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East Bali: Top things to do and best beachfront villas

in Destinations by
Villa Pushpapuri Bali Beachfront Villa

Its easy to be seduced by the glamour of southern Bali with its trendy restaurants and uber-cool beach clubs, but if you have something a little quieter in mind for your Bali holiday, the pristine Sunrise Coast on the island’s eastern shores has a charm all its own.

Saba beach in East Bali

Peaceful coastal villages nestle amidst banana plantations, lush green rice fields and exotic palm-fringed black sand beaches. A trio of volcanos looming in the distance make the most stunning of backdrops, especially when bathed in the pearly pink light of a Bali sunrise.

TOP THINGS TO DO

The atmospheric seaside town of Candidasa is situated mid-way up the east coast just 60km from the airport. Local art shops sell paintings, handicrafts and wood carvings, while casual open-air restaurants are strung along the shore, some with candle-lit tables right on the beach. Make sure to check out the main temple with a dreamy location on the edge of a lotus-filled lagoon.

Adventure-seekers can trek to the top of Mount Agung – the island’s highest peak, while water enthusiasts can explore Bali’s best dive sites, such as the HMS Liberty Wreck. Adrenalin junkies can get their kicks on a shark dive, or glide through the water with manta rays. The cool waters of Tirta Gangga, an elaborate water palace tucked into the nearby hills, makes a gentler respite with its spring fed pools and water fountains carved from stone.

A few kilometers inland from Candidasa, the 700-year-old walled village of Tenganan is home to the Bali Aga, the island’s first inhabitants. It is quite a cultural attraction these days, but still provides a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life and is justly famed for its beautiful ikat weavings.

The small coastal village of Jasri is home to Charly’s chocolate factory. You won’t find Willy Wonka, but you will find delicious chocolate (try the Narkabo dark chocolate nibbles) and great photo opportunities thanks to a quirky assortment of cone-shaped bamboo houses clustered in a grove of coconut palms right on the beach. Nearby, a bumpy dirt road winds through verdant forest to emerge at Pasir Putih (white sand) rightly crowned as Bali’s most beautiful beach. Bathe in the turquoise sea, soak up the rays from a deckchair and indulge in fresh fish for lunch, barbecued right in front of you. 

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Canggu Yoga and Pilates Classes

in Wellness by
Canggu beach yoga

Yoga is a must-do in Bali, but you don’t need to go all the way to Ubud for an authentic experience. Canggu is a vibrant coastal district located close to – but far enough away from – the busy streets of Seminyak. It’s a popular destination for a relaxed holiday.

Canggu is best known for its surf beaches, trendy shops, casual cafes and restaurants, but a growing number of beautiful yoga and Pilates studios are making their way to an evolving wellness scene offering a range of classes for the healthy Canggu community. Whether you’re looking to break a sweat with Pilates or just to calm your body and soul doing yoga in a stunning setting – there is a class for you. Be ready for beach yoga poses like Canggu’s Instagram yoga babe Yogavive_ (SEE ABOVE, FEATURED IMAGE) in no time.

The highly experienced teachers will ensure you the get the most out of your exercise whether you are a beginner or an expert. Many of the studios feature holistic treatments, onsite spas and healthy cafés to round off your experience. Drop in early to reserve your space, or book a private class beforehand for more intimate exercise. All the studios provide mats and other equipment, so all you need to pack is comfortable, stretchy clothing.

Five yoga classes in Canggu, Bali

HATHA YOGA CLASSES
PERSONAL GROWTH TO THE MOON AND BEYOND

The Practice offers three Hatha yoga classes for varying levels of practice;

  • Stage1 Moon Hatha class focuses on stability and calmness of body and mind with long holds.
  • Stage 2 Sun Hatha includes conscious Vinyasa, standing poses and floor work with deep breathing and movements.
  • Stage 3 Fire Hatha brings together all the elements – Asana, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra and Meditation.

Typical class length is 90 minutes.

In addition to the Hatha series, yoga programs include Yin, Restorative and Complete Practice, as well as the occasional Yoga Fundamentals workshop tailored to those discovering yoga.

The stunning open-air bamboo studio amidst rice fields (and just few steps away from the beach) also hosts yoga teacher training as well as community groups and life-enriching events. Cute giftshop and yoga-wear for sale here too.

The Practice
Jl.

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Ubud Yoga Classes

in Recreation by
Yoga class

Ubud is known as the cultural and spiritual heart of Bali, a place to seek tranquility amidst lush green rice terraces, traditional villages and sacred Balinese Hindu temples. A hot spot on the tourist trail and one of the healthiest cities in Southeast Asia, charming Ubud is a sanctuary of well-being and an oasis for yogis and spiritual seekers.

There are many yoga studios in Ubud to choose from, several of them doubling as holistic healing centres, spas or cafés, and supporting environmentalism and charity projects.

The choice of yoga classes for visitors is vast. From Yin to Ashtanga and Bikram, there is a yoga style for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi. At many centres, you can book your class beforehand. You can also drop-in just before a class, but be sure to go at least 30 minutes early as they do fill up quickly. All the studios provide yoga mats and other equipment, so all you need to bring is comfortable clothing and positive mind.

