Balinese Yoga for Holistic Wellness: How to Get Started

Imagine stepping onto the tranquil island of Bali where you extend your body into a yoga pose, becoming a part of the serene environment around you. You raise your hands towards the sky as if to embrace the refreshing breeze, then gently lower down to connect with the earth below, finding a deep sense of peace and mindfulness. This is Balinese yoga - a unique yoga style that offers a truly transformative journey of self-discovery, while incorporating the exotic cultural and spiritual charm of Bali. 

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to introduce you to the mesmerising world of Balinese yoga, its unique aspects, as well as practical steps to incorporate it into your regular wellness routine. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or a curious beginner, Balinese yoga is sure to offer novel experiences to expand your yoga practice and elevate your holistic health and wellness. 

Come, let's dive into the archaic roots, intriguing principles, and practical aspects of Balinese yoga. Prepare to discover an innovative approach to enriching your wellness routine, and more importantly, deepening your connection with your inner self and the world around you.
  • Learn about the distinctive features of Balinese yoga
  • Discover the path to getting started with Balinese Yoga
  • Master practical tips for seamlessly integrating Balinese yoga into your daily routine
  • Find answers to frequently asked questions about Balinese Yoga

Exploring the Origins of Balinese Yoga

Originating as a spiritual tradition deeply birthed within the cultural fabric of the Balinese people, Balinese yoga has remained a prominent aspect of Bali's spiritual and wellness scene for more than a millennium. Established within the 9th century CE, Balinese yoga may seem contemporaneous with other forms of ancient yoga. However, it extends a lot further into integrative spiritual practices, proving it's more than merely a physical exercise. 

Pertaining to Bali's religious views, Balinese yoga isn't simply seen as a tool for physical well-being. It transcends this, being utilized for spiritual enlightenment and deep relaxation, resonating with the Balinese way of life, which is seriously and diligently centered around religion and spirituality. 

The journey of Balinese yoga often starts with the progression of understanding oneself and their "four brothers", as advised by a Balian, a Balinese healer. This journey aids individuals not only in healing physical ailments but also in nurturing and evolving their inner spiritual self. This age-old spiritual method has shaped Bali's wellness culture, making it a sanctuary for spiritual seekers from around the globe. 

The duality of tradition and modernism is evident in the practice of yoga in Bali. The traditional form of Balinese yoga focuses on meditative and contemplative practices aiming to achieve worldly dreams and soteriological purposes. Modern yoga, on the other hand, has taken a stable foothold, especially in touristic centers like Ubud, attracting the global crowd to partake in workshops, training, and retreats lead by charismatic foreigners. The harmony of traditional healing techniques and modern yoga styles embody the essence of Balinese yoga - a harmonious amalgamation of past and present, local and global, spiritual and physical.

balinese yoga for holistic wellness

Core Principles of Balinese Yoga

Integrating Balinese yoga into your wellness regime would mean immersing yourself in a holistic form of self-care and personal growth. This approach is not just about performing physical postures; it does also carry a deep spiritual connotation. Remember, Balinese yoga aims for more than just physical well-being; it's a pathway to spiritual enlightenment and relaxation.

Originating in Bali more than a millennium ago, the Balinese yoga tradition is deeply woven into the fabric of the community. Focused on meditation and contemplation, the practice has been faithfully preserved through generations, thanks to the meticulous record-keeping in traditional lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts). 

Two types of traditional Balinese yoga exist: seated and non-seated practices. Seated practices promote introspection and meditation, while the non-seated practices incorporate more physical postures, aligning your body and mind with nature's rhythm. Both styles significantly aim to unite the mind, body, and spirit. 

Coupled with its strong lineage in tantric and yogic culture, the key principle to remember with Balinese yoga is the emphasis it places on understanding oneself. It's not unusual to visit a Balian or Balinese Healer who encourages you to delve deep into self-awareness at the beginning of your yoga journey. As per Balinese philosophy, the "four brothers" or the four main elements within us—namely thoughts, feelings, senses, and consciousness—need to be understood and aligned to achieve equilibrium and true peace.

Embracing these traditional aspects of Balinese yoga is akin to opening a door to a new realm, one where physical fitness is intertwined with spiritual tranquility and self-realization. No wonder the practice has gained popularity on wellness platforms like Yoga 108 Bali and beyond the shores of its native land.

