjoy Bali's natural beauty, spirit, and style with temples, rice-terraces, volcanoes, rivers, rain forests, and ceremonies when and where you least expect it ~ a colorful journey to say the least.

  1. Transportation ~ with 15 years of experience here on the Island, we can advise on the geography for efficient travel on our little island with festivals frequently occurring, or during holiday periods that showcase Bali's spiritual heart. We can provide professional drivers in clean and reliable cars for your group, along with recommendations for road refreshments along the way ~ escorted by a knowledgeable concierge to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. Accommodations ~ based on your budget and timing, we will advise on best places for you and your group while making the necessary local arrangements. We can recommend Luxury high end accommodations, stylish boutique hotels and villas with a sense of place or, reasonable, clean, and cheerful establishments which have their own unique charm; North, South, East or West … there are many options.
  3. Meals ~ we can create a menu of offerings and locations that complement dietary needs while perhaps scheduling time for some nutrition assistance or samplings of local offerings. Perhaps scheduling time to learn how to create simple but healthful meals, snacks, and beverages can be included in your Professional Journey.

If your purpose for visiting the 'world's largest wellness resort' is education, sourcing or perhaps both then we look forward to exceeding your expectations by providing a memorable Wellness Journey for professionals. Please contact: Ernawati at info@baliwellnessjourneys.com

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Global Spa Trends


Dear readers,

During my recent visit to Sydney, presenting a paper on Global Spa Trends, I realized that while we are implementing these Trends, that as Consumers we may be unaware of the evolution occurring. Trends shape, influence, and guide our global Wellness community by not only enhancing our own unique business profile but also your unique desire for wellbeing. Conscious choices and increased options may open new paths for you to explore and widen your perspective on your unique journey. Spa and Wellness are being redefined to include Beauty, Complementary & Alternative Therapies, Fitness, Food & Weight, Mind/ Body experiences which combined with technology, consumer trends, and other niche trends will create new & vibrant options of more than just another massage or workout session or diet or iridology reading.
Traditional Treatments, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine are being modernized and simplified while being adapted into many Spa treatments. We offer consultations with local specialists experienced with indigenous plants and healing methods, such as turmeric or red rice that combined with more familiar methods make a integrated approach for you. Sea water is long known for its curative powers so soaking and walking through a seawater pool for (2) hours does wonders for the mind as well as your cellulite. A sense of place that also combines with increased mind body connection occurs when enjoying a massage influenced by Esalen ~ plus you receive a wee workout while walking through a rain forest jungle to arrive at your treatment room.
Marketing materials & experiences designed for all ages, genders, as well as groups who wish to share a relaxing and therapeutic experience are also now more commonly found at locations around the world ~ father and son packages, bridal showers, and anniversary events are all a product of 'social' spa'ing. A bathing experience may no longer be limited to a floral bath for a honeymooning couple.
Food and beverage options outside of the Spa are occurring more often as well ~ where the nutritional information provided at breakfast buffets, consultations with the Executive Chef, Certified organic offerings in Mini Bars & in flight snack options. Be aware that eating certified organic food does not give us permission to overeat – be aware of portion sizes and recommendations. Keep yourself hydrated by refilling water bottles, while using non BPA plastic bottles at the fitness center may create an incentive to use the fitness offerings while traveling. More Spas are offering Happy Hour alternatives with treatment and product samplings to not only hotel guests but the local community as well.
Technology is being used in many different ways, look for offers, new research, or events at your local Spa by reading their Tweets or Facebook postings. Spas that offer an MP3 or IPOD docking station may be doing your heart a favor ~ according to findings from the University of Maryland Medical Center in the US, led by cardiologist Dr Mike Miller found:

'that listening to your favorite music may be good for the heart. When study participants listed to tunes that they knew made them feel good or joyful, the inner lining of their blood vessels expanded to increase blood flow. On the other hand, when they listened to songs they perceived as stressful, their blood vessels narrowed. Most participants selected country music as their favorite and heavy metal as the opposite. However, Miller says you "can't read too much into this" as it's down to personal choice. (Details: www.umm.edu)
Are you looking beyond your own nearby horizons? At BaliWellnessJourneys we created Journeys to explore the endless possibilities and take home a lifestyle changing experience, not just another holiday massage !

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Journey to Well Being 

                Breathe... now Breathe again. Healthful Holiday Preparations:

Your annual Holiday is an ideal place to define goals for improved well- being. The process of being in balance with mind, body, soul, and spirit or to make better conscious choices in engaging your five senses, there is no better time and place then whilst on holiday in Bali or beyond. At home, transition points, as well as at your final destination, are all ideal places to find mindful moments of well being.
Holiday well-being starts at home by arranging space for your travel materials, notes, resources, and yes, even pulling out your suitcase ~ take off the old baggage tags and wipe it down with some fresh scent like grapefruit. Replace ID tags with new tags as well as update your contact details to ensure luggage arrives safely and is easily identified, all of which will reduce your stress.
While you are creating space for travel, light candles for ambiance & open some windows for breathing fresh air. Prepare a small snack of organically grown fruit or crudités or try dark chocolate and red wine while you pack or read through travel websites. Keep your senses engaged to make this journey more inviting and create some calm in your life
Reduce reading materials by downloading podcasts or books at www.itunes.com, for a more restful journey look for classical options or meditations.

Review your holiday clothes ~ are they practical for the destination environment? For example, many island locations or boats are not suitable for extra tall heels or dry clean only clothing.
Stick to basics and keep it simple. Sun care products? Throw out unhealthy versions & visit www.ewg.org for safer products. Are your makeup products and personal care items necessary on a beach holiday? Find smaller sizes and try some new products, checkout

Make your Reserve with us for a Wellness Journey on your Bali stop over. We at BaliWellnessJourneys will show you 'the best of the best' of Bali's wellness offerings. Our little island is just one big wellness resort.
OR, Schedule your Hotel Spa appointments in advance to ensure availability of your preferences. Ask about Complementary practices being available so you can enhance your physical health or satisfy your curiosity. Inquire of the Executive Chef and dining options appropriate to your health goals.
Think about your transit and in-flight time by organizing customized or special meal options; consider these periods a detoxifying time by ordering foods you like and are good for you. Follow the in-flight exercise suggestions with seat or walking options to ensure you are active. Listen to music instead of a movie, bring your own blanket by using a shawl or sarong from another holiday, bring a change of blouse or shirt to be refreshed upon arrival. Bring a note book for thoughts and observations during your journey.
Creating mindful moments while preparing for your destination will ensure a more enriching & rewarding holiday. Your Journey is never ending, continue to find opportunities to engage the senses and create that balance.            

"A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare". As written by William Henry Davies: