This picture was taken in Halong Bay not Bali but tend to not bring my camera for yoga classes and this was honestly one of the funnest afternoons ever. Thanks for being a great sport, Ash!
Yoga and Bali are two peas in a pot, and you couldn't imagine one without the other by now. It is not just for surfing, scuba diving and the Kuta nightlife that so many tourists flock here each year; many come just to do yoga in Bali.
Whether you are already yoga inclined, a total pro or a complete newbie after India, Bali yoga is it. There is something about the island that somehow makes it the perfect place to do yoga.
Over the years, yoga in Bali has become a profitable industry that is not just about spirituality or your body's wellbeing but about money. What sex tourism is to Thailand, yoga is to Bali. One can be cynical about that or just accept reality and find places off the beaten mat to focus on what is essential in yoga: breathing and becoming one with your body again.
The best studios to do Yoga in Bali
Yoga in Seminyak
Yoga is after scuba diving still my favorite way to stay fit when I travel, and I have mentioned it before, but I will say it again: the best yoga studio in Bali is Jiwa Yoga in Seminyak. And as per usual I am completely biased because my friend is one of the senior teachers here. However, I am not biased when praising him because he is simply that good and in addition to teaching various styles of yoga like Bikram, Ashtanga, and Summit - a mix between Bikram yoga and a Vinyasa flow - he knows his anatomy. So if you happen to have any injuries or issues that go beyond being inflexible and not very bendy, Sy Ali is your man.
Drop-in price: 180,000 IDR & various packages are available including a "Bali Visitors SPECIAL 7 Day pass"
Jiwa Yoga Seminyak
Yoga in Canggu
When I wrote my book I settled in Canggu for two months for its beach and because it has one of the most beautiful yoga studios in Bali: Samadi and the newly build SamadiToo. SamadiToo is now an exclusive location for Bali retreats (Jiwa Yoga and Sy are hosting a Bikram yoga retreat here in October!), and if you have the chance to join one, I would highly recommend you do. They have beautiful rooms, and the studio has a full window front overlooking the rice paddies. Besides, the property has a massive pool - honestly, there is nothing better than a cooling dip after a hot yoga class in Bali.
Samadi Yoga is just across the street and is a beautiful, tranquil space with an organic cafe for super yummy, healthy food. The class schedule includes Mysore and Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Yin.
Drop-in price: 140 000 IDR & various packages
No other place is quite as (in)famous for its yoga offerings than Ubud. You haven't really been to Bali if you haven't done yoga in Ubud. The city is full of studios, yoga shops, vegans, sound bowls, life coaches, and Eat Pray Lovers who think all they gotta do to fix their lives is do yoga in Bali. While this means there are plenty of choices to do yoga in Ubud, it also comes with a bit of a Lulu Lemon clad scene which is not everyone's cup of tea (it definitely isn't mine!).
Ubud Yoga Centre
Since I only practice Bikram my favorite yoga studio in Ubud is the Ubud Yoga Centre. The studio overlooks the jungle and is simply stunning. I tend to forget that while the idea of doing yoga with view on a rice paddy is nice (and it certainly is hot enough in Bali most of the year to do Bikram outside), practising with mosquitos and insects is not which makes a lot of bamboo structures that call themselves a yoga studio not ideal in my eyes. So with that said, the studio at Ubud Yoga Centre combines the best of both worlds for me.
In addition to classic Bikram, they also offer hot Ashtanga, Pilates, and Acro Yoga as well as various workshops and retreats. They also have a lovely cafe and workspace - perfect for digital nomads in Ubud.
Drop-in price: 130 000 IDR & various packages
Yoga Ubud Centre
Yoga Barn Ubud
Bali yoga is synonymous with the Yoga Barn Ubud, and they have probably the widest variety of classes and yoga styles. Spread over five different studios, you will find anything from powerful flow classes to yin healing and anything in between.
I have gotten some mixed feedback about the Yoga Barn (from people I trust and who know their yoga) about classes being too big and noisy and teachers not caring as much as they should. But I guess with this many classes and styles on offer a single session can be a miss or hit at times - you can't please everyone. What I appreciate is that they offer a full refund if you don't like the class and leave within the first 15 minutes - good enough reason to give it the Yoga Barn a try!
Drop-in price: 130 000 IDR & various packages
Yoga Barn Ubud, Bali
Intuitive Flow is one of the best places for yoga in Ubud and very close to my favorite Airbnb just a little outside of the city center. The space is stunning and surrounded by a lot of greenery. I like the fact that they seem to be a little less commercialized than the rest of the Ubud studios and that they offer discounted rates for Balinese and Indonesian citizens - yoga should be for everyone, and so I appreciate how they are making that possible for locals who may not be able to afford their regular prices.
Drop-in price: 120 000 IDR, 10 000 IDR for Balinese and 40 000 IDR for Indonesian citizens as well as various packages
Radiantly Alive Yoga
Radiantly Alive seems to be second on the popularity scale for yoga in Ubud, following the Yoga Barn. The schedule is equally extensive offering a bit of everything for everybody. In addition to regular flow classes, they also have sound healing and special arm balancing classes on the schedule as well as Qi Gong and something called Dance of the Dragon Qi Gong Flow which sounds rather cool.
For yoga teacher training Bali, Radiantly Alive might also be a good option as they offer a variety of training options for 200 & 300-hour programs.
Drop-in price: $10 & various packages available
Radiantly Alive Yoga
Ubud Yoga House
I really like the look of the Ubud Yoga House and their motto: yoga is for every body. That is something very near and dear to me especially in a town with so many beautiful, fit people flocking to the yoga classes.
Ubud Yoga House offers lots of vinyasa and yoga classes suitable for beginners and is the perfect example of a yoga studio with those rice paddy views. As I tend to sweat a lot (even in non-heated classes) and mozzies like that, it might not be my ideal set-up, but I can imagine how lovely an evening or early morning practice would be here.
Drop-in price: 130 000 IDR & various packages available
Ubud Yoga House
Bali Yoga Retreats & Teacher Training
In addition to these studios, there are many hotels on the island which offer their own in-house yoga classes or maybe even a yoga retreat in Bali. I recently stayed at the Hoshinoya outside Ubud which featured free sunrise and moonlight yoga classes and at Sandat Glamping where you can either do a self-practice or book a teacher for a private class.
If you want to take it further, many studios offer yoga teacher training in Bali for various styles of yoga. Yoga teacher training has become very trendy over the last few years, and while I am skeptical of the approach some people and studios take, I think a teacher training can be a great way to deepen and improve your own practice. As per usual, you get what you pay for, and personally, I think you should do a teacher training in a style of yoga and with a yoga teacher that you truly cherish. But that is just me, and I think generally Bali offers a high standard of yoga studios and by extension teacher training.
Not quite there yet? Maybe signing up for a yoga retreat in Bali which will give you a chance to deepen your practice without committing to a full-blown career change. Check the yoga studios' websites as many offer regular Bali retreats which include classes, accommodation, and food.
If you already have a favorite studio back home check with them too - my favorite studio in Cape Town offers Bali retreats once a year as do many other studios - yoga in Bali is still the way to om.
Have you done yoga in Bali? Where was your favorite place?