It’s no wonder Bali’s called the Island of the Gods. A gem in Asia, in Ubud you can feel the presence of spirit everywhere. Ubud enchants and delights all the senses with its feminine energy, spirituality, mystical rituals, and lush landscapes. There’s the sense of peace that greets you everywhere you turn, from the heavenly scent of jasmine in the evenings and the abundance of frangipani flowers, to the meditative way the Balinese walk, and their devotion to rituals and respect for the Gods.
It’s easy to spend weeks at a time in Ubud. Blessed with fertile hills, dreamy rice fields, and flowing rivers, Ubud’s vortex of feminine energy has drawn and inspired many artists, healers, mystics, and yogis. Creativity and spirituality run high – there’s a thriving artistic community that makes Ubud the art hub of the island, and everyday you’re bound to see some kind of ceremony honoring the spirits.
Ubud takes you wholly into its blissful and spiritual presence. You just can’t help but linger here awhile longer, allowing this place to fully open your heart. And after you leave, you can’t help but want to return, because once your heart is opened to that joy and bliss that Ubud shows you, it remains open, ready to experience even more.
You can stay at one of Ubud’s many villas – choices are many and vary in budget, from the basic to the luxurious. BaliSpirit.com provides an extensive list of places to stay in Ubud as well as links to upcoming retreats, although you don’t need to join a retreat to find your bliss when the whole town is bliss.
If you are looking for a quiet retreat in solitude, the lovely Uma Ubud is the perfect place to stay, practice yoga and just be. There’s a daily yoga class in the peaceful open-air pavilion overlooking Tjampuhan Valley and the Oos River. Uma also offers occasional five-day retreats led by visiting masters. Check their website for schedule of upcoming retreats.
The Yoga Barn in the center of town near the Monkey Forest has become an oasis and a community hub to visiting yogis for its excellent yoga classes, healing arts, café, and evening kirtans.
Ubud is home to one of the world’s most inspiring yoga and music festivals, the Bali Spirit Festival, brought by the same gracious folks at The Yoga Barn. In the past five years, the festival has attracted a joyous community of top teachers, musicians, and healers, and gathered several thousand guests. You can just imagine the palpable energy of community spirit, the wonderful sense of oneness, and the shakti that culminate at this heart-centered festival taking place in a location known for its positive vibration.
Delicious food is plentiful in Ubud – from the highly rated, world-ranked Mozaic to simple homey food from a warung (road shack) like Naughty Nuri’s, which serves wicked martinis (and if you’re not a vegetarian, the best baby back ribs you’ll ever taste.) Bali Buddha has healthy food, vegetarian and vegan options, and yummy fruit juices. It’s also located across Traditional Balinese Healing Centre, where you can get a healing treatment from Wayan, of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love.
Eat, pray, and love in Ubud, but also take a moment to research the many foundations that benefit local communities. Of the many spas that abound in Ubud, Spa Hati uses the income generated by the spa to fund its Bali Hati Foundation. A one-hour massage at Spa Hati is not only healing and extremely affordable at less than $20, but the money also goes to provide educational opportunities and life skills to the people of the island.