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10 PODCASTS EVERY YOGI NEEDS TO LISTEN TO

By Susanne Rieker

It’s time to turn off the music and tune in to a podcast. There are so many new amazing podcasts worth listening to if you’re into yoga and spirituality. Learn more about yoga, mindfulness, meditation and more with the help of the following inspiring podcasts:

#1 From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl

I love the way Rachel is sharing her life, insights and challenges in her podcast in such an open, vulnerable, loving way.

Listen on iTunes

#2 Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations Podcast

In her supersoul conversations  podcast Oprah speaks with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. All designed to light you up, guide you through life’s big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self.

Listen on iTunes

#3 Practice You with Elena Brower Podcast

Elena describes her podcast as a collection of collaborative content and conversations around how to leap, learn and listen. Expect raw, real inquiries into relationship, lifestyle, healing, education, spirit, service, ancient practice, and modern wisdom

Listen on iTunes

#4 That’s So Retrograde

In their super popular podcast Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari talk about everything from tarot, to palm-reading, mindful awakening or wellness tips. I love the way they merge pop culture and wellness in their podcast, and every episode is like having a conversation with your best friends.

Listen on iTunes

#5 10% Happier with Dan Harris

I just installed the 10% Happier app and love it! In his podcast New York Times bestselling author Dan Harris talks with fascinating authors, meditation teachers and thinkers, such as for example Gretchen Rubin and

Listen on iTunes

#6 Tara Brach Yoga Podcast

Want to deepen your yoga and spiritual practice? Then this podcast is for you. Tara is a prominent psychologist and meditation teacher and in her podcast shares a weekly guided meditation and talk that blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices.

Listen on iTunes

#7 The Lively Show Podcast

Jess lively got me interested in the Law of Attraction and I’ll be forever grateful to her for that. In her podcast she talks about how to apply consciousness, the law of attraction, & the science behind the subconscious in everyday life in a way that makes it really understandable.

Listen on iTunes

#8 Jivamukti Yoga with Jessica Stickler

Ready for some practice? Jivamukti yoga teacher Jessica Stickler’s shares her live classes in her podcast, giving you the opportunity to follow along.

Listen on iTunes

#9 Yogaland Podcast Andrea Ferretti

On her podcast Andrea talks to insightful people about all things related to yoga and the path of self-awareness. From how yoga is being used in schools, to how it rewires our brains, to nitty gritty anatomy advice, to the simple ways it helps us navigate emotions.

Listen on iTunes

#10 goop Podcast

I’m not a big fan of goop, the life style blog started by Gwyneth Paltrow, but I really enjoy the podcast. It covers discussions with leading thinkers, culture changers, and industry disruptors – and the guest list is really impressive, from Brené Brown to Julia Roberts.

Listen on iTunes

The post 10 PODCASTS EVERY YOGI NEEDS TO LISTEN TO appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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10 EPIC SAVASANA SONGS FOR YOGA BLISS

By Susanne Rieker

Okay, I have a confession to make:

Waaaaayyyy back, when I just started yoga, I sometimes left class before Savasana started. I mean, the class was running late, and I had things to do. Obviously, I had a lot to learn…

Now Savasana is my favorite pose. I love it. LOVE it. LOOOOOVE it!

I agree with everyone who says that it’s the most important part of the yoga practice. Because it is! It’s like hitting the reset button. After a good, long Shavasana I’m a new person, ready to tackle whatever life throws at me.

Here are 10 of my favorite Savasana songs – in alphabetical order, not order of preference.

So, close your eyes, allow your body to melt into the earth (or your office chair, or your coach…) and allow your breath to flow calm and soft…

Aix Em Klemm – Sparkwood and Twentyone

A beautiful instrumental song that will leave you totally chilled out in Savasana.

Beyoncé – Ave Maria

You might be surprised to find Beyoncé on a list with Savasana songs, but I love this song. It just makes me feel all filled up with gratitude and love.

Deva Premal – Om Namo Bhagavate

This list of Savasana songs wouldn’t be complete without at least one song from Deva Premal. This is one of my favorites.

Fiona Apple – Across the Universe

The original from the Beatles is amazing but I love this slower and more mellow cover from Fiona Apple for a chilled Savasana.

Jai Uttal – Gopala Lullaby

Jai has the most beautiful voice and this song is the perfect lullaby, it’s like a warm blanket around you.

Jonathan Goldman – Ultimate Om

magine being in a temple, surrounded by hundreds of people chanting the sacred mantra “OM” in a continuous, fluid wave of sonic vibration.

Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World

This song will leave everyone in a happy mood. It’s not very long and I like to extend the Savasana without music for a few more minutes, to let it soak in.

Max Richter – Dream 3

I love Max Richter’s meditative music. This song is 10 minutes long and perfect for a loooong and uber-relaxing Savasana session.

Rufus Wainwright – Hallelujah

There are many amazing versions of this song, but this is my favorite and I can’t get enough of it.

Sharon Gannon – Om Shantih

This song always leaves a big smile on my yoga students when they get out of their Savasana.

The post 10 EPIC SAVASANA SONGS FOR YOGA BLISS appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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Review Yoga Retreat with Meghan Currie and Super Soul

By Susanne Rieker

I said goodbye to 2018 and started 2019 on a yoga retreat in Bali with the amazing Meghan Currie, organized by Super Soul. It was a week full of yoga, self-care, delicious food, chilling and making new friends. Can there be a better way to celebrate New Year? I don’t think so and this might become my New Year tradition! Read on to learn more about my experience and what it’s like to do a yoga retreat with Meghan Currie:

Yoga with Meghan Currie

If you don’t know Meghan Currie yet, definitely check out her YouTube channel. She’s an amazing and inspiring yogini, for sure! But she’s also a really, really great teacher. I went to as many of her classes and workshops at Radiantly Alive in Ubud as I could, and I knew that one full week with her would help me improve my yoga practice on so many levels.

And Meghan delivered. In the mornings we practiced strong vinyasa flows with some handstand practice thrown in for around 3 hours… This sounds harder than it was, because Meghan always included a relaxing and grounding pose at the beginning and a loooong shavasana (okay, it was STILL hard, and we all sweated like crazy).

In the afternoon we had a super chilled loooong yin yoga session. If you don’t know yin yoga, it’s a very relaxing style of yoga where you hold poses for a long time. A few times we had live music in our practice which was amazing. My favorite session was yin yoga on New Year with Cellomano playing the cello for us. There was so much going on in my head and then I just calmed down and got lost listening to his beautiful music.

Yoga Retreat Location & Accommodation

The retreat took place at the Desa Seni resort in Canggu in Bali. Desa Seni is a restorative eco-retreat, set in a tropical garden. 10 wooden houses hide within peaceful green tropical gardens, with stepping stones leading between the lobby, saltwater pool, yoga pavilions and restaurant. The houses are all restored antique wooden homes collected from various Indonesian Islands, decorated with love and care.

It’s pricy though and I was happy that Super Soul offered a few non-residential places on the retreat. For the money I saved this way I rented a room in a villa for the full month in Canggu on AirBnB. This meant of course I had to drive to Desa Seni every morning and get back to my place at night. After the first few days bracing the crazy traffic in Canggu in the New Year week (high season!) I decided to spend my days at Desa Seni and chilled out at the pool, reading and dreaming.

Food

The lovely team at Desa Seni spoiled us with for example gluten free blueberry pancakes and fresh fruit for breakfast, vegan Indonesian curries made with vegetables fresh from the garden and sweet treats like coconut cream with crushed peanuts and mango. 80% of the produce used for Desa Seni’s menu comes from their own organic gardens which is simply amazing.

Mind & Soul

Physical transformation means very little without an internal shift. Meghan encouraged us to journal and to think about questions that she shared with us, like for example:

What matters most in my life? What are my values?

Am I living my values?

For what must I forgive myself?

It made me think and reflect on many things in my life, I really liked this. What I was missing a little bit was meditation and pranayama. I meditated in the morning before yoga, but there was no instruction. It was all very physical, focused on Asana. Though you could say that the yin yoga sessions where meditative in a way.

Friends

The best part of a yoga retreat is always the community. Meeting yogis from all over the world and making new friends. We were a big group, 36 participants, and this was a little bit overwhelming. I’m introverted and I prefer smaller groups. But I also met some really special people that I look forward to staying in touch!

Overall, it was a great experience and I’m very happy that I joined the retreat. And who knows, I might be back next year! Are you in?

Click here to find more yoga retreats in Bali.

The post Review Yoga Retreat with Meghan Currie and Super Soul appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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5 AFTER WORK YOGA POSES

By Susanne Rieker

If you’re stuck at your desk for 8+ hours, always trying to catch up with your inbox and rushing around, by the end of the day your shoulders are around your ears with stress, your lower back is sore from the desk and your legs are stiff…

Unfortunately, a nice juicy 90-minute-long yoga class isn’t always possible, but even just 10 minutes can help you stretch those muscles and help you to relax, ready to enjoy a chilled evening on the couch with your binge-worthy TV show of choice. So, put down your mat in a quiet spot and get ready to release your muscles and mind.

