Bali

Only a few spots left on our Bali Yoga Retreat!

AND only a few hours left to book at the Early Bird Discount price!

10 Day Adventure Style Yoga Retreat

Early Bird Discount Deadline: December 31st

February 28th-March 8th, 2016

Bali Header Image 2016

Life is supposed to be our greatest adventure, so why not start (or continue) that adventure with us in Bali this March! Our 10-day yoga retreat is like no one else's, complete with volunteer work, daily yoga in amazing scenic locations, temple and city visits with local guides, a hike up a mountain, and so much more!

What's the catch? There isn't one! BUT we do want you to get the best possible deal on this super cool experience, and for that you need to register by December 31st! Our Early Bird Pricing expires on January 1st, so now's the time to act!

 

What sets our Yoga Retreats apart from all the others?

Some really cool stuff....

 

TRAVEL

In addition to yoga every single day with super awesome amazing exciting teacher Alexis Novak, you'll get to see Bali like you wouldn't ever see it before. Unlike many other yoga retreats, we don't just post up in one scenic spot. Instead, we'll spend time in several locations around Bali so you can get the most out of that pricy airfare!  

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SEVA

Giving back to the communities that have given us amazing memories is a huge part of the Yoga Travel Tree mission. While in Bali, we'll volunteer with a local organization that lends a hand to low income and developmentally disabled children. You're sure to feel good about the impact you'll have!

Bali Volunteering Yoga Travel Tree

ADVENTURE

Hiking a mountain on a yoga retreat? Say WHAT?!

Yep, with us you'll hike Mt. Batur located in Northwest Bali. Fear not! We'll have a guide for you to depend on, and the hike is suitable for most yogis.

Bali Lake View

CULTURE

Rather than just visit a place, snap some Instagram pics, and then take off, we want our yogis to REALLY experience the culture of a location. While in Bali, we'll explore cities with local guides, check out some temples and their incredible architecture, attend a local cooking class and way more. You'll be able to take home amazing memories, new perspectives and once in a lifetime experiences along with your new profile pic.

Bali Cooking Lesson - Yoga Travel Tree

Want to know more about Bali?

Take a peek at our Yogi's Guide to Bali for everything you need to know before you travel, including cultural do's and don'ts, must see yoga destinations and how to travel safely!  

And remember, we build awesome adventures with YOU in mind.

Yoga Travel Tree was inspired by the simple idea of creating rich, meaningful yoga adventures around the world. We know from experience that both travel and yoga can be transformative experiences for the mind, body, and soul.

When you travel with us, you can rest assured that you're getting everything possible out of your trip. See you in Bali!

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Top 5 Mother-Daughter Yoga Vacations

Spending quality time with family can be a challenge these days, especially when there’s distance between you and communications take place mostly on-line. There’s no better way to get some mother-daughter bonding time than by accompanying one another on vacation. We all know where the popular yoga destinations are, but did you know that these places are unique for mother-daughter getaways too?  

Below are the top 5 places for mom and daughter to travel to enjoy culture, delectable food and wine, amazing yoga, luxurious spa services, and spectacular views and nature.

 

1. Ojai, California

Credit: Julie U

Ojai is located near Santa Barbara in gorgeous green Southern California. Many upscale resorts and spa centers provide an array of choices for treatments, yoga classes, and retreats. One spa has a package specifically for mothers and daughters wanting to get pampered. Another resort offers yoga classes under the moon, an assortment of spa services, different art classes, and more in a cozy cottage setting. The area has a lot to for moms and daughters to enjoy including nature walks and hikes, guided food tours, and many different wineries for the wine-loving duo! Be sure to check the town’s calendar for different events and festivals that happen year-round, like the famous Ojai Music Festival that happens each June. You can find some of the world’s most celebrated classical musicians performing here.

 

Yoga PLUS: Upscale spa services, good food, nature, music.

 

2. Santorini, Greece

Credit: Maggie Meng

Quickly becoming a top hotspot for yoga retreats, Santorini is known for stunning ocean views and sunsets visible from almost anywhere on the island. Offering an eclectic mix of both beach life and nightlife, there’s plenty for mom and daughter to enjoy. There are many wineries to tour and enjoy, and the area is known for strong reds especially. Get excited for your trip by watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” as you plan out things you want to do!

 

Yoga PLUS: Volcanic-based activities like swimming and sunbathing in the molten-dyed beaches, sailing around the Islands, bathing in the hot springs surrounding the Volcano (Kameni), wine, food, views, and sunsets!

 

3. Bangkok, Thailand

Credit: Eustaquio Santimano

Safe for mothers and daughters of all ages, Thailand is not only a hot yoga spot, but a place with endless possibilities for both mom and daughter to enjoy. You can explore Bangkok by bicycle, shop at the many night markets, or take the sky train over to one of the shopping malls. Get outside and take a boat tour along the river. The nightlife offers plenty to suit anyone’s style, including fine dining, yummy cocktails, breathtaking views of the city, and more. There are many different resorts for all price ranges and desires. From spa services to nature excursions, Thailand offers it all.

Join Yoga Travel Tree in Thailand in January! 

Yoga PLUS: Lots of shopping at great prices, architecture, history, culture, local cuisine, gorgeous beaches, national parks, animal safaris, and spa services.

 

4. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Credit: Gumecindo Escalante

A quaint surf town on the southern tip of the Nicoyan Peninsula, Santa Teresa is bustling with amazing yoga and SUP from top-notch instructors, world-class surfing, some of the best food around (because there are so many ex-pats from all over the world, you can try a different cuisine every night!), luxurious spa services, nature activities, tours, and more! You can spend one whole day lounging on the beach, taking yoga classes, enjoying spa services, and eating good food, and the next you can hop on an ATV and tour to the waterfalls of Montezuma, stopping to zip line along the way. Monkeys will wake you up in the mornings from their howling in the trees and you can see them along your hikes through Cabo Blano National Park. Yoga Travel Tree is headed there in September 2015!

 

Yoga PLUS: Pristine beaches, good waves, SUP, hiking, waterfalls, amazing food, spa services, and nature.

 

5. Bali, Indonesia

Credit: Jorge Dalmau

A trip to Bali is a nice way to unwind peacefully together and enjoy exquisite sunset views each night. Known for fabulous strips of white sand beaches, the best shopping around, and terrific day spas, there is plenty to do in and around Bali. Fine dining (try Ku De Ta and La Lucciola), art and cultural centres, as well as impressive views of the countryside are some of the options to choose from. The best part? Cheap and gorgeous accommodations! Try the Sari Beach Inn , right on the beach and an authentic, Balinese-style boutique hotel, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, comfy rooms, delicious breakfasts and welcoming staff. Insiders tip – Research Casa Luna Cooking School for a fun and unforgettable mother daughter experience.

Join Yoga Travel Tree in Bali - in March and December!  

Yoga PLUS: Beaches and sunsets, of course! Spa services, art and culture, amazing food, cheap hotels, and tons of nature activities.

 


Feature image credit: Andres Rodriguez

 

Meet Jennifer Elliott: Our Bali Yoga Adventure Instructor!

As Our Yoga Adventure to Bali draws near, we'd love to introduce you to the woman in charge of your asana for 10 days, Jennifer Elliott! Her yoga journey began with a nudge from an English professor who suggested she write her paper on yoga and meditation, which unknowingly sparked a life long pursuit. Continuing with her quest for more knowledge, she has spent the last 15 years learning as much as she can about all dimensions of yoga. Over the last decade she has shared her knowledge through her classes and teacher training's, most recently with Yoga Travel Tree this upcoming May!

Jennifer has her YogaWorks 500hr Certification, E-RYT 500, 300hr Yoga Therapy Certification from LMU, Bhagvadgita and Upanishads courses from LMU, 70hrs in Anatomy and Philosophy from Santa Barbara Yoga Center and 10 hrs Pauly Zink Yin Teacher Training, so she's well qualified to take your yoga practice to the next level. 

Tell me your yoga story. How did you discover yoga? When did it become a passion?

I first discovered yoga when I was 17. I was in college and for some reason my English Professor told me I should write my paper on Yoga and Meditation. Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.15.28 AMI wasn't quite sure what that was, so she sent me to my first yoga class and actually loaned me all the books to write the paper! I was young and didn't understand it at first. But about a year later I saw a flyer for a yoga class and I decided to try a 5 week intro series. It still didn't grab me, until I found my next teacher. Then I finally got it! I felt so great after class I couldn't wait to come back!

How has yoga become more than a hobby? How have you made it part of your career?

I eat, breathe and sleep yoga! I teach yoga full time and many styles of classes from Yin to Vinyasa, Yoga Therapy to Teacher Training. Adding my private clients, and oh yeah, MY OWN practice, yoga is ingrained in all aspects of my life.Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.16.30 AM

At YTT, we believe that travel is an important and crucial part of life. Tell us about your first meaningful travel experience?

