Bali Bliss: Explore The Healthy & Chill Way

IMG_20140407_175336  

I finally decided to write a post about my Bali wanderings and all the blissful places to go to and enjoy a delicious meal or two if you happen to explore that part of the world. It comes more than a year later, but as friends and friends of friends often ask me for the exciting places to discover while in Bali, I thought I'd finally write about my beloved island.

 

IMG_4827

 

I spent 3 months on the island in 2014. Yoga Teacher Training. Exploring. Chillin'. Livin'. You can read about it here and here. It was a magical time. From immersing myself in a yoga bubble, experiencing life-changing moments, just listening to my heart and enjoying life. Bali has been my home and I've got a special bond with that place. My first trip there was a revelation- for my heart, purpose and desires. Some fairies must have been at work while I was there and sprinkled some magic dust on me. I found yoga, and soon after became a health coach and a yoga teacher. Entrepreneur in the making. Maybe one day it will all come to life in a book, who knows. In the meantime, here's a few suggestions on where to go for that green juice or for that meditation spot or enjoying a magical sunset. I've mainly written about my favourite places- Ubud, Bukit and Gilis.

Bali is an enchanting place. The island holds a special energy. From the people you meet, the signs on your path, the vibe, the transformation awaiting and hidden treasures.

 

High in variety. From luxurious villas to shacks on the beach. From indonesian to vegan food. There is a place and things to do for every budget and preferences. The island is rich in nature and beautiful landscape, in traditions and ceremonies. Balinese people shines with their kindness and hospitality. I always felt safe travelling on my own as a woman, but of course, common sense and intuition is always essential as you travel and discover new places. It's also always good to learn at least a few words of bahasa for basic conversation. Locals always appreciate.

 

UBUD

 

EAT & YOGA

Ubud is a little haven for the food lovers and yogis. I wish my town had half its food choices. Think raw food, juices & smoothies, vegan, and many more other options. There's still a lot more that I haven't had the chance to discover. There's cafes and restaurants everywhere. Live music, festivals and events happening throughout the year.

 

While in Bali, fruits are a must. Tasting local food is part of exploring a new place. Stroll through the market, and try them all! There's such a wide variety and your eyes and belly will rejoice. My favorites are mangosteen, papaya, salak (snake fruit), dragon fruit and markisa (local passion fruit).

 

 

KAFE

My favourite.

20140524_101605

ALCHEMY

They have a big raw veggie salad bar. Smoothies & juices. Raw treats. Chill places. They do home delivery and have a little health food store as well. A little bit on the outskirts of Ubud but worth going.

IMG_20140522_221748

Bamboo leaves, that's how they roll with home deliveries. Kinda awesome.

20140522_152522

 

IMG_20140511_125654

 

Bali Buda

Another healthy cafe with juices, smoothies and delicious honey oatmeal cookies- trust me on that one! My fellow yogis from my training will attest ;)

20140523_124155

 

CLEAR CAFE

The food and casual chic look of the restaurant will make you come back.

YOGABARN

20140514_160909

They have a beautiful space to chill, enjoy a green juice or take a yoga class in the midst of rice fields. It's actually there that I took my first yoga class and fell in love with yoga a few years ago.

Another place is Radiantly Alive.

 

DOWN TO EARTH

Another lovely & healthy cafe. Health store in there too.

20140523_085934

 

*Most places have wifi.

 

To see/do : rice fields, monkey forest, massages, yoga, cafes, boutiques. They have lots of things and events happening with the large expat community so check the flyers in cafes or Internet for ecstatic dance or yoga workshops. You can take day trips to Jatiluwih rice terraces or the volcanoes.

IMG_1337

 

SLEEP

You can find beautiful villas with swimming pool on AirBnB. I stayed in different places every time. But loved the villa I rented with friends in Penestenan, the village next door to Ubud. Just a scooter ride away.

 

BUKIT PENINSULA

 

Very chill and surfers vibe. Balangan, Bingin, Padang Padang and Uluwatu are the spots not to miss. Just little beaches with not much around- so you might want to get a scooter or taxi to get to a place or another. Surrounded by cliffs, beach shacks and waves.

