5 Reasons Why Ubud is the Best Place for a Yoga Festival
Even if you’ve never read Eat, Pray, Love or dreamt of escaping to a tropical island, chances are you know someone who’s been to Bali and come back tanned, limber, smooth-skinned and fresh-faced after a stint in paradise.
So why is Ubud the best place for a yoga festival? And what keeps people coming back here?
Here’s a few reasons why – and they might not be what you think.
1. You don’t need a heated room when you live in one
All that fuss about heating up the room for Bikram Yoga? No need… Bali is a tropical paradise, which means warm, sultry, balmy days and cool nights. There’s a moistness to the air which soaks in and softens your skin, keeps your body limber, and by the end of a yoga class you’ll be so detoxed your sweat will be sweet coconut water pouring from your pores.
The pace of life slows down, your yoga practice deepens with the change in your muscles, tendons and nervous system, and poses which were difficult at 8am inside a suburban yoga studio become effortless in the open air classrooms of Ubud.
2. Coconuts cost less than $1
After class it’s time to rehydrate. You’ll be so pleased to know that instead of spending $4 on a 300ml carton of designer coconut water you can buy the real thing just the way nature intended.
Coconuts are everywhere in Bali. Just ask for a kelapa muda and you will receive a fresh young coconut – possibly with a reusable bamboo straw and a heart-shaped hole cut in to the nut. Then scoop the delicious soft flesh out with a spoon knowing you’ve successfully rehydrated your body with natural electrolytes and powered it with healthy fats.
- Photo by Marnie Recker
3. After your coconut, get your green superfood smoothie and vegan quinoa porridge home delivered.
Raw Mocha Pie for dessert anyone?
Ubud is a yoga foodies paradise. Fresh juices of every description are available everywhere and most of the produce is grown in the surrounding area from the rich volcanic soil.
Green juices of spinach, kale, cucumber, lime and local greens are everywhere. Ginger and tumeric are abundant and can be added for extra zest. And there’s every combination of pineapple, strawberry, mango, passionfruit, bananas, soursop, lychees, rambutan and much more.
Want to add some spirulina? It’s also grown locally in Bali, and the benefits of drinking jamu jamu – the local health drink made from turmeric, lime, honey and other ingredients are well known.
If you’re brave, foolish, or perhaps a little of both then you must try eating durian – the spiky, malodorous fruit which people either LOVE or HATE. It has an incredible flavor and an impressive array of health benefits but be warned – the smell can be off-putting and it’s not for the faint of heart.
Fruit and juice aside, if you’re ready to eat, some of the finest raw food chefs call Bali home, with restaurants such as KAFE, Alchemy, Seeds of Life, SOMA, 5 Elements, AA Healthy Juice Warung and Wayan’s Juice Bar serving an amazing array of meals, smoothies, desserts and drinks.
And did I mention raw chocolate? Really, you need to come to Ubud to taste for yourself how good it is.
- Quinoa Porridge from KAFE Ubud
4. World class yoga classes all day, every day of the week
World class yoga instructors are at your doorstep every day of the week. If you’re not taking a retreat somewhere then incredible classes at venues like The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive, Intuitive Flow or the Ashtanga Yoga Bali Research Centre are just a short scooter ride away.
And after you’ve finished your exploration of Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa, Power, Ashtanga Yoga or the style of your choice there’s a myriad of other body arts to explore with your new body.
Ecstatic Dance is alive and well, there’s a vibrant salsa scene, acro yoga is popular and capoeira classes will test your limits and your cheeky playfulness. Plus there is sound healing, kirtan, meditations, tantra and a myriad of healers to tend to your body, mind and spirit.
- Photo by Rosa Chen
5. And last but not least, the Bali Spirit Yoga Festival is proof
And last but not least, the Bali Spirit Festival is proof that Ubud is the best place for a yoga festival. Five days of incredible yoga, dance and movement classes. Five nights of amazing world music to dance and celebrate to.
It’s one of my favorite festivals, both for the quality of the classes, the great music, and more so because of the amazing community which builds around the festival and then stays on in Ubud long after the event has finished.
The yoga community in Ubud is amazing. Come and see for yourself!
- Photo by Ulrike Reinhold
Written by : Russel Price