Finding your way through the Yoga Jungle

By Martina Reinbold

Yoga teacher & Wellness Coach at Udara

When I was asked to write down descriptions of the Yoga classes here at Udara last year, I realized how many different Yoga styles we offer and that it really needed an overview for people to find out what the classes are about. Hotel guests and drop-in participants can join 5 to 8 classes daily in various Yoga styles. There are about 20 different classes on the schedule ranging from Hatha to Vinyasa, Happy Healing Flow to Healing Pranayama, Yin to Aerial Yoga and more. The teacher team is a mix of local and western Yoga instructors with lots of experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know each teacher’s flavour and understanding of Yoga.

Writing down the Yoga class descriptions was an interesting task for me as a teacher, as I was attending many classes lead by other teachers, practiced Yoga styles that I wouldn’t usually be drawn to and got to read what the teachers themselves wrote about their way of teaching. I realized how confusing it can be as a newcomer to Yoga what style and which teacher suits best for the own body, personality and intention of the practice.

Why are there so many Yoga styles?

The basic way of practicing Yoga in India was to stay with a teacher for several years and to learn from a certain lineage of teaching that was handed over from one teacher to another. The various styles of Yoga, especially in the West, have grown exponentially in the last decades. This change has happened for a good reason in order to meet the needs and interests of the people living in this age, to make Yoga popular and accessible to anybody. On the other hand, it also gave way to a development where Yoga became a big business, a platform for various glamorous Yoga teachers to put their own stamp (or trademark) on Yoga, and fancy new styles have been invented which some traditional Indian Yogis might not even recognize as Yoga any more.

What is Yoga anyway?

The common definition of Yoga is union – bringing body, mind and soul back into unison. Yoga can be a physical practice to stretch and strengthen the body, mainly with body postures (asanas). But it can go much further than that and become a lifestyle and practice for personal and spiritual growth which aims to bring us long lasting health, happiness and freedom. Breathing techniques, meditation, cleansing practices, study of scriptures and listening to the teachings of a spiritual teacher can fall under the umbrella of Yoga.

My own definition of Yoga has changed greatly over the years. It indeed started as a gymnastic exercise and has now become a big part of my lifestyle. I am glad that I met inspiring teachers on the way who showed me that Yoga goes way beyond the physical level. To me, Yoga is an invitation. And invitation to connect to the core of your being and to connect to something much vaster than yourself – call it the divine, God, universe or source.

How to find a suitable class?

As a new student, ask yourself the following questions before you head out on your quest to find a suitable class: Why do I want to practice Yoga? Is it just to become fit and to have a lean body? Am I more interested in the holistic aspects of Yoga including meditations, philosophy and knowing how the wisdom gained through Yoga can translate into my daily life? Do I have certain injuries or physical conditions that could limit my practice? Is the teacher well qualified, do I like the way he teaches, do I feel safe in his class and do I trust him? Does he live what he teaches?

The best way to answer these questions is to try out various classes with several teachers, to ask fellow students about their experiences, to inquire with the Yoga teachers, consult your doctor if necessary (especially if you have any injuries or medical conditions), to read about Yoga and to use your common sense.

If you wish to have an active, dynamic practice, then Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Flow classes might be the best for you. A well rounded practice is usually the Hatha Yoga with a moderate pace and breathing exercises (pranayama) or meditations to complement the physical postures (asanas). Yin or Restorative classes are a great way to slow down and focus on long held stretches, especially when you have a very active lifestyle. These are just to name a few styles and of course there is much more on our schedule to explore. Have a look at our class descriptions on this page:

You are welcome to practice Yoga with us

Udara’s Yoga classes are open for all levels of practitioners. If you are new to Yoga, let the teacher know in advance to make sure he will have an extra caring eye on so you feel safe and welcome in the class. And what is better to dive deep into your yoga practice when you look at and hear the ocean in front of you from one of our amazing Yoga shalas!

Udara is a great place to have all kinds of Yoga styles in one place and to meet various inspiring teachers. You can spend your whole day practicing Yoga from morning meditation to evening candlelight Yin Yoga. And the good thing is that when your body needs a well deserved rest, you can float in our warm water pool, go to the Sauna or Steam room and book a nurturing massage treatment in our Sky Spa on the third floor. As a drop-in guest you can buy a Spa day pass and also refuel in our Organic Ocean Restaurant with health and delicious meals and drinks.