 

Balangan

IMG_4185

 

My favourite place. It's where my heart awakened. Where I decided to fall in love with my life and where it all started. Moons ago. Wild & chill. Just my kind. Think fresh coconut sipping while watching surfers catching waves. There's a few shacks on the beach where you can eat a plate of nasi goreng between surf sessions. It's the perfect spot to slow down, read a book, catch a wave or explore the cliffs to breathe in the stunning view. Sunsets are quite magical. Bungalows are up the cliff.

20140531_132216

Nothing quite like sharing a coconut moment with new friends or old souls friendship while talking about life.

IMG_20140405_144558

 

IMG_20140409_183418

Can't tell you how many sunsets I've watched on that beach. Each time different magic at play.

 

STAY

I've stayed in all of these places and loved them all. Met wonderful people each time. The bungalows have a real island vibe. They all have a swimming pool and restaurants. Banana pancakes and papaya juice for breakfast, that's a winner.

Flower Bud Bungalows

20140531_105010

Balangan Sea View Bungalows. Been there many times. A mix of surfers, families, couples or solo travelers. They have a beautiful spot by the cliff- perfect for meditation if you ask me! ;)

Brothers Bungalows and Merta Sari Bungalows are also near by.

 

Bingin

TEMPLE LODGE

It's for bigger budgets (I was travelling for a few months- it might not be a big budget if it's a short vacay), good healthy food & yoga classes you can join.

 

20140612_094648

Turmeric juice

Kembang Kuning Bungalow

Cheap, good food, awesome view, infinity pool, friendly staff and next door to Temple Lodge. Need a scooter or taxi to move around as it is very remote from anything. Beach is down the cliff with a few cafes and yoga classes available.

20140614_113959

 

20140614_121814

 

 

Padang Padang

This one's a gem! Small beach, good for swimmers and surfers, with a few health cafes along the road. You can find locals to rent a board and they'll go with you, to help you catch a wave. It's one of my favourite beach on the island as the water is turquoise, sand is white and perfect for a swim too, which is rare on the island. Beaches in Bali are not the nicest. It's either super crowded, polluted with garbage or water's too wild.

20140528_123325

 

BUDDHA SOUL

Delicious smoothies & juices. Cool place to hang out before or after a stop at Padang Padang beach.

20140528_125756

Spent quite a few mornings or afternoons, savoring buckwheat pancakes or sipping on a mint juice while having great conversations with yogi friends or strangers.

20140528_125739 20140528_092650

 

MANGO TREE CAFE is another option along the road to the beach.

 

 

ULUWATU

Single Finn for a few drinks is the place to be at sunset. Sometimes there is live music. Very chill & surfers vibe.

IMG_1009

Uluwatu temple & view over the ocean. Watch out for the monkeys.

20140617_163833

 

 

GILI TRAWANGAN

IMG_20140520_224439

Island life at its best. Think no cars. Just you and your bike. Exploring the little island. Swimming with turtles. Meeting friends at the beach bar for sunsets. Outdoor movie by the beach. Sipping on a coconut or green juice. Laying on the white sand beach with a book. Yes as I said, island life. Get your downward dog on at Gili Yoga.

 

KAYU CAFE

If you want a healthy breakfast or your daily green juice with a view. You'll find it there. You're welcome.

IMG_20140520_095646 IMG_20140519_082741 IMG_20140516_103239

20140516_112728

Gili Air is a bit more quiet than Gili T. Perfect for couples. There's also an outdoor movie. Gili Meno is for the ones seeking more wild, silence and simple life. I haven't actually stayed on the other two islands but that's what I've heard from friends.

 

Canggu

It's a 15 minute drive from Seminyak. More chill & quiet. Echo beach is a surfers spot. They also have healthy cafes like BUNGALOW.

20140509_122355

This place is just heaven. The deco is cosy. Island life meets morrocan style. The food is also delicious, from juices to mezze. There's also a little store in the cafe- with books and home deco. Love the vibe.

 

20140509_162000

20140509_124216

 

Nusa Lembongan

It's a little bit the same vibe as the Gilis. You can rent a bike or scooter and go explore the island. Get your yoga on at Yoga Shack and your healthy breakfast or lunch at BALI ECO DELI.

