The Yoga Barn, Ubud

the Yoga Bum

If you’re in Ubud, and have some time on your hands, chances are you’re going to do some yoga at least once. There’s loads of it about, and there are many shops selling all kinds of paraphernalia you didn’t know you needed.

Chances are also pretty good that you’ll end up doing it at the Yoga Barn, Ubud’s biggest yoga establishment. I went there several times, and each time a good proportion of the class was new to Yoga Barn, and many of them had never done yoga before.

yoga barn

Getting there can be half the fun, especially considering some of the ‘maps’ they have available in Bali (NB: Google Maps – very unreliable!).

Never mind the pot-holed pavements,

getting there is half the fun

the streets and shops in Ubud aren’t the best sign posted. Thankfully though, the information gleaned from their website that they were “…just behind Siam Sally…”

down the alley next to siam sallys

proved to be not only…

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The Elephant Safari Park, Bali

the Yoga Bum

Before I went away I tried to make a list of at least three things I really wanted to do before I die, but it’s hard. I mean I thought of plenty of things that could potentially go on there – swim with whales, learn to play a musical instrument, give a TED talk – but in reality there were only a few things that I absolutely must do at some point. As I say, I wanted three. I only managed to come up with two.

One was see the Northern Lights. Totally wrong hemisphere for that! The other though, was ride an elephant. Now that was do-able. In fact it was the main reason I’d come to Bali.

The Elephant Safari Park in Taro, near Ubud, is one of the best and most well known elephant rescue centres in this part of the world. It got Steve Irwin approval…

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Ubud And The Sacred Monkey Forest

the Yoga Bum

Ah, Bali.

I really had no idea what to expect going there. All I knew about the place is that it’s where Elizabeth Gilbert went at the end of her big spiritual journey, and you can ride elephants there. So I kind of expected it to be full or pachyderms, and middle aged women on bicycles clutching well thumbed copies of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. I was wrong on both counts.

I flew in to Denpasar airport,

denpasar airport

and paid the princely sum of 250,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR) – about £13:80 – for the one hour taxi ride from there to Ubud, near the centre of the island.

The first thing I noticed was the Balinese love of statues. They were many and varied.

statue 1

statue 2

The second thing I noticed was the crazy random vehicles you got on the road. Never mind all the scooters, I saw a forklift heading down the…

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Yoga In Toodyay, WA

the Yoga Bum

It’s all very well doing your at home yoga practice, but it’s nice to do it in a group, not only for the camaraderie, but also so there’s someone there to give you a bit of a push when you get lazy. So when I spotted the sign outside Toodyay IGA for yoga at the local community centre I jumped at the chance.

I went to the Friday morning class (two, as it happens, teaching on the second one!) and as I’ve already outlined previously, the morning of my first lesson was quite eventful already. By the time I got there I was in need of a bit of relaxation.

The teacher, Sally, who’s also a local Councillor, was very welcoming, even trying to get me to teach the class there and then once she found out I was qualified. But I was there to practice, so I got…

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From Camels To Elephants (and everything in between)

the Yoga Bum

A post, mostly in pictures, covering my time between Alice Springs and Bali; including Darwin, Adelaide, and Toodyay (near Perth), via The Ghan and the Indian Pacific.

After riding the camel I went straight to the train station in Alice Springs, where I was surprised to find one of the Autobots loading our luggage!

robots in disguise

I saw a lot of bush fires as we headed north, some of them quite big, and very near the train tracks (ie: right by the window!). What I didn’t expect was all the smoke and ash in the air when we arrived.

smoke over darwin

I spent a week in Darwin just chilling out. I went to the movies a fair bit, including a screening at their outdoor Deckchair Cinema,

deckchair cinema

which was great fun. I also went to the night markets, which started with a gorgeous sunset by the beach,

darwin sunset

and ended with me eating this very…

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Getting The Hump

the Yoga Bum

As you will recall, I somewhat got the hump at the end of The Rock Tour when we arrived too late to ride the camels. I’d been looking forward to that, and so I determined that I would not leave Alice Springs without doing something camely first!

And so it was, the morning of the day I was set to take The Ghan north again, that I was picked up by the guys from Pyndan Camel Tracks to make the dream a reality.

I’d managed to drag Martin, my photographer from The Rock Tour, along for a laugh, and pretty soon we found ourselves in the back of a minibus with a mixed bunch of ‘mature’ ladies, having a laugh as we made our way out of Alice Springs.

The ride took about 20 minutes, long enough for us to all get acquainted, and then we were there, at the…

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