How different Yoga styles have enriched my own practice

I see very good reasons to stick with one tradition in order to go deeper and to be guided by one teacher who sees your progress and gives you the right tools to explore higher levels your practice. On the other hand it is also very valuable to keep your practice fresh by attending different classes, to learn other techniques, poses and ways of doing them, to get new inspiration and stay committed to the practice, especially when you have been practicing for some years. If you are used to practice a very active, dynamic style of Yoga, why not complement it with a Yin Yoga class regularly, where you hold the postures for several minutes in stillness. If you are used to sit in silent meditation, why not try the Osho Kundalini Meditation, in which you include movement of the body (shaking and dancing) as a tool to clear your mind.

Teaching and taking classes at Udara have brought me lots of new inspiration for my own practice. I love the fact that Yoga can also be playful and fun – it does not always have to be too serious! Hanging upside down in the Aerial Yoga hammock for example or doing Yoga in a 35 degree warm water pool allows me to move my body in different ways and brings more lightness and joy into my practice as well as into my teaching. I love joining classes of other teachers and being a student again. Even after being a Yoga teacher since many years now I enjoy the fact that I will always continue learning and that Yoga will be part of my life no matter of how old I am.

Why is Yoga such a jewel?

That’s the beauty of Yoga – you don’t need to bring your leg behind the head and you can do it regardless of your flexibility and age. A good teacher should respect all the different intentions why people come to class and offer various options to modify the practice if needed.

In my teaching I wish to share that Yoga can be a valuable tool to bring more balance between body, breath and mind, which ripples out into your life off the mat. Sometime you may realize that the jewel of Yoga reveals its beauty in ways you have never imagined before when you stepped on your mat for the first time. It can accompany you throughout you whole life and you can adjust your practice in ever changing ways according to your intention, time, body and life situation.

Happy practicing!

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10 Reasons why to stay at Udara Bali during your Bali holidays

Bali has become a magnet for tourists and in the same way, the offers of holtels, spas and yoga schools have exploaded to welcome tourists on this island. We know that it can be overwhelming when you plan your holidays in Bali to find the right place to stay. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi who doesn’t want miss their practice during the holiday season or if you are a conscious traveler who wants to stay in a beautiful place by the ocean close to traditional village life, have a look at our 10 reasons why you should definitifely stay at Udara for a few days or even weeks. Udara is an integrated health and wellness resort and provides you with all the facilities and experiences that make your holidays memorable, inspiring and blissful. We can’t wait to welcome you soon!