IMG_20140608_095024

 

Seminyak

Seminyak isn't really my place. Too crowded for my vibe. It's filled with traffic, tourists, bars, shopping and restaurants. I never spent more than a few days in a row. They do have healthy and cosy restaurants like Earth Cafe and Cafe Bali.

Check out these websites too: http://www.balispirit.com and http://www.thebalibible.com.

 

Drop me a line if you have any questions or just to tell me what's you're favourite place if you've been! I also happened to know the best, kind and experienced driver in Bali, so don't hesitate to contact me.

Happy travels!

The Magic of a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali

20140507_070530

This April marks a year since I took the leap. One year since I hopped on a plane to my beloved island, Bali and started my Yoga Teacher Training. I've been wanting to write about it since I said goodbye to my Bubble, but as big moments in life, I found myself struggling to find words to describe what I lived, and I know that even now my words won't portray everything I felt: the energy, the love, the emotions, the transformation.

There is something quite magical about a group of people coming together, from all corners of the world, to learn about yoga, to deepen our practice, to go within, ready for a shift, a transformation into our own journey. I spent 5 weeks in the midst of rice fields with an amazing group of yoginis. It's one of those moments that changes the course of your life, that makes sense of all the setbacks, the doubts, the fears. I was meant to be there at that time and meet those beautiful souls.

Here's 10 little nuggets that made this yoga teacher training so special:

1. Unplug

No phone, no wifi, no breaking news. A huge breath of fresh air.  I lost track of hours, days, even months. So much freedom and space created when you free yourself from all the external noise. I realised the amount of time I lose in a day while online and bombarded by all kind of information. It gave me space, it calmed my nervous system and allowed creativity, discovery and connection to take place. Being in silence, quieting the mind, enjoying gazing at the rain, trees and stars, journaling, meaningful and heartwarming conversations. There is a precious, infinite richness and spaciousness that is created while unplugging.

20140415_171347

 

 

2. Connection

23 students, 2 amazing teachers, a child and a puppy for 5 weeks in our own little world. That beautiful bubble transformed into a yoga family. Being surrounded with like-minded, whole-hearted human beings invite for honest, loving, supportive and transformative relationships. I know the bubble, even though is now spread all over the world, is still present, still connected through oceans, here for one another, and this is pure gold. I also couldn't have asked for better teachers, the knowledge, love, patience, compassion, openness and fun they brought to this training has been a gift. The way they breathe and live yoga has taught me so much about how I want to live my life. I have so much gratitude for that Bubble showing up into my life and not a day goes by when I'm not thinking about them. They have a special place in my heart.

 

 

3. Live in the now

We tend to live in the past or future and forget about the now, this precious present moment that we have been given. Throughout the weeks I learned to let go of the old stories, the future worries and decisions I will have to make and awakened to the beauty surrounding me, to experience the training, to be fully present. It was very liberating to just be, to focus on one moment at a time. I lived day by day for 4 months and this gave me the space to be, to listen to my heart and connect with my desires and what I really wanted for my life.

 

 

4. Connect to nature

We were in nature, close to a volcano, far from the bustling touristy places. Walking barefoot, connecting to the earth, grounding ourselves. Waking up with birds chirping, going to sleep with gecko's funny melody, majestic trees, outdoor showers in the rain. Nature is magic and will give you the  energy to dive into your wildest dreams and find yourself. Spending weeks walking barefoot has been very powerful and I could feel the shift happening in my body- slowly grounding myself, slowly reconnecting with my soul.

 

20140507_170312

 

 

5. Move your body

Dance, shake, move, do yoga, express yourself. The body holds everything- your thoughts, your experiences, your emotions. Thats why it's so essential to let it express itself and move. Asanas,  as well as dancing, can be so transformative and healing. It's a body, mind and soul connection. I let go of emotions I didn't even know I had while dancing freely or simply in child's pose.

6. Spread the love

Meta- Loving Kindness. So much Love. It's truly magical. When you open your heart and connect to beautiful souls, there's a powerful healing energy that comes with it. My heart almost exploded with joy and gratitude by the end of the training as saying goodbye to my mini bubbles was very emotional.

