Bali is a popular destination for holistic tourism involving yoga retreats. Thousands of people visit the island each year to benefit from its wonderful healing energy. There are numerous places offering yoga classes and as many secluded locations where inner peace seekers can enjoy some reflective time.
Yoga is a practice that involves more than physical exercise. It also has a meditative and spiritual core as well strong connection to nature. Vitalitymoves, an Australian based company offering personal training, Pilates, Nia, yoga and mindfulness meditation sessions, organized a retreat in Bali on 21-27 August 2016.
Breathe, stretch and be centred, were the goals of Bali’s retreat, but fortunately there was more to it. Indeed, Vitalitymoves, led by Michelle Redman, also wanted to “contribute to the local school and an environmental organisation” as part of the journey. IDEP foundation was lucky to be recommended as a trustable Bali based NGO, and our Bali Water Protection program (BWP) to be part of their Give Back program:
“Each student on this retreat has to raise money to give back to the community we visit. I will be encouraging visitors from my community in Bali to think about contributing to the water and environment issues while they visit” (Michelle Redman, VitalyMoves)
What an amazing statement representing everything that “responsible tourism” stands for. We believe that if more individuals and companies organizing tours, retreats or conferences in Bali would have such behaviour, Bali’s environment and society would certainly enjoy better benefits from tourism activities on the island.
We were lucky to receive the visit of Michelle and her guests at IDEP’s training centre and demosite for every donor to attend a presentation about the Bali Water Protection program. It gave them the possibility to know more about the program they contributed to, and have their questions about the water issue in Bali answered.
After the visit, one of the guest said that “this is a cause that we can continue promote to our friends visiting Bali”. Surely, to talk about it when returning to the homeland is indeed a very powerful way to raise more awareness about the water crisis issue and make sure that future visitors will mind their water consumption. Maybe they would also talk to their hotel’s staff about their concerns for water conservation, which would be a perfect example of what the ripple effect is and how big of a change it can have.
Another guest said that “Bali is awesome but the water situation is tragic”, fully understanding that the future of Bali’s tourism will definitely need to go along with actions from everyone to overcome the water crisis or concerned travellers might choose another destination.
Thus, IDEP is extremely grateful from the contribution of Vitalitymoves and its guests who did not only enjoyed Bali wonders but also played an amazing role in ensuring that freshwater will remain available in the future.