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  • Riley Tarnol

What does Ubud offer to a YTT?

Our transition from the beautiful beaches of Canggu into the scenic mountains of Ubud symbolizes the start of the second half of YogaKoh’s 200hr Bali YTT! As our students drove through the greenery and up the windy roads, we experienced a calming energy shift entering Ubud. The lush rice fields, ornate temples, extensive spiritual history, and communal atmosphere bring life to Ubud, and are just a few of the reasons why it is the perfect spot to wrap up our students’ educational journey. 

 

Situated in the heart of Ubud, our students are staying in the stunning Villa Madu. Completely engulfed by different species of trees, plants, birds, caterpillars, butterflies, and other creatures, Villa Madu brings us closer to the natural world. With that, we welcome you to the sky: discover the environment and culture our students are immersed in while they complete their training!

 

pool in jungle

 

Ubud, the hub for spirituality and Balinese Hindu living, is packed with temples, ceremonies, lively music, and celebrations. A little outside the heart of Ubud, Tirta Empul, the holy water temple, allows visitors to fully participate in centuries old traditions. Built in 960 AD, the sacred water is said to have rid the Balinese of sickness, sin, and black magic, and opened their lives to health and goodness. 

 

tirta empul temple

Dressed in customary green sarongs with red sashes, visitors are encouraged to enter the springs and dunk their head in rounds of three as an ode to the three main gods in Hinduism: Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the protector, and Shiva, the destroyer. Walking around the temple, Balinese people are making offerings, engaging with their families and communities, and celebrating life. This cleansing ceremony is beautiful to take part in, and Tirta Empul is just one of the hundreds of temples that are scattered across Ubud!

 

tirta empul holy water

All throughout the city, Balinese offerings can be seen on the ground, decorations line the outside of temples, sacred spaces, and homes, and music dances along the streets. The deep significance of spirituality in Ubud makes it the perfect community to surround our students with dedication, passion, and joy!


balinese offerings

One of Ubud’s most famous attractions are the rice terraces, which are just a thirty-minute bike ride north of Ubud. The city of Tegalalang is home to a plethora of locally owned and operated rice fields. With vibrant green layers of rice lining the hills, they are the perfect escape into nature when students have time off from their posture labs. In the fields, everyone is free to explore the tranquil scenery, staying active and moving their bodies while learning outside the classroom. 

 

When practicing yoga, students can look to the rice to demonstrate stillness amidst the bustle of life moving by. The farmers, carrying heavy loads on their backs, are disciplined and kind to all that tour their space – values that are also important to hold when teaching yoga. Visiting the rice terraces is a must when in Ubud, and a beneficial excursion for our students to experience!


balinese rice fields

 

Another hot spot in Ubud is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Overflowing with different species of plants and insects, visitors can adventure through the dense trees, interact with monkeys, and reconnect with the natural world. We understand participating in a yoga teacher training can be hard work, so the Monkey Sanctuary is a nice break for our students to have some fun and engage with wild animals in a safe and enjoyable space. 

 

Within the sanctuary, there is a temple dedicated to Shiva, called Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, decorated with intricate statues, and crawling with monkeys. Although visitors can’t go inside the temple, people are welcome to admire the stunning architecture and cultural relevance while peering through the gates! Make sure to practice awareness in the forest – monkeys may steal your hat! 

 

mother and baby monkey

An essential aspect of Balinese culture is food! In Ubud, local cuisine can be seen along every street, with an abundance of different traditional dishes and family-owned restaurants and cafes, called warungs, to try! Varieties of chicken, pork, duck, and fish are cooked in a delicious mixture of spices and herbs, and are usually accompanied by rice, a Balinese staple in agriculture and in meals. Sate, meat on a skewer, tempeh, and nasi ayam, which can be versions of chicken and rice, are some of the most common dishes to taste. 

 

Vegetables, fresh or sauteed, are also a frequent menu item, as there are many vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. For dessert, dadar gulung, a small green pancake filled with palm sugar and coconut, is popular. When in Ubud, there is no shortage of tasty, traditional cuisine to help fully submerge into the Balinese way of life!


balinese woman carrying basket on her head

Spending our final two weeks in such a culturally rich environment is a blessing. In Ubud, our students are encouraged to absorb the spirituality, history, traditions, and celebration helping intensify their education. Teaching yoga is more than memorizing the postures. It is about fully embracing the philosophies and core values that yoga promotes, such as balance, mindfulness, gratitude, and awareness; and in Ubud, our students are surrounded by these attributes as they experience Balinese daily life. 


yoga students silhouette

The YogaKoh students and team could not be more thrilled with how Ubud has treated us so far and are excited to see what more there is to explore in our final weeks here! Connect with us on our social media to follow the rest of our training as we conclude in Ubud!

 

Keep practicing!


-- YogaKoh

 

 

 

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