I’ve always wanted to spend a few days doing yoga. It’s something different that I knew I would enjoy and I thought that the Yoga Barn In Ubud would be the perfect opportunity.
Saturday (3 classes at the Yoga Barn)
I left Seminyak on the Saturday morning at 10:20am & arrived at my hostel (GoGo Backpacker House) at 12pm. I chose this hostel as it is only a 5 minute walk to the Yoga Barn which is where I wanted to spend the weekend.
After I checked in, I went for a quick lunch (chicken sandwich & fries) before going to the Yoga Barn & buying a 10 Class Pass. It only cost 900k Rupiah which works out at less than AU$8.75 per class or less than £5 per class.
You can register for each regular class 30 minutes before it starts and you must register in person. They do not currently offer an online check in. It is first come, first served.
Intro to Yoga: 2-3:30pm
Intro to Yoga is an ideal class for anyone new to yoga with discussion on how yoga can benefit our everyday breathing techniques and basic yoga poses.
I was the only one to bring my own mat as it was an intro class. Over half of the students had never done yoga before but everyone was encouraged to take it at their own pace. If something didn’t feel good, we were told to change it. Everyone was doing different variations of the same moves.
This class is about breathing & taking you to the edge, aka the line between pain & discomfort. We were learning to breathe through the discomfort to make it easier. I really enjoyed it and Estee is a brilliant teacher.
I had one hour between this class finishing and the registration opening for the next class. I wasn’t super hungry but I decided to go to the supermarket next door to get some snacks.
In between the classes I was really healthy and ate Pringles and Oreos. I looked exactly like all of the other yogis who are known for eating this type of food. (Note the sarcasm?) It’s what I like & it tides me over until I eat properly!
Yin Yoga: 5-6:30pm
Yin Yoga is a gentle yet energising system that emphasises the thighs, pelvis & lower spine.
This class was looking further into finding the edge of your boundaries between discomfort and pain. We were told to stay with the discomfort, remembering to breathe and we teach our body that we’re not in danger.
We were never felt pressured to look amazing. It wasn’t about how it looked, but how it felt!
Everyone was at different levels with different experiences and it was good. We were encouraged to listen to our bodies. Holding poses in discomfort can be good but if it’s too much and feels like pain, then stretch less. This was a brilliant class for me!
Restorative Yoga: 7-8:30pm
Restorative Yoga brings relaxation to the body and mind. Bolsters, blankets, belts and blocks can be used to support the body bringing about gentle release, focusing particularly on the shoulders, hips & spine.
This was in the same studio as the previous class so I kept all of the equipment where it was and just registered at the desk just outside the studio.
In this class, we held the poses for a longer period of time, sometimes up to 10 minutes per pose. I used props a lot such as bolsters & blocks to make sure I didn’t overstretch. It was more gentle for me.
I tried to avoid being competitive like I usually am as I’m trying to just compare myself to me, not others. Sometimes I felt pain as I was over-stretching so I stopped and lightened the stretch, either adding a prop to relieve pressure or adjusting my pose so I wasn’t stretching as much.
During the final pose, Jen added lavender essential oils to our wrist if we wanted (which we showed by keeping our palms facing up) to deepen the relaxation.
Sunday (4 classes at the Yoga Barn)
The registration for my first class was at 7am so I had a bit of an early morning. At the supermarket on the Saturday, I bought some breakfast cereal crisps and I ate them on this morning’s walk. The roads were the emptiest I’ve ever seen in Bali!
Kundalini Yoga 7:30-9
Kundalini Yoga is a beautiful and creative form of yoga brought to the west in 1969 by the late Master Yogi Bhajan. It is a fast, effective & efficient practice which allows one to feel centred, happy & energised in as little as 3 minutes time.
This class wasn’t really my thing but at least now I’ve tried it. I wasn’t really feeling it until the final meditation. I felt like I was the least able in there as no one seemed to be a beginner despite it being an all levels class.
Parts of it seemed a bit pretentious rather than doing it for yourself and your own practice. I’m also aware that it could just be my feelings being projected rather than the intention. I also noticed that there were more men than women in this class which is the first I’d seen. Just an observation!
After the first class of the morning, i went back to the hostel to have a shower and a rest! Then at around 11:15, I went to a local restaurant half in a little side street and ordered myself a burger and fries! It was much needed but also early enough that I still had time for it to settle before starting the next round of classes.
Capioera is a perfect practice mixture of strength & flexibility, rhythm and agility. It is a dynamic art form of flowing in balance through the movements.
LOVE! It was basically part dancing, part non contact fighting. We started with everyone doing movements together, learning basic movements. Then practiced partner work doing these moves. Practiced kicks and dodges then did partner work kicking & blocking. Then group split into newbie vs more experienced and in the newbie group we practiced basic acro like cartwheels & handstands and trying to put them together in a combo. Basically exploring movements and putting them together. The last part of class was a lot of fun, we practiced everything to fight each other (not touching)! Then got into a big circle and it was almost like a dance off but the play fighting with the Afro Brazilian music! So much fun! Definitely now want to start a class when I get back to Australia!
Hatha Yoga: 3:30-5
Hatha Yoga integrates the classical yoga path: Asana, Pranayama, Chanting & Meditation. This class honours Traditional Yoga and the culture it come so from in a medium-paced, easy to follow class.
This was the fastest (& busiest) class so far. It is more what is stereotypically seen as yoga, all the positions & moving into them at a faster pace. At the end of the class, there was only 5 minutes of lying down relaxing & breathing instead of longer! Not that I do the yoga so I can lie down on the floor afterwards, obviously… This class was fine for me, but after the capoeira class it felt harder than usual. I personally preferred the Yin Yoga class though they are similar, because I liked holding the positions for longer and going at a slower pace.
I had an hour between this class so not long enough to go & get dinner yet so I just ate a few snacks that I brought along & chilled out for a little while.
Yin Yang Yoga: 6-7:30
Yin Yang Yoga is the perfect blend of movement and stillness. 45 minutes of flow, then 45 minutes of yin.
This class had a mix of faster and strengthening poses & relaxing laid back ones. There was lots of meditation time at the end which is good for the last class of the day, especially when you have been up since 6:30am and have done 4 90 minute classes.
Before going back to the hostel, I went for dinner. This was the first time I’ve ever eaten dinner at the restaurant alone and I was a little nervous. I feel like lunch is less awkward.
After dinner, I went to bed but tonight I was woken up by everything shaking. Lombok had another big earthquake & because I was closer to it this time, I could feel it. There was no damage but it was still quite worrying, but more of that in a different post!
Monday (1 class at the Yoga Barn)
I was going to go for a 7:30am class today but I was just too tired from the little sleep the night before. I had a breakfast snack then checked out of the hostel before heading to my last class.
Beginners Yoga 9:30-10:30
Beginner Yoga is for students who are newer to yoga and would like to learn more about basic breathing and alignment techniques while building a stronger practice.
I was a bit tight today from the Capioera class from the day before. It was quite a slow paced class which I enjoyed.
Have you ever visited the yoga barn? What was your favourite class?