Getting Started with Balinese Yoga: A Step-by-step Guide

To begin exploring the practice of Balinese yoga, consider the profound wisdom offered by Balinese Healers, often known as 'Balian'. They propose beginning this journey with an inward dive, deeply understanding one's self and one's 'four brothers' - symbolizing the four aspects of the self as per Balinese philosophy - the mind, the heart, the body, and the actions. 

Now, onto the practical steps: 

  1. Choose the right style: With two main types of traditional Balinese yoga: seated yoga practices and non-seated yoga practices, choose the one that resonates with you the most. Both forms have their unique benefits and can be incorporated into different parts of your daily routine.

  2. Familiarizing with the poses: Start with the basic asanas or poses of Balinese yoga. These asanas might include gentle stretch exercises, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques. Remember to take it slow and steady, adjusting your practice according to your comfort.

  3. Establishing a routine: Consistency is key in any yoga practice. Try to commit to a regular schedule, whether it's every morning, evening or a few times a week. The important aspect is to make it a seamless part of your daily routine.

  4. Mindfulness: Take time to be 'present' during your practice. Balinese yoga isn't just about the physical postures, but also about nourishing the mind and spirit. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and sensations during the practice. This can enhance the meditative aspect of Balinese yoga.

Starting a Balinese Yoga practice allows you to connect not only with this ancient tradition but also, more importantly, with yourself. As you embark on this spiritual path, remember that the journey is as significant as the destination.

Incorporating Balinese Yoga into Your Daily Routine

Now, you may be wondering, how exactly can you integrate this ancient practice into your daily routine? Well,   it's simpler than you might think. All you need is a willing heart, discipline, and, of course, a suitable space. Here are some practical ways to incorporate Balinese Yoga into your everyday life. 

Understand Your Goals 

Start by identifying what you hope to achieve with Balinese yoga. This practice, steeped in tradition and spirituality, provides a range of benefits from physical wellness to spiritual enlightenment. Some people aim for relaxation, others seek physical well-being, while some people delve into yoga for spiritual development. 

Create Your Space 

Afraid you don't have a Bali-like space for practice? Fear not! All you need is a quiet, serene, and comfortable space within your abode. This doesn't have to be an outdoor terrace overlooking a lush tropical landscape. Just a spot where you feel at ease will do. Add personal touches, like a small plant or your favorite scented candles, to create a peaceful atmosphere. 

Consistency Is Key 

As with anything worth doing, consistency is critical in reaping the benefits of Balinese Yoga. Find a slot within your daily plans that suits you best. It could be in the morning when the day is still fresh, or at night, just before you retire to bed. What matters most is that it's a time that allows you to focus on your practice without distractions. Stick to this schedule religiously, and you'll soon see progress. 

Start Small, then Advance 

When embarking on your Balinese yoga journey, it helps to start small. Begin with familiar and easy postures, then ascend to more complex poses as your flexibility and strength build. 

Engage with a Community 

Feeling disconnected can limit your growth in your yoga practice. Why not step out of your cocoon and engage with a local or online yoga community? You could share ideas and experiences with like-minded people. Websites like "Yoga 108 Bali" offer online resources and classes, a vibrant yoga community and numerous outreach programs. 

To sum it all up, Balinese yoga, with its rich history and spiritual depth, isn't just a fitness regimen but a tool towards a more wholesome and enriched life. Go ahead, take these practical steps, and you'll be well on your journey towards a healthier you!

balinese yoga for holistic wellness

Ideal Environment for Practicing Balinese Yoga

A session of Balinese yoga necessitates a tranquil and serene environment, helping you form a spiritual connection. Ubud, one of Bali's highly respected locations, is a beacon of yoga activity with centers like the Ubud Yoga Centre and Yoga Barn. In these places, along with many others in Bali, the right environment is provided for every Balinese yoga practitioner, regardless of whether they are a beginner or an advanced practitioner. 

Ubud, known for its lush green rice fields, ancient Hindu temples, and the serenading calls of local birds, offers a unique setting for a Balinese yoga routine. This spiritual and tranquility-rich atmosphere draws many yoga enthusiasts, offering them solace in their yoga journey. We recommend incorporating similar elements into your own practice space to enhance your Balinese yoga experience. 