My first meaningful travel experience was in Costa Rica in my early 20's. I spent a month traveling around the country. I had such an amazing time meeting new people and  I was there long enough to feel like a local.

You're our featured yoga teacher on our first ever Yoga Travel Tree retreat to Bali! Our retreats are a little different. We like to think of them as amazing travel adventures with a side of yoga. What are you most looking forward to about teaching on the retreat?

I'm most looking forward to meeting new people. I love how at the beginning of a retreat everyone feels like strangers, but by the end they become good friends.

What are you most excited about experiencing in Bali?Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.18.23 AM

I'm excited about the hot springs and experiencing a new culture.

If someone is new to yoga, do you think they can still enjoy your sessions during the trip?

Of course. I tend to give variations so everyone feels like they have a place to take their practice. Plus, a retreat can be a great place to deepen your practice and ask questions. You don't always have that time in a regular yoga class.

  Learn more about Jennifer, our Yoga Adventure to Bali, and the rest of #TeamYTT!

Come to Bali with Yoga Travel Tree and Jennifer! Click the button below!
Register

 

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Join Us for a 10-Day Yoga Adventure Retreat in Bali

Our Yoga Retreat to Bali is Unlike Any Other

When you attend a Yoga Travel Tree Yoga Adventure, you're not just going to go on another touristy, dull, and ho-hum vacation. You're going to have the experience of a lifetime. We take pride in the fact that our retreats are unique, eventful opportunities for travelers to explore the world, see and do things they would never be able to do if traveling on their own. Here are 5 things you'll do with us in Bali that you won't see on any other yoga retreat, we downright promise.

1. We Actually Travel  We're called Yoga Travel Tree for a reason people! Who wants to go half way around the world and only see a few rooms in a resort? Not us, and not the adventure-seekers we bring along. During our Bali Yoga Adventure we'll travel and stay in five (yep, FIVE) different cities and towns around the Island, giving you the deepest experience possible. 

2. Kintamani and a Volcano Hike On day four of our trip, we'll take you to the lush village of Kintamani, where you can soak in hot springs, check out the tiny village, view the Gunung Batur region of the island, and hike to the top of an active volcano: Mount Batur.

3. Take a Balinese Cooking Class in Ubud Not only do we visit the yoga capital of the island, but you get the unique experience of learning the in's and out's of Balinese cuisine from a local chef AND a guided tour of a local marketplace.

4. Seva (Volunteer) Opportunities We believe in giving back to the communities that provide us with rich, cultural experiences and Bali is no exception. While in Ubud, we'll volunteer with Yayasan Widya Guna, an educational center for underprivileged children. 

5. A Community of Friends  We keep our Yoga Retreats small. With a maximum of 15 yogis, you're sure to get all of the instruction you need during yoga classes, and all of the attention you should get during the rest of the trip. This small group size allows you to form strong, lasting bonds with your fellow travelers so you depart for home with lifelong friends.

Our next 10-Day Bali Yoga Adventure Retreat will be taking place May 2-12, 2015.

Register

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Choose the Best Bali Yoga Retreat Ever

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So, you have decided that you want to go to a yoga retreat in Bali. Awesome! Now all you have to do it sort through the thousands of options! The Yoga Travel Tree is a great place to start but now you have narrow them down. How do you choose the best Bali yoga retreat? What should you look for? Are all retreats created equal? How are they different? You have asked the questions, I have your answers!

 

Style of Yoga:

Figure out what type of yoga you wish your retreat to be in. Vinyasa, Kundalini, Anusara, Hatha, Ashtanga, there are so many options. Do you practice a few styles? If so, pick one that you are comfortable practicing for a week. Are you are trying to deepen a particular aspect of your practice? Find a retreat that will focus on breathing, meditations, chants, whatever it is that you want to work on, and go from there. If the style and focus is right, the rest will follow.

 

Teacher:

Do you have a favorite yoga teacher or a teacher that you have been following? If so, check out his or her website first, see if they are hosting a retreat anytime soon in Bali. While it is always nice to step out of your comfort zone during a yoga retreat, picking a retreat with an teacher whom you are already familiar with will assure you that the money you be spending will be worth it. More than likely you will already know what to expect from this teacher and his or her student following. If you don’t already have a favorite teacher, after you pick your style of yoga, do some research on the teachers who have been trained in that particular style of practice, see whose philosophies you most agree with and go from there. You are going to be spending a fair amount of money and your time on this person, it is important that you get the most out of it.

