The Yoga Barn in Ubud Bali well, it gets mixed reviews. Most people love it but with everything good it can get too popular thus creating a sort of hipster attitude of “oh it’s changed” or “I went there before it was popular”. I get it I liked The Biebs before he was cool too. On the flip side since its become so popular it attracts some of the worlds best yoga instructors along with an insane array of unique yoga classes and things to do so I’ll break it down a bit for you so you can choose your favorites.
TYB is situated on Jalan Hanoman tucked in far and virtually hidden from view (find the Siam Sally sign and walk inwards). Once inside start walking all the way down, you’ll pass the cafe and the juice bar and all of the yoga studios until you reach the reception. From there you can learn about the different class passes, treatments at Kush and individual sessions with specialists.
The cafe is pretty special. By Bali standards the prices are neither here nor there, the drinks however are fairly pricey but some would say rightly so. The food is easily digested and fairly straight forward and generally consistent however they missed my cashews on my cashew dish twice, go figure. They have dishes like veggie curry, chips and salsa, samosas etc. but if you’re a meat fan all they have is chicken (or tofu and tempe). If you’re in a hurry, order from the counter the service can be painfully slow. If you’re shy don’t bother trying to find an empty table, hey are all meant for sharing. I spent a lot of time here between classes and the prices add up when you can’t resist their raw chocolate bars or fresh coconuts. The juice bar down below is excellent, the prices are about 15K higher than most juice bars in Ubud but it has the advantage of being right there. They don’t charge tax down there so things are cheaper than at the cafe (hint: coconuts). They serve fresh juice, smoothies, energy balls and popsicles. Yum.
There are many straight forward classes like hatha and power yoga at The Yoga Barn but there’s also some avant garde classes I can steer you through.
Acro yoga – Yoga using yours and your partner(s) body weight to do cool tricks and inversions. Everyone arrives solo don’t worry. High intensity, one of my favorites. My advice though is pace yourself and don’t show off too much in the beginning, you’ll need your strength for the last couple poses. Trust me.
Kirtan – Chanting and singing or a combo of both, really. It is so beautiful you don’t need to be good at singing or know the songs at all. Very beautiful and peaceful way to end your week. Don’t come too tired it will lull you to sleep. I wished I had discovered this sooner so try it out at the beginning of your trip.
Shemanic breathwork – Step right up with all your deepest fears and insecurities and breath to the rhythm until you start to relax and let go. Think: An ayahuasca experience w/o ayahuasca. Bring your open mind, you’ll be amazed.
Qi Gong – Similar to Tai chi, I imagine. This practice takes a LOT of patience and focus. Do not come to this sleepy, tired, hungry or emotionally unbalanced you’ll just be staring at the clock the entire time. Do come with an open mind and you’ll be amazed and start to feel the Qi tingle in your fingers.
Sacred Geometry – A form of meditation where you are all aligned in a certain way on the floor and you breathe deeply while the meditater recites sacred scripts. Try to drift off but don’t fall asleep, when done correctly you can feel your chakras align/release. If you are very religious this might not be for you.
Tibetan bowl meditation – Again a laying down meditation this time silent where the meditater uses Tibetan bowls and bells to help you go deeper and release. She’ll wave them around your head for an amazing sound inside you soul as well as possibly a splash holy water FYI. So if you’re religious again this might not be for you.
Gong bath meditation – Similar to Tibetan bowl but with gongs and bells.
Ecstatic Dance – A form of self expression where you dance your craziest for an hour and then a quick meditation. Arrive 1 hour or so early to get ticket (even if you have a class card) and then go chill until they open the doors. Fridays’: Crazier, dressier (in a new age no dresses hippy, gold tattoos kind of way), and darker Sundays’:Sillier, brighter to better show off your costume, allows kids.
I tried almost every class and with a lot of different teachers, they all bring something new to the mix which is unusual for yoga and that’s what makes The Yoga Barn so excellent. For example, my very first class was a Vinyasa flow 2 with Les Leventhal.. we didn’t do a single vinyasa. What we did do blew my mind though and challenged everything I knew (and kind of hated) about yoga. Another good example was yin yoga with Denise.. it hurt like hell and was mainly with tennis balls but boy was it amazing. So check out as many classes as you can and be prepared to be surprised.
The “spa” Kush offers a variety of Ayuvedic treatments and massages for a variety of ailments. From what I’ve heard the 75 minutes bamboo massage is divine. Check out my review of Shiodara here for more insight.
As for individual sessions you can book them at reception each has their own specialty so ask a ton of questions. I hear the Esalen massage is very releasing and the private session with Wakhua, unbelievable.
The last thing I should mention is the class passes. Everything depends on how long you will be staying in Ubud and the time and intensity you plan on investing. But as a barometer I came to Ubud solely for yoga so I bought a month pass I ended up doing only 40 odd classes. I should mention I did hurt my foot and was off for a half week or so but you never know. I personally recommend starting with a 20 pass and seeing how you do. It gives you freedom and it doesn’t expire for a long time. Also don’t waste your time on the 4 pass, I’ve done 4 in one day before.
Hit me up with questions if you have them I’ll share as much as I know 🙂