For many yogi’s in the world, Bali is a destination their dying to get their downward dog in. About a year and a half ago, something drew me to Bali that’s hard to explain to someone when they asked why I wanted to go so badly. I just had to go, it was that simple. Coming from a girl that is notorious for getting her cake and eating it to there was no way I wasn’t going.
Somewhere along this wild journey of life, I decided I was going to do or teach yoga in every country around the world. That’s right, EVERY COUNTRY, all 196 of them one way or another. With that, will also come tips and recommendations from each country on where to go for your best yoga flow. So I present to you today, Tips and Recommendations on Yoga brought to you by this travel yogi. One travel yoga blog down, 195 to go! 😉
1. Yoga Searcher
They say Ubud is the “yoga hub” of Bali but I was more impressed with yoga in Southern Bali than I was in central Ubud. If you have a spiritually based practice but you still want to get your sweat on, try a class at The Yoga Searcher in Uluwatu, Bali. Class is outdoors in a thatched roof hut overlooking the tropical paradise of the Yoga Searcher resort. CLICK THIS LINK if you’d like more information on what types of classes, yoga retreats and accommodations that they offer.
If the name Kembar is on the schedule, TAKE THIS CLASS. The cover photo of this blog is of Kembar and myself after an early vinyasa morning flow. With over 25 years of experience teaching yoga, this man will guide you back to the roots of the yoga practice creating a humble experience and a calming down of the ego. Kembar starts class with pranayama and meditation to help center you for the rest of your practice. He is lighthearted, reminds you to smile and will come by to adjust you.
When talking to Kembar after class, he spoke of a bad motorcycle accident he got into a few years prior. It left a long scar across his forehead and it nearly killed him. The incident changed his life and helped him realize what was important in life. Life was no longer about making money for him, it became about love and above all family. He told me to teach not for making lots of money, but out of love. This conversation made me evaluate what I want to achieve through the yoga practice. Sure fame and fortune sound nice, but above all things love is the most important.
– Blocks and Straps provided.
-Classes offered: Yogachi, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Aerial Yoga
– There is a cafe on site if you want to munch before or after class.
– Cost : 120,000 rph or roughly $8
NOTE: Every class I took in Bali, regardless of location or studio was an hour and a half long and started with a 15-20 minute meditation. If this is too advanced for your practice, please be mindful of this and do the very best you can if you decide to take a class. Love your body by respecting the limitations of your body. 🙂
2. Morning Light Yoga Studio @ The Uluwatu Surf Villas
They call this place “Morning Light” for a reason. Class is done in a tiki style hut over looking the ocean at 7:30 AM. If you’re not one to wake up early on vacation, this is not the place for you. However, if your jet lag is as terrible as it was for me, you’ll be up at 4:30 AM every morning for the first few days of your trip anyway and might as well give this place a try. 😉 For more information on class, retreats and accommodations at Morning Light, CLICK THIS LINK.
NOTE: the studio is on location at the Uluwatu Surf Villas. The studio is easier to find if you’re looking for the villas rather than the studio both online and in person.
Class may start early, but the view of the ocean is a peaceful way to start your day in Bali. If you stick around for the full hour and a half class this studio provides FREE CHILLED COCONUTS at the end to re-hydrate and get the day going. As an added bonus, if you’re a tree hugger like I am the studio also uses paper straws for their coconuts as a way to be “Earth Friendly.”
Instructors vary on a daily basis but if you happen to take a class with a man named, Teddy, you are in good hands. Teddy grew up doing yoga and is a teacher of the practice as of eight years ago. If you struggle with spatial awareness or body awareness, Teddy gives out constant verbal cues on where you should place your body. He also uses props to make sure you are working within your limitations, pushing yourself and to make sure you are in proper alignment.
NOTE: If you are uncomfortable with someone touching you, this may not be the right fit. Teddy comes around between postures to adjust students and make them feel where their body should be. Even after an hour and a half, it was eye opening to truly feel where to engage or disengage my body and where to send my breath.
-Blocks and Straps provided
-Classes offered: Ashtanga, Vinyasa
-Cost : 120,000 rph or roughly $8
3. The Yoga Barn
Before traveling to Bali, this is where all my yoga friends recommend I go for a class. In the heart of Ubud, the Yoga Barn is a peaceful sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of the city. It was difficult to find this spot but with the help of locals, you’ll find this beautiful resort/studio/restaurant/hang out spot! It’s worth every twist and turn along the way to find it.
This place is a yogi’s paradise and can accommodate hundreds of people between their resort style housing, large “studio” areas and Garden Kafe. What was most impressive about this place, was the variety of classes offered on the schedule. If you’re new to yoga, want to try meditation or an advanced yogi, Yoga Barn has an option for you. Also, if you’re from a westernized country and looking for a studio that reminds you of home, this is your best bet! For more information on classes, retreats and accommodations, CLICK THIS LINK.
NOTE: If you are new to yoga or intimidated by large class sizes, I DO NOT recommend this studio. It’s your best bet to find a smaller studio in Ubud or stick to yoga in Uluwatu at Morning Light or Yoga Searcher. Classes at Yoga Barn fill up very quickly so arrive 30 minutes early and are almost always at capacity. I took a restorative class one evening and there was easily 60 other students in the room.
With that in mind, I recommend you bring your own mat and props if possible. Some of the props I grabbed on the way in were still drenched in sweat from a previous class. I’m not saying that things are cleaned on a regular basis, but this studio is high capacity with a full schedule and they may not have time to clean things between every class.
After being sick with food poisoning for three days while in Ubud, I decided to take a restorative yoga class to help me feel human again. My teacher was Greg Kaps, a native Canadian with over 20 years of teaching experience and a soothing energy that helped restore your body and calm the ego. He did a great job handling so many students and accommodating any one who needed an extra bolster or blanket in this cozy class. If you take a restorative class, don’t plan on bending like a spaghetti noodle or getting your Vinyasa on.
As Greg put it, ” This class is about letting go, not seeing how far you can go.”
-Bolsters, Blocks and Straps Provided.
-Towels can be “rented”
– Classes Offered: Yin, Restorative, Acroyoga, Gentle, Vinyasa, Qi Gong , Kundalini, Meditation, Sound Healing and other special events.
-No photos permitted during class or in studio as of request of The Yoga Barn 🙂
-Cost : 130,000 rph or $10
FINAL TIPS AND TRICKS
1. Every class I went to was outdoors with plenty of sunshine (other than classes at night!) If you can’t handle a lot of sun or BUGS you may want to bring sunscreen, or bug spray to help you out. If you”re a Floridian, like I am, the climate in Bali is similar and you’ll already be prepared for the scorching sun and bugs galore.
2. Studios offer special prices or “cards” for taking multiple classes. If you plan on taking daily yoga classes than for your wallets sake I recommend you look into these options.
EXAMPLE: At Yoga Barn you can pay 130, 000 rph for a single class or $10/class or 500,000 rph for 5 classes or $8/class.
3. Every class starts with a 15- 20 minute meditation so make sure you pick a comfortable seated, standing or lying posture. This way, you’ll resist the urge to wiggle, squirm or readjust your body. Finding stillness is no easy task to begin with, but being comfortable will help with meditation.
Thanks for reading! This Travel Yogi is busy planning her next international trip coming August 2017! In the meantime keep reading my blog and catch me in in Jacksonville, Florida the week of the July 4th holiday for a mini yogi road trip.