The stress of everyday life sometimes doesn’t give us time for a break. More and more, we feel the need to focus on ourselves. What could be better than a journey of self-discovery? The spiritual capital of Bali, Ubud, which became famous thanks to the bestseller “Eat, pray, love”, is the perfect place for that. We explain why!
Yoga shops, free introduction classes, tourists in sports bras and leggings … After a few minutes in the streets of Ubud, we understand why the western world gathers here. This small Indonesian town has become a milestone for yogis around the world who want to improve or learn to teach. Yoga is a great way to discover your body and to relax. There is no lack of yoga studios, each offering a different style. Our favorite, the famous Yoga Barn with lush gardens, log cabins, and a relaxing atmosphere, is located right in the centre of Ubud.
Radiantly Alive and Intuitive Flow are also recommended. These studios offer yoga classes throughout the day. Don’t worry if you are a beginner. There are classes for all levels. With an unlimited pass, you can do quality courses at reasonable prices. On average, you pay € 4.50 for one and a half hours. You can practice the usual yoga styles Vinyasa, Yin or Hatha, but also discover new forms of yoga! Get airborne with Flying Yoga, open your chakras with Kundalini, do yoga in a group with Acroyoga.
Serenity and pleasure
A spiritual journey is not complete without meditation! This ancient technique helps to fight stress and anxiety and is also a way to connect with yourself. By devoting ourselves to ourselves for a few minutes each day, we learn to know our needs and limitations. In yoga centres, you can participate in guided meditations, in which you close your eyes and focus on your breathing. There are different kinds of meditations. You can easily learn how to breathe through the belly to reduce the stress of everyday life … Through guided meditations you connect with your “higher self”, cleanse your chakras and visualize incredible places. After initiating meditation, you can participate in “Sound Healing” or “Gong Bath“. In these workshops, you will meditate to the rhythm of the vibrations of Tibetan bowls, gongs, and flutes. If you like to use your voice, don’t miss the wonderful Kirtan sessions. Accompanied by musicians, together with others, you will sing mantras that will put you in a state of meditation … and they will still be in your head for weeks to come!
Spirit, are you there?
Listen, it’s not for rationalists and sceptics. The fact that so many souls are gathering in Ubud in search of spiritual experience is due to the special energy that circulates there. Bali, the island of the gods, is very spiritual, and Ubud, according to locals, is a place to heal. During your trip, you will meet people from all walks of life who have been attracted to this place at a difficult time in their lives. In Ubud, you shouldn’t be afraid to break away from your usual ways. Chakra, aura and karma are the words of everyday life and at the beginning of each meditation positive energies are sent to everyone. This can be confusing at first, but you get used to this New Age atmosphere.
Enjoy your spiritual stay and participate in extraordinary events. Do a shaman workshop. In an atmosphere of world music, flutes and drums, a shaman will teach you a breathing technique that triggers a “liberating” trance. Finally freed from the trauma of painful break-ups, worries, and failures, go to the “Estatic Dance“! This showcase event takes place every Friday night and Sunday morning at the Yoga Barn. People of all ages and backgrounds dance at an unbelievable pace for two hours without drinking alcohol, without fear of each other’s looks and without … discussion! Here we express ourselves only through dance. If you just can’t do it without words, connect with other women and men in discussion groups, in which you share experience, compassion, and friendliness. After a few weeks in this atmosphere, you won’t want to leave Ubud!
Taking care of your body
The spiritual side of the town is obvious, but Ubud is also the centre of health and wellbeing. Balinese massages, aromatherapies and body treatments are available to all budgets. On average, one hour of massage costs around 6 €. But for less than 15 € you get a really good massage in a salon, which is much more pleasant than on the tourist road. Also try reflexology or Reiki. This Japanese healing method is administered by laying on hands and transferring energy. It provides great relaxation and pain relief. If you still hesitate, take advantage of Bali’s affordable prices and try it out! To maximize the effects of yoga and meditation, you should follow a special diet. In Ubud, they offer numerous detox treatments based on daily juices and smoothies. At the end of your stay you will feel great on every level!
Spirituality of the locals
While most of the yogis you meet are foreigners, Balinese culture remains deeply rooted in the spiritual realm. You can have unique traditional experiences if you are interested in the culture of the Hindus. Go to Tirta Empul Temple, 30 minutes from Ubud. The Balinese organize a cleansing ceremony every year. After an offering, you purify yourself by dipping your head under 11 fountains. Then go to a local healer. Use his medicinal plants and his gift to predict the future. This practice became known to tourists through the novel “Eat, pray, love“. Finally, you can choose to spend several days in an Ashram: prayer, yoga, relaxation and silence are all part of a profound and unique experience.
Organising your retreat
Ubud is just what you need right now? Then organize your retreat. If you want to try all these experiences, you can organize your yoga holiday yourself to your liking. The benefit of a do-it-yourself retreat is that you can go to different centres according to the classes you want to attend. You also have the freedom in organising your schedule. For convenience, however, you can pre-book your stay at a yoga centre. You will then be picked up at the airport and accommodated on site. You get a daily program of yoga classes, meditation and often massages and treatments. Of course these organised retreats are costly, but you don’t have to do or plan anything at all: it’s pure relaxation.
A little bit hippy, very different, but very soothing for your body and soul. Your spiritual journey to Ubud will surely be a unique experience. You’ll be relaxed and connected, ready to share your crazy experiences with your friends or discover the rest of the beautiful island of Bali!