Yoga expert and writer, Rebecca Walker, shares her selection of Bali's best yoga studios.
Located in oh-so-trendy Canggu, Desa Seni is a charming eco village resort housing two rustic, open-air, wood-floor yoga spaces. Catering to all experience levels, the retreat’s diverse schedule features a wide range of yogic styles, including Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Yin, and Anusara. They also host weekly meditation classes and monthly full moon ceremonies, as well as an inspirational array of dynamic workshops, retreats, Yoga Alliance Accredited teacher training programs and complimentary community events. Led by a mix of experienced teachers from east and west, daily classes are open to resort guests and non-guest walk-ins alike. Props such as mats, bolsters, straps, blocks and blankets are provided, so you can roll up to class empty handed.
WE LOVE: The complimentary lemongrass tea offered before and after class in the quaint chill lounge (replete with comfy couches) next to the yoga pavilion. We also love the resort’s resident dogs that wander in and out of the shala during class.
HIGHLIGHTS: High-quality teachings in open-air yoga pavilions, overlooking beautifully landscaped gardens and refurbished antique Indonesian cottages that comprise the resort’s accommodation.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7am to 6pm, 7 days.
Blue Karma Senses
Bali’s newest studio addition, Blue Karma Senses is a chic oasis in the heart of bustling Seminyak. Comprised of two spacious shalas and a tranquil garden/pool area to take a dip post-class, this peaceful space is a lovely place to bend and stretch in style. Reflecting the studio’s boutique size, classes are limited to three sessions a day (8.30am, 5pm and 6.30pm), and only include two styles (Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga); as well as Tai Chi classes, led by movement guru Dave West. Blue Karma also offers an eclectic range of holistic workshops, wellness packages, intensive training programs, cleansing packages, and wellbeing retreats. Standouts include the School of Healing Arts program, an 18-hour workshop spread over three days, which promises to help participants develop their natural healing skills.
WE LOVE: The Rose Room; a treatment room used for private consultations, holistic body treatments and therapeutic massages such as Deep Tissue, stone massage, Balinese massage, Thai massage, Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Shirodhara and Reflexology.
HIGHLIGHTS: The studio’s gorgeous décor. Polished wood floors, elegant furnishings, tasteful decorations and atmospheric lighting greet you everywhere you turn.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 8.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday
Founded by respected yogi, Daniel Aaron, Radiantly Alive is one of Ubud’s newer studios. Catering to for yogi’s of all experience levels, their class types include Gentle Flow, Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative and Iyengar; and are the only studio in Bali to offer ‘Fly High’ yoga – a unique practice that elongates and decompress the spine, and increases flexibility with the aid of a hanging yoga belt (and gravity!). Drop-in classes, workshops, intensives, yoga teacher trainings and residential 200 & 500-hour yoga certification programs are all on offer, as well as dance classes (salsa), Qigong, Pilates and a unique ‘roll and release’ class (a mind-body centering class that promises to open and release connective tissue). Spanning over three shalas and embracing the philosophy ‘God is in the details’, the studio’s artful design is one of its hallmarks. Raw wood floors, sleek interiors and thoughtful rustic touches, give the space a homey, yet modern feel.
WE LOVE: The studio's adjoining 'health emporium', which offers a range of holistic therapies, including Colon Hydrotherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lomi Lomi, and Bio-Energetic Analysis - all preformed by Western trained and certified therapists.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Tibetan Heart Class, which combines the traditional Indian asanas (postures) with guided visualizations, meditations and breath practices of Tibetan Buddhism.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7.30am to 7.30pm, 7 days
The Yoga Barn
Home to Bali’s biggest yoga studio and ‘spirit-centered environment’, The Yoga Barn is one of the island’s best-known holistic centers. And for good reason. The quality and quantity of classes on offer at this sprawling yoga village is epic! Encompassing five roomy shalas, daily classes include an impressive collection of methods, including Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Yin, Iyengar, Anusara, Core, Power, Restorative and Yoga Therapy. Led by a highly qualified assortment of local and western teachers, the daily schedule (which offers 15 classes a day!) is complemented by weekly courses, monthly workshops, residential retreats, rejuvenation packages, diverse teacher training programs and complimentary community classes. Other holistic activities include meditation classes, ‘Sound Medicine’ sessions (live world music ceremonies), Kirtan gatherings (devotional Sanskrit chanting sessions), Satsang meetings (guru-led spiritual gatherings), and ecstatic dance classes (a freeform moving meditation method in which you shake your booty for 90 minutes). The Yoga Barn also has a huge team of holistic practitioners on hand, offering everything from energy healing and kinesiology to acupuncture and nutrition counseling.
