Bali is a land with deep cultural and artistic heritage. Nowhere is the triumvirate of nature, the human experience and the spiritual more pronounced than Indonesia’s island paradise. Those who visit Bali regularly tend to have favorite locations, whether it be the urban Seminyak, the party vibe of Canggu or the luxe resort-style vibe of Nusa Dua.
Yoga studios abound in Bali, where wellness is a focal point for many burnt-out, exhausted office workers seeking a form of healing and restoration in the heat and lush surrounds. Digital nomads flock to places like Canggu and Ubud to intersperse their Zoom meetings with sweaty yoga classes and copious bottles of green juice.
Like yoga studios anywhere in the world, the atmosphere and the level of challenge in classes comes down to the teachers and what students demand. In many yoga classes, there is a broad representation of student experiences and expectations. There are times students from every continent show up, resulting in classes that are a combination of cultures, languages and bodies. There’s often a group of expat locals who attend the same class at the same time routinely, and know the teacher and all the staff by name. Don’t be intimidated—it’s almost inevitable.
Nowhere apart from Bali have I experienced so many experimental approaches to yoga and hybrid class styles, with everything from “Pi-Yo” (HIIT-style Pilates combined with yoga) to Bhakti Flow (chanting, vinyasa yoga and live music), to varieties that include dancing, primal screaming and journaling mid-class.
A holiday is arguably the ideal time to explore the unknown, and for those interested, to push yourself to discover what forms of yoga, and which teachers, provide the sort of healing and strengthening practice that feels rejuvenating for your body, mind and spirit.
Here’s our guide to yoga in Bali.
Octavio Salvado, Rob Dubois and Carl Massy founded The Practice, which has a strong focus on Hatha Yoga classes. Salvado also established a comprehensive Yoga Teacher Training course for those students who can commit to several months of intensive daily classes and practice. The Practice is located on the busy and bustling Batu Bolong, but with its soaring bamboo ceilings and quiet, serene atmosphere, it feels like an oasis of calm. The Practice offers daily classes along with different workshops, according to the changing lineup of teachers.
Samadi Bali is a one-stop shop for daily yoga classes, yoga teacher trainings and holistic wellness treatments. The rigorous Ashtanga classes attract yogis who want holistic, challenging practices led by highly experienced teachers. After class, the Samadi Kitchen lab offers delicious, restorative meals and juices.
This Seminyak studio offers daily classes along with an in-house cafe, workshops and events. Whether it’s the slow, healing nature of Yin or a more vigorous Ashtanga or Vinyasa flow, the Yoga 108 schedule caters to every mood.
An internationally renowned destination for yogis, The Yoga Barn opened in 2007, and is one of the first and largest such studios in Bali. The schedule offers more than 10 daily classes, along with an on-site café, spa and accommodations. The professional teachers flock here from around the world, and there’s a broad array of classes on offer: Vinyasa Flow, Power, Sound healing, Restorative, Iyengar, Yin and Aerial, as well as the Friday evening Ecstatic Dance sessions (which often sell out hours beforehand).
Though it is cozier than its sprawling neighbor The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive has a complementary and contemporary range of classes held across three gorgeous, dedicated shalas. The usual classes are staples: Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Restorative, Sky Yoga, Roll & Release, Kundalini, Yin and Acro Yoga. There are also dance and Pilates-based classes, depending on the international teachers who are available at any time.
This open-air, teak yoga shala is ideal for sunrise and sunset yoga, either before or after a lengthy surfing session. Daily, there are two classes that boast views of tangled, tropical jungle that paves the way toward Uluwatu’s famous waves. Though the class schedule is limited, there are regular workshops and retreats, and after a day on the waves, lengthening and loosening your aching legs and shoulders feels hugely welcome.
In the beating heart of lovely Sanur, Koa Shala provides classes for every level of experience. Trek down a banana palm-lined avenue, and the lush, quiet embrace of this studio awaits. The drawcard is a two-story wooden shala studio, in which you can opt for traditional Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga, or take a more vigorous approach and choose high-powered HIIT yoga and Pilates. If high-powered anything sounds exhausting, we’ll meet you in gentle yoga and Yin.
A 30-minute trip from mainland Bali, Yoga Dunia on Lembongan offers a retreat in every sense of the word. There’s a variety of classes that stick to traditional yoga style, with flowing Vinyasa or Yin yoga proving popular. The daily schedule is limited, to cater to students who want to spend most of their time on Lembongan exploring the beautiful island.