 

Location:

Choose the Best Bali Yoga Retreat Ever - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Obviously you are are already going to Bali, but did you know that Bali is over 2,000 square miles? I didn’t until I arrived last year. The island is huge! Are you interested in being in an area that is close to where all the action is so that after or before the retreat you can check out the main sights? Seminyak or Kuta is probably where you will want to find a retreat! However, maybe you wish to focus on yoga even before the retreat begins and you love to shop, Ubud, will be where it is at for you. Are you more of an outdoors, in the mountains, one with nature yogi? If so, Tabanan or Mount Batukaru are the spots for you! Does the idea of rice paddies and an unpretentious lifestyle just bring the look of bliss to your face? If so, North Bali is where its at!

 Bali Yoga Adventure - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Budget:

This is always a big one. Your budget usually dictates a great deal, and often should be one of the first things that you consider when picking a yoga retreat. You don’t want to stress about money for the six months following your retreat. That would defeat the whole purpose of going on a retreat and destressing your life. However, if you have a little money to work with on the retreat, great! Many retreats start around $2,000 depending on the number of days, what is included and who the teacher(s) are. When you are looking at your budget and what you hope to gain from the retreat, make sure that you read all about it. Are you a vegetarian? Do you need your own room? Do you want cultural activities included as part of your retreat? Do you want to surf, hike, have the option of exploring the towns as part of your retreat?  Do you need a pick up from the Denpasar airport or can you manage this on your own? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself as you begin narrowing down your retreat options. Ask questions of the retreat host. Also, if you are booking a last minute retreat, there may be ways to get discounts of up to 15% for booking spur of the moment. Personally, I would not suggest making this a habit as it is always good to do your research about the retreat. However, if you are not a picky yogi or just willing to try something new, have at it!

 

Food:

I mentioned it earlier, if you are a vegetarian, vegan, dairy or gluten free? You might want to pay attention closely to the food that is being served. More often than not, the food will be friendly to a wide variety of people and usually they will have the options for your dietary needs, but always make sure. You do not want to show up and not have a variety of food options, like the rest of the people on the retreat. You should always ask what kind of food will they be serving. Is it organic? Healthy? Locally grown and in season? These are all important questions to ask, especially if you are trying to going to go the sustainable route.  Are you interested in doing a cleanse? Perhaps they are offering one as part of the retreat. Find out before you commit.

 

Level of Activity:

Most retreats in Bali offer two yoga sessions a day mixed in with hiking, scuba diving, paddle boarding, cooking classes, surfing or biking. Bali offers so many wonderful options in addition to yoga. Find out what what is included, if anything, and figure out what you feel like doing. Do you have your SSI or PADI certification? Great, you can go diving! But if you don’t, you might want to pick a retreat that focuses on another activity. Maybe healthy cooking classes or biking is what you feel like participating in. Figure out what you are into and go from there!

Images via: @dashamalove

The Yogi and the Lover: Top Romantic Vacation Spots

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There are places in the world renowned for their yoga culture and there are places in the world known for romance. But where is a yogini to go when she wants the best of both? Whether you’re traveling solo or with your sweetie, here are some places you can find peace, love and yoga.

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica for Couples

Romance is synonymous with adventure and Costa Rica draws thrill seekers from all over the world. Meet and connect people who share your interest in zip lining, climbing, wind surfing, ecotourism and of course, yoga. Costa Rica is a top ten yoga retreat destination for good reason. Situated between the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans, there are a wide variety of beach-front retreat locations along the coasts. After your yoga retreat, head out for out for a horseback ride through the mountains and rain forests or along the beach and don’t miss an opportunity to stop for waterfalls along the way. Explore the forest canopy habitat by tram looking down or by strapping in and pulling yourself along suspended cables to a series of small wooden platforms built in the tops of trees. Create your own romantic travel story from among the many opportunities for adventure in this exotic locale.

 

Bali

Bali for Couples

Arguably one of the best known yoga retreat destinations, Bali is also a well known honeymoon paradise. Couples travel to Bali from all over to treat themselves to a little post-ceremonial bliss in this tropical island getaway. Couples who travel to Bali, whether they choose the cultural capital of Ubud, the sandy beach town of Sanur, party town Kuta or special little islands like Nusa Lembongan, will find ample opportunities for yoga and romance. The island’s natural and pristine beauty can be seen from hikes through the serene rice paddies or to the top of the Mt. Agung volcano, leisurely strolls through town or botanical gardens or from the crystal waters, surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving.

