8.5078° S, 115.2644° E
As you know if you’ve read this post on our short trip to Ubud, Robin and I spent four days going to five yoga classes together at the Yoga Barn.
As for our experience in yoga…its minimal. Robin is a complete beginner, and the only experience he had with yoga was a couple “home practices” where we followed beginner classes online. As for myself, I actually did some yoga for a short time about five years ago, and I just started back up again five months ago. I have been doing home practices exclusively, so going to the Yoga Barn was the first time I’ve been to a yoga studio in five years. Back then I was doing Ashtanga yoga, but now I’ve begun with more of a Vinyasa, flowing practice.
So, what I’m trying to get at is that Robin and I are beginners. We decided to buy a 10 class pass for the Yoga Barn, and attend 5 classes each. That’s the great thing about this place, you can share the pass as long as you go to the same classes together. It’s much cheaper this way so we were able to save a little bit there. We did a lot of reading about the different studios to do yoga in Ubud, and there sure are a lot. We ended up deciding on the Yoga Barn because of the huge variety of classes to take. As of right now, they have 22 different yoga classes you can take ranging from Intro to Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga Healing and so much more. They also have lots of meditation classes including Tibetan Bowl Meditation and an Introduction to Meditation. They offer a few dance classes, sound healing, a Women’s Circle and many types of holistic healing as well.
There were so many amazing options here so that’s initially why we chose to come here. On top of all the classes they offer, they have 50 acres of land, with 5 studios (two always in use and three available for rent). They have a delicious Vegan Cafe and a Juice Bar, and they also have an area with clothes, jewelry, books, mats and much more for sale. It’s such a big place with something for absolutely everybody.
So we paid 90,000 IDR ($89.00 CAD) for a 10 class pass, giving us 5 classes each. There are some cheaper places around in Ubud to do yoga but we felt this place had such a great feeling and they offered so much. One thing that I was a little nervous about before going was that when reading the comments, a lot of people were saying that the classes are too crowded; they are letting too many people in and it has become like a yoga factory now. Of course I really thought about that, because I wasn’t excited about being in a studio full of people and feeling like you can’t even spread your arms. But again, we talked about it and decided to push on. Besides, we are here in the lowest of the low seasons, so that had to make a difference…right? Well out of all five of our classes, two of them were crowded. At first this made me a little nervous. I don’t like being in crowds to begin with, let alone in a yoga class where I still consider myself a beginner! But, to my surprise, I got over it pretty quickly. I stopped caring about everyone else in the room (except you, Robin!!) and just went with the flow, pun intended.
The first class we attended was an Intro to Yoga Class at 2pm; an hour and a half class with Estee. That was the least crowded class out of all of them, it was nice to be less people in our first class. There were probably 15 or 20 of us. Estee was great, she had such a welcoming personality and made all of us feel very comfortable. She had told us that she teaches three Intro classes at the same time three days in a row, but she focuses on different things in each of them, so we decided to go back to her the next day
But before that, we did a Yin Yoga class with Eka the next day, another hour and a half class at 11 in the morning. Doing Yin was a first time for both Robin and I, and it was amazing. Eka was so calming, and it was a perfect class for beginners as well as any other level. We held each posture for 3-5 minutes, and it was easily the most relaxing hour and a half of my life. It was sometimes a little painful…but so nice at the same time. We both felt great after this class and just wanted to do another one. We had lunch; unfortunately not at the Cafe at the Yoga Barn because it was full, but at a different place nearby, and then went back and took Estee’s second Intro to Yoga Class. Again, really nice practice with her and it was different enough from her first class that it was still very interesting and we were working different muscles than the previous day!
The next day, we decided to take a Slow Vinyasa class at 8 in the morning, another hour and a half class, with Tanya this time. That one was the most demanding one that we had attended, and I knew that it would certainly be a little quicker than the Yin and Intro classes. This class was absolutely packed, and again I was a little weary, but soon enough we got into our practice and forgot about the other people. I was so proud of Robin in this class, it went faster than we both thought it would go, and this was his third yoga class…ever!! He kept up and did a great job. But we definitely both felt it walking out of there…what a great feeling! We enjoyed that class and hopefully Robin felt motivated to continue with a regular yoga practice to keep improving.
We decided to use our last two spaces on our 10 class pass on an amazing session of Tibetan Bowl Meditation. When we saw that this class was offered, we immediately thought that we should try and get to one! This is something that was completely new to us. After starting yoga again I had started looking into meditation, and even tried a few guided meditations from the app Headspace. I actually quite like it so I was excited to do a live class of meditation, guided through music. The general idea of it is that Tibetan Bowls are bells that sit on the floor (that look like bowls) and they are played by tapping the rim of the bowls with a padded mallet. This makes some amazing sounds, and not only that; but it also creates small vibrations so when laying on a yoga mat one the floor, the vibrations are also said to help with the mediation. The teacher, Shervin, played these Tibetan Bowls for us. But not only that, he had a plethora of other instruments with him that he played for us throughout the hour mediation session. He played the guitar, some kind of flute, a didgeridoo (took us right back to Australia) and other kinds of bells and chimes. Keep in mind that we were in a deep meditative state (maybe a bit of napping as well) so I didn’t see everything he was playing.
When we first began, we laid down in Savasana and could use any pillows or bolsters to get comfortable and were to just lay there with our eyes closed and let the music work its magic. At the beginning I was a little uncomfortable so I couldn’t fully concentrate, but I fixed myself and apparently got a little too comfortable because moments later I had one little snore and woke myself up…..oops! Then after that, it was the weirdest feeling. It felt as if just 10 minutes after we began, Shervin started to gently speak and say it was time to roll over and that we were finished! I was so confused, but sure enough I looked at the clock and an hour had passed. We slowly but surely peeled ourselves off of our mats, and Robin and I were both kind of at a loss for words…we could not really explain how we felt! But we both were so relaxed and mellowed out. So we would absolutely recommend the Tibetan Bowl Mediation, for people of any level!
All in all, I think we had a really good first experience with the Yoga Barn. Yes it’s big, yes its popular and yes its a little commercialized… but for complete beginners, it was just fine for us. In our opinion, all of the teachers we had were amazing. They were well spoken, easy to hear and understand, and all very welcoming of all levels. This experience has again brought back my motivation to continue yoga and grow my home practice, and I think it was a great starting point for Robin as well. Now that we will be working for some time on a farm, we will have not only the time…but the space to practice yoga on our down time. I’m so excited to see our progress, and when we come back to Bali we can come back to the Yoga Barn and take some more difficult classes to really show how far we’ve come.