  1. The Location
    So, you love Yoga, healthy living and planned your trip to Bali. And you’ve heard that Ubud is the capital of Yoga in Bali, but guess what’s missing there? The ocean! Udara is located in a small fisherman village nestled between the ocean and beautiful rice paddies. It’s easy to reach with only 23 kilometers from the airport and 15 minutes drive from Canggu. Get the best of both worlds – glimpses of the traditional Balinese village life and easy access to shops and restaurants in the lively centre of Canggu with our free shuttle which goes 4 times a day. You can even walk on the beach about 25 minutes to reach Batu Bolong beach, and the famous Tanah Lot temple is just 15 minutes drive away. At Udara you can either chill on bean bags next to the pools or on sun beds right at the ocean, watching the locals catch their fish and the kids playing with their kites.
  2. The free Yoga classes
    All Yoga classes on the daily schedule are free for our hotel guests – and there is plenty to choose from! 5 to 8 classes daily classes feature different styles and various teachers to make sure you’ll find more balance for your body, breath and mind. You are welcome both as a beginner in Yoga as well as an advanced Yogi to deepen your practice. Maybe you want to try a Yoga style that you haven’t encountered before such as a Happy Healing Flow, Healing Pranayama or Aerial Yoga? Our teachers are eager to share their knowledge and guide you into stretching and strengthening the body, breathing deeply and relaxing the mind.
  3. The amazing Yoga Shalas
    When you fly all the way to the tropical island of Bali, you surely don’t want to practice Yoga in a closed, sticky room with windows, right? Our classes take place in four spacious, breezy Yoga Shalas with ocean view. Connect to the sound of the waves, feel the breeze on your skin and breathe the ocean air as you dive deep into your practice. A highlight of your stay might be one of the Aerial classes on the third floor while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean, experiencing a floating feeling of freedom and weightlessness.
  4. Individual Detox programs
    You have always thought about doing a detox, but did not know how and did not want to it alone at home? Good for you, because we designed 5 individual programs that vary between 4 and 30 days. Whether you want to do a short detox to kickstart your wellbeing or a longer program to really go deep into a self-healing process of body and mind, our wellness coaches are there to support you through your detox journey. We offer special detox meals, either a liquid cleanse with juices, smoothies and soups or a high vibe raw food detox, complemented with natural supplements, daily spa treatments and much more.
  5. Healthy food options
    If you are not up for a detox, but rather love to indulge in fresh, colorful and delicious meals at our on site Organic Ocean Restaurant, you are in the right place. We serve Asian/Western cuisine fresh from the earth and sea with a focus on healthy, fresh and organic vegan, vegetarian and seafood dishes. The Juice Pool Bar turns fresh fruit all year round into the tastiest juices and smoothies, ranging from piña colada mocktails to green juices. Although Canggu is clearly famous for its restaurant scene, you actually do not need to go out, as you can nourish your body and soul all day long with yummy meals and drinks. Do not leave without trying the Falafel bowl or the Golden Healing Smoothie!
  6. Flexible Yoga Retreat Packages
    Our Yoga packages are great if you love to design your own flexible Yoga retreat. It means you can choose when you arrive and how long you stay. You can choose the yoga styles and teachers that you prefer from our extensive schedule. You decide if you practice yoga in the morning, afternoon, evening or during the whole day! You can choose if you like to meet new people on one of our community tables or if you love to have some time-out by yourself. You will be pampered with daily massages and full board with breakfast, lunch, tea & snacks and dinner. Two weekly excursions to beautiful sites are included in the Yoga package which allow you to connect to the beautiful nature and culture of Bali.
  7. Uniquely designed Spa Area
    There are not many places that have such a unique architecture as our Spa area which surprises you with beautiful carvings and statues, caves, small pathways and sounds of dripping waters and transport you into a different world. Udara spa features warm and cold pools, Jacuzi, Sauna, Steam room and a meditation cave. Reactivate your senses with a aroma oil sauna infusion, listening to relaxing music as you float in the warm water pool, feel the bubbling water on your skin as you soak in the jacuzi and admire the beautiful wooden art as you look up to the ceiling above Kurma the turtle. Can you believe that the Sauna is in the belly of a huge stone turtle? Come and see it with your own eyes!
  8. Water Healing Session
    Have you ever heard about Water Healing or Watsu? You will be blissfully floating in 35 degree warm water in the arms of a therapist for a full hour. Water Healing combines elements of massage, joint mobilization and stretches which frees the body in ways that are impossible on land. You might experience such a deep level of relaxation and letting go that you have never encountered before. There are only a few places in Bali that have a warm water Watsu pool, so don’t miss this opportunity to float into bliss!
  9. Ecstatic Dance & Sound Healing
    Every Sunday the big Yoga Shala becomes a dancefloor and welcomes you for two hours of Ecstatic Dance and Sound Healing. These events are free for the community and have become a magnet for expats, tourists and locals alike. The music that is offered by our live DJ ranges from electronic dance music to World Music with a wide variety of musical genres. Leave your mind, words, shoes and phones at the doorstep and enter a sacred space where you can express yourself authentically through movement. Follow the waves of the music and feel how your body wants to move in its own unique way before you eventually lie down to receive live sound healing with a variety of instruments from Tibetan singing bowls to chimes and drums. Let yourself be carried away by the healing vibrations and sink into a blissful meditative state.
  10. Magical Cacao Ceremonies
    You’ve heard people raving about Cacao Ceremonies and you wonder what it’s all about. Check the events schedule to make sure you catch one of the ceremonies that happen twice a month at Udara. Experience the magic of drinking Cacao in a ritual way, to reflect and share from your heart, set powerful intentions and sing together with a bunch of amazing people and enthusiastic musicians. The opulent setting itself with beautiful mandalas, candles and flowers will immediately lift you up and allow you to experience more joy, connection, bliss and peace. Make sure you reserve your spot in advance, as spaces are limited and fill up very quickly.

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