Your Personal Guide To The Perfect Holiday In Bali’s Self-Care Mecca
Like the cliché goes, I came to Bali – specifically Ubud – to heal. For almost four years I struggled with my health, spiralling down to a place I’d be happy to never visit again.
After a trip to Thailand changed my life (that’s another story), I knew I had to treat recovery like a full-time job, so quit my day one in Australia to head to Ubud.
A charming and chaotic town in the central highlands with incredibly creative vegan cafes, Ubud is known as the spiritual hub of the island. With gorgeous temples, artisans and stunning rice fields and jungle, more than three million foreign tourists visit this gem each year.
It’s also a healing mecca: world-renowned yoga studios, Tantra workshops, yoni steaming, Kambo medicine, cacao ceremony, sound healings in pyramids – you name the modality, chances are you’ll find it here.
But too much choice can be overwhelming, especially when you’re on holiday and don’t have ample time for trial and error.
After nine months of this shiz, I’ve put together a list of self-care recommendations to get you off to a solid start (but in no way is this list exhaustive).
NB: Recommending healers/ings is a tricky business, as it is so subjective. With many factors at play, I have zero responsibility for your experience.
Healing in Ubud
Nigel is the Director at Svarga Loka’s Ayusha Functional Wellbeing Centre.
He is also the man. A kind of a one-stop-shop for all things psychotherapy, dietetics and detox, if you’re feeling meh and aren’t exactly sure what’s going on, he’s a good person to ask. In terms of psychotherapy, Nigel has been a big part of my healing journey, and I thank my lucky stars I found him.
Yoga (And More)
Radiantly Alive is my pick for Yoga in Ubud. The Yoga Barn is the behemoth that put Ubud on the map. There’s also Intuitive Flow for a sweet, smaller studio in expat enclave Penestanan. Ubud Yoga Centre is a contemporary space perched above a gorgeous river.
Hot tip: All yoga studios in Ubud offer so much more than yoga – from Tantra workshops and sound healing to mandalas to breathwork. Check event schedules for your interests.
Yoga Teacher Training
Brooke and Lara at Back2Roots Retreats are the real deal. They guide people on the powerful journey back to the core of themselves in spectacular locations around the world – one of which is Bali. If you have the opportunity to do YTT with these two (and Lara’s fiancé Benny, who is a magician with sound), then don’t hesitate.
Yogi hub Radiantly Alive has fast become renowned for their excellent Yoga Teacher Trainings, especially when led by teachers Persia and James, or Meghan Currie.
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our 200hour @back2rootsretreats Body Poetry teacher training graduates ♥️♥️♥️ we did it ! this was so much deeper than a certificate . it was a dissolution into the collective mystery of a group of beings coming together to free-fall into the deepest chasms of life’s guts ~ with raw , snotty , open hearted , full . embodied. commitment to being wholly human. . there is so much to say about these exquisite expressions of divine love, and this life shattering , self-dissolving metamorphosis. yet the feeling is there could be nothing more to impose on our moment. perfectly complete
Within the Gaia Retreat Centre you’ll find professional-level colonics at Gaia Holistic Clinic.
The Yoga Barn uses the Woods Gravity Method which is gentler (and Anita is great).
Svarga Loka offer ‘standard’ spring water colonics through to deluxe options.
Frederique Nault at Bali Wellness Centre isn’t just a naturopath. She is also an iridologist and herbalist who specialises in allergy elimination and detoxification processes with a wealth of experience spanning decades.
North of Ubud, Pyramids of Chi offers impressive live sound healings multiple times per day inside actual pyramids with mother gongs, didgeridoo and crystal bowls.
Punnu Singh Wassu holds a room like nobody else. People flock to his Active Consciousness Meditation at The Yoga Barn (he also leads Kirtan), but you can have a one-on-one session for Reiki with this gifted Grand Master.
Soul Body Integration
Phill Hunt is a special healer with broad knowledge and experience spanning multiple fields: osteopathy, psychology, homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathic nutrition and bioresonance.
Pulling his life’s work into a method he calls Soul Body Integration, Phil creates an incredibly safe and gentle space to move through stored emotions, beliefs and traumas while using osteopathy to make physical space and movement, too.
Flowers for Dais astrologer Daisy is a special soul with strong channelling abilities that complement her one-on-one evolutionary astrology readings.
This isn’t just about getting your chart read – Daisy will look beyond; into karmic patterns, soul lessons and shadow.