WE LOVE: The fact that the Barn’s five studios are named as a Balinese family would be: Wayan (first born), Made (second born), Nyoman (third born), Ketut (forth born) and Lotus (since a fifth child is Bali would also be called Wayan).
HIGHLIGHTS: The retreat’s ‘Garden Kafé’, which serves up delicious organically-grown produce, living vegan foods, fresh juices, raw snacks and yummy desserts.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7am to 9pm, 7 days
Small yet charming, this lovely Echo Beach studio opened in 2013. Flaunting striking raw wood flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out into verdant gardens beyond, Samadi is a beautiful place to practice in peace. Specializing in the Ashtanga method, classes revolve around the ‘Mysore’ style (self-led practice in a class setting), and are limited to three sessions a day. Daily Hatha classes are also on offer, as is a once-a-week Yoga for Surfing lesson. As well as yoga, the center offers holistic therapies such as Wuo-Tai (a unique oriental healing method), Balinese massage, Acupuncture, Physical and Emotional Stress Release treatments (PESR) and Life Coaching. They also have a 14-day intensive detox program, replete with herbal cleanse kit, for those seeking some purification.
WE LOVE: The strong community vibe that permeates the center and adjoining organic café.
HIGHLIGHTS: The twice-weekly Samadi farmers markets, selling fresh, organic produce, handmade handicrafts and locally-made clothing every Wednesday and Sunday.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7.30am to 5pm, 7 days.
CONNECT: www. www.samadibali.com
Morning Light Yoga Studio
Tucked inside Uluwatu Surf Villas with stunning jungle and ocean views, Morning Light Studio is a gorgeous new shala on Bali’s southern coast. Flaunting antique ironwood beams, polished reclaimed teak floors and a traditional thatched grass roof, this breezy open-air pavilion is ideal for a back-to-nature yoga experience. Twice-daily, 90-minute Vinyasa Flow classes are on offer (at 8.30am and 5.30pm), as well as weekend meditation and restorative sessions, led by a team of international instructors who cater to all experience levels. Drop-in’s are welcome, so you can pop in for a class even if you’re not staying at the resort.
WE LOVE: The shala’s cliff-top vantage point and close proximity to the beach, so you can breathe in salty ocean air and listen to the waves splash below as you practice.
HIGHLIGHTS: Watching the sun dip into the ocean during the sunset yoga session.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 8.30am to 5.30pm, 7 days
Seminyak Yoga Shala
Encompassing a single, yet sizeable indoor studio, Seminyak Yoga Shala is sleek practice space in the heart of ‘The Yak’. Distinguished by polished, hardwood flooring, air conditioning, and natural lighting that spills in from floor-to-ceiling windows on one side of the studio, this tranquil space emanates Zen and is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the busy street below (the studio is on the second level). A small team of international instructors teach classes in various styles including Ashtanga, Hatha, Meditation and a unique signature method called ‘Hatha Flow’, which incorporates vinyasa flow, power yoga, Ashtanga, pranayama (yogi breathing) and chanting. 90-minute Mysore classes also run every morning at 7.30.
WE LOVE: The studio’s simple, yet tasteful design.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Divine Goddess shop downstairs, which sells a wide range of stylish yoga clothing, jewelry and accessories.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7.30am to 5.30pm, 7 days
Conveniently located in downtown Seminyak, Jiwa in an indoor center offering 90-minute sweat sessions for Bikram lovers. Comprised of one large studio that fits around 35 people, the space flaunts big windows that let in lots of natural light, and whitewashed floorboards, adding to the space’s modern, somewhat stark, aesthetic. Taught by a small team of western teachers, class types comprise of traditional Bikram (a sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to 38°C), Hot Flow (an energetic Vinyasa style that links breath to movement), and Yin (a slow-paced, restorative practice that uses long-hold stretches to target connective tissue).
WE LOVE: That this studio is one the only spaces in Bali to offer Bikram yoga.
HIGHLIGHTS: The full-length mirrors that line one wall, so you can assess you alignment as you practice.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 8am to 6pm 7 days
Power of Now Oasis
Located beachside in Sanur, Power of Now Oasis is a purpose-built yoga center with a whole lot of character. Comprised of two open-air pavilions made out of eco-friendly bamboo in the shape of a green turtle, the space is set in a tranquil garden among shady trees, giving it a ‘treehouse’ feel. Catering to novice yogis and advanced practitioners, an epic array of classes include Traditional Indian Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Acro Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Maha Yoga, Ocean Flow, Chakra Yoga, Yin Yang Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Children’s Yoga. Workshops, customized retreats, and 200-hour Yoga Alliance Accredited teacher trainings are also on offer, taught by a mix of experienced western and local teachers. Operating as a multi-purpose holistic center, Power of Now Oasis also has consultation rooms (where holistic treatments and healing sessions are performed), an organic juice bar, teahouse, library, music studio, film theatre, and shop stocked with funky yoga apparel.
