The island of Bali is an incredible destination for a yoga retreat, a health escape or just a well-deserved holiday from the real world. We all need to escape life sometimes and this tropical island has some amazing yoga spots where you can do just this. You’ll literally find yourself spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing the best Bali yoga retreat so we thought we’d help out. After over ten years of living on the island, we’ve explored almost all of the yoga schools, been in class with the best teachers, stayed at the best yoga retreats and practised at the best yoga shalas that are on offer in this tropical paradise. So we thought we’d use our experience to give you the inside word on where you can go in Bali and what to expect when you get there.
We’ve had the chance to compare our service to the other Bali yoga retreats and believe we can be rated in the top five hot spots for the travelling yogini. We hope to see you next time you’re in Bali, but wherever you end up booking, make sure you choose a yoga retreat that will roll out a simply incredible experience. The following elements are those we consider essential to any yoga holiday. We provide them all at Escape Haven and urge you to look for similar service while you’re making a booking.
Undeniably Essential Elements Of A Bali Yoga Retreat
Let’s be honest right from the start. When you’re doing yoga on a tropical island you’re going to get hot and sweaty. Lots of people are ok with coming out of a class soaking wet and fragrant but if you’re not, the retreat’s cooling system is something to be aware of. It does take some time (and a lot of hydration) to get used to the tropical climate in Bali – so if you’re only coming for a short trip, choose a studio, Bali yoga retreat or purpose-built shala with good air-flow. It could be air-conditioning or just ceiling mounted hurricane fans – ask for whatever you need to manage the heat.
Like the rest of the world, the Bali yoga industry has exploded in recent years and there are now many yoga schools offering teacher training programmes to anyone with a desire and three weeks to spare. From our perspective, 21 days is not even enough time to get established and develop your own yoga practice – let alone learn how to teach others. This might sound harsh but what we’re saying is this; make sure you choose a Bali yoga retreat with experienced teachers! When booking do not be afraid to ask how long they’ve been teaching and make sure you don’t fall into the trap of flying to Bali to find you’ve been matched with a yoga teacher who hasn’t got the skills you need to take you to the next level.
Working With Injury
If you’ve ever had to practice yoga with an injury (or after recovering from a pregnancy) then you’ll know how important it is that your teacher understands how to adapt the practice to your needs. Ahem, and as women of a certain age, we can’t say this firmly enough! Any yoga retreat that claims to welcome all body types and sizes isn’t fulfilling its promise if they don’t listen to your needs and make sure you’re not overcommitting to poses on the mats. The classes at your Bali yoga retreat should be tailored to suit your needs within the framework of a small group.
Bali is a stunning environment for a yoga retreat but like all tourist destinations, it has drawbacks. A construction boom in recent years has left many areas overpopulated and which means some of the village growth plans and building infrastructures haven’t been the most organised. Put simply, this means it’s important to ask about any construction that may be happening in the general vicinity of your yoga retreat. There’s nothing worse than the endless pounding of a jackhammer when you’re trying to find the peace within or rest up after a relaxing spa treatment! Ask your prospective Bali yoga retreat about the surrounding areas, the views and for extra specifics on your accommodation. While it’s often possible to book a twin room with a friend, some places will skimp and group guests together in one room without telling you. If privacy is important to you then make sure you do a little investigation before you book.
Complementary And On-call Services
There’s nothing better than matching an intense yoga practice with a holistic treatment schedule so ask about massages, spa treatments and nutrition! These elements will turn a good yoga retreat into an incredible healing experience. A certain number of them should be offered to guests as part of the retreat. Good yoga retreats will also have extra staff on call should you require bodywork, Ayurvedic sessions or adventures out into Bali’s gorgeous tropical landscape.
Our Pick For Nine Top Tropical Bali Yoga Retreats
6 nights from $2295 USD
Escape Haven has become known as a leader in the Bali yoga retreat and health escape market with its luxury accommodation, small classes and yoga instructors who have been handpicked as the best in their field. Escape Haven is a women’s yoga retreat with so much more to offer than just yoga. Each day you’ll find yourself plied with wellness treatments in an idyllic environment which was named as the best luxury wellness retreat of the year globally in the 2017 World Luxury Hotel awards and has been number 1 on Trip Advisor for 8 years running. You’ll have a choice of Ayurvedic treatments and massage, nutrition assessments, spa sessions, surfing lessons, meditation classes and of course, two 90 minute yoga classes each day in the purpose-built, air-conditioned studio as well as unlimited yoga at nearby yoga shalas too.. The gorgeous estate, experienced staff and world-class program offer women an incredible Bali healing adventure.
COST – 7 nights from USD $2,530
Desa Seni is one of Bali’s best-known yoga centres and the retreat stays here include access to the daily yoga schedule, a meditation session, a couple of massages and seven meals. We can recommend choosing the restorative yoga retreat option as you’ll get the benefit of a private instructor to help tailor your practice. Desa Seni has some talented yoga teachers who can help you to renew your commitment to yoga as well as assist with healing any injuries you may be carrying. This Canggu based yoga retreat is a busy one with large classes but you’re sure to find yourself immersed in your own journey to wellness in their comfortable surroundings.
