‘Namaste all day’ is as popular in Bali as hitting the world-famous surf or grabbing a plate of Nasi Goreng. Chances are if you are looking for somewhere to immerse yourself in yoga, a Bali yoga retreat perhaps? Well Bali is already on your hit list. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which is best for you.
Luckily, there is a Bali yoga retreat to suit everyone! New to the yoga scene? Or perhaps yoga has been in your life for a while and you are looking to hone your technique? Or what about teacher training options? Read on for our top Bali yoga retreat picks for 2020. From truly transformative experiences to developing further understanding of the practice, these retreats will ensure you connect with yoga on a deeper level.
Firstly, why should I choose a Bali yoga retreat?
Bali should definitely be your number one choice when looking at yoga retreats. As well as truly breathtaking locations, the predominantly Hindu culture ensures the island has a rich history of yoga and is a destination that combines both spirituality and nature. It is also the perfect option to combine yoga practice with a holiday or other activities such as surfing.
Those looking for a complete wellness package are also spoilt for choice, as Bali is home to an abundance of beautiful cafés and has a thriving healthy eating scene.
Oh, and just in case you need further convincing…
- Expect sunshine, beautiful weather and fresh coconuts every day
- Bali provides the opportunity to practice yoga, meditation and other wellness practice in a spiritual yet cultural hub
- Perfect for detox, to improve overall wellness or pursue healthy eating- the food here caters for all dietary requirements from raw healthy food to traditional Indonesian dishes with a vegetarian or vegan twist
- The people- the Balinese are a welcoming, hospitable nation who are passionate about providing a top-quality experience during your Bali yoga retreat
- Fantastic for catering to niches- want to attend a retreat that focuses specifically on one type of yoga? Or combine practice with other activities? Most Bali yoga retreats are flexible and can be adapted to cater to your needs
When should I book my Bali yoga retreat?
Those visiting the stunning tropical island of Bali are rewarded whatever time of year they visit- home to lush tropical jungle, beautiful beaches, and the most picturesque sunsets you will ever see, it’s not hard to see why it’s a stunning backdrop for Bali yoga retreats.
As well as providing the peaceful setting you require to deepen your practice, Bali yoga retreats are often top quality, routed in spiritualism (the island is predominately Hindu and links to the Balinese faith are found everywhere- from daily offerings to street processions.) and reasonably priced compared to other counterparts.
To truly make the most of the facilities in your Bali yoga retreat, we recommend visiting during the dry season (Apr-Oct) which allows you to take advantage of outside space, using facilities such as the swimming pool. Saying that, this is one of the most popular times to visit, so we recommend booking your Bali yoga retreat in advance.
If you do decide to visit in the rainy season, it will still be a rewarding experience, yet expect inside practice due to possible rainfall. Dec-Jan can get busy due to Christmas and these are also the more humid months. If you do book during wet season, aim for either Nov- Mar to take advantage of Bali yoga retreat discounts and avoid too many sudden downpours!
Which area should I pick for my Bali yoga retreat?
Ubud is perhaps the most famous spot for Bali yoga retreats- aided by the author Elizabeth Gilbert who practised yoga here in her bestselling memoir ‘’Eat Pray Love’. Yet, even before this soar in popularity, Ubud is a town that has always been closely linked to yoga.
When visiting it is easy to see why- dense tropical jungle, looming mountains and expansive rice paddies offer the perfect setting for a Bali yoga retreat. There are also a lot of skilled yoga teachers and guru’s who have chosen to settle here making the retreat options varied. However, with the popularity for yoga retreat’s in Bali increasing each year, more and more are popping up around the island no matter where you base yourself.
Therefore, when choosing a Bali yoga retreat you should consider what else you want out of the area. If you are looking for total peace and tranquillity the more temperate north might be best for you, for example. This is compared to being based in the south if you like being near a beach and having great dining options/easy access to Bali’s other islands.
Our top Bali yoga retreat picks
To make it easier for you to make a decision, we have selected some of our top Bali yoga retreats for 2020, making sure we have included a selection from different areas, to suit all abilities and also retreats which combine yoga teacher training options… so let’s get started!
Bali yoga retreats – Ubud
As mentioned above, Ubud is traditionally seen as the home of yoga on the island- and it certainly offers some top quality Bali yoga retreats to choose from. We recommend:
For those looking to make the most of Ubud’s bustling town centre but still craving the peace and tranquillity perfect for yoga, Soulshine Bali is a great option. Located just 10 mins away from the centre, Soulshine Bali provides a luxury Bali yoga retreat experience. Why? Well, it offers top quality yoga practice suitable for all levels and includes features such as the stunning infinity pool (not to be missed!) They also offer a range of activities such as cooking classes, bike hire and spa treatments to keep you busy in-between yoga sessions.
