Yoga Alchemy in Bali 2017 With Mark Morford and Mark Anthony Haviland March 16-29, 2017

  • MorfordYou’ve never been on a retreat quite like this.

Yoga Alchemy in Bali is where is all comes together: Yoga and meditation, ritual and sacred culture, celebration and personal transformation, all infused with simply stupendous amounts of enchantment and all taking place in a lush locale beyond compare.

This is easily one the most captivating, inspired retreats I’ve ever created, packed with potent teachings and deep, devotional yoga. And with my dear friend Mark Haviland along for transformational bodywork unlike anything you’ve experienced before, it’s also one of the most potentially life-altering.

Trip of a lifetime? You might say that.


Notes and Itinerary

Bali is famous for its stunning physical beauty, rich spiritual life and gracious hospitality. It’s a lush, emerald gem of an island, full of majestic volcanoes and terraced rice fields that spill gently into an azure sea. Bali’s rich cultural heritage and deep reverence for life are legendary; more than just another tropical island paradise, Bali-Hinduism (an exceptional mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism) guides every aspect of life. Ritual and reverence are everywhere you look, creating an artistic and spiritual mecca unlike anywhere else in the world.


Who this trip is for

You have strong familiarity with – and perhaps a regular practice of – Vinyasa-style yoga. You aren’t afraid of a little sweat. You aren’t afraid of some dynamic self-exploration. And you aren’t afraid to immerse in one of the most sumptuous, sacred cultures in the world, with a group of like-minded souls (20 maximum, some of whom will become life-long friends) eager to crack it all open, laugh wildly and see what emerges.

And above all, you love a good journey.

Sound about right? Join us.


The Rundown

Here’s how it will go down: Days begin with morning meditation, followed by Mark’s inspired Vinyasa (flow) yoga instruction. Excursions include rice field hikes, rainforest treks, snorkeling, strolls through coffee and clove plantations and walks to roaring waterfalls.

Additionally, nearly every day you’ll get an opportunity to experience Balinese dance, music, art and sacred ceremonies, with Judy and/or Surya along to lend their expertise. Mark M will also lead occasional afternoon talks and yoga sessions, interspersed with Mark Haviland’s Anatomy of Emotion workshops every other day or so (three sessions total). Private, individual bodywork sessions with Mark H also take place every day, throughout the trip.

No lazy yoga vacation, this. There’s not a lot of time to loaf and drift. But you’ll also find that it all unfolds just right, and despite the energetic pace, there’s nothing you’ll want to miss. It’s just that kind of island. It’s just that kind of retreat.

A note about yoga and general physicality of the trip:

While some of the excursions are optional, the yoga, meditation, trance festivals (see below) and Anatomy of Emotion sessions are not. These teachings and practices are essential to the alchemic objective of this adventure. Which is to say: Intention matters.

I lead an athletic, reverential style of Vinyasa yoga, infused with spiritual teachings, appropriate for most fitness levels and body types but not really suitable for absolute beginners or those with serious injury or limited mobility. And Mark Haviland’s unmatched skill at healing bodywork redefines “transformation.” Please be ready to participate.

Also! Bali is full of stairs and crazy, uneven sidewalks, and we’ll be doing a good bit of walking (scooter rental optional, for the brave). Please be of appropriate fitness, health and energy levels.

Questions? Just ask: Contact Judy (re: Bali, excursions, travel info; see her info below) or Mark M’s assistant Carla (re: yoga et al) at

Nyepi: The Balinese New Years festival

As a special bonus, we’ve timed this trip so it coincides with two unique, extraordinary local festivals, featuring rituals and ceremonies not commonly seen by westerners.


(From Judy):

Bali may be the only place in our contemporary world that ritually and oficially honors nature by enforcing a day of silence and stillness once a year, regardless of the disruption this incurs upon trade and commerce.