Bali Yoga Adventure - www.YogaTravelTree.com

 

Mexico

Mexico for Couples

Not much complements yoga like love, sand, surf and sunshine. Spice up your romance with a spontaneous trip to Mexico for yoga, surfing, pool-side margaritas and spectacular sunsets. Go all out and stay at one of many all-inclusive resorts or get cozy in a private casita and roll out your mat right onto the beach. During or after your retreat, spend some time exploring the country’s rich history of Mayan and Aztec culture.

 

Thailand

Thailand for Couples

It’s been said that you can never feel alone in Thailand. As a popular tourist destination worldwide, there is much potential for new friendships and travel companionship. Island hop with that handsome surfer you met at the dance club or rent a motorbike to cruise around Bangkok with your significant other. When you’re ready to relax, make your way to Phuket to lounge at the beach clubs, watch the sunset or have a romantic dinner after a long day in the sand. At the close of a special evening, send your wishes for love and luck into the stars during floating sky lantern ceremonies. Because Thailand is steeped in a rich spiritual history, you will feel connected to your yoga throughout your stay. Magnificent temples and statues of Buddha along with a wide selection of yoga classes and retreats for travelers will make it easy to maintain and enjoy your practice while spending time on warm beaches with your latest love interest or longtime lover.

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 Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, a new studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

Images via: @sugarplum941,

Bali, Indonesia: 8 Can't Miss Experiences for the Traveling Yogi

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The WHOLE Bali Island Experience

People from all over the world flock to Bali for its lush landscape, crystal blue waters and to connect with its long history as a healing and spiritual center. It is a soft, safe place to land for the spiritual seeker and offers many opportunities for the international yogi and yogini. To get the full Balian experience, there are some things you just shouldn't miss...

 

 Get Quiet and Go Within

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Balian Beach

This rich, black sand beach is off the beaten path and offers its low key travelers majestic waves, long beaches, sacred waters, lush tropical forests and a peace perfect for meditation and self reflection. There is a drastic separation here from the commercialism and tourists you’ll find in other parts of the island. Come here when you’re ready to go deep within and have some peaceful alone time. Yoga classes, healthful meals and retreats are close by at Shankari’s Bali Retreat.

 

Take in a Spiritually Renowned Sunset

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Tanah Lot Temple

One of seven sea temples around the island of Bali and one of the most important temples for the Balinese, Tanah Lot brings in a large number of tourists in the high season. As one of the most recommended places to go, you’ll want to make sure to bring a little cash and a lot of patience for the local vendors and their wares. There are many opportunities from the surrounding areas to go for a day trip and take in a stunning sunset. Wear your water shoes, you’ll have to get your feet wet to get to the little rock/island temple, but the excursion is well worth it.

 

Let Your Spirit Soar

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Mount Agung

When you’re ready to take your spirit to the next level, book a guide and hike up this ancient but active volcano. It is the highest mountain on the island and the place with the most spiritual significance for the Balinese. The Besakih temple on Mount Agung miraculously survived the devastating eruption in 1963 reinforcing its spiritual substance for the island population. Begin your climb in the lush forest at the base and make your way up through the barren volcanic rock at the top giving way to spectacular views. There are three intermediate to advanced climbing routes, guides should be organized in advance.

 

Choose Your Own Adventure

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Padangbai

This port town is the perfect point to intersect with other travelers on their way out to the exterior islands. This small backpackers spot is a high energy and transient place to go when you’re ready to get moving and need direction; come to Padangbai and let it launch you into your next adventure. Spend the day at Blue Lagoon Beach then charter a small boat out to the Gili Islands or Nusa Lembongan. Make sure to negotiate a snorkel as part of the ride. 

 

Return to Civilization

Kuta Bali Nightlife yoga yogatraveltree

 

Image credit: Thibaud, jakarta100bars.com

Kuta/Seminyak

Kuta is a bustling city with the best nightlife in Bali. When you’ve been secluded on a quiet island for weeks, it’s just the ticket to get you back into the swing of civilization and get socialized and ready to re-integrate into the world. There are many interesting spots where you can spend your remaining rupiah on a hot shower, some fresh seafood and a live show during dinner on Jimbaran Beach.