Best for: Those looking for part yoga/part holiday vibes- so wanting to practice yoga, but also having the comfort and activities you would expect on a regular holiday. We also recommend to those interested in wellness options, as the vegan food here is suburb!
The Yoga Barn Ubud
Chances are if you have looked into Bali yoga retreats you will have heard of The Yoga Barn- and if not you will know about it soon! It is somewhat of an institution in Ubud as it provides a fully serviced yoga studio and holistic healing retreat in one. It is also incredibly peaceful. You can stay onsite in private or dorm rooms with full access to features such as the swimming pool, Ayurvedic spa and detox sessions. Take your pick of the daily yoga classes and workshops whatever your practice level.
Best for: Those looking to hone their yoga technique. The teachers here are some of the best from around the globe, and the attention to detail here is unique. Whatever your yoga level, a stay here will certainly improve your ability.
A popular choice for those choosing Ubud for their Bali yoga retreat, and with good reason. Located only 7 mins from the heart of Ubud, this one wins points for its amazing rice paddy views and tranquil hideaway vibes. Perfect for those looking to get away from it all whilst gazing at Mount Gunung Agung.
We particularly like the range of classes on offer here- choose to practice vinyasa, Hatha, yin or all three whilst focusing on your wellness needs with local, organic, plant-based meals. The hosts here really combine Balinese hospitality with the spirituality and are knowledgable about the local area should you wish to explore Ubud after you have finished up yoga for the day.
Best for: Value for money. The range of yoga classes on offer combined with fantastic food options, level of hospitality and beautiful location make it a solid all-round choice and incredibly good value.
This one is set a little further away from the hustle and bustle of Ubud centre- about 20 mins or so, but the distance is worth it for this award-winning Bali yoga retreat. Another one in the ‘luxury’ category, a stay here incorporates 8 days of complete rejuvenation and wellness. Surrounded by Ubud’s famous tropical paradise, this retreat also has the bonus of being eco-conscious- a concept reflected in both the yoga classes and onsite healing centre. Top tip- yet to receive a famous Balinese massage? Here is the place to get one!
Best for: Those interested in the healing elements connected with yoga. Fivelements explore the way we are connected, so as well as top-class yoga classes you can expect to partake in energy, sound and water healing sessions and even have access to a private healing consultation.
Blue Karma Resort
For a shorter, three-night retreat option you could do worse than stay at the Blue Karma Resort. They believe yoga and meditation complement each other, so include two meditation and pranayama classes within the retreat- this is a Hindu yoga that focuses on regulating the breath through specific exercises and techniques.
They also offer two full spa sessions and an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultation where guests can learn more about their personal physical and mental constitution. A stay here will extend your knowledge on how to continue improving health and wellness once the retreat is over.
Best for: Beginners. Offering a less intense yoga class schedule and combining it with spa treatments and wellness opportunities, makes this Bali yoga retreat a great option for those new to the practice or wanting to try a retreat for a shorter length of time before committing to a longer stay.
Bali yoga retreats in Canggu
At one time Canggu was known more for surfing than yoga- it is located in the south with glitzy Seminyak and party-loving Kuta as its neighbours- but these days a focus on health and wellness is more popular in the area, and it is fast emerging as a yoga hotspot. Those willing to trade in the jungle for proximity to the beach should consider choosing a Bali yoga retreat located here.
Desa Seni is proud to be Balinese, and believe to truly understand the practice of yoga, one should also appreciate the local customs and traditions found in Indonesia. The yoga teachers here are focus on improvement, but also on ways to combine your yoga with meditation to truly take your practice to the next level. Oh, and did we mention the gorgeous onsite spa and private tuition option? We love this place!
Best for: Those who take their yoga seriously. Desa Seni is internationally accredited by the Yoga Alliance and therefore a highly regarded and sort after Bali yoga retreat. Those who are considering teaching training should practice here, as it looks particularly impressive on a yoga resume.
The Palm Tree House
Looking to combine yoga & wellness with another popular Bali activity such as surfing? Well, this Bali yoga retreat could be the one for you! The palm treehouse has an ideal close-to-the-beach location which makes combining a daily surf session with yoga a breeze. The accommodation here consists of boutique-style villas which come fully equipped with a health-conscious bar (ice tea on tap- which in Bali always tastes better!) They also offer plenty of relaxing space for spa treatments or poolside reading, if you have the time!
Best for: Those looking for more than just yoga. On a prime spot near Canggu beach, it would be rude not to surf! But it’s also great for water babies who enjoy the tranquillity of being close to the ocean.
For another yoga/surf combo try Mondo Surf & Lifestyle Village- also a stone’s throw from the beach in Canggu. This is a great option for those aiming to improve their yoga and surfing technique, with the option to include pro photographers in your package.
