Pack Your Mat: Finding Your Bliss In Bali

26 October 2015

Days filled with breezy, intimate yoga classes in a tropical jungle sala or ocean-facing clifftop, gentle morning meditations, feasting on nourishing organic meals and juices, sun-filled hours to dive into that book you’ve been meaning to read but just never had the time, peaceful nights falling into a deep sleep to the sound of crickets whispering, gecko calls, waves crashing or just the delicious depth of the empty sky and the thousands of kilometres between you and the busyness of your daily reality.

 Melissa on a beach in Bali. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

Sound enticing? A yoga holiday in Bali is every bit as dreamy as you might imagine. And with more people participating in daily or weekly yoga practice in Australia, this means yogis of all levels are completely spoilt for choice when it comes to gifting yourself a slice of island yoga paradise.

 Strike a pose. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

After spending the better part of this year wandering throughout Southeast Asia sampling myriad yoga studios, retreats and teachers, I can assure you a mini yoga vacation will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for your mind, body and soul. And to save you from the overload you might encounter trying to figure out the best yoga-themed holiday for you, here is a guide to finding your own bliss in Bali.


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 Beautiful terraced rice fields in Ubud. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

Retreats

Expect a yoga retreat in Bali to be a complete haven, offering the perfect one- or two-week mind-body-soul cleanse.  It usually involves Hatha- or Vinyasa-style yoga once or twice a day with basic meditation, and your stay will include all organic meals, equipment, tuition and accommodation, all packaged in a dreamy location. Some of the most popular retreats are in the tropical surrounds of Ubud, Canggu or Uluwatu, but if you want a more secluded location, I recommend wandering into Northern Bali for a taste of the unspoilt Bali.

 Pick and mix your yoga classes in Bali. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

Most often booked as a simple pack-and-go holiday, everything is arranged from the moment you land to the moment you breathe your final ‘Namaste’.  Spend a week or so of bliss lapping up the sunshine, clearing your mind, and enjoying the personalised attention of your teacher (thanks to the small class sizes), all in the company of like-minded travellers.

 Feed your body and your mind. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

Teacher Trainings

For those looking to deepen their practice and push themselves beyond their mental, emotional and physical boundaries, a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) course will be a life-changer. Not solely for those who desire to become a teacher, but definitely not for the faint-hearted or the traveller on two weeks’ annual leave, the Level 1 YTT clocks up 200 hours of training, and is usually run as a month-long intensive program.

 Practice your poses in paradise. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

Expect to be challenged, enlightened, overwhelmed and elated as you cover all aspects of yoga, including theory, philosophy, history and physical asana.

 A yoga studio in Bali. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

A Teacher Training course is not usually an all-inclusive experience, so you may need to source your own accommodation and evening meals. Inclusions do vary, and packages or onsite accommodation can be found, so be sure to do your research. Some studios also provide luxury extras such as spa or massage treatments - an extremely welcome gift for fatigued yogi bodies. With an in-depth experience such as a Teacher Training course, take the time to research the recommendations of past students and teachers to ensure you get the most out of your month. Tip: Make sure your chosen course is Yoga Alliance accredited to ensure it is recognised.

 Inspiration is all around in Bali. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

DIY Yoga Holiday

As in life, different teachers and styles are going to resonate with you differently. If you want to experience a wider variety of yoga styles and teachers, or are unsure what style or retreat would be right for you, why not go DIY? There are no places more suited to this than the yogi heartland and jungle paradise of Ubud, or the dreamy island of Gili Trawangan.

 Offerings in Bali. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

This is your playground to experience classical Hatha styles of yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Power, Pranayama, Restorative, Iyengar, Yin or Anusara, as well as other modalities including Meditation, Sound Medicine, Kirtan and Ecstatic Dance, and newer additions such as Acro, Flying or Paddleboard. Visits to most studios are extremely flexible with casual or multi-class passes available, or you can purchase a shorter multi-pass to different studios to explore the variety of yoga styles on your own.

 Seek out serenity on your retreat. (Image: Melissa Llewelyn)

Select your favourite hotel, and lap up their included breakfast, comfy bed and swimming pool, while spending your days creating your very own yogic ‘tasting plate’ from the many yoga studios and delicious, healthy restaurants available.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Bali.

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