To successfully forge such an environment, consider incorporating architectural elements reminiscent of traditional Balinese bungalows, or comparable structures that adequately encapsulate the genuine ambiance. In the spirit of a comprehensive wellness experience, additions such as a steam room, sauna, or Jacuzzi could be considered once you become more comfortable and proficient in your practice. Swimming pools, too, often serve as a refreshing component of Balinese yoga sessions, particularly in Bali's hot tropical climate. 

Overall, to create a holistically beneficial routine, it's essential to understand not just the practice, but also the cost, suitable locations, and various types of meditation within the Balinese yoga method. 

Grasping the Practice and Flow of Balinese Yoga 

Traditional Balinese yoga foundationally consists of two key elements: Asana practice (physical postures) and Pranayama (breathing exercises). It incorporates routines that can touch on both worldly ambitions and spiritual purposes. Balinese Yoga also utilizes Vinyasa flow, a type of yoga where postures, or asanas, are connected through the breath for a transformative and balancing effect. 

Cost Considerations 

While some yoga practices require expensive gear or memberships, Balinese yoga can be remarkably cost-effective. All you need to get started is a comfortable outfit and a yoga mat. While investing in classes or top-notch equipment can certainly add value to your practice, such investments are not strictly necessary for beginners. 

Finding an Ideal Location for Your Practice 

Part of the allure of Balinese yoga is its adaptability. This form of yoga can be practiced virtually anywhere - in studios, in parks, or even within the comfort of your own home. Traditional Balinese yoga, however, is profoundly intertwined with nature, and finding a serene, outdoor spot can enhance the practice's inherent tranquil qualities. 

Diverse Meditation Techniques in Balinese Yoga 

Various ways of meditation make up an integral part of Balinese yoga practices. There's a high emphasis on aligning the mind, body, and spirit in a harmonious rhythm. Incorporating meditative elements such as mindful breath control and intuitive flow are common. 

Incorporating Traditional Aspects: Samadi 

Samadi is another aspect that is essential in authentic Balinese yoga practice. It refers to a state of meditative consciousness and the uniting of the individual self with the Absolute or universal spirit. Creating a mindfulness routine that incorporates samadi can be a deeply restorative and transformative part of your Balinese yoga journey.


We've gathered a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that surface when one begins to explore the realm of Balinese Yoga. Whether you're looking for guidance on starting your practice or seeking information on how Balinese Yoga stands unique in the yoga universe, these FAQs serve as a treasure trove of insight. In case you have a question that hasn't been addressed here, feel free to reach out and we'd be more than happy to extend our knowledge and expertise.

Are there any online resources or classes for learning Balinese yoga?

Indeed, there are numerous resources available online to support your journey into Balinese yoga, and the rise of remote learning makes it easier than ever to immerse yourself in this practice, no matter where you are. One such amazing online resource is Yoga 108 Bali. This platform offers a wealth of online classes, guiding you through various styles and techniques of yoga, including Balinese yoga. They provide yearly teacher trainings, community talks, and personal coaching sessions. The platform is an excellent resource to deepen your understanding and practice of Balinese yoga. 

In addition to Yoga 108 Bali, you may find video tutorials, digital books, and podcasts on platforms such as YouTube and Spotify. A simple search can open up a treasure trove of guidance and advice from experienced practitioners all over the world. Furthermore, don't forget to utilize social media groups and forums. They're a wonderful way to connect with fellow learners and experienced yogis, ask questions, and get personalized tips. However, it's important to bear in mind that online learning requires self-discipline and commitment. It's crucial to create a consistent schedule and stick to it to fully benefit from these platforms and resources.

Are there any precautions to take while practicing Balinese yoga?

Absolutely, it's essential to mind a few precautions while practicing Balinese yoga, as with any wellness routine. Here's a closer look: 

1. Ensure Physical Readiness: Ensure you are physically ready to undertake yoga practice. If you have medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, or any issues related to the spine or joints, consult a doctor before practicing Balinese yoga. 

2. Understand Your Limits: Beginners in particular should be careful to not push beyond their physical limits. Practice at a pace that feels comfortable. Yoga is not about strain or effort, but harmony and ease. 

3. Warm-up Beforehand: It's advisable to warm up your body before starting the practice. This can include light cardio activities like a brisk walk or a few minutes of jump rope. 

4. Follow the Right Technique: Correct postural alignment in each pose is crucial to avoid injury. If you're new to Balinese yoga, consider enrolling in a workshop or hiring a certified instructor to ensure you're practicing correctly. 

5. Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and fuel your body with nutritious food. Avoid practicing yoga on a full stomach; wait at least two hours after eating before you start your session. 