Nyepi is a Balinese holy day devoted to quietude and contemplation. It is the one and only day the entire island Stops. Shops close. No cars or motor bikes are allowed on the streets (except during emergencies) and no airplanes depart or arrive. Lights are turned off or kept to a minimum by residents. Even local television is suspended for 24 hours in order to encourage personal reflection. Nyepi, the beginning of the new year on the Saka calender, is seen as a time for introspection, a fresh opportunity to make a new beginning, to be more aware of ones purpose in life—to become a better person.

On the eve of Nyepi, in order to rid the island of dark forces accumulated over the year, villagers lure them to a feast, and then escort them away in a rowdy procession of ogoh-ogoh images made in their imagined likeness.

Turning off the lights and keeping quiet is also a way to fool the evil spirits into thinking that Bali is empty of people, as they will have little interest in returning to a place devoid of human prey, and so are tricked into leaving the island in peace.

On the day of Nyepi, peace rules the island, the air is clean of pollution, and song birds seem to attain a rare volumn and clarity, as if birds and animals have re-inherited the earth.

They remember nothing of what happened.

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Yoga Alchemy in Bali March 16-29,  2017– Detailed itinerary

(Key: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner included on this day)


NOTE: Itinerary subject to change on Balinese whim, unexpected opportunity and random acts of Shiva. Yoga & meditation with Mark M every morning, unless otherwise noted and except on some travel days. Evening sessions will vary.


Thur. March 16: Passage

The journey begins. Depart the homeland around midnight. Cross international dateline and lose an entire calendar day, which is made up on your return and which, if you’ve never experienced this phenomenon, is sort of cool


Fri. March 17: Munduk

Arrive at Bali’s only slightly insane Denpasar airport, and hop a friendly minibus to our amazing hillside treehouses in Munduk, overlooking misty, terraced rice fields you’ve only ever seen in postcards and dreams. Check in and unpack before gathering for Opening Circle (6:00PM, give or take), followed by first group dinner. Rest well.


Sat. March 18: Munduk (B,D)

  • 6:30-7:00 Coffee & tea service in yoga space
  • 7:00-9:00 first yoga session with Mark M
  • 9:00AM – Buffet breakfast, with first orientation (on manners and customs) and basic language session with Judy & Surya, including a demonstration of how to wrap a traditional sarong because that’s more important than you might think
  • 10:30 trek through lush coffee and cove plantations to Bali’s second highest waterfall, with a chance for the brave to plunge
  • Return to hotel for lunch, and downtime
  • 4:30-6:00 afternoon yoga with Mark
  • 7:00 – Dinner of local cuisine together, family-style
  • 8:00 – One-hour film screening: National Geographic Special on Bali


Sun. March 19: Munduk (B,D)

  • 6:30-7:00 Coffee & Tea service in Yoga space
  • 7:00-9:00AM Yoga with Mark M
  • 9:00AM Buffet Breakfast, with second orientation & language session, during which Judy teaches everyone how to barter in Balinese, with appropriate amounts of drama and gesticulating
  • 10:30 Depart by minibus for trek around Lake Tamblingan, with stops at several small but important temples. Chance for short meditation at one. Return to hotel for lunch
  • 4:30-6:00 afternoon yoga with Mark
  • 7:30 Group dinner, family-style
  • 8:30 Movie screening: The Three Worlds of Bali, focusing on the amazing water temple irrigation system


Mon. March 20: Munduk (B,D)

  • 6:30-7:00 Coffee & Tea service in Yoga space, 7:00-9:00 Yoga with Mark M
  • 9:00AM Buffet Breakfast, with third orientation (on the caste system) & language session
  • 10:30 Depart for trek through small villages and rice fields to the sacred and amazing Rock That Grows (!)
  • 4:00-7:00PM – First Anatomy of Emotion session with Mark Haviland
  • 7:30 Dinner together, family-style, followed by dance and music performance by local villagers.


