Bali, Indonesia

Traditional Balinese dancing in Ubud By Sonja Bjelland

Traditional Balinese dancing in Ubud By Sonja Bjelland

Yoga in Bali

It would be difficult to not find yoga in Bali and the surrounding islands.

Western teachers have found a comfortable place to call home and have opened studio after studio in traditional Balinese wooden shalas.

The website, BaliSpirit.com, lists most places if you’re searching in advance. Once on the ground head to ex-pat cafes and check out the postings boards. New classes and special events will be on fliers there.

But don’t limit yourself to Ubud or even just Bali proper. Head off the coast to Gili Trawangan for sunset yoga within earshot of the beach or stay closer to civilization and hit Desa Sani, the island’s most famous.

Look below for my thoughts as I tried to hit at least a few of multitude of options found in this one corner of Indonesia.

 

 

Cremation ceremony on the streets of Ubud, Bali By Sonja Bjelland

Cremation ceremony on the streets of Ubud, Bali By Sonja Bjelland

Welcome to Bali

The driver who picked me up from the airport asked what had happened to me because I said I do yoga. Welcome to Bali. Within 6 hours I had a conversation that brought up the famed and derided “Eat, Pray, Love.” As a solo female traveler, I feel judged. “You see them everywhere these days [...]

 

 

 

 

View near The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali By Sonja Bjelland

View near The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali By Sonja Bjelland

Yoga in Ubud, Bali

Almost every day I can pick a different yoga class. Do I want to take a class in the quiet jungle room in Taksu or overlooking the rice paddies at The Yoga Barn? Tough decisions I know. Ubud, Bali, feels more than a little like Berkley. Stores up and down the street sell soaps and [...]

 

 

 

 

Sunrise on Bali By Sonja Bjelland

Sunrise on Bali By Sonja Bjelland

Yoga in Ubud – The outskirts

Like everything else in Ubud, Bali, there’s the obvious and easy choices where fleeting tourists flock. Then there are the hidden elements frequented by longer-term folks. Yoga is no exception. Most everyone heads to The Yoga Barn. It makes sense – huge class schedule and if you’re OK with walking a bit and manage to [...]

 

 

 

 

Rice paddies outside Ubud, Bali, By Sonja Bjelland

Rice paddies outside Ubud, Bali, By Sonja Bjelland

A little SoulShine time

I had to help my motorbike driver find the signs the place is so new. We headed down a dirt path and over a river where men bathe naked. At the end, it opened to a new three-story complex known as SoulShine. An extension of musician Michael Franti’s Bali home, the retreat center just opened [...]

 

 

 

 

A flower display for Japan at the BaliSpirit Festival By Sonja Bjelland

A flower display for Japan at the BaliSpirit Festival By Sonja Bjelland

BaliSpirit Festival in full swing

I am utterly exhausted and I’m only on day two of the BaliSpirit Festival. Rule No. 1: Pace yourself. Yes, there may be four classes a day and events at night. But no, I really shouldn’t try to go to all of them. I didn’t start off well rested but not jetlagged either. I’m not [...]

 

 

 

 

Restaurant on Gili T By Sonja Bjelland

Restaurant on Gili T By Sonja Bjelland

Yoga away from Bali

The clop, clop of horse hooves. The hum of a generator. The waves slapping the beach. The sounds of Gili Trawangan. No cars – not even a motorbike. A welcome site and sound as long as I’ve traveled in Asia. Electricity may be in flux but the vibe contagious. A couple hours by boat from [...]

Yoga Stances