All humans and animals detoxify regularly. It is the natural daily cycle in which our bodies eliminate toxins from the food we consume, and the unhealthy atmosphere we are immersed in.
The liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin all work together to provide us with an excellent system to rid ourselves of the things the body does not need.
So, if we are so capable of cleansing ourselves, why are detox practices so popular these days? Well, even our perfectly designed body can use a hand from time to time, and by applying these practices we facilitate its work.
However, doing a detox on your own can sound pretty intimidating. That’s why the easiest way is to join a detox retreat, as I did at the Hot Stone Club in Bali (Ubud).
What is Hot Stone Club?
The Hot Stone Club is a retreat center in the spiritual heart of Bali – Ubud – where you will find balance between seclusion, relaxation, harmony with nature and the wellness activities that are laid out to perfection for you when you come for the retreat program.
It is a spacious complex with a large landscape which consists of 13 villas, 2 swimming pools (one of which is saltwater), a spa with massages and hydrogen therapy, 2 wood-burning saunas with cold plunge pools, a restaurant and café (with vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian menu), 3 rooms of different sizes (open room, yoga shala, air-conditioned conference room) for your retreat and workshop program.
At Hot Stone Club Ubud, they offer a variety of relaxing SPA treatments. You can fully recharge yourself with a wood-fired sauna and cold plunge pool, or enjoy massage and exfoliation treatments.
You do have to book the spa in advance because it has to be specially wood-fired. You will then have the spa to yourself for 2 hours.
The decks are under a shade, so you can indulge in outdoor activities hidden from Bali’s hot sun.
Both spaces are suitable not only for yoga, but also for pranayama, qigong, ecstatic dance, sound-healing, and various concerts.
This is not just another pool full of chlorine, no this pool contains sea salt and no harsh chlorine products are used to clean it. As the sun sets, the underwater lighting creates a soothing atmosphere, and right from the water you are greeted with an opportunity to view Bali’s purely stunning sunsets.
Hot Stone Club offers a diverse selection of vegan, vegetarian and seafood dishes, cooked with fresh organic ingredients from local farms. In my opinion, the restaurant could use a little more ambiance so I decided to always eat in my room. You can have it delivered there which was super nice!
The restaurant offers healthy meals with a variety of smoothies to choose from. In the case above, I chose the “liver purifier” because I got food poisoning at the beginning of my Bali adventure. The smoothie consists of red beets, carrots, ginger and apple. All the other smoothies offered are also all fresh.
My 7 day Regenerate Retreat experience at Hot Stone Club
Below I describe my experience about the retreat that I got to experience over 7 days. I went there mainly to find more peace within myself, relax and loosen up my muscles after a busy and stressful period.
The Regenerate program consists of:
- 7 nights of private villa accommodation
- Choice of vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian menu (only breakfast and 2 smoothies is included in the program). The rest you have to pay for on your own.
- Daily morning training – hatha yoga, kriya yoga, aqua yoga, QiGong
- Daily hydrogen therapy sessions
- 3 x massages (balinese, hot stone and aroma)
- 1 x session with our Traditional Balinese Healer
- 1 x 30 minute acupuncture session
- Wood fired sauna experience
- Exclusive OKEARA hydrogen drinking water from a spring at Bali’s Pura Tirta SUDAMALA Temple
You can also add your own additional activities to the program if you feel the need.
18:00 – Arrival
Upon arrival I was immediately welcomed with a clear retreat plan so I knew exactly what to expect each day.
8:00 – Qigong
I began the day with a qigong session, a part of Chinese movement science to maintain and improve physical and mental health. For the qigong exercises, given by Mr. Dima, I had to move in patterns focused on earth, water, fire, wood and metal. I had to repeat each movement several times before moving on to a new movement. A Qigong exercise can also be static where a standing or sitting posture is held for an extended period of time. There is also an emphasis on breathing exercises.
The slow movements allow the energy to flow through your body and eventually process the bad waste products. For me this was the first time and I had to get very used to the movements and not to be skeptical. After the 1-hour qigong session I did feel quite calm, as if I had meditated. So it had definitely done something to me.
11:00 – Om chanting
After the qigong session I had time to have breakfast and an hour later the om chanting session began. Om chanting is a mantra traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. With roots in Hinduism, it is both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth. When pronounced correctly, it sounds more like “AUM.”