Tues. March 21: Candi Dasa (B)

  • 6:30-7:00 Coffee & Tea service in Yoga space, 7:00-9:00 final yoga class with Mark in Munduk
  • 9:00AM buffet breakfast, and final language session and talk with Surya onthe upcoming holiday, before departing misty Munduk en route to the coastal beaches of Candi Dasa
  • Stop along the way at Pura Ulun Danu, Bali’s most beautiful temple floating on a crater lake for amazing photo ops and general gorgeousness
  • One more stop for lunch, and then onward to the small village of Candi Dasa, and check in to our beachfront bungalows in early evening. Dinner at the hotel


Wed. March 22: Candi Dasa (B)

  • 6:30AM – Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00 Yoga with Mark, followed by buffet breakfast
  • 10AM – Depart (by bus) for snorkeling excursion to small, coral-packed lagoon near the port of Padang Bali (northwest Bali). Return to hotel. Afternoon free (Haviland private bodywork sessions ongoing)
  • 4:30-6:00PM Evening yoga with Mark
  • Dinner on your own, at the hotel or in Candi Dasa


Thur. March 23: Candi Dasa (B,L)

  • 6:30AM – Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00 Yoga, followed by breakfast
  • 10:00 Depart (by bus) for a visit to the nearby aboriginal village of Tenganan, home of traditional weavers, basket-makers and calligraphers
  • Around noon, transfer by bus to the local ashram for a delicious local lunch
  • 4:00-7:00PM Second Anatomy of Emotion session with Mark Haviland
  • Dinner on your own, at the hotel or in Candi Dasa.
  • 8:00PM Ethnographic movie night: Ceremonies for new Babies and Childrearing in Bali (totally fascinating).


Fri. March 24: Candi Dasa (B)

  • 6:30AM – Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00AM Yoga, followed by buffet breakfast
  • 10:00 Depart (by bus) for a visit to the last Raja’s Water Palace at Tirtagangga, with a chance for a swim at the crystal-clear, spring fed pool because it’s incredible
  • Lunch overlooking the pools and statues
  • On our return to the hotel, a stop at Charley’s Chocolate Factory for tour and tasting. Swing on the swing over the Indian Ocean for a return to childhood.
  • Dinner on your own, at the hotel or in Candi Dasa


Sat. March 25 : Ubud (B) Hari Melasti (Purification by water)

  • 6:30AM – Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00 Yoga, followed by buffet breakfast
  • 10:00 depart Candi Dasa for Ubud, arrive and check in to our hotel

3:00 We travel south to Sanur beach to watch hundreds of Balinese in their finest apparel            and with their sacred objects march in procession to the sea where prayer for the new year and a trance ritual is held. You may join them in prayer if you wish .

  • 7:00 Walk from hotel to a 7:30PM performance of  classical Legong dance for which Ubud is renoun.


Sun. March 26: Ubud  (B)

  • 6:30AM – Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00 Yoga with Mark, followed by breakfast
  • 10:15 Depart (by bus) for visits to artists and craftspeople including a carver of sacred masks. On-site talk on the process and beliefs.
  • Return to Ubud for lunch
  • 4:00-6:00PM – Talk by Mark M on the meaning of altars, icons and developing personal ritual
  • 7:00 Gather at hotel entrance for casual walk to a 7:30 performance of the not-to-be-missed Kecak Dance at Batu Karu Temple, followed by dinner on your own


Mon. March 27: Ubud (B) Hari Mecaru (Purification by fire)

  • 6:30AM Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00 Yoga, followed by breakfast
  • Free day. Suggestions: Monkey Forest, bird walk, rafting trip, cooking class, visit a local healer, shopping, volcano climb, journaling until….
  • 3:00 Final Anatomy of Emotion session with Mark Haviland
  • At 6:30 we depart for the capitola city of Denpasar  to observe (and perhaps participate) in the parade of over 200 giant dummies called Ogoh Ogoh. We will use the veranda of a hotel as our base, so you will have access to chairs, bathrooms, and a bar, but the real fun is in the streets with the young people who are proudly marching with their creations. Return to our hotel about 11.


