Despite at least what I perhaps expected, yoga isn’t everywhere in Bali. I thought I wouldn’t be able to chuck an incense stick without hitting a studio, but they’re actually quite few and far between across the island. Today I’ll cover two spots in Sanur: the delightfully herby crunchy Manik Organik, and newer, New York-ier Hot Yoga Studio Leona.
The Manik Organik yoga space is really something special. Tucked away behind the busy restaurants of Danau Tamblingan, the airy, fan-cooled second floor studio is made mostly of bamboo and other natural materials, and looks out over green trees and flowers, with mirrors on the reverse walls.
Classes here are usually taught by Indonesian teachers, with the occasional Westerner running workshops or sessions. Classes are mostly your basic hatha, but check the schedule or give them a call to find out exactly what’s on during your stay. Most classes are held at 09:30 and 18:00 daily, but with variations, so do check. Cost is 90,000 rupiah per session, or a pack of 10 goes for 750,000.
I’ve found this spot to be among the least pretentious among the studios I’ve seen, with a lovely calm atmosphere. The attached cafe does great food, too — I love their beetroot, ricotta and rucola sandwiches and my kids love their blueberry muffins.
Hot Yoga Studio Leona
Hot Yoga Studio Leona is less about back to nature and more about getting a serious work out. As you can tell from the name, this is the Bikram-inspired, heated-room yoga we’re talking about. The temperature of the room is maintained at 37 to 39 degrees Celsius, and the same series of poses is always practised — the poses vary slightly from studio to studio, but are generally more or less the same (50 postures are held in this 90-minute class).
The studio is only a few months old and after one short-lived opening, it shuttered but has now reopened again, and this time it seems classes have really taken off — their promotional 50,000 rupiah classes no doubt helped. The price is now 80,000 rupiah, and is eventually set to rise to 120,000, which is still awfully cheap by say Singaporean standards (where I was recently quoted a price of S$53.50 for a single, drop-in class.) It’s an extra 10,000 for a towel, and 5,000 for a small water bottle — take two of those if you haven’t brought a large one with you (as you should, of course, if you’re travelling green in Bali.)
The environment is lovely, with a spacious heated room surrounded on three sides by mirrors –the fourth side looks out onto some garden and one of the rooms at the attached Hotel Puri Tempo Doeloe. The change rooms and showers have been done out with attention to detail too, making coming here a real treat from start to end.
As for the hot yoga itself: you’ll either love it or hate it. The first class is the toughest and as the teacher will tell you, your aim is to simply stay in the room. Come a few times, and I’m warning you: it’s addicting.
Hot Yoga Studio Leona
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 209, Sanur
T: (0361) 286 542
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 3rd March, 2015.