In addition to being the cultural center of Bali, Ubud is also home to a strong healthy living community, which makes it an excellent place to recharge after partying or intrepid exploring elsewhere in Indonesia.
I’m not sure if I can overhype Yoga Barn. As a huge fan of yoga, Yoga Barn is the perfect place for me. The five open-air studios, nestled into a tropical garden and palm grove, host a multitude of yoga classes every hour. Ranging from the typical Vinyasa Flow to the slightly more offbeat Yin Yoga to the totally new and different Tibetan Bowl Meditation, there’s a style of yoga to suit everyone, from total beginner to pro looking to expand his or her horizons. There are even private lessons and retreats available for serious devotees. After class, relax in the garden cafe and eat delicious organic and vegetarian food.
I’ve been eating a lot of fried food on this trip. Not fried in the western sense, but it seems like every meal recently has involved fried rice or fried noodles and a dearth of fresh vegetables. To recalibrate my diet, I’ve been taking advantage of Ubud’s organic food scene. Vegetables are often washed in solutions to kill bacteria so I can chow down without risk of “Bali Belly.” I recommend Clear Cafe and Kafe, both of which have extensive menus of healthy, yummy, and affordable food to suit every taste. Kafe especially has good macrobiotic and ayurvedic options.
Sometimes the mood for a healthy juice strikes, which is excellent, because many places in Ubud make great superfood juices. Here’s a picture of a delicious cucumber, apple, ginger, and pineapple juice I drank to recharge after yoga.
There are plenty of opportunities in Ubud to get a cheap, fantastic massage. My 1-hour Balinese massage cost me 70,000 rupiah, or about $6. I had a fabulous 30-minute reflexology foot massage for 50,000 rupiah (about $4). Just wander and find the best deal as spas are everywhere here. Traditional Balinese healers also take appointments and claim to help with every ailment, but…well, I’m sceptical. I say stick with a massage.
Ubud, of course, is also a great place to relax on a balcony and watch the world go by over a breakfast of fresh fruit and banana pancakes. Which, let’s be honest, is what vacation is all about.