The Istana Bali: a place for biohacking and digital detoxifying

If you've heard of biohacking and are looking for a place in paradise-like Bali for quality relaxation and rejuvenation while escaping information overload, Istana can become the best place for you to visit. If you haven't encountered such a concept, there is an opportunity to get acquainted with methods of preserving the youth of the body and spirit.
The founders' idea of Istana is to create a community and a place for meditation, health improvement through a symbiosis of classical ancient methods and modern technologies. For example, immersing the body in a special capsule with extremely low temperatures, raw food diets, and physical practices.
Another place of focus for the "enlightened" or an oasis of tranquility where you can leave your worries behind the door for a couple of hours? Let's break it down.
The constant use of gadgets and being in the information field increases anxiety and prolongs stress - this argument is used by many retreat centers. Is this true? Numerous studies point to this phenomenon as a fact, with one of the latest conducted by the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Ariel University in Israel in May 2021, titled "Excessive Smartphone Use Is Associated With Health Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults." An international study published in the journal Environmental Research and Public Health explores the connection between overall anxiety levels and smartphone usage.
Indeed, the atmosphere of a luxury retreat predisposes you to feel completely safe and free from information clutter that we immerse ourselves in on a daily basis. All gadgets are taken at the entrance and you'll be given a token. This is done by staff to ensure their main promise - your reboot and relaxation. Don't worry, it's a common practice, and you can easily retrieve your smartphones on your way out.
The premium segment complex of Istana consists of a spa, a restaurant, a hall for various classes, and several rooms of different types for accommodation. Therefore, there are several options for guests to spend their time. It could be a one-time visit to the spa or a yoga class, or it could be a longer-term stay.
So, you're already geared up for an info detox, but one question remains: what can you do there? The Istana offers:
1. Spa sessions
Anyone interested can rejuvenate their body and mind here. Spa sessions are held every day; all you need to do is choose a time and make a reservation. However, it's not mandatory; you can pay at the entrance.
The spa complex includes a hammam, an infrared sauna, a dry sauna, a hot tub, and an ice bath. It's the hot and ice baths that are part of biohacking methods. The staff carefully monitor the condition of the baths and constantly add ice. There is also a large pool. The cost of a session is 200,000 IDR.
One downside is the large number of people, so it's not always easy to get into the baths or saunas.
2. Yoga Classes
Classes are held every day in the morning and at sunset. The cost of a single session is 150,000 IDR. There are also online classes available.
Sundays offer a particularly interesting option: payment is by donation. This means you leave a desired amount as a thank-you for the class.
In good weather, lessons take place on a cliffside clearing, gently kissed by the ocean breeze, and in case of rain, in a room with a view of the endless ocean. Again, there are many participants, so it's better to reserve your spot in advance through the website. Waiting for a response on WhatsApp can take some time.
3. Vipassana Retreat
Ten-day Vipassana retreats are held monthly. The dates for the next retreat are published on the website.
It seems there is no better place to connect with oneself than in a location where all elements converge: meditation on a green field, sunlight, a gentle breeze, and the sound of the ocean.
Practices are also offered online.
4. Breathwork Classes
One of the methods of biohacking is proper diaphragmatic breathing. Several times a month, there are Breathwork sessions with an experienced master. The schedule is available on their website.
5. Folk Concerts with Cacao Ceremonies and Kirtan
Musicians and yoga masters Audrey and Chris host several concerts per month where they sing ancient mantras. Schedule
These events provide a special coziness and a sense of unity that brings back feelings of love for oneself and the world, reminiscent of childhood when there were no worries.
6. Supermoon Event
A party-ritual celebrating the full moon, although it doesn't always coincide with the calendar full moon. It's a half-day of entertainment, including yoga classes, spa sessions, a concert by Jason Mullan, a cacao ceremony, and ecstatic dance.
You can find information about the next event on Instagram and the event aggregator website Megatix.
7. Yoga Teacher Training
For advanced yoga enthusiasts, yoga teacher training is organized for two types of hourly loads: YTT 200 and YTT 300. Accommodation is offered at the complex during the training.
If you cannot be present in person but have a strong desire to undergo training, you can also do it online.
8. Cryotherapy
You can experience one of the biohacking methods and the pursuit of eternal youth, as promised by the therapy's founders, by appointment. During the session, a person is immersed in a special capsule to expose the body to extremely low temperatures. One session costs 1,000,000 IDR.
Istana is a club for enthusiasts of a healthy lifestyle who also value comfort. Entry is open to everyone, and the prices are quite democratic. It's a mystery how this place manages to maintain the quality of its community without special selection measures.
In general, Istana can be described as a good sanatorium with a beautiful view where you can forget about the hustle and bustle for a couple of hours, if you have any. Alternatively, it's a pleasant place to spend time and see if you could, for example, be a raw food enthusiast. Only such items are offered in the restaurant.
Of course, in such a place, a certain community forms, and its members sometimes display arrogance and snobbery, but it usually happens among "their own" and doesn't interfere with relaxation.
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