Ubud: medicine for the soul

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October 27th 2015
Published: November 9th 2015
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Smashed from the previous day, we chilled out at our hotel villa until it was time to check out. Next stop: Ubud. This is the part of the trip that I have been so excited about! After a 1.5 hour drive we arrived at Ubud’s Yogabarn, our home for the next week. I chose this accommodation very deliberately as our time in Ubud is all about practicing yoga and nourishing the soul.

The name Ubud is derived from Ubad, which means medicine. Legend has it that a disease outbreak claimed many lives in the village and was only contained when a meditating Hindu priest realised that leaves from a local tree cured the disease. The site then became known as Ubad, and more recently Ubud.

Our room at Yogabarn was rustic chic with Indian-inspired decor. Besides many styles of yoga, they offer dance, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, a women’s circle, talks on various topics, Ayurveda and holistic healing, detox & cleanse packages and retreats. This is our very own ‘unofficial retreat’. There is also a beautiful organic garden cafe which we intend to be regulars at.

After enjoying a beautiful lunch at the garden cafe we went for a walk around Ubud town centre. It’s actually very different to what I had imagined: very hectic, noisy and touristy. That said, it has a great energy and the people are friendly and open. It’s esoteric and alternative, and not unlike Byron Bay in that it’s busy and frantic but with an underlying calm and good vibes. So I felt instantly at ease and at home. We were really pleased with where we were staying as it wasn’t right in the centre of town, but no more than a 10 minute walk away.

When Dean and I had a conversation about mainstream vs alternative living, the term ‘new age’ came up. Dean very wisely pointed out that there’s nothing new about spiritual practices and traditional ceremonies etc, and that they are in fact ancient customs that are being rediscovered and adopted by people who recognise their benefits.

Over the next few days, we practiced lots of yoga and indulged in beautiful meals at the garden cafe. I am always preoccupied with finding healthy food whilst travelling and I had brought spirulina with me, for those days on which I didn’t manage to eat my 5 portions of veg. I needn’t have worried about this in Ubud as there was veg with breakfast, lunch and dinner, with wheatgrass shots and delicious smoothies for snacks between meals. And many places use organic produce whenever possible. The sweet treats on offer are also guilt-free and beautiful. There follows a link to a blog article on the health benefits of this destination; I wholeheartedly agree. http://www.juicedaily.com.au/travel/9-ways-your-health-thank-you-if-you-visit-ubud-bali/

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