Om is the source of transcendental sound, and through transcendental sound one can transform the mind and senses. By chanting Om, the mind becomes attuned to the breath, allowing a person to enter a heightened state of consciousness called samadhi. The activity of attaining samadhi brings the materially absorbed mind under control, allowing a person to focus single-mindedly on spiritual realization.
Because I was constantly saying “om” I couldn’t think about anything else and it gave me a certain state of calmness in my mind. In addition, we were with a large group of people which created a huge vibration of sound. That sound was magical to me and had a calming effect on me.
15:00 – Hydrogen therapy
Hundreds of studies confirm that hydrogen therapy is not only safe but also very effective for the treatment of numerous diseases. This therapy improves energy and athletic performance, and is good for promoting optimal health and longevity.
I was given a tube in my nose and had to lie down for an hour. I was quite tired that day, but felt quite awake again after the therapy. It seems you really start to notice the effect well after a few sessions, so I’m pretty curious!
16:00 – Acupuncture, cupping and electric stimulation
Mr. Dimitra first analyzed me by putting his fingers on my wrists. He also look at my tongue and underneath it. From there he was able to determine that I need to move my body more often, because my blood seemed to not flow properly. This was true because since I have been working behind a laptop, I have had some problems with my lower back. I found it quite impressive that he had been able to analyze this himself without me saying anything to him beforehand.
During the acupuncture session I almost fell asleep, which turns out to be a good sign. I was also quite relaxed afterwards, and I actually didn’t suffer from a stiff lower back in the following days.
08:00 – Hatha yoga
On Day 3, it was finally time for yoga in the morning! That’s actually what I came for because yoga is pure relaxation for me. This was my first time doing hatha yoga and found it ideal to do in the morning. After all, it’s not as heavy as vinyasa yoga, for example, but again not as gentle as yin yoga – actually in between! There were only three of us, so the instructor was able to guide us well and pay close attention to our movements.
11:00 – Pravilo
Pravilo is a device in which a person is suspended horizontally from feet and hands at any angle. This arrangement brings the body into a complex state of tension and relaxation that is not easily achieved in other circumstances. Pravilo can help you strengthen the tendons and ligaments to allow greater development of your own strength to be achieved. It will allow you to increase your strength every time, develop the internal muscles and increase his muscle endurance and elasticity. It is a method of physical and mental training based on ancient techniques.
To be honest, I was a little nervous about getting into this because I sometimes have lower back pain. But through this device, I actually learned to set my pelvis properly to keep my lower back straight. I ended up hanging 3 times. I learned to focus on my breathing and not on the pain. So most of the pain ended up coming from the big stretch and pressure in my forearms where my whole body, along with my feet, was hanging.
In retrospect, it was a good combination of meditation and intense stretching in a short period of time. I am convinced that the posture of my back would become much stronger and more limber from this if I did this more often.
15:00 – Hydrogen therapy
Every day I get hydrogen therapy and this was the 2nd time. I was a little skeptical about this, but even after the 2nd time I felt myself becoming quite energetic. I felt bright and awake. I am therefore curious to see what the 3rd time will be like. It seems that only then will it really work well.
15:30 – Balinese massage
The massage was pure relaxation rather than a firm massage, which I personally prefer. All in all, I did get very relaxed during this massage, which is also why I came to a retreat. So nothing to complain about!
08:00 – Hatha yoga
I was supposed to start the day with hatha yoga again, only the instructor didn’t show up. Bummer.
11:00 – Hydrogen therapy
It was time again for my daily hydrogen therapy. I noticed another small boost in my energy.
15:00 – Balinese massage
This time I got a different massage therapist. This time it was a much firmer massage and she gave extra pressure on the muscles that were a bit more tight. Qualitatively, this was a very good full body massage and a lot of tension was pressed out of my body.
08:00 – Mix of hatha, yin and vinyasa yoga
Today I was alone with the instructor, which allowed me to be well guided. This allowed me to improve my vinyasa flow in detail. It was a perfect combination of different yoga styles, but not too intense. I couldn’t have started the day more relaxed!