5 YOGA POSES TO RELAX BODY AND MIND AFTER WORK Wide-leg Child Pose

Child Pose is my favorite pose after a long day, to use before bed at night or anytime you need a mental break to work out any tension and stress relief.

Come down onto your knees so they are folded under you. Spread your knees as wide as your mat. Bring your belly to rest between your thighs and your forehead to the floor. You can also rest on a cushion to make it extra relaxing. Stretch your arms forward or gently lay them by your side and let your entire body release. Hold for as long as you wish.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a great stretch for your full body, if done correctly. Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight, otherwise try and straighten out your legs while pushing your hips back. Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other. Hold for 5-8 breaths before dropping back to hands and knees to rest.

Garland Pose (Malasana)

From Downward Dog, step forward and come down into a squat with your feet as close together as possible. Keep your heels on the floor if you can; otherwise, support them on a folded mat, blanket or some books.

Press your elbows against your inner knees and bring your palms together. Lengten your torso and try to relax into the pose. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then lower your but to the floor. Ahhh, feel the relief!

Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)

Stretch out your legs in front of you and sit up straight. Make sure that your toes are flexed towards you. Inhale and raise your arms over your head, exhale and bend forward, trying to bend from the hips and not by rounding your lower back. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. It doesn’t matter at all if you can touch your feet or not and you can sit on a bolster or cushion to help you bend more easily. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then sit up and lower your back all the way to the floor until you’re lying down.

Shavasana

This pose seems quite easy, but it could also be one of the hardest since you want to completely relax your body and mind. Lie on the floor with your legs slightly apart, your arms by your side and your palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and try to completely relax and let go. Breathe slowly, yet deeply. Stay for 10 minutes.

If you’re in need of a longer rest and reset it may be time for a yoga retreat to restore and realign with your true self. Click here to check out amazing retreats happening worldwide.

The post 5 AFTER WORK YOGA POSES appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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10 Beautiful Autumn Yoga Retreats

By Susanne Rieker

Looking to get away from it all this autumn? This time of year asks us to reflect on which chapters, projects and cycles are ready to come to a close, what do we need to finish or let go of. Take some time off from the daily grind and hustle and give yourself the gift of self-reflection and self-care on a yoga retreat.

In honor of the National Yoga Month September, here are ten yoga retreats worth considering, from yoga and meditation in Maine to a long yoga weekend in Croatia. You’re likely to return blissed-out either way.

Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Ericeira, Portugal

September 7 – September 10 | From €360

Only have time for a quick yoga break? Join Laurence in sunny Portugal and axperience 4 days of yoga, breath work, meditation and more while relaxing on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Click here to learn more

Luxury Yoga Retreat in Mykonos, Greece

September 15 – September 22 | From €1950

If you’re looking for a yoga retreat at a 5* hotel in a beautiful place, but don’t want to go somewhere far away from everything, this yoga retreat in Mykonos offers just the perfect balance – a luxury setting with plenty to see and do, but also plenty of quiet time and space to relax.

Click here to learn more

10 Days Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Morocco

September 22 – October 1 | From €2200

If you have a bit more time and really need to escape it all, this beautiful 10-day retreat might be perfect. Take a jouney to your heart and deepen your yoga practice in the heart of Morocco. The yoga program will lead you through all the layers of yourself, guiding you back to your center, your peace, and your heartfelt intentions.

Click here to learn more

Yoga, Meditation and Breathwork Retreat in Maine, USA

September 22 – September 28 | $1250

Rolling Meadows, a 100 acre yoga retreat center over-looking the hills of coastal Maine, provides a rural setting for personal and spiritual renewal. USA Today, Boston .com and Travel & Leisure.com have called Rolling Meadows Retreat one of the top ten places to take a yoga retreat.

Click here to learn more

Catalina Island Escape in California, USA

September 22 – September 29 | $3500

Relax, restore, and renew on the Golden Coast of California. Ginny and Bella offer two daily yoga practices of Power and Restorative Yoga, free sessions of Reiki, Past Life Regression, Journey to the Akashic Records, and a Hypnotist Medium experience. There’s also time to surf, hike, or just relax in the sun.

