Bali Yoga Retreat - Travel Guide & Vlog
March 6, 2019 | RUTH STEEL
Bali you have my heart!
It's been on my bucket list for some time, if you too are a travel lover and soul searcher - no doubt, it's probably on your list too. So, when it came to attend The Online Yogi retreat in Bali, I was so excited to be ticking off another amazing destination along my journey.
Here's what I got up to, where I stayed, best foodie suggestions, Yoga retreat insights & more....
The great thing about Airbnb is the ease of supportive communication. As a first timer I was so chuffed with the whole experience from being assisted with a taxi transfer from the airport, advise on how much to pay, depending on your journey time - general census being, 250 - 300,000 IDR
If you're planning on moving around from place to place then the most popular choice is renting a scooter or taking a ride as a passenger but if that's not your thing, as the traffic is sometimes very busy, then there are many rent a push bike options & I personally enjoyed walking around to get a sense of the community in Bali.
Where to Stay
The two Airbnb accommodations that I stayed in were breath taking, stylish, minimalistic, Eco friendly & highly recommended for freelance professionals, content creators & creatives looking for affordable luxury. The first place I stayed was Firefly Bali. The Balinese managers here were so fantastic, with their own restaurant serving delicious plant based food & extra help with luggage. I always have the best intentions to pack light but by the time the yoga mat, tripod & camera equipment is all in tow, the help for the walk through the beautiful rice fields was appreciated. I stayed in the silver room which was stunning & that view from the bathroom was unreal.
Crazy thing happened, as soon as I got to Firefly, I met two girls who were having lunch before their departure and they gave me some pointers on where they had been, what excursions they had tried including, monkey forest, surfing, rice paddy tour and morning mountain hikes. Anyway, these two lovely ladies asked where I was from originally and I said Rutland (I rarely say Uppingham, my home town is in the smallest county in the UK so not one that usually gets all heads nodding) but lo and behold, these two world wanderers had attended the same school as me and not only that but were in the same girls house, 'Johnsons'. Yup, we worked out the 10 year gap between us and suddenly I had memories of my #gapyear antics and what a different head space I was in then compared to where I'm at now. But what a lovely coincidence - what a small world, that little piece of home spirit sort of guiding me where ever I go. Magic!
The second accommodation I stayed in, Villa Oceans, Changgu, was smaller but equally as peaceful beautifully lit and a short walk from the main hustle and bustle of Changgu, Bali. The room I stayed in had a fridge but no cooking facilities but with so many amazing restaurants to try around, this was preferable for me. Comfortable, stylish and highly #instagramable I don't feel I did this justice as this place is truly stunning but I did manage to film some bed Yoga which will be shared as free classes on my #YouTube channel.
Where to Eat
#Foodies you are going to fall in love at first bite in Bali. Whilst I can only speak from my experience, I can also pass on the other recommendations I was given from the amazing Airbnb hosts at Villa Oceans.
Naturally a sweet tooth, I gravitated to all the plant-based bars in Ubud and explored the dreamiest taste for fresh coconut ice cream.
The food served at Firefly Eco lodge was superb with special mention to the rice paper spring rolls & satay sauce.
In Changgu, I was so impressed with The Mocca smoothie bowls, both beautiful, nutritious and delicious plus their Matcha & Beetroot lattes were super tasty. I also ate at Shady Shack and loved the chilled-out vibe there and great menu options. Special mention to the takeaway Vegan carrot cake from there. Yassss
Motion - health & fitness cafe was also fab. I had the sweet potato waffles and they too have amazing vegan desserts & chia pudding jars which are just the bomb.
Other recommendations which I didn't try myself include;
Quince, special mention to the coconut chicken salad
Canteen, lots of options throughout the day and cheap prices
Parachute, great for bakery goodies, salad bar, wine & tapas. Experienced sat under an actual parachute.
La Pan Nam, local & international food, cheap & proximity.
Stop me before I get carried away talking about plant food all day.
Yoga Retreat - The Online Yogi
So, the main reason I went on this amazing Bali trip was to attend 'The Online Yogi' retreat with world class teachers Celest Pereira, Adell Bridges, Kelly from the digital Yoga Academy & Jake Paul White.
I cannot speak highly enough about the whole week. We stayed in Eden Estate, just outside of Ubud which I noticed had terrible reviews online but I think may be under new management and has had a lot of refurbishment done as my experience was positive.
The view from our room was spectacular waking up to the forest daily, a huge pool and different pools varying in depth including a diving pool were great. Food was healthy and delicious; Yoga Shala was incredible.
The Yoga classes provided by Adell, Celest & Jake were fabulous & challenging, as were the workshops with Kelly learning about all there is to know about the business of Yoga including running retreats, online marketing, building and email list, creating useful online content and freebies for our community. These guys know their stuff, have a wealth of experience in different corporate & creative background and are totally down to earth & transparent which I just Loved!
I feel so grateful to have spent time connecting with world class teachers and the other likeminded, soul searching individuals were all such kind, vibrant humans, living with love, purpose and now a huge side of sass or 'grit' as my teachers called it, developing their business' and supporting others grow & expand. Thank you to you all for sharing this experience with me. There were an array of emotions, as there usually are in any new experience and while I couldn't begin to revive those moments through written word, I hope my journey through gratitude, fear, excitement, challenges & confidence in growing my business and as a person, are more relatable in the #balivlog below.
Surfing & Yoga
If you're new to surfing too I'd recommend getting some lessons. These can be booked through Airbnb, local hotel offerings or directly on the beach in Changgu, which is the route we went for. I will say that at the time when we were there in Feb 2019, there were some medium sized waves, (which were large enough for me on a confident first go) only 1-2min wait max between waves so it's great if you're a competent swimmer and maybe have some experience in board sports. Though I felt my lucky stars aligning having learned to skateboard this summer & my husband being a snowboard instructor had certainly come in useful, there were still some washing machine type moments and a few days after my arrival home, I received a photo from one of the other online yogis who was still in Bali taking surf lessons and that day had been caught in a wave, surf board bumping her on the head resulting in stitches in a whopping cut on her eyebrow. Poor girl, she had a huge shiner to return home with. Please don't misinterpret this story as discouraging anyone from pushing past your fears, trying something new & exciting and learning a new skill - I'm all up for the #surfingthrills - I'm just saying be mindful of your own abilities, competence and keep an eye on those waves as she's a fierce mistress, olde lady ocean.
I personally had the time of my life and cannot wait to surf again hopefully during the 300 hours training in Thailand this May.
If you're looking for more fitness & Yoga, I didn't get the time to try them myself but I hear such great things about the classes a Motion fitness and also Odyssey studio which is where Jake is now teaching following his move to Bali full time.
The Water Temple
Well worth a visit, the water temple in Ubud, was a magical experience of the community & culture here in Bali. Our guide provided by Eden Estate was fantastic, I would fully recommend immersing yourself into the experience with an open mind and positive intentions. I loved the ritual of this whole practice and found the three sips of water followed by the washing of the face and body to be very uplifting, cleansing and powerful.
As previously mentioned, I heard great things from fellow teachers/students about the monkey forest tour and the morning mountain hike being well worth the investment & early start.
To see more of what this snazzy group of amazing women and I got up to at the water temple, check out the Bali Vlog right here.
So, there we go. All the exciting things I got up to in Bali in just10 days.
I would so recommend spending at least this amount of time here and urge you to get ticking Bali off your bucket list sooner rather than later.
What are you waiting for?
Get out there, see more, BE more and live in the moment!
until we meet again Bali,
All my Love