11:00 – Hydrogen therapy
Again I was allowed to sit on the tube for an hour. I deliberately go there without a phone so that I can read and reflect for an hour. I had not slept very well, but after this therapy I felt a little more awake and energetic again.
14:00 – Restu gym
Getting a good workout in the gym is also relaxation for me, and luckily there is a great gym just around the corner from Hot Stone Club. For 20,000 Indonesian Rupee you can get in. That’s about €1.20!
08:00 – Aqua yoga
I started the day with aqua yoga in the salt pool. The advantage of this is that you are immediately awake because of the water. With aqua yoga you can perform movements underwater easier, but they are heavier due to the resistance of the water. The exercises were finer than I thought and my hips loosened up really well!
10:30 – Breathing and Sadhu (healing).
Before this session, a healer explained that we all have a seed within us that gives peace and happiness. We can grow this seed through meditation and breathing exercises. Then we eventually get closer to ourselves and and can create happiness from within, instead of constantly engaging in new materialistic things to fill up happiness.
We started with a fairly fast breathing (2 second inhale and 2 second exhale). After a minute, I quickly got into a meditation and my hands and feet began to tingle. I also became lighter in my head. I actually liked that feeling! Then we had to hold our breaths for a minute! This was all in preparation for the needle mat, where we had to stand on for 7 minutes.
Before I went on the needle mat, the Sadhu healer scanned my body to see if the energy was flowing properly through my body. In the end, it turned out that there is blocked energy at my heart (as you can see in the drawing above), but that I am well open to receive energy from the universe. The blocked energy in my heart was related to a tragedy in my distant family between a man and a woman.
On the needle mat, I tried to control my pain, but I found this very difficult. I noticed that when I panicked the pain actually increased. By focusing on my breathing I was able to control the pain better! So here I learned how important it is to keep your emotions under control and not to panic as soon as you are struggling or in pain.
14:00 – Hydrogen therapy
After another hour on the tube I felt a lot more awake. Whether it will have any effect for me in the long run I am not sure yet.
8:00 – Hatha yoga
We started the day again with a daily yoga session taught by Natalie. Every morning we did the sun salutation. The sun salutation is a series of yoga poses (or asanas, we should say) performed at the beginning of a Hatha or Vinyasa flow class. There are many variations of this sequence, but sun salutations A and B are the most common, both of which we will discuss in a moment.
Besides being a great way to start a yoga practice gently, the series of asanas in a sun salutation is designed to open up all parts of the body and leave you feeling more balanced by the time you reach the final stretch. From forward bends to the downward facing dog, the combination of poses is also more than enough to give you a challenging cardio workout if you perform them at pace and repeat several rounds. This is exactly what we did towards the sun and it gave me positive energy to start the day.
14:00 – Hydrogen therapy
This is my last session hydrogen and I was actually looking forward to it! That’s because it energizes me every time. Very special to experience this because this type of therapy was unknown to me.
16:00 Banya & ice bath
The Banya is originally from Russia and is a bit like a sauna, but a bit cooler and the steam is much wetter, making it easier to stand and thus more hydrating and detoxifying. It’s also much healthier because it doesn’t dry out your throat.
You treat the Banya the same way you would a steam room or sauna, but you’ll be able to tolerate the slightly lower 70-degree heat a little longer. In addition to swimwear, I wore a felt hat, which helps keep my head from getting too hot, as it usually heats up much faster than the rest of your body. The hat not only keeps your head dry and cool, but also prevents your hair from getting damaged by the heat.
Once I started feeling overheated, I left the banya to then sit in an ice-cold plunge pool, which will help stimulate my circulation. Then there was time to relax, eat and drink in the social area, before re-entering the banya when you are ready. Most people who have experience with this are then around 3 hours during which they repeat this a few times.
Conclusion on the regenerate retreat at Hot Stone Club
From aqua yoga to standing on a real nail mat – Hot Stone Club inspired me and gave me a good reset from the daily grind in the Netherlands. After the retreat, I felt more energized and my head full of thoughts was a lot calmer. I found relaxation through the daily yoga sessions and felt more energetic through the hydrogen stimulation, massages and acupuncture. The team was always easily accessible which made the program run smoothly. Everyone always helped me with a smile and positive energy. I am definitely going to miss the Hot Stone Club!