Written by Natalie Thomas
Embarking on a trip to Ubud, Bali is a journey unlike any other – it is a journey of the soul. Ubud is a destination where many flock to from all over the world in search of their quest. Some come to heal, perhaps from a breakup, draining career, overwhelming anxiety, or from the stresses of everyday life. Others might be seeking meditation or plan a trip to Ubud to explore the natural beauty that this lush jungle has to offer. But one thing is for sure – those who come here do not leave as the same person that arrived. Ubud changes you, transforms you, and releases feelings and emotions you might not even know you had. You become open to expanding your heart, mind, and self-awareness, which heightens your intuition and inner knowing. The catalyst? Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality
Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality in Ubud, Bali
When you arrive in Ubud, you know you are being called – called to look within yourself and to really dig deep. Called to either strengthen your yoga practice, release anxiety, or to simply start trusting yourself more. “But how does this happen?” One might ask. Whether you have one week or one month here in Ubud, I put together my top three “musts” (depending on the time of course!) to help you find self-awareness, and open your heart (and your chakras!) as you really experience the magic that Ubud has to offer.
Yoga Barn is one of the main hot spots in Ubud, especially for yoga. This is a magical place – home to gorgeous yoga shalas, a yummy café, and holistic retreat center. This rustic, healing space is compacted with high spiritual vibes and a plethora of classes to choose from. Known for its yoga classes, Yoga Barn offers yoga for all types of yogis. Every day, the classes range from Power Yoga, Hatha, Advanced Vinyasa, Kundalini, Yin Yoga, and Intro to Yoga (to name a few). The space is absolutely gorgeous, and the teachers are skilled in their craft. Whether you are a first timer or have been practicing yoga for years, Yoga Barn is the perfect spot for everyone.
Not only does Yoga Barn offer an array of yoga classes, but some great events as well.
My top two favorites include the Tibetan Bowl Meditation and the Ecstatic Dance. The Tibetan Bowl is one hour of intense sound healing through a mix of many different instruments. The sounds and vibrations cleanse you on a soul level. The Ecstatic Dance is just pure fun! Dance away your worries with a mix of different people during this hour and a half class. This is extremely popular amongst both the local expats and those passing through!
Full Class Schedule here: http://www.theyogabarn.com/schedule.html
I absolutely loved my experience here! I honestly hadn’t a clue what to expect when I signed up for the Cacao Ceremony + Gong Sound Healing, but I am so happy I did! The ceremony is every Thursday from 6pm-9pm, and I can honestly say the time flew by. The venue itself is so cool – with two giant pyramids on the rice field, one representing yin energy, the other yang.
As we all made our way into the yin pyramid first, we sat on cushions in a semi-circle and were offered yummy cacao, getting ready to embark on the ceremony.
First, we started off chanting and singing hymns. This was one of my favorite parts of the ceremony. From there we took part in ecstatic dance, which was a blast! The whole time I felt like I was living-it-up sin-alcohol. The third part was more intense. We had to find a partner that we did not know, and stare into their eyes for some solid time. While awkward at first, you soon start to feel super connected to this individual. It starts to feel normal, all while teaching you the art of connecting and staying present.
After our partner work, we sat down for a meditation before heading into the second pyramid for our sound healing. By this time, I was feeling relaxed, centered, and overall extremely happy. The different mix of exercises really helped me release a lot of tension and stress. So far, the experience was very cleansing.
The last part was awesome. We were lead into the yang pyramid where there was an array of gongs and Tibetan sound healing bowls. There were also little comfy beds where we each laid down on. From there we closed our eyes with blindfolds while our guides used all of the instruments to create different sounds. Each sound has a different vibration and frequency which affects the body, mind, and soul. It was a transformative experience where I truly got lost in a different world.
After the beautiful ceremony, everyone (including myself!) were all smiles, as if we were all floating on clouds. We then made our way to the main area where we were offered water, tea, and fresh fruit. I will definitely be back!
If you have at least a month to spend in Ubud, I highly recommend the Yoga Teacher Training at Shades of Yoga. Nestled in the jungle lies a beautiful Yoga Shala, home to all Shades of Yoga students. Here I had the opportunity to spend over three weeks practicing yoga + meditation while studying yoga philosophy, anatomy, the chakras, and the art of teaching yoga.
The 200-hour YTT is not just a teacher training, but a 3.5-week opportunity to improve your mindset and way of life. You learn how to live to your highest potential, all while learning the deep art of teaching yoga. This course is highly recommended! Not only was the course content life-changing, but a delicious breakfast is included in the price.
After meditation and yoga morning practice, each student has an hour to relax in the jungle while eating an array of healthy, organic foods and fresh tea/coffee, all offered by Taksu Spa. Taksu Spa is a breathtaking venue right in the center of Ubud, home to Shades of Yoga. Taksu Spa is a wonderful place to get a relaxing massage or state of the art spa treatment. Massage right after yoga training?! Yes, please!
To read more about yoga and my traveling journey, please visit my blog The Now With Nat and follow me on social media! @thenowwithnat and @nataliethomas_
Natalie Thomas is a Digital Nomad, content creator, dart player, a chocolate lover who relocated to Ubud from Santiago, Chile! Aside from speaking Spanglish, Natalie was the Branding Director for a Start-Up company and teacher of Yoga + Meditation. Before the big move to Chile, Natalie worked at Twentieth Century Fox helping make movie trailers. Spontaneous and always on the go, Natalie loves to travel to off the beaten path places and loves any outdoor, extreme sports activity. Natalie is the founder of The Now With Nat where she shares insight about traveling, yoga, and mindful living!
WIB Guest Blog Meetup Opportunity!
If you would like to meet Natalie and learn more about the Ubud yoga culture, she’s leading a Mindful Meet-Up August 15th. It will consist of yoga and meditation followed up an authentic Indonesian dinner in Ubud. This is great for those new to Ubud or just stopping by on holiday. You can RSVP to the Facebook event here.
Email her at Natalie@thenowwithnat.com if you have any questions!