Click here to learn more

Ideas of Happiness – Yoga Retreat in Sicily

September 22 – September 29 | $1950

Arrive just in time to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox on this special yoga retreat in Sicily, Italy. This retreat combines yoga, healthy living, positive affirmation of life, cultural studies, and spending time in nature. Besides visiting famous archaeological sites, you will also hike Mount Etna and visit an olive farm to watch the olive harvest/olive oil tasting.

Click here to learn more

8 Days All Inclusive Luxury Yoga & Well-Being Retreat – Turkey

September 29 – October 6 | €2820

If you really want to pamper yourself, join Buddhiful Retreats in a fantastic 5* resort near Bodrum, Turkey for a week of total well-being experience! You’ll stay in a beautiful resort, just an hour north of Bodrum, with golden beaches and surrounded by undulating hills full of wild olives. And don’t forget the private pools and a 10,000sq m impressive spa!

Click here to learn more

Yoga and Meditation Retreat in the middle of Bali

October 15 – October 21 | From €1110

Join Martinas yoga retreat on the famed “Island of the Gods” for an unforgettable experience while you journey toward your body, mind and spirit. Get ready to explore breath-taking scenery, magnificent beaches, lush rice terraces, marvellous jungles and the unique Balinese culture.

Click here to learn more

Mindfulness in Nature retreat to sunny Cyprus

October 19 – October 22 | From €475

Late October is the perfect time to escape from the grey and cold autumn of Northern Europe and to enjoy the sun & mild temperatures (above 20 C) of Cyprus for a short yoga break. Learn about mindfulness, explore nature and enjoy delicious & healthy food.

Click here to learn more

Soul Awakening – A journey through the Chakras in India

November 3 – November 10 | €750

Soulinunity invites you to experience the 7 Chakras in your own way on this yoga retreat, offering a unique fusion of Yoga & Qi Gong. You’ll discover a completely new way to feel and connect your seven energy centers to create unity in your true self and liberate your soul from any charge you may carry with you.

Click here to learn more

The post 10 Beautiful Autumn Yoga Retreats appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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HOW TO SPEND A HEALTHY YOGI DAY IN AMSTERDAM

In July I visited Amsterdam for one sunny day while on a river cruise with my family. After all the wine and sumptuous food devoured on the ship I was ready for a healthy break in Amsterdam! I wanted to do yoga, eat some yummy healthy food and explore Amsterdam of course. Here’s how my day went:

Exploring the Jordaan neighborhood

I started my day in Amsterdam with a walk in the Jordaan neighborhood. The streets were still empty from the tourist crowds who would later descend and I enjoyed the many beautiful canal views on the way to the Svaha yoga studio.

Another option if you have a bit more time is of course to rent a bicycle. This is very popular and easy to do, you’ll find lots of places where you can rent a bicycle in Amsterdam next to the central train station.

But luckily the size of Amsterdam means walking everywhere is also extremely easy. And when every corner you turn offers an Instagrammable canal framed by cute, crooked houses, it’s nice to slow down and take it all in.

Catching a yoga class at Svaha Yoga in Jordaan, Amsterdam

I got in touch with Svaha yoga before my trip and they generously invited me to attend a vinyasa class at their studio.

Svaha Yoga is apparently the oldest vinyasa yoga school in Amsterdam and they have three different locations in Amsterdam. I went to their Jordaan studio for a level 3 vinyasa class (I was ready to work it). Everybody was super friendly and made me feel at home and welcome.

There are mats and props provided so all you need to do is show up. The teacher, Patrick, was knowledgeable, professional and very sweet and his class included chanting and a great flow – I loved it! I wished I would have had more time to check out their other classes like Kirtan and guided meditation. Next time!

Svaha Yoga – Jordaan Shala

Willemsstraat 133

1015 JB Amsterdam

Website

Yummy and healthy lunch at Piqnic

Trying to eat gluten free and vegetarian was a challenge on this trip and I was so excited to find this little gem of a café/restaurant. It was the perfect stop to recharge after my sweaty yoga class.

At Piqnic they serve breakfast, lunch, coffee and tea. You can choose from a variety of small dishes like soups, salads and small sandwiches (they have gluten free bread), and they also have yummy cakes, including quite a big gluten free selection.

Picnic

Lindengracht 59 hs

1015 KC Amsterdam

Website

Shopping in De 9 Straatjes aka The Nine Streets in Amsterdam

With lots of cute fashionable shops and yummy cafes, de Negen Straatjes or “Nine Streets” area is a great place to wander and do some window shopping. Here you won’t find the big brands but instead lots of cool fashion and accessories boutiques, like for example Scotch & Soda, Concrete Matter or Filippa K.

