The Island of the Gods.
The thought of Bali evokes visions of a lush, tropical paradise - of waking up to caws and chirps and delicious exotic fruits and falling asleep to lapping waves and warm, salty breezes. And in many ways, especially for us Yogis, Bali truly represents the perfect destination.
Bali holds space for us to deep-dive into Yoga practice with the world's finest teachers; to take refuge in serene retreat center-oases; to indulge in the fresh and delicious local cuisine, and to be part of the colorful international community living the 'high-vibe' island life.
It's pretty obvious why we take our retreats to Bali every year! It's irresistible! And for this upcoming season, we are stoked to be preparing the 'Bali Boost' retreat for the long-time Bali-lover and Yoga teacher Lisa Andersson Rhodiner.
Lisa spent some years living and teaching Yoga in Ubud and Canggu, Bali's Yoga hotspots and returns for teaching gigs regularly, including to Samadi Bali- the holistic center that is home to the 'Bali Boost' retreat.
In this sweet interview, Lisa shares some of her insights and tips on what makes the island of the Gods so magical.
Supersoul.Yoga: Why is Bali the most magical Yoga retreat location?
Lisa A. Rhodiner: There's so much about Bali that can't be put into words. Magic truly permeates this beautiful island.
As always, it all starts with people: The Balinese people are welcoming and warm; they always smile and radiate a sense of calm and tranquility. I've never seen a moody local: the Balinese are kind, spiritual people who whole-heartedly make you feel at home and welcome on their island.
Their devotion to Spirit can be felt everywhere, seen in their daily ceremonies and a strong sense of community life.
There are over 20,000 temples on the island, hosting colorful festivals and lively ceremonies. The nature-based devotion of the Balinese Hindus can be felt everywhere you look.
Little handmade carafes of offerings, lovingly made with fresh frangipani blossoms, fruits, and incense dot the entrances to Balinese homes, businesses and temples. Surrounded by this kind of loving daily ritual you can't help but feel connected to the source and become inspired here!
S.Y: What are your favourite Bali spots?
LAR: I love the white sand Balangan and Bingin beaches in the Uluwatu area! I love how spectacularly Mother Nature has carved out the steep cliffs sloping down into the ocean. These are also great surf spots with a wonderful vibe, and lots of small cafes along the beach.
I also absolutely love Canggu village, -my second home and my favourite place to host a retreat. I love Canggu's laid back island vibe. There are excellent Yoga schools and centers; a good surf break with surf schools for beginners; an infinite number of delicious, nutritious vegan restaurants and cafes; affordable SPAs; vibrant co-working spaces - all within walking distance to the ocean!
A visit to the Yoga-mecca Ubud is always a good idea as well - as must-see for all Yogis.
Famous for its expansive rice terraces separated by sections of lush jungle, Ubud is a jewel surrounded by endless paddy fields and magnificent views.
In the heart of town, conscious living is celebrated daily: hourly Yoga and meditation classes, ecstatic dances, alternative cinema, concerts and healthy cafes. This once small sleepy, artisan town is a microcosm for the global, creative community of Yogis and creators, sharing their wisdom, art and high-vibe energy with all who visit.
S.Y: Describe the most delicious, flavor-explosion food experiences that you can only have in Bali?
LAR: As someone who considers myself a healthy foodie, always playing with creating delicious, raw and nutritious recipes, I feel like I am in food paradise when in Bali. There are so many healthy vegetarian and vegan options everywhere, and most cafes can easily cater to various dietary needs such as gluten or lactose free options.
Street fruit stands are so rich and colorful, full of nature's jewels: coconuts, mangosteens, jackfruits and papayas! One local fruit not to miss is the durian! The smelly (to some, even stinky!) spiky, football-sized fruit tastes like nature's crème brûlée DREAM.
And then there are cafes aplenty with smoothies, raw options and the best vegan chocolates...
My favorite spot for after-Yoga brunch is at Samadi Bali's Organic Café in Canggu - I love the combination of flavors on their mouth-watering menu: the super exotic green mango-papaya salad with miso dressing, or the quinoa veg tabbouleh with mint; or the fresh and crunchy raw spring rolls! And then this: Avocado & lime mousse served on a raw date & nut crust! This is food heaven for me!
S.Y: What keeps you coming back?
LAR: Bali is my home. It will always feel like it. This is the place where the magic happens for me. The place where I opened myself up to new experiences some years ago, and as a result a beautiful transformation unfolded. I pursued my dream to become a Yoga teacher, and I started teaching my very first classes at a studio in Ubud.
This is where I began to learn about healthy food and conscious living which is integral to my life and teachings today. It's the place where I am surrounded by the most wonderful, inspiring people, and where I made some of the most enriching and lasting friendships of my life.