20140513_213433

 

 

7. Be playful

Wild child coming alive. Listening to my heart, intuition and body. Being goofy and in the moment, laughing, hugging, playing. I've learned a lot from my yogi bubbles who showed me how to dance and sing through the day and to add more fun and excitement, to not take life too seriously, to explore, discover, go on adventures and simply live in the moment.

 

 

8. Enjoy the journey

"Life is a journey, not a destination." Ralph Waldo Emerson said. We tend to always wait for happiness to come. We'll finally be happy when we accomplish what we've been dreaming of, when we've ticked off all our goals. But the real gift unfolds in the journey. And in fact, the journey never ends. It's where struggles, doubts, courage, lessons, excitement, joy meet. It's the real reward.

  20140420_073721

 

 

9. Trust the Universe

It took me a while to finally decide to enroll to a yoga teacher training. And during that time of doubts and uncertainty I heard that nagging voice "why are you taking so long to decide?!" and "the shoulds" but everything made sense the moment I hugged the souls that would be part of my life for the next month. I was supposed to be there - not a training before or one after that; not in another location, just there in Bali, with my bubble and I cannot imagine not having these beautiful yoginis in my life. So, always trust life. There's always something magical ready to unfold.

 

 

10. Live, eat, breathe yoga

Yoga entered my life by magic dust in Bali, moons ago. Thinking about how it all happened- it was definitely calling me. Yoga is a gift. It opens your heart wide open and let love in. It creates a space for contentment, bliss, peace, acceptance, compassion and so much more. What you learn on the mat can be applied to your every move and thoughts. You learn how to bring silence, patience, perseverance, love to your practice and into your life, your body and your mind. We're always students. There is always something to learn- about the practice, the philosophy, about us and the world. I am so grateful it has become a part of me and it's something I will always cherish.

 

20140410_170443

 

Big Love to my Bubble!

Magic does happen outside of your comfort zone

IMG_20140604_171757  

"Run from what's comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I'll be mad."

Rumi

 

Today is the day of my return flight back home. I have been in Bali for 2 months. But I am not boarding my flight. I somehow knew from the beginning that I wouldn't be on that plane. My heart is yearning for more freedom. More adventures. More of that free spirit that I have been experiencing in the past 2 months. I know deep down that I need to listen to that voice whispering to me to keep going, to trust life, to trust the Universe. To keep flying in the direction of my dreams and see the beauty and gift of the present moment.

I have not much of a plan. To be honest, it's a bit overwhelming. At least that's how I feel today. I think I'm just starting to process this whole Yoga Teacher Training that ended a few weeks ago. The bubble. The amazing souls united in the rice fields, all here for the same reason. To find our purpose, to live a life in alignment with our heart, and spread the love of yoga, of life. It's hard to find the right words to describe the connection, the inner work, the magic, the life transformation that we've all been through together. Everyone has been a teacher. They've all enriched my life immensely and I couldn't be more thankful. I will always cherish this time. I look back and can finally connect the dots, the life events in the past few years, the people who showed up in my life. Everything makes sense. It'all coming together. They all brought me here, to this moment right now. I am grateful for all of them. I feel like the Universe sprinkled fairy dust over me and that magic is happening in my life. I guess that's the feeling you get when your dreams come true, when you step outside of your comfort zone. I've dreamt of this moment, where I would have the courage to do what I love, to fly out of the cage and breathe and live my freedom. To trust that my heart knows the way, even when my mind is trying to take control. I'm living each day fully, not knowing which day of the week it is, not knowing where I'll be in a month, in a week or even tomorrow. Experiencing the beauty of life, just as it is. No filter. No expectations.

This yoga experience has been a wild heart opening made of magical moments, where people you just met becomes family. Understanding each other without even saying a word. A smile, a hug, a look, a shared experience will do.

I've set the bird free, I've welcomed the lion in me. I recognized and welcomed my free spirit. Now it's time to spread my wings and fly.

"You have escaped the cage. Your wings are stretched out. Now fly." Rumi

Now time to watch the sunset, to live the present moment.