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  • Writer's pictureLaura J

4 Best mental health benefits you can get from a surf and yoga retreat in Bali

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

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When it comes to my everyday routine, I must admit that yoga has always been more than a simple hobby to me. So, I decided that for my holiday this year, I wanted to take my practice out of my everyday routine to see how much I’m committed to it and how much it can help me explore my emotions while travelling. That’s why I decided to book a solo traveller holiday to Bali, one of the most attractive yoga hubs in Southeast Asia and every yogi’s mandatory stop.

I’ll tell you a secret. I have always romanticised the idea of going to Bali through movies, books, documentaries, and all content created around the Islands of Gods. For this trip, I decided to demystify all my preconceived ideas and get to know both myself as a female solo traveller and my own yoga practice as a first-timer in a yoga retreat.

Here’s what this wellness retreat looked like and the mental health benefits that this experience gave me when I stayed at Mondo Village surf retreat.

What did I expect from my first yoga retreat in Bali?

The main goal that I wanted to achieve during this retreat was to calm down and reconnect with myself. As my first yoga retreat abroad, I had a “make the most of it” mindset since the beginning of the experience. I also wanted, as previously mentioned, to take my yoga practice to the next level and explore my emotions through the process.

How was the vibe at the accommodation?

After eighteen long hours on a plane, reaching the retreat was like heaven on Earth.

Since the second I arrived at the setting, I felt a strong sense of tranquillity and peace that made things way easier for me. Located in Canggu, one the trendiest areas in Bali and in the middle of the countryside made the most of my stay there. Its noise-free location, traditional Balinese deco and beautiful garden made me feel like I was in a parallel universe.

Moreover, the room I chose was perfect: luminous, big, with air-con (much needed in Bali), and facing the yoga area.

Mondo is the perfect retreat for all types of travellers, from couples and groups of friends to hyperactive solo travellers to the ones who enjoy a quiet night. You can choose from a wide range of packages for your stay in the village, from yoga and surf (this is the one I joined), aerial yoga, photography, or even Muay Thai.

What is the schedule for the Bali yoga retreat? (Monday to Saturday schedule)

1. Morning yoga session: 07:00-08:00 vinyasa style. The morning session focused on preparing the muscles for the surfing activity, so it had a more dynamic, active approach.

2. Breakfast (After yoga): from 08:15. We had the chance to choose our breakfasts in advance so they would be ready for after the yoga class.

3. Departure for surfing: this bit is agreed upon the day before, as instructors need to check in the wind and sea conditions of the nearest beaches.

4. Afternoon yoga session: from 17:00 to 18:00. The evening yoga session was a bit more relaxed compared with the morning one, as it was designed to relax our bodies after a long day of fitness.

Julie, our yoga instructor was great and made our yoga sessions fun and challenging at the same time.

*(Note: this schedule is not 100% mandatory or fixed, and you can plan your own day to do whatever you wish to do).

How was the surfing bit?

My surfing skills ranged from 0 to -10 when I joined the retreat, which made me rely only on a few paddle-board sessions that I did over the past few years, so I wasn’t 100% confident in my abilities for surfing around in an exotic destination. However, I am proud to say that I managed to stand up on the board after a couple of sessions 😊

The group was composed of a mixture of complete beginners and a few with more advanced surfing skills.

Although we had a couple of video analysis sessions throughout the week (Mondays and Wednesdays) to check on our performance and improvements on the board, the analysis was focused on the more advanced and pro surfers within the group.

Can I do any other fitness activities at all?

Yes, you can! There are many different activities you can do at the retreat when creating your package. For example, the one I chose included yoga and surf activities, but you can choose from activities like photography, Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai, or even aerial yoga!

I tried a Muay Thai lesson, and I must admit that I am a lover of this martial art now! I can’t wait for my next practice. The teacher in charge of martial arts lessons is very caring and will adapt the class to your personal needs.

Would I have free time during my time at the yoga retreat?

Of course, you will have LOTS of free time to explore Canggu and Seminyak (two of the trendiest spots in Bali) or any other area around Bali you prefer. Mondo is located at the heart of Canggu and is surrounded by beautiful rice fields and other retreats, while it's only 7 minutes away by motorbike from all the shops, restaurants, and bars that the southern area offers. For example, during my time at the retreat, I visited Tanah Lot, one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in Bali, which is only 20 minutes away from the retreat.

Moreover, Sunday is a free activity day, so no surfing, yoga, or any other activities in your package. You will have the whole to organise any trips you want to make around the island.

4 Best mental health benefits you can get from a surf and yoga retreat in Bali

My time at the retreat helped me achieve the goals that I previously set in advance, which I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Moreover, I went to Bali to spend time on my own and to heal my stress and anxiety levels, which allowed me to dive deep into my emotions. These are the main benefits I got from my experience:

1. Yoga sessions helped me achieve a sense of inner peace and balance.

2. A growth in my sense of self-awareness

3. Surf lessons boosted my self-confidence and overall core strength.

4. An improved mental clarity and alignment with my higher self.

How was the food at the Bali yoga retreat?

Powered by Indonesian and Western cuisine, the food at the yoga retreat was AMAZING. Breakfast is super healthy, with a wide variety of dishes to choose from, from healthy smoothie bowls to chocolate and banana pancakes. Each day we pick what we want to have for breakfast the next day, while for lunch or dinner, you can order whatever you prefer and pay for it at the end of your stay. The good news is that prices range from 50K IDR, which is only £2.60.

On top of that, every Saturday the retreat celebrates a freshly grilled BBQ with loads of variety of Indonesian food, where you have the chance to eat some lovely food while enjoying the company of your retreat friends (the BBQ is not included in the package, so you will have to pay for it separately).

Where to shop all the looks:

Brown yoga top + shorts: from Lululemon UK

Travel yoga mat: Kin Yoga Mats

Suitcase: Antler UK

Sweatpants + asymmetric top: Alo Yoga

Citrus marathon shorts + bra: Pruzan

Shoreline blue yoga top + Leggings: Wellicious

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