The Anne Frank house is close by if you plan to visit it. I would have loved to but you have to buy tickets in advance online. Here’s the website with more information.

Exploring art at the Van Gogh museum

The Van Gogh museum is dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and it’s must-see when you’re in Amsterdam. There is a massive amount of art to see – over 200 pieces by Van Gogh and many pieces from Van Gogh’s peers.

I loved learning more about Vincent van Gogh and his background. There is certainly a lot more to him than “the guy who cut his ear off”!

I recommend to buy your tickets in advance online. We did this the same day and thus skipped standing in lines to get entry.

Van Gough Museum

Museumplein 6

1071 DJ Amsterdam

Website

And this was my day in Amsterdam! A lot of walking, yoga, gluten free cake and amazing art, it had everything I loved.

Have you been to Amsterdam? What have I missed and should check out next time?

The post HOW TO SPEND A HEALTHY YOGA DAY IN AMSTERDAM appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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REVIEW YOGA TEACHER TRAINING IN BALI AT POWER OF NOW OASIS

If you’re looking for a yoga teacher training in Bali that’s also close to a beach (I mean, I love Ubud, but practicing yoga with a view of the sea is kind of magic…), check out Power of Now Oasis in Sanur! They invited me to visit them for a few days and I was sooo impressed with their yoga teacher training. Please note that even though I was invited by Power of Now Oasis, all opinions are my own as always.

Why you should do a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali

I did my first 200h yoga teacher training in Bali in 2013 and totally fell in love with the magic of Bali and have been coming back since then again and again (and live here now). Even though Bali doesn’t have a yoga history like India (the birth land of yoga of course), I feel that the Balinese culture and beliefs IS yoga. Also, while India is undoubtedly cheaper than Bali and offers more traditional yoga teacher trainings, Bali can be less intimidating and feel easier to travel around, especially as a single female traveler.

The Yoga Teacher Training at Power of Now Oasis

Power of Now Oasis is offering 6 month-long yoga teacher trainings in 2018. They are Yoga Alliance credited of course and have successfully trained hundreds of new yoga teachers. The head teachers Myron and Mallika from India and Megan from the US beautifully blend traditional Hatha Yoga with today’s modern Vinyasa Flow.

What I loved is that Myron and Mallika bring an in-depth understanding and knowledge of yoga philosophy and history to the training, while Megan shares her real-life experience of what it’s like teaching yoga today in the Western world.

The yoga teacher trainings at Power of Now Oasis in Bali are normally smaller groups, with a maximum of 20 students. The training I visited had 9 students and at the end of their 4-week program they were a tight-knit community.

At the end of the trainings the students got the chance to get a real teaching experience by teaching a public yoga class. Each student taught for 30 minutes and I was sooo impressed! They were all amazing and ready to teach anywhere. Something I can’t really say about my first yoga teacher training… There really is a difference, some yoga schools focus more on self-development and not so much on teaching you how to actually teach yoga. If you’re thinking about doing a yoga teacher training because you want to become a yoga teacher, definitely do your research and maybe even get in touch with some former students and hear what they have to say. The school should be able to put you into contact with some, and if they don’t consider twice before signing up to their training.

A Yoga Holiday at Power of Now Oasis in Bali

You’re not ready to do a yoga teacher training but simply want to do some yoga at the beach in Bali? Power of Now Oasis in Sanur offers 3 open yoga classes daily so you can easily create your own yoga holiday. They also run regular retreats and offer holistic treatments, such as Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, Ayurveda and Bokashi treatments. I enjoyed a blissful Ayurveda massage by Ibu Dayu and totally recommend her. She’s amazing, you’ll feel like in heaven afterwards. Like butter melting in the sun.

Where to Stay in Sanur

I stayed in Kolonial House, a beautiful small boutique guesthouse only a few hundred meters from Power of Now Oasis. It’s a very charming place full of atmosphere, with 2 large pools and lots of comfy common spaces to hang out and connect with fellow guests.

It’s cute but a bit run down in places (things simply don’t age well in the tropics). I’d say that the atmosphere more than makes up for it, but if you’re looking for state-of-the-art modern amenities it might not be perfect for you.

Click here to learn more about Power of Now Oasis in Sanur, Bali, and their yoga teacher trainings.

The post REVIEW YOGA TEACHER TRAINING IN BALI AT POWER OF NOW OASIS appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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A YOGI DAY IN MELBOURNE

I love exploring new cities! But it can be tiring, all that running around from one highlight that you just have to see to the next.