WE LOVE: The studio’s ‘hammock lounge’ – a chill zone to relax in before and/or after class.
HIGHLIGHTS: The kid’s yoga class, which has been playfully designed specifically for children. Parents can join in too, making yoga class a fun family affair.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 8am to 5pm 7 days.
Perched above a lush valley in Ubud, with impressive views of Gunung Agung (Bali’s most sacred mountain), Intuitive Flow is a back-to-basics practice space offering daily classes. Catering to beginners, the studio specializes in more mellow yoga forms, such as Gentle Yoga, Relaxation Yoga and Yoga Therapy, as well as a signature style called ‘Yoga Pranala’ (a combination of Vinyasa Flow and ‘Mudra Pranala’, a healing art based on energy movement). Conducted by a small team of international and local teachers – including studio founder, Linda Madani – classes span 90 to 120 minutes and have a holistic wellbeing flavor. As well as the regular schedule, Intuitive Flow also hosts regular yoga and healing arts workshops, meditation programs, retreats and Yoga Alliance Accredited teacher trainings.
WE LOVE: The ‘Aura Spray’ (made of essential oils and flower essences) that the teacher sprays over each student during savasana (corpse pose) at the end of class.
HIGHLIGHTS: The 180-degree panoramic views of the terraced rice fields that can be viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows that gaze onto the Campuan Valley beyond.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 8am to 4pm, 7 days
Prana Yoga Room @ Prana Spa
One of the pioneer yoga studios in Bali’s south, Prana Yoga Room is an expansive indoor space with a Middle Eastern aesthetic. Taught by a team of skilled western and eastern teachers, 90-minute classes include ‘Creative Power Flow’ (an invigorating technique that integrates creative postures and breathwork), ‘Super Flow Vinyasa’ (a dynamic method involving a continuous series of flowing postures), Vinyasa (a classic style that synchronizes breath and movement), and ‘Vinyasa Slow’ (a gentle flow class). Classes are limited to three a day (7.30am, 9am and 5.30pm), and packages are available for those who want to practice in the studio on a regular basis.
WE LOVE: The adjoining spa, which offers an eclectic mix of Ayurvedic, Indonesian, and conventional therapies and beauty treatments.
HIGHLIGHTS: Prana’s Moroccan style architecture, design and décor.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7.30am to 7pm, 7 days.
Tucked into a quiet alcove in Canggu’s back streets, The Chillhouse is a tropical style retreat offering yoga classes seven days a week. Serving up various yogic styles in the form of Vinyasa, Hatha, Jivamukti, Yin, and Kundalini, they offer 90-minute ‘Flow and Let Go’ and ‘Flow Balance’ sessions, along with guided meditation classes. Performed in the retreat’s open-air, tiled studio, classes are led by experienced international teachers and run three times daily (7.30am, 9am and 4.30pm). Regular yoga, surf and mountain bike retreats are available as well as Yoga Alliance Accredited teacher trainings. Holistic body and soul treatments are also on offer including energy healing sessions, sports massage and craniosacral therapy.
WE LOVE: The local roosters who lend their cock-a-doodle-doos to the studio’s soundtrack.
HIGHLIGHTS: The retreat’s boho-style aesthetic, laidback vibe and inviting hangout areas – perfect for sipping on an organic juice after yoga class.
HOURS OF NURTURE: 7.30am to 10pm, 7 days.
ABOUT REBECCA WALKER
An authority on all things wellness, Rebecca Walker is the former Editor-in-Chief of popular luxury lifestyle publication Asia Spa Magazine and the Founder of boutique consultancy The Wellness Nomad. Born in Australia and based in Asia for over a decade, she is an avid writer, traveller and certified yoga teacher whose passion for holistic health has led her to some of the world’s best resorts and healing sanctuaries. Fuelled by an interest in wellbeing and personal development, Rebecca’s infatuation with the wellness industry is rivaled only by her wanderlust, and along with reviewing Asia’s best spas and retreats, she writes health, lifestyle and travel stories for various esteemed titles across the globe. Visit her website at www.thewellnessnomad.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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