 

Find Your Center

Ubud temple bali yoga yogatraveltree

Ubud

Rich in art and culture with a long history as a hub for natural medicine and healing, Ubud is the spiritual center of Bali. It is the perfect place to restore from long hours of travel, begin your journey, find your footing and ground back into your uprooted center of self. Gamelan music performances, cultural dances and leisurely strolls along the avenues watching the grinning Balinese working on their art and crafts are perfect ways to get into the spirit of the island and begin to understand its rich culture. With the excitement and energy you bring to the beginning of a trip, you’ll enjoy wandering through Monkey Forest, hiking around the area and visiting local artists in working studios. Make sure to spend some time sipping coffee or a smoothie at one of the many cafés backing up to the lush and peaceful rice paddies. There are also a wide variety of yoga classes available in Ubud and Yoga Barn is a notorious stop for yoga inspired travelers.

 

Spend a Day at the Beach

sanur bali beach yoga yogatraveltree

Sanur

When you’re ready for a break from adventuring, this upscale resort town offers one of the biggest and best beaches in Bali. You can sit in a lounge chair on the beach or swing in a hammock, frozen cocktail in hand. There is a long stretch of oceanfront boardwalk, ideal for gift shopping or a romantic stroll. The sand in Sanur is white and soft, not rocky underfoot like most other beaches on the island. There are lots of places in town for healthy eats and a beautiful spot for yoga on the beachfront at Power of Now Oasis.

 

Get Back to Basics

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Nusa Lembongan

Escape the main island and ferry or charter a boat out to Nusa Lembongan to experience the simplicity of island life on this speck of map. You’ll spend easy days napping, diving, doing yoga, sipping smoothies and watching beautiful sunsets. Rent a bicycle and cruise through the mangroves to the Beach Club at Sandy Bay for lunch, a cocktail and a swim overlooking a stunning ocean view. On Lembongan you’ll witness the simple life of locals who work as seaweed farmers in this small working town. If you’re a diver, spoil yourself in the crystal waters with instructors and masters at Big Fish Diving and get to a yoga class with Yoga Travel Tree writer Caroline Layzell at Yoga Shack.

When traveling in Bali, it's important to take advantage of the balanced experience the island allows for. Spend some quiet, healing moments in reflection, meditation and yoga and then explore her many opportunities for adventure, diving, climbing, snorkeling and surfing. Bali is a special place. Enjoy your exploration of her countless treasures.

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Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, a new studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

 

Images via: Let's Travel, Explore Bali, Bali Wild Tours, Caviar & CocaineTravel Now, Sandra Off the Strip, Patrick Love, Wikipedia, @kulayoga, @luvoelco

Off the Beaten Path: A Bali Yoga Retreat

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A Tropical Oasis 

I left the bustling art town of Ubud and rode for two hours across the island in a non-airconditioned van in sticky hot temperatures. I was on my way to a yoga retreat in Suraberata, a place so off the beaten track, not even my local driver knew exactly where we were headed.

Exhausted as I was, I arrived at the retreat and felt immediately rejuvenated and at peace. The sprawling compound sat in the middle of a tropical jungle, a short walk to a rushing river that opened into the sea over a wide stretch of black sand beach. I could feel the tingle of spiritual magic and divine presence and I was anxious to get settled and regroup.

A helpful staff member with a broad grin showed me to my bungalow. The room was decadent compared to my prior backpacker accommodations and still affordable on my budget at the $30 per night, off-season special rate.

My four-poster bed was draped in white mosquito netting and I had a private patio overlooking the jungle below. I unloaded my heavy pack and went to sit out there, letting the ringing in my head soften with the jungle’s heavy peace and quiet stillness.

After a delicious and nutritious meal in the retreat’s open-air dining room, I walked down to the beach. I stood in the river letting the water rush across my shins. I’d never seen the river meet the sea and it felt so indicative of my life at the time; like the current were trying to take me to a bigger and broader set of experience represented by the sea and I was in awe that I’d never seen the expanse of life's opportunities laid out before me this way.

yoga retreat in bali yogatraveltree

I had come to Bali for a month without an agenda, looking for a lost piece of myself. Here at this quiet retreat, off the beaten tourist path, Bali began to heal me and help me reconnect with source. The place was working to shape me into a new version of myself; as if the current of this sacred river could soften the hard stones around my soul and erode the walls built up to protect my heart. I knew standing there in the river, looking out at the Balian Sea, that I would never be the same and that was exactly why I had come; to be changed.

Tune in next week to learn more about the history and the booming yoga culture of Bali!

Bali Yoga Adventure - www.YogaTravelTree.com

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Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, a new studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

 

Images via: Luke Lukins, Inan Itah