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With Love A little personal thank you from me to you. Thank you to the community that is present on this page, helping to co-create this astrological journey of coming home to oneself. My intention here is to help align you with your soul chords that run throughout multiple lifetimes. A remembering. A realignment to your souls blueprint and core desires. I’m so grateful to have you here. I use the aesthetic and written curation of the page as an extension of my core self – my musings, my imagination and my favourite flavours. The way Astrology has helped to shape my life goes beyond words and I hope that my sharing can help to bring you back to your own truth. Take what I have to say with a pinch of salt… and if it resonates… ponder it on a deeper level. I see the stars constantly sending us energetic downloads and imprints. Running through our crown, our heart and back down through our feet to the earth. Allow the cosmic wisdom to melt into you. For it is only a reflection of what is already inside of you. Just a tool of remembering and reflection. The macrocosm mirroring the microcosm. As above, so below. What’s the next step with this space? Some material manifestations of my core love & passion… to support your connection to the cosmos and rhythms of nature. Yes, I’m working on some products to share with you ✨ When we are in alignment with our own organic physical body & mother nature’s body – we are in our most powerful state! (I believe) of receptivity and magic. If you feel called to align back to your organic state, which in turn allows effortless flow in your present reality and manifestation endeavours – reach out for a private session. I am honoured to be your cosmic messenger ✨ bisous bisous (sweet kisses on your hearts) Art made manifest by @lucia.dami and photography by @janamarle … two special angels in my life
I left my tarot reading with Budenovi at Tarot Bali not knowing which way was up, and considering this definitely ain’t my first rodeo in this arena, I was impressed.
A favourite of Alicia Silverstone, Budenovi is a talented Balinese tarot reader who’ll give you a glimpse into your future with a dose of good humour.
Mid range: Ida’s Body and Soul – for those who like a strong massage. If you like it so deep that you make noises you didn’t know were humanly possible, ask for Wayan (who I’ve nicknamed Wayan The Destroyer). They also have a spot in Canggu.
Ubud Traditional Spa is a family-run spa with a distinct Balinese feel. Try the rice farmer massage that uses both oil and salt.
Finish the pretty Campuhan Ridge Walk with a massage and flower bath at Karsa Spa, surrounded by rice fields. Thanks to Instagram, this is one you have to book in advance. If you want a lush resort-level flower bath, then Maya Resort is your ticket.
For an ultimate Ubud splurge, try Amandari Resort Ubud. This luxury resort on the spectacular Sayan ridge has a fabulous, serene spa. Ask for Kimiko: she is amazing.
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Designed after a traditional Balinese village, with sweeping views of the Ayung valley’s jungled slopes, #Amandari has integrated so sensitively into its hillside setting that it feels as though it has always been here. Start your #AmanJourney via the link in bio. #TheSpiritofAman #Bali #Ubud #AyungValley
Tjampuhan Spa is an otherworldly space with stone carvings and natural spring-fed cold dipping pools, this sauna and spa in Hotel Tjampuhan is right on the river and a very Ubud experience (for under $15).
Svarga Loka has a modern two-person far infrared sauna.
The Yoga Barn also offers two far infrared saunas in their KUSH Ayurvedic spa.
Bali Dacha is a Russian bathhouse in the jungle. This ‘spa village and lounge club’ offers a unique sauna experience with live music, dancing and shisha afterward.
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Tomorrow my Indonesia fairytale will come to an end… :/ but good news, pretty sure Im moving here for dual living! If only to once again visit the prettiest spa ever! @hoteltjampuhan Ubud but really, having met so many people who make it happen, who are here for the long run, Im so ready to make this, or gili air my second home! Its just wander..full! the creativity flows, the people are so chill, and that temperature . . . #byebyebali #indonesiatravel #wanderful_places #travelfairy #gorgeousplaces #bestspaever #tjampuhanspa #beautyofubud #magicalplaces #livingfairytale
Ecstatic Dance and Dance
Like a spiritual blue light disco, Friday nights in Ubud are spent ecstatic dancing at The Yoga Barn. You can also let loose to their equally popular Sunday morning session. All the spiritual kids are doing it.
Usually a cinema, Paradiso Ubud‘s Thursday nights are dedicated to ecstatic dance. They also hold a popular Saturday morning Contact Improvisation Dance class.
Mana Mei is a classically-trained dancer with three decades of experience, who began exploring personal embodied dance and expressive movement after moving to Bali. Helping others experience dance as medicine, Mana travels the world with her offerings. When based in Ubud, her workshops and classes are musts.
Titi Batu Fitness Club is the deluxe option, more like a lifestyle centre. It has everything from a skate park and squash and basketball courts, to a kid’s playground, steam and sauna, 25m lap pool, gym, fitness studio and café.
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Ahhh, what a wonderful place in Ubud. We loved spending the day @titi_batu – chilling, swimming, eating, sleeping, working (a bit) and playing with the boy . . . . . #titibatuubudclub #titibatu #ubud #thechilledlife #bali #1monthinbali #paradise #travel #yogatravel #baliindonesia
Ari is a traditional Balinese healer (by donation) who will make a trip to Wa-Kung Café on Monkey Forest Road to see clients. After chatting about whatever is coming up for you, he offers channelled guidance and then will usually end the exchange with an energy healing. However, sessions vary depending on the person.
Water Temple Cleansing
You can’t come to Bali without going to temple; the island is brimming with sacred sites for honouring Hindu devotional practices, and water is all about purification.
While most tourists will head straight to Pura Tirta Empul near Ubud, make your way to Gunung Kawi Sebatu – a beautiful temple for performing a purification ceremony.
(Lead Images: Author’s Own / Pyramids Of Chi)