Tues. March 28: Ubud (B) Nyepi-the “Quiet Day”

  • 6:30AM Meditation
  • Today we will follow the Balinese customs for Nyepi—meditation, contemplation, yoga, resting, healing, purification. It will be up to you if you wish to fast, or abstain from erotic activity. We can fill our mini-fridges with snacks the day before, and we may wander anywhere  (including the pool) in the hotel compound. Keeping the volumn down is essential.


Wed. March 29: Passage (B)

  • 6:30AM – Meditation
  • 7:00-9:00AM Final Yoga session with Mark. Closing circle
  • 9:00 – 10:00 Farewell breakfast
  • Check out 1:00 – Depart for Denpasar airport


A reminder about expectations: Best to bring as few as possible. Our itinerary will almost certainly shift and change as unexpected opportunities arise ­ cremation festivities, rites of passage, temple festival and purification ceremonies. Bali does not follow Western-style schedules and forced timelines. Your efficiency apps will not work here. Much depends on the season, the village, the people we meet; you never know what might transpire. If a given activity must be canceled, another similar activity will be substituted, if at all possible. No refunds on activities you decide not to attend. Anyone who leaves the tour itinerary at any time and for any reason is on their own. Be safe. Be loved.


Yoga Alchemy in Bali includes:

  • Round-trip airfare from San Francisco or LAX
  • Airport transfers and all mini-shuttles
  • Daily yoga and meditation with Mark Morford
  • Three Anatomy of Emotion workshops with Mark Haviland
  • Snorkeling excursion in Munduk (excluding mask and fin rental)
  • Attendance at four traditional dance & music performances
  • Traditional massage in Ubud
  • Guided tours of Ashram Candi Dasa, Tenganan aboriginal village, Tirtagangga Water Palace, walking tour to Ubud home/studio of a master carver of sacred masks, Ulun Danu Temples, fruit and flower market,· Treks through the neighboring countryside: small villages, rice fields, coffee and clove plantations, culminating at the magical Growing Stone, Tambligan lake, and Bali’s most magical waterfall
  • Breakfast every day, lunch at Gandhi Ashram Candi Dasa, three family-style dinners in Munduk, and huge farewell to Bali ristaffel (Rice Table) our final night in Ubud.
  • Seminars and talks on rites of passage, bargaining, history and politics, trance and sacred masks, local customs and culture, language, Hindu religion & caste system, altars and personal ritual ( Surya, Mark M)
  • Undying services of Madé Surya, Bali specialist
  • Four nights in Candi Dasa
  • Five nights in Ubud cultural center
  • Three Nights in Munduk mountain village
  • Pre-trip information. On-site handouts. And more


Yoga Alchemy in Bali does NOT Include:

  • Meals that are not noted in above itinerary (expect $6-$12 per meal)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry services
  • Airport exit tax ($15.00)
  • Overweight baggage fees
  • Snorkel equipment rental (just a few bucks)
  • Any additional activities or excursions not listed
  •     Private, individual bodywork sessions with Mark Haviland (scheduled & paid separately with Mark, in Bali, at a special retreat rate)


Trip Cost: $4,995, includes airfare from LA or San Francisco.

NOTE: Price is based on double-occupancy room, each with private bath (all hotels have western amenities and two have swimming pools). Includes full breakfast, excursions listed, classes and workshops with the two Marks, services of Judy and Surya, along with several orientation and language sessions. Also includes all hotel transfers, land arrangements. Please note that an unexpected rise in fuel taxes may influence the final price. Those arranging their own air travel will be responsible for transfers from the airport to hotel and back. Minimum 10 participants, maximum 16. Ground only, deduct $850.00.


Deposit: A payment of $500.00 per person is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due January 16, 2017.


