Are you looking for a week getaway? Perhaps to relax and find some peace while obtaining a healthy lifestyle? If so I’ve discovered the perfect place for you. Canggu, Bali is an up and coming coastal village only 40 minutes north of Kuta, Bali (depending on traffic). Over the past few years more and more people continue to talk about Canggu – bringing people in from all over the world to see what all the fuss is about. Whether you come for the surf, the trendy cafes and restaurants, vibrant nightlife, yoga, temples or lush rice paddies – there’s truly something for everyone. I decided to sign myself up for a week Yoga Retreat at Serenity Eco Guesthouse in Canggu. I’ve hear about Serenity from friends who’ve stayed there, it also happens to be a popular choice for yoga teacher training courses. I went into the retreat with an open mind and zero expectations since its been my first yoga retreat, any retreat for that matter.
Getting There and Introduction
Before arriving, everything from transport to and from Serenity Eco Guesthouse, accommodation throughout the retreat, and diet or food preferences/restrictions will be arranged via email with either Maria or Bente – the yoga instructors for the week. The entire week costs $430 USD which is an extremely reasonable cost considering all that it includes – 12 yoga classes, breakfast and delicious dinner (mostly vegan or vegetarian), 1 surf lesson (all levels), 1 Balinese massage, accommodation (single or shared room), pick up and drop off from Ngurah Rai International Airport (or somewhere close by if already in Bali), Yoga movie night as well as the wonderful support from Maria, Bente and all staff members at Serenity.
There are retreats once every month beginning on a Monday, ending on Sunday. There were 12 women in my group although the numbers can fluctuate depending on how many book for the specific month. The majority of the ladies, including myself all came alone from all over the world – Germany, Holland, United States, Canada, New Zealand Nicaragua, etc. Ages ranged from 20-50s and I could not have asked for a better group of women to share the week with. Everyone was truly inspiring and we all clicked from the moment we met.
Yoga Classes and Instructors
Bente and Maria have created a combination of yoga classes within the given time frame that undoubtedly compliment each other, while keeping all levels of yogi’s in mind. Morning classes always tend to be a bit more intense and you will likely work up a sweat to start the day off right, finishing off the afternoon classes with a restorative and relaxing experience to whined down the day. Our week included vinyasa flow, ‘surf fit flow’, yin/restorative, sunrise yoga and mediation on the beach, acroyoga and yin-yasa. With these different styles please keep in mind that Bente and Maria are extremely accommodating to all levels of yoga so there’s no need to be worried if your a complete beginner, advanced or intermediate. My group consisted of all different levels with a variety of injuries that the instructors were aware of to offer substitutions to moves and poses. Both Bente and Maria are from Denmark with 15+ and 7+ of experience. They are so welcoming and accommodating you will have no problem feeling at home and ease with them guiding you throughout the week. They are always available to any and all questions you might have. Their experience, styles and personalities are a great combination of the week they have planned for all guests.
There is plenty of free time throughout the day for additional activities. I found it easy to get stuck at Serenity some days because there is so much to do there. With a beautifully maintained pool, day spa, great restaurant with a menu filled with health conscious dishes, additional yoga and meditation classes you can imagine how easy it is to not want to leave – which isn’t a bad thing at all! I was able to enjoy many afternoons reading by the pool. If you’d like to get out and experience parts of Canggu, you’re about 150 meters from the beach and quite close to many shops, cafes and restaurants. I would recommend renting a scooter for the day – you can hire them at Serenity for 60,000RP ($6 AUD) for the convenience or rent elsewhere for $1 or $2 cheaper. I’ve spent roughly 5 months in Asia and was finally able to learn how to drive a scooter… Most of the ladies were also beginner so it was great to learn with others and ease into it. Now I can’t get enough of it and drive everywhere! There are plenty of great shops and food options along JI. Pantai Batu Bolong, some of the most popular are Betelnut Cafe, Little Flinders, Crate Cafe, Deus is near by as well as the amazing Shady Shack. You will not be disappointed by the many options that Canggu has to offer.
If you would like to take an additional surf lesson I would absolutely recommend it! Whether your beginner or more advanced, Canggu has some of the greatest waves for all levels and is well known to the surf community. There are great instructors that work directly with Serenity, giving you the best results and overall an amazing time out on the water. If surfing isn’t for you I would also recommend experiencing Tenah Lot Temple and some of the lush rice fields near by. It’s only a 15-20 minute scooter ride, and a beautiful one at that. Hiring a car for the day is also an option to explore just about anything near by.
The End to a Beautiful Week
The combination of yoga classes, the incredible teachers, surf lesson, traditional Balinese massage, Serenity as a home base for the week and the lovely company made my experience a magical one that I will never forget. I have continued traveling with friends from the retreat and so grateful that we were able to share this beautiful experience.
Please visit the link below for more information and upcoming retreats at Serenity Eco Guesthouse: http://www.serenityecoguesthouse.com/yoga/retreats/