COST – 6 nights from $3,555 USD
Sukhavati Bali yoga retreat offers an excellent 7 day, 6-night refresh programme to help you heal and recuperate. You’ll have healing treatments and twice daily yoga sessions as well as enjoying an ayurvedic meal plan to detoxify your system and renew your energy levels. There are eight thatched-roof style villas on site and each has a little balcony where you can take breakfast and enjoy the tranquillity of the estate. If you’d like a pool to lounge beside during your retreat you can upgrade to one of the private pool villas for an extra fee.
Cost – 7 nights from $5271.00 USD
Five Elements is a yoga retreat and wellness holiday programme that offers a Balinese themed experience to guests. You’ll enjoy blessing ceremonies and sacred art sessions as well as a water healing session from local staff. Five elements has yummy food and offers daily healing cuisine with this package. You will also get to enjoy beauty rituals and an ’embracing change’ session while you stay. Suites are located beside the river and the retreat’s ethos is based on learning to love and respect all life. This is a beautiful Bali yoga retreat with lots of added extras for lucky guests, but yoga doesn’t feature as strongly in their programme as we would’ve liked.
COST – 5 nights from $3,371 USD
COMO Shambhala is located near Ubud and calls the jungle-covered gorge of the Ayung River its home. COMO is a wellness hotel which offers yoga retreats, pilates classes and meditation workshops as an added extra to guests. Generally, guests here book long-term stays and COMO tailors to this need with extended and curated diet and nutrition programmes. They offer a holistic approach to health for those looking to lose weight, heal from addiction or just improve their general wellbeing.
COST 7 nights approx $2500 USD
Mandala village is a Bali yoga retreat without the same structure as the ones above. It’s based in Balangan which is on the southern peninsula of Bali. This retreat spot is close to the best surf in Bali and has exclusive use of the Padma yoga shala which includes two spaces for your practice and a changing schedule of yoga classes and teachers. Close by there are healthy little restaurants and juice bars to take care of the munchies. The accommodation can be described as Asian industrial chic. Mandala Village offers bungalows or pool villas. Here you can craft your own yoga escape or Bali holiday without the pressure of scheduling. The Bukit area is full of fun activities which makes Mandala Village a great option for those coming on a family holiday where not everyone in the group practices yoga.
COST 7 nights from $3,300USD
Soulshine is located near Ubud and offers a range of Bali yoga retreats and wellness holidays but by far the most popular is The Soul Rocker. This is a yoga retreat with a totally unique flavour, it was created and is hosted by musician Michael Franti and his wife, Sara Franti. This yoga retreat is more of a holistic group holiday with a musical twist. All fitness levels are welcome and they’ve brought in a yoga teacher and personal trainer to lead the fitness sessions while they focus on Q&A, dancing, adventuring, cocktail evenings and music to accompany your yoga experience. Soulshine is a busy and popular Bali yoga retreat which means all of the rooms in the complex are shared.
COST – 6 nights from $3,478 USD
Based in Ubud, Bali’s yoga retreat capital, Naya Bali is a boutique yoga centre that subcontracts their group yoga retreat experiences to other organisers. They generally offer high-end group yoga escapes which include food and offer a ‘back to nature’ experience where participants hike, mountain bike and sauna their way through the days. Although each yoga retreat is run by a different group Naya management is known to have a high standard, using the Kali collective, Yogascapes and other well-known retreat leaders to run their escapes. They also run training courses and private Bali yoga retreats in a villa opposite the shala for couples or small groups.
Floating Leaf Eco Resort
COST – 6 nights $2,350USD
Floating leaf is an eco-resort and Bali yoga retreat that’s been voted highly by Conde Naste and other travel experts. This retreat is built in a lovely bamboo structure and uses elements of Balinese spirituality combined with Western nutritionists to offer a special yoga retreat experience. You can donate to the local community and learn about the culture while you’re at the resort which offers daily yoga sessions weaved in with healing sessions, meditations, village tours, and creative activities in the area of Sukawati.
Bali Yoga Escapes For Every Woman
So there you have it, our humble review of the top nine Bali yoga retreats and health holidays in Bali. We’ve tried to be inclusive and really do our investigation so you’ll see these retreats are spread right across the island. Some of them offer service on the boutique end of the scale, while others are tailored to larger groups. You’ll find many of these escapes suit not just yoga lovers but those that want to experience spiritual and physical healing from a variety of conditions.
Most of all, we prompt you to do your research and make sure the yoga retreat you end up booking will completely meet your needs. We hope you enjoy your experience in Bali and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a chat if you’d like to find out more about Escape Haven’s Bali yoga retreats and women’s health programmes on the beautiful island of Bali.