5 yoga retreats to check out in Indonesia
Not far from Australia’s northern shores lies our neighbour, Indonesia. Steeped in a rich spiritual history, today it offers a growing number of affordable and accessible places to learn yoga. The practice of yoga was spread to Indonesia, notably the island of Bali, as southern Indians migrated down through Asia, bringing Hinduism and yoga with them. More than 4,000 years old, yoga is an invaluable tool for bringing health, happiness and balance into your life.
There are literally hundreds of yoga retreats throughout Indonesia, though most people choose to learn yoga in Bali. But you don’t have to stick to Bali to have an incredible yoga holiday. Here’s our pick of the best five yoga retreats across Indonesia.
Hundreds of years ago, Ubud became a spiritual centre and home to Indonesia’s first yoga retreats. The area has a special sense of spirituality and, today, retreats like The Yoga Barn offer everything from daily casual classes to studio rental for private classes, and more than 15 classes and workshops a day. The beautiful site also offers healthy meals made with locally grown ingredients.
How to get there: A 90-minute taxi ride from Bali’s international airport in Denpasar.
Cost: Classes are AU$13 each and double rooms are AU$85 per night.
One of Bali’s largest eco-resorts, Desa Seni is a more up-market yoga retreat. Surrounded by paddy fields and tropical gardens, it’s an 11-minute walk to the nearest beach. Offering a very wide range of yoga classes and workshops, it also boasts a saltwater pool with a sundeck, an organic restaurant supplied from an on-site garden, and a spa offering holistic treatments.
How to get there: A 40-minute taxi ride from Bali’s international airport in Denpasar.
Cost: Classes start at AU$14 and rooms start at US$130 per night.
If Bali is too bustling for your Zen mind-frame, you might prefer the Gili Islands for your yoga retreat. These tiny islands between Bali and Lombok offer an ideal location for a yoga holiday. The Yoga Place is located in the heart of the small island Gili Trawangan. It’s a peaceful place to refresh your body, mind and spirit so you can fully enjoy your time in this tropical paradise. With a wide range of yoga classes, you’re certain to leave relaxed and energised.
How to get there: Take a boat from Padang Bai in Bali to Trawangan Island. Charter flights also run from Denpasar.
Cost: Classes from AU$10. They don’t offer accommodation but you can contact them to organise a deal.
Like it hot? While Indonesia’s tropics certainly don’t struggle to push the thermometer, some yogis have noticed the benefits of heating up just a little bit extra – to 42 degrees, to be exact. Known as Bikram yoga, this sweaty style of yoga offers extra intensity and flexibility to your yoga practice. After a stint at Yoga@42 in Indonesia’s capital, you’re sure to leave feeling light, loving and inspired.
How to get there: Grab a taxi direct from Jakarta International Airport.
Cost: Classes from AU$17. They don’t offer accommodation but you can contact them to organise a deal.
For a different type of yoga retreat, you might enjoy the infinitely peaceful Bali Silent Retreat. Set in fields of rice paddies, you won’t say a word as you practice yoga, meditation and restful silence. While there isn’t a wide range of yoga available, you are encouraged to do your own practice and the deep silence is wonderfully rejuvenating. It’s very good value, with all food and classes included in the price, and you’ll enjoy the lavish feasts everyday, a cosy reading room and water meditation.
How to get there: A two-hour drive from Bali’s international airport. The centre will organise a transfer for you.
Cost: From US$55 per night, including all food, classes and accommodation.
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