6. Mind Your Environment: Choose a calm and comfortable setting for your practice. The space should be clear of obstacles and distractions, ensuring your safety and peace of mind. 

Remember, it's natural to feel a little discomfort when you're first starting out with Balinese yoga—after all, you're learning new poses and using muscles in ways you might not be accustomed to. However, pain is a signal from your body saying you're pushing too hard. Listen to your body, respect your limits, and gradually with regular, consistent practice, you'll enhance your flexibility, strength, and harmony.

How can I find a certified Balinese yoga instructor?

Finding a certified Balinese yoga instructor can make a considerable difference in your journey towards health and wellbeing. As this specific yoga style is meditative and contemplative, you want somebody with deep knowledge and understanding to guide you. 

In Bali, numerous reputable studios offer classes led by certified instructors. To name a few, Yoga 108 Bali offers traditional Balinese yoga classes and holistic wellness programs. Ubud Pilates, set amidst tranquil greenery, offers a blend of Yoga and Pilates, and their teachers are known for their professional training and personal approach. 

If you're not based in Bali, do not fret. You can still bring a slice of Bali to your home. Many studios now offer online classes and workshops, providing remote access to their teachings. When selecting an online instructor, make sure to check their credentials and read reviews from previous students to ensure they offer a genuine and authentic Balinese yoga experience. 

Another important point to remember is to ensure the instructor aligns with your personal goals and needs. Each teacher will come with their own unique teaching style and philosophies, so it's essential to find one that resonates with you. Attend several classes with a variety of teachers when possible, and take the time to discuss your goals and any potential challenges they can help you overcome. This way, you set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling Balinese yoga journey.

What are some tips for beginners starting Balinese yoga?

Embarking on the journey of Balinese Yoga isn't difficult, but it does require mindfulness and dedication. Just like starting any wellness practice, there are challenges, but rest assured there are ways to make it easier. Here are some quick but helpful tips for beginners to ease into this beautiful, traditional practice. 

First, learn to embrace the Balinese philosophy of balance and harmony. Yoga, especially Balinese Yoga, isn't just a physical exercise—it's a spiritual and holistic wellness regimen. Strive to achieve the balance between your physical, mental, and spiritual states, just as this practice espouses. 

Secondly, respect the pace. Just like a serene Balinese sunset, the essence of this style of Yoga is unhurried and relaxed. Avoid jumping directly into complex poses. Start from basic poses, embrace your pace, and progress gradually. Your body, mind, and spirit would appreciate this approach to learning. 

Next, remember the importance of meditation in Balinese Yoga. This practice endorses a meditative state of mind and contemplative mood. Indulge in quiet moments of reflection and mindfulness. This helps increase the efficacy of your practice and fosters a deeper connection with your inner self. 

Lastly, seek professional guidance. Although you can learn a lot from self-study and online resources, there's no substitute for attending a class or workshop, whether virtual or offline, guided by a certified Balinese Yoga instructor. Professionals impart the correct techniques, prevent injuries, and contribute towards enriching your overall experience. 

Armed with these tips, your first steps into the soothing world of Balinese Yoga should be inviting and enlightening. Take your time, breathe, and embrace the journey. Happy Yoga!

How does Balinese yoga differ from other yoga styles?

When comparing Balinese yoga to other yoga styles, several distinctions emerge. Balinese yoga, deeply rooted in Balinese culture, stands apart through its meditative and contemplative nature. It's about more than mastering complex poses; it's about engaging in a practice filled with spiritual depth and historical significance. 

Another hallmark of traditional Balinese yoga is the two main practices: seated and non-seated yoga. While most yoga styles don't make this distinction, Balinese yoga specifically categorizes exercises based on whether they are performed sitting down or standing up. 

Further distinguishing Balinese yoga is the purpose behind performing it. Ambitions range from achieving worldly dreams to spiritual enlightenment, making it more than just physical exercise. This aligned with the deep-seated Balinese belief in having a balance in life, intertwined with their tantric and yogic culture.

Last but not least, Balinese yoga has a rich heritage preserved in traditional lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts). These ancient texts contain instructions and verses on yoga practices that have guided Balinese yogis for over a millennium.

While modern yoga styles are now widely practiced in Balinese tourist hubs, traditional Balinese yoga remains a unique and profound experience that sets it apart from other forms of yoga.