Yoga on the Island of the Gods – Bali

island of the gods

Bali is one of the most magical places on the planet

Forested volcanic mountains, rice terraces, beaches, and coral reefs all conspire to bring a sense of power and wildness to the land of this beautiful island, but there’s more to it than that. Bali thrums with a nurturing, spiritual energy than makes it a perfect place for reconnecting with spirit and really finding yourself. It’s no wonder, then, that yoga has become so popular here, for locals and tourists alike.

The Island of the Gods

hanumanThe primary religion of Bali is Hinduism, though the Balinese flavour combines the Indian roots with a tribal perspective. Gods and demigods are respected alongside heroes from the Vedas, ancestor spirits, native agricultural deities, and sacred places. Every Balinese person believes in magic and has a respect for the unseen spirits that live alongside us. And you can feel it as you walk through the streets, and when you speak with the locals. Spirituality, prayer, devotion, and respect for all aspects of the world, seen and unseen, fill the air just as much as the scent of incense and flowers that seems to stretch from one side of the island to another.

The traditions of Bali aren’t some distant thing unconnected with the way the locals live. They are woven through every aspect of daily life, through rituals, ceremonies, blessings, and celebrations. Each new houses and structures is blessed by the monkku, the Balinese priest that presides over healings and consecrations. A portion of each pot of rice is set aside for the spirits, and you can see the offerings on little squares of banana leaf, drizzled with a touch of palm sugar. In front of each shop, you’ll see little baskets woven from palm leaves and filled with flower, sweets, incense, and tobacco to ask for blessings and prosperity. And each family home has its own personal shrine, where prayers are offered each morning and night.

Celebrating custom

These things might seem odd to Westerners, and maybe even a bit arbitrary. We tend to look at the customs of others as backwards and misinformed. But there’s a sense of heart and balance to Bali that you just don’t find in a first world country. Smiles are warm and real. With an open heart and time to spare, you’ll be engaged in conversation by the locals and invited into homes. This way of life creates a sense of spirit that’s hard to ignore.

The people, the land, the energy—all of it serves as a perfect backdrop for a journey into the heart of yoga. You’ll find studios and retreat centers all over the island, nestled into the lush jungle wilderness, and surrounded by the peaceful sounds of nature. And most of the studios are open air, welcoming the warm tropical breeze in a land of endless summer. Whether you’re a dedicated yogi or a beginner, you’ll find Bali a perfect place to deepen your understanding, strengthen the body, and hear the voice of spirit. The Island of the Gods is the ideal place for a yoga vacation, or to take the first step to a career in yoga with a teacher training. This is an experience you won’t want to miss.


Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company that offers year-round yoga teacher training courses in both Bali and Costa Rica.