Not long ago I went on my own Eat, Pray, Love journey to Ubud, Bali and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. Instead of Elizabeth Gilbert’s enlightened adventures, I spent mine doing Yoga in a land full of strangers. I needed time alone and I’ve always wanted to try a Yoga retreat. So why not? The problem with Yoga retreats is that they can be pretty expensive and I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest so much in something I wasn’t sure I would enjoy.
So I researched and researched and researched. I found a popular yoga studio in Ubud and a new affordable hotel nearby so I booked it and off I went. To be honest I was a little scared about being out there on my own so I planned it to be a short trip in case I didn’t enjoy it. I went for 4 days before leaving for Seminyak to meet my friend. So yeah, I probably half-*ssed it. But now that I know how much I loved it, it left me wanting more and I’ll definitely do it again. Probably in the same place or even in a whole new country.
To those who’s looking to go on an independent yoga retreat, you should seriously try this out! I insist!
Yoga Studio: Radiantly Alive
It’s such a a rustic yet clean studio with most of the students having the same goal as I do. Just be in Ubud and practicing yoga day after day. I did 3 classes a day and I loved every single one and I loved the all different teachers as you feel all their passion as they inspire you.
One of the reasons why I chose Radiantly Alive is also because as opposed to the ever-so-popular Yoga Barn, it’s a much smaller and intimate class. So instead of trying hard to focus in the midst of 80+ people in a class, Radiantly Alive has about 30-40 people in a class. While I think that’s still quite a handful, I was surprised at how attentive the teachers are.
I wish I stayed longer and took more classes and what’s different too is that their classes are 90 minutes long. YES. Believe me, it feels so darn good to walk out of that 90 minutes like you’ve just been through a marathon yet still feeling so energised and inspired. There are a couple of package rates for all your needs and they’re much cheaper than wherever you’re from so not to worry. From one-day unlimited to 180 days unlimited or even 3-class to 20-class card, you’re covered.
Fly High Yoga
This was the first class I took when I landed and I loved it. I’ve done aerial yoga before and it’s the same thing except instead of using a hammock they use these special belts. LOVE the instructor, Acacia Jade, so look out for her fun, humorous yet challenging classes!
Taught by Acacia or Sheryl, it’s an amazing morning practice after you wake up. It starts really early at 7.30am which can be hard but it’s such a great gentle practice leaving you feeling refreshing and ready for the day.
This is a pretty intensive class but of course remember that it always depends on your own pace too. Taught by Acacia or studio founder, Daniel Aaron, they’re both amazing teachers. But if you can, I highly recommend you go for Daniel’s classes as he really goes deep into your foundation with both your posture and your intentions. His passion for not only the practice but for the lifestyle exhumes with the way he teaches and that is very rare. But if you can’t go for his classes, Acacia always holds fun and challenging classes too!
Ashtanga Inspired/Ashtanga Vinyasa
This enjoyable class is taught by Sanna Kokkonen who really pushed you to challenge yourself but lets you do it on your own pace. From beginners to advanced, everyone can enjoy this class with the humorous Sanna guiding you through your flow.
Taught by the lovely Acacia, she really whips you up into shape for this Yoga-Pilates fusion class while still having a cheerful smile on your face. Her favourite Justin Bieber tunes blasting on the speakers, it’s such a refreshingly fun class that left me feeling sore but strong.
Hotel: SenS Hotel Spa + Conference, Ubud
This is a new hotel and if they were inexperienced, they definitely didn’t show that. The service was perfectly polite while still being warm and friendly as the one of the concierge, Sheila knew me by name as we have a short chat every day. The room was clean and spacious and I couldn’t fault anything. Although I didn’t use the pool it seemed pretty small but it was filled with people sunbathing every day so that seems popular. The breakfast spread was the one minor thing I could find fault in as the spread wasn’t that much but you do have your basics. Since I didn’t intend on having much of a breakfast it worked out fine for me.
If you’re looking for something affordable yet comfortable nearby the studio, this is your choice. Although it isn’t that close to the main Ubud street, it still is walkable.
Must Eat: Earth Cafe & Market Ubud
Known for its platter, I was more in the mood for the wrap and I chose right! This grilled veggie patty with raw basil pesto in a gluten-free chapati wrap with baked sweet potato fries and salsa is surprisingly so appetising. You can then do your health food grocery (or snack) shopping in the market downstairs. Go crazy!
Must Eat: Clear Cafe Ubud
A little further away from the hotel, this is a must visit for sure! I was in the mood for a wrap again and I had a grilled Cajun snapper wrap with grilled pineapples and it was sooooo gooooood! And that dairy-free soy-free vanilla milkshake? 3 words. I WANT MORE.
* This is isn’t a sponsored review.