I'm back from another whirlwind and beautiful trip from Bali - but this time it was a little more unique than a personal travel. I was blessed to be joining one of my best friends, co-founder of Leela Yoga, and fellow yogini-entrepreneur, Kelsi Ludvigsen. We co-hosted a yoga retreat at Soulshine, just outside of Ubud in Bali. Amongst the idyllic rice fields and sunsets galore, we had an amazing group of ladies join us for a week of rest, rejuvenation, movement, meditation, and mindfulness. Our days were filled with yoga, raw foods and spiritual excursions around the magical island.
Here's the run down on what you need to do on your next trip to Bali, based my latest experience. For other excursions and places to eat, check out this post, and this post, from my previous trips. <3
A special thanks to Jessi Bloom for taking some gorgeous pictures to accompany this post.
Practice Yoga Here
The Yoga Barn
Yoga studios are abound around Ubud, and one of the first ones you're going to hear about is The Yoga Barn (picture below). Boasting large open air studios in their main building, and smaller more intimate classes in the upper building, the Yoga Barn is your one stop shop. Meditation, Singing bowls, Shamanic Breathing, Ecstatic dance and women's circles all make it on the schedule along side the expected vinyasa, yin, hatha and restorative classes. Don't miss the Kush Spa and the Garden Cafe also on the property.
Where Kelsi and I taught was at Soulshine, just outside the main city center and set in those beautiful rice fields. You can find classes being held there by some renowned teachers around the world - check their schedule and pop in for a class (pre-organize with the retreat center though, as these are retreat taught classes and many are private).
Radiantly Alive is another one on the hit list. The classes are smaller than yoga-barn, but still a fair size, and the prices are slightly higher. Check out their myofascial movement classes, or Sky Yoga Flow. They are centrally located, and you can grab a smoothie over at
Eat and Drink Here
There are so many amazing places and spaces to eat in Bali – especially in Ubud. A quick list of my favourites include:
Alchemy – juices, smoothies and raw foods galore, this is your go to for incredible raw food while in Ubud (well worth the walk).
La Pacha Mama – Awesome Mexican vegetarian restaurant found next to Alchemy (and owned by the same people), you’ll have some of the best Mexican food you’ve ever tasted. Get on with the incredible Guacamole and Gluten-free enchiladas.
Clear Cafe – I think I’ve eaten here more than any other restaurant in Ubud – known for its awesome vegan, vegetarian and raw foods, but also offering local favourites, cooked meals and minimal meat (some fish). I love their Green Hornet Smoothie and often ate their Kitcharee (Ayurvedic stew).
Bali Buddha – Awesome gluten-free options, raw options, juices and smoothies. I had a yummy gluten-free pizza, because, you know, cravings. ;)
Earth Cafe – Nestled upstairs form the grocery store (where you’ll find all the natural goodies and kombucha for your heart’s content) find a great plant-lover’s restaurant with great juices/smoothies raw and cooked fare. Try their half dragon bowl with some soup and a young fresh coconut for lunch.
LaRamona – for those that aren’t into the vegan/raw food scene, you MUST check out LaRamona Tapas bar. In this “hole in the wall” you’ll have your tastebuds dancing. Some of the best (and well priced) food in Ubud. A must!
Garden Kafe (at the Yoga Barn) – Full of raw food options, vegetarian, vegan and Ayurvedic, you’ll have everything here for a post yoga-class lunch. It’s a great place to hang out too.
Seeds of Life - Your raw food stop for the amazing Raw Mexican Lasagna and the tonics and elixirs are incredible. Step into the apothecary and find what you need to heal the body and soul.
Moksa - Fancy raw food, set in the rice fields and boasting their own permaculture garden, this place is fantastic. We actually took a raw food class with the head chef Made, who inspired us with his "coconut calamari" and "pumpkin herbed cashew cheese wraps" (pictured) - yummo.
I don't have any photos to share, with the exception of this one taken by Jessi. The reason was because the experience was far too sacred to share on social media. I joined my girlfriends to visit one of the most incredible women in Bali - the youngest High Priestess on the island - Ida Ressi. Born I Komang Wediantari, 32-year-old Ida’s rise to Balinese priesthood is remarkable. Ida was raised by a family of farmers, and it wasn’t until she struggled to find work after her studies that her grandfather, a village priest, guided her toward the spiritual realm instead. She begins the session by chanting to guide all 20 of the attendees to meditation. Then, two-by-two, she brings up the guests and performs the melukat (a purification ceremony). What happens next is hard to describe, but I was witness to some losing their tears, stomping their feat, shaking in their bodies and hyperventilating. As she pours the water, she gently encourages you “Wipe your face, wash your hair and your whole body." Upon being finished you feel as though you have gone through hours of tears and transformation - but it has only lasted 5 minutes. This is an "experience for yourself" event that I would recommend to all my spirit-seeking sisters.
Shop Local Treasures
I have a huge sweet spot for this stunning jewelry brand based in Ubud. Ananda Soul Creations doesn't just create jewelry with meaning, the founder is a passionate "empowerer" of women. The beautiful artist-yogi-founder, Christina, uses the company not only to create beautiful boho and meaningful pieces of art, she also creates jobs for and help women in need in the local area. Ananda Soul focuses on sustainable and ethical production - fair wages, sourcing standards on everything from the metals and gemstones, recycled metals and giving back to mother's living in poverty within Bali. There is so much more to say, but I guess the beauty of the pieces will be enough to have you hopping over to her e-shop.
The ring on the top left hand side came home with me on this trip.
I hope you enjoyed this latest rendition of Bali Blessings and the photo diary.
See you soon, beauties.