5 yoga classes in Ubud, Bali

UBUD BEGINNNER YOGA CLASS
CALLING ALL NOVICE YOGIS

The Yoga Barn offers a beginners’ class daily at 2pm. Intro to Yoga is an ideal class for anyone new to yoga with discussion on how yoga can benefit our everyday lives, with simple breathing techniques and basic yoga poses.

Being the most popular yoga centre in Ubud, the class sizes are big – their studios cater up to 60 people. Intro to Yoga is great choice for beginners and those wanting to meet new people.

Yoga Barn’s gorgeous space offers over 15 yoga classes a day, plus dance class and guided meditation. They also have an on-site healing centre ‘Kush’ and Garden Kafe.

The Yoga Barn
Jl. Raya Pengosekan,
Ubud, Bali
(+62) 0361 971 236
http://www.theyogabarn.com/schedule.html

ACROYOGA CLASSES IN UBUD
TAKE YOUR STRETCHES TO NEW HEIGHTS

Looking for a fun and challenging yoga class in Bali? Elevate your routine with Acroyoga!

Acroyoga classIMAGE: ACROYOGA INTERNATIONAL.

This fun movement class incorporates yoga and partner acrobatics to build strength and balance, as well as some deep stretching poses influenced by traditional Thai massage techniques.

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Serenity in the Land of Serendipity

in Wellness by

With its gentle coastline, swaying coconut palms and serene rural interior flavoured by paddy fields, rainforest, melodious temples and hills, Sri Lanka is a superb destination to relax and unwind. Indeed, the word ‘serendipity’, meaning “to discover that you’re where you need to be”, comes from an ancient name for Sri Lanka (Serendib). Need we say more?

The island’s south coast is particularly tranquil, and historic Galle Fort, famed for its magnificently preserved 17th century Dutch fortress and surrounding sandy beaches, is a prime location for a serene Sri Lankan holiday. Stay at Ambassador’s House or No. 39 Galle Fort, two luxury private villas that lie within the fort itself, or choose peaceful Villa Pooja Kanda, which is set in rural environs well away from the tourist crowds.

Staying in your own private villa in Sri Lanka has many advantages, not least that you have such luxurious surrounds all to yourself. Wake early and practise yoga on your terrace as the sun rises, or curl up on your veranda with a book and enjoy a dawn chorus of birdsong. Arrange for an in-villa massage from a spa therapist, or a private lesson with a yoga teacher. Fitness instructors can also come to the villa for personal training sessions. Your villa stay is enhanced by a staff team, including a chef, leaving you free to focus all of your energy on the important things in life: socialising, resting, rejuvenating and relaxing.

The ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda is practised widely in Sri Lanka. It is one of the world’s oldest forms of medical science, which works at balancing the energies of mind, body and spirit and strengthening the immune system. Many of the spas in and around Galle offer Ayurvedic treatments. Although single treatments, such as herbal steam baths,

Many of the spas in and around Galle offer Ayurvedic treatments. Although single treatments, such as herbal steam baths, abhyanga (massages) and shirodhana (flow of oil onto the forehead) are all possible, Ayurveda works best however if treatments are combined into a personalised plan. Both Amangalla, in the Fort, and Jetwing Lighthouse hotel, a two-kilometre drive north of Galle, have resident Ayurvedic doctors offering consultations, packages and complete facilities.

For more familiar international spa and beauty treatments you could head to the Galle Fort Spa (great value) or the Z Spa at The Fort Bazaar hotel. 

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7 Perfect Villas for Bali Yoga Retreats

in Destinations by

Bali villas with dedicated yoga rooms, huge wooden decks overlooking azure swimming pools or sprawling lawns with coconut groves revealing ocean views; tried and tested professional yoga teachers; private chefs to cook healthy meals from fresh local produce; relaxing massages and in-villa spa treatments; fabulous outdoor living spaces for relaxation or meditation…

Trade in your hectic city life for a private yoga retreat and salute the sun with your yogi friends on the Island of the Gods.

 

Yoga amongst the ricefields in Canggu and Umalas

Beautiful tranquil setting
Hot tub under the stars and trees
Nature, jungle trees, kingfishers

Villa Levi

3 bedrooms

 

Wonderful views
Gloriously spacious
Fabulous for kids

Villa Umah Daun

 5 bedrooms

 

Supremely spacious
Fabulous yoga pavilion and gym
Beautiful rice-field views

Villa Malaathina

7 bedrooms

 

Yoga to the sound of the sea

Expansive ocean views
Wide lawned garden
In-villa music and dance performances

Villa Maridadi

 5 bedrooms

 

Vast swimming pool set in immaculate gardens
Bedrooms positioned well away from living areas
A big, highly trained staff team

Villa Semarapura

 5 bedrooms

 

Step straight onto the sand
Eco-friendly and holistic
Raw foods on the menu

Taman Ahimsa

 7 bedrooms

 

Stunning ocean views
Event venue extraordinaire
Sports centre, playroom and spa

Pandawa Cliff Estate

4 villas, 4-6 bedrooms

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