Cancellations and Refunds: For the flight portion, cancellation will be governed by the rules and regulations as listed in the flight contract by the participating airline. For the land portion, a cancellation fee of $350.00 will be collected up to 60 days prior to departure, after which half the final payment will be refunded. No refunds will be made from one week before departure. Trip cancellation and medical evacuation insurance is highly recommended.


Baggage: Two (2) pieces of luggage, not exceeding 62 inches. Each cannot exceed 50 lbs. Pack light. It’s Bali.


Accommodations: All accommodations are based on two persons sharing a twin bedded room with private, western-style bath. Single supplement available for $490 additional


Roommates: Single folks may sign up for accommodations desired on a share basis and will be assigned a (totally awesome) roommate as circumstances permit. We draw some very cool people. If a roommate is unavailable, the participant will be notified of the adjusted price for a single supplement: $490.


Passports, Visa & Health: A passport, valid six months from date of entry with proof of onward transportation. Indonesian free visa for 30 days granted on arrival to US citizens. No inoculations are suggested or required, except the one against fear and/or worry your guides.

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About Mark Morford

morford-red300One of San Francisco’s premier yoga instructors, Mark Morford has been leading fiery, inspiring Vinyasa classes, workshops and retreats in SF and around the world since 1999. He’s also an author and an award-winning senior contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate, a contributing writer for numerous publications (HuffPo, Yoga Journal, Sex+Design, many more) and author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, as well as the Mark Morford’s Apothecary iOS app. More recently, he created the ‘Yoga for Writers’ and ‘Everyday Sorcery for Urban Mystics’ programs for inspired yogis.


Mark’s yoga is both physically challenging and acutely reverential, a molten combination of the body’s most ecstatic cadences and Shaiva Tantra’s most lucid metaphysics, all designed to tonify the body, guide the frenzied Self toward liberation and burn off toxic text messages and reckless illusions. Simple, really.

About Mark Haviland

HavilandIn 2003, Mark went through a near-death experience which hurtled him into the depths of his own soul, resulting in a long investigation of – and deep commitment to – the healing arts. His own personal therapeutic journey led him to study several healing techniques and modalities, as he surrounded himself with numerous master teachers, most notably his mentor Dr. Fred Mitouer in Northern California. Mark has since begun designing and leading his own workshops, and has begun traveling the world to share his healing work, including two epic journeys through India, volunteering in the largest slum in Africa, working in Bali with Janet Stone Yoga and in Mexico and Guatemala (and now, Bali) with Mark Morford Yoga, and also participating in several NorCal retreats and trainings with noted yogic scholar Hareesh Wallis, all of which helped open Mark to a deeper sense of his own humanity.

Through powerfully attuned touch, irreverent humor and ease-full presence, Mark shares a unique technology of freedom through his bodywork – evoking, activating and connecting individuals to their own souls and their true purpose.


Trip Organizer/Leader: Madé Surya B.S. is a professional tour organizer who has been leading study tours in Bali since 1986.

Judy Slattum and Made SuryaMadé Surya has translated and worked with scholars and educational film and video crews, including National Geographic, and lives in Bali half the year. He was senior research assistant for several scholarly books relating to the Balinese view of the afterlife, and serves on the advisory board for Sacred Sites International and has been a contributor to Hinduism Today. He has lectured frequently at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and performs traditional mask dance in both Bali and the US. He is noted in Lonely Planet Guidebooks as the top authority on Balinese Traditional healing and healers.

Judy Slattum has been organizing and leading study tours to Bali continuously after first visiting the island on sabbatical to study mask dance in 1978. Six months later she returned with the first of many unique travel/learning experiences. Judy has published many articles on Balinese culture and her book, Masks of Bali; Spirits of an Ancient Drama was released by Chronicle Books in 1992, was featured in Time Magazine and sold over 17,000 copies, and was reprinted by Periplus Editions in Sept. 2003. Her museum exhibition on Balinese Masks toured the USA as part of the Festival of Indonesia for 5 years and has now relocated to t the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and performs traditional mask dance in both Bali and the US Bali.

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