Bali yoga retreats in the rest of Bali
Not based near Canggu or Bali? Not to worry- there are plenty of Bali Yoga retreat’s wherever you chose to be located. Here are a few of the rest dotted around the island:
Life in Amed Resort – Amed, Bali
Amed is what Canggu was like 20 years ago, with a beachside location and a focus on health & wellness but with fewer people. So for those looking to get away from it all, the Life in Amed resort is a great option for yogis. Stay in a beautiful thatched cottage with sea views and fully immerse yourself in Balinese nature knowing you are far away from the tourist hubs in the south. Oh, and did we mention the yoga? Options here are brilliant, with everything from daily workshops to self-discovery excursions on offer.
Best for: Those looking for a peaceful location to practice yoga in a less developed part of Bali.
Floating Leaf Eco Retreat – Sanur
We couldn’t mention Bali Yoga retreats without naming this one! You won’t find a retreat more luxurious than this. Recently named as one of the world’s best yoga and wellness retreats by Conde Nast Traveler, this retreat is more like a sanctuary than a yoga house. As well as yoga classes, training options and healing ceremonies guests are treated to a breathtaking view over Mount Agung making it an incredibly relaxing experience. Yet you are still only 30 mins from Sanur!
Best for: Those looking for a luxurious and life-changing yoga experience- pilgrimages and purification are common here to really enhance your inner transformation.
H2O Yoga – Gili Air
Ok, so this one isn’t technically on the mainland, or in Bali, but if you can manage a ferry ride over to Gili Air (the most chilled and yoga friendly of the Lombok islands) then it is totally worth it. H20 Yoga is a solid choice for those new to yoga, as they offer a useful introduction course on the practice and the option to try out different styles of yoga- including Hatha, vinyasa flow and yin to see what works for you. Providing an ‘insight’ rather than fully immersive experience- the retreat lasts for 4 days- it works well for exploring what else the Gili Island’s have to offer once the retreat is over.
Best for: Yoga newbies and the adventurous- take the opportunity to do some Island hopping whilst you are here!
How Are You Really? Retreats- Candidasa
For a Bali retreat that focuses on Ayurveda, chakras, and spirituality, the How Are You Really? Retreat is a fantastic option. Located near some of the best beaches in Bali ( in the seaside town of Candidasa) the retreat includes daily yoga classes to suit all levels, the option to visit local healers and guidance from instructors trained to improve your technique and deepen your connection with yoga and meditation.
Accommodation ranges from private or shared ‘eco-cottages’ dorms and excursions to spiritual hotspots such as the Tirta Gangga Water Temple or nearby Ujung Water Palace can be arranged for a small fee.
Best for: A complete experience in yoga and meditation that explores how local spiritually is connected to the practice.
Atas Awan – Mundunk
Located in the stunning northern part of the island, close to the lakes, this Bali yoga retreat sits in a valley where the magnetic energy is said to help you focus and search for the inner truth. Like Ubud, the north is home to dense jungle terrain but is noticeably cooler than other parts of Bali, providing a comfortable place to practice yoga especially in the rainy season.
Accommodation is perhaps more simple than some of the luxury resorts (a minimal wooden bungalow) but what it lacks in luxury it certainly makes up for in yoga practice. Guests here can enjoy everything from daily yoga and meditation classes to singing bowl and candle mediation. For those focused on wellness, make use of the on offer personal trainer and vegan breakfast options.
Best for: A rural slice off Bali. Practice yoga, visit quiet local waterfalls like the one at Sekumpul and take some time to simply ‘switch off’.
Isla Indah Retreat- Jungutbatu Beach, Nusa Lembongan
Another option for island lovers, Nusa Lembongan is a quick boat ride away from the mainland but has all the relaxing elements you would expect from island life. Isla Indah Retreat perfectly combines this chilled out vibe with unlimited yoga classes that cater to all skill levels alongside delicious vegan food and even a return boat ticket to the mainland! But the real selling point? The location. Beachside this is a great spot for snorkelling, paddle boarding and surfing as well as yoga.
Best for: Reconnecting with yourself on a small island and escaping the hustle and bustle of the mainland. This Bali Yoga retreat is perfect if you are an early bird- the sunrise yoga class followed by one of the best vegan breakfasts we have ever tasted is the perfect start to the day!
A final note: Consider a personal yoga Bali retreat
A personalised yoga retreat simply means you stay at a wellness resort that has a schedule you can tailor to your individual needs, so you don’t have to stay for the full program- you can leave whenever you like. In Bali this is actually an affordable option. If you are interested in exploring this, your best bet is to arrange a consultation at a wellness centre before booking- you may be surprised at what they can accommodate (including dietary requirements) and it allows you the freedom to choose exactly how you spend your time.
Which Bali Yoga Retreat is your favourite? We would love to hear your thoughts!