Ubud for the Spiritually Inclined: Kirtan, Ecstatic Dance & More

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Kirtan, pranayama, tai chi or Bhakti flow? Spiritually inclined travellers, look no further – here’s a roundup of activities to fill up your itinerary during your stay in Ubud: 

Ecstatic dance

ecstatic dance ubud

When in Ubud, never say no to ecstatic dance. The Yoga Barn is often mentioned in the same sentence with this activity, and that’s where avid dancers should make a beeline for. Carve out an hour and a half to unleash your inner dance-aholic on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. If you’re eager and impatient for an ecstatic dance session in between Sunday and Friday, have a look at Paradiso’s event schedule – a ‘Super Ecstatic’ dance session may be scheduled on their event calendar if you’re in luck.

Where to go:

Yoga Barn | schedule | Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

Paradiso | program | Jl. Goutama Sel., Ubud

Bhakti Flow

Branded by Rusty Wells, Bhakti Flow yoga is a combination of the Ashtanga and Bikram yoga styles. An emphasis is placed on deep, rhythmic breathing that flows in conjunction with movement, and practitioners are encouraged to dedicate their practice to a loved one. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner, or a beginner getting a first taste into this style of yoga, Paradiso’s the place to give Bhakti Flow yoga a go.

Where to go:

Paradiso | program | Jl. Goutama Sel., Ubud

Taichi

taichi bali

This ancient Chinese tradition, originally developed for self-defense, is now practised as a gentle and graceful exercise. Often described as a moving meditation, tai chi helps instill a sense of peacefulness and tranquillity with its slow, flowy movements and deep breathing.

Where to go:

Yoga Barn | schedule | Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

Shambhala dance

Can’t stop moving your body to the beat? Join in the community Shambhala dance sessions at Paradiso where you’ll get to tap your dancer’s feet to your heart’s content.

Where to go:

Paradiso | Jl. Goutama Sel., Ubud

Kirtan

kirtan music

If you’re into music and chanting, a kirtan session is right up your alley. This activity involves group singing, music-making and ancient Sanskrit chants, and promises to be a soul-soothing experience for spiritually inclined travellers.

Where to go:

Yoga Barn | schedule | Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

Tibetan Bowl Meditation

Tibetan bowls – otherwise known as Himalayan bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, rin gongs or suzu gongs – are played to signal the start and the end of silent meditation cycles in the Buddhist tradition. The rich and pure tones are thought to create a centring effect on the mind, as well as a direct effect on the chakras.

These standing bells are also used for other purposes, like deep relaxation, stress reduction, Reiki and holistic healing therapies. A highly coveted class at the Yoga Barn, the Tibetan bowl meditation is held two to three times each week and is often booked out an hour before the session starts.

Where to go:

Yoga Barn | schedule | Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

Bali Sound Healers Collective program

bali sound healers collective

If you’re open to, or actively seeking alternative therapies for stress reduction, perhaps a session of sound healing meditation might float your boat. Apart from being used for stress reduction, sound healing is also known to create deep relaxation and alter one’s states of consciousness. A weekly Sound Medicine concert is held at the Yoga Barn.

Where to go:

Yoga Barn | schedule | Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

Pranayama

A yogic discipline that originated from India, pranayama is made up of two Sanskrit words: prana, meaning ‘breath or life force’, and yama, which means ‘to restrain or control’. Coined together, the term translates to mean ‘breath control’ or ‘extension of the prana’, and refers to a set of breathing techniques where the breath is altered to produce specific results. While there doesn’t seem to be pranayama classes conducted on a daily basis in Ubud, a number of upcoming yoga and meditation retreats are offering pranayama classes as part of their program.

Where to go:

At the end of the day, how does getting a rejuvenating massage sound to you?


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