That’s why I love planning at least one yogi day into each city trip. A day where I focus on my self-care. A day for yoga, healthy food and activities that recharge and reenergize me.

You can check out my yogi day recommendations for SingaporePhnom Penh and London here.

Recommendations for a yogi day in Melbourne, Australia #1 A yoga class at UpDog Yoga in Balaclava

UpDog yoga is the small boutique yoga studio run by my friend Joey Myers. He invited me to join one of his Vinyasa classes and it was the perfect start into my yogi day! Invigorating and a little bit challenging, Joey brings his kick ass approach into the class and combines it with insights and inspiration that will stay with you off the mat. Highly recommended yoga studio in Melbourne!

Website: http://updogyoga.com.au

#2 Breakfast at Matcha Mylkbar in St. Kilda

Matcha Mylkbar is the perfect spot for a yummy vegetarian breakfast. Located on the bustling corner of Acland and Carlisle Streets, Matcha Mylkbar offers a bright and bold Vegetarian menu including Amaze Bowls, Vegan Eggs, and more delicious and nourishing dishes packed with goodness that are 100% plant based.

#3 The Botanical Gardens in Melbourne

After breakfast, it’s time to breathe deep and fill your lungs with the goodness of the freshest air from the heart of Melbourne’s city centre at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Considered one of the finest examples of Victorian-era landscaped gardens in the world, the Botanical Garden is perfect for a relaxed stroll when the weather is nice. Bring a good book, something to drink (or a picnic if you’re hungry again already) and simply relax.

#4 Dinner at the beach at Paper Fish

Can you imagine living in a city where you can head to the beach after work? Such a dream! Grab a seat at Paper Fish for some yummy sustainable seafood, fresh salads, a beer or wine and enjoy the people watching.

This was my perfect yogi day in Melbourne. The next day I was off on my epic road trip to Sydney. What did I miss and need to check out next time I’m back in this lovely city? Let me know in the comments.

The post A YOGI DAY IN MELBOURNE appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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MY ROAD TRIP FROM MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY INCLUDING GREAT OCEAN ROAD

I just got back from an epic road trip driving from Melbourne to Sydney including the Great Ocean Road! To get from Melbourne to Sydney I rented a campervan and then spent a week driving this scenic coastal road. It was amaaaaazing!

To help with any plans you may have to do this drive yourself, I’ve put together a step by step itinerary with the places I stopped along the way. As you’ll see, you can fit a lot into one week driving from Melbourne to Sydney.

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 1: GREAT OCEAN ROAD – 293 KM

After collecting my little Jucy campervan (I got this one, perfect for a single traveler like me, or anyone on a budget) I first stopped at a huge Coles supermarket in Geelong to stock up on goodies.

I added two bottles of good wine and off I went in search of the Great Ocean Road. I’m kidding – the Google Maps app on my phone directed me perfectly. You don’t need a GPS, get a prepaid card at the airport (I had Vodafone and pretty good reception most of the time) and make sure you have a car charger cable and you’re good.

There are so many amazing views and beaches on the Great Ocean Road, it’s one of the most famous drives for a reason. It takes you past world-class surfing breaks, through pockets of rainforest and calm seaside towns.

The highlight are of course the 12 Apostles. But be warned – they are popular and all the tour buses from Melbourne doing the Great Ocean Road in a day stop there. It was nearly 6pm by the time I got there and it was still busy… My tip is to just embrace the crowds and enjoy the people watching.

My original plan was to head back on the Great Ocean Road and stop somewhere closer to Melbourne for the night so I wouldn’t have such a long drive back the next day, but because it was so late already I went to the Port Campbell Holiday Park for my first night sleeping in the van.

INTRODUCING #VANLIFE

My van was custom-outfitted by Jucy and fully equipped with everything you need, including a double bed with cushions, a warm blanket and sheets, gas cooker, all kitchen utensils, fridge and even a kitchen sink.

It was perfect for me as a single traveler. I think it would be quite crowded though for two people though, especially if you travel with luggage. There’s just no place to put it! I would recommend going for a bigger van if you’re traveling with more people and can afford it.

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 2: YARRA VALLEY 304 KM

It was clouded and rainy when I woke up and I decided it was the perfect weather to visit some Kangaroos and Koalas instead of hanging out on wet beaches. I took the faster route on the main highway to Melbourne – not as exciting and probably my least favorite day of driving. But it got me there in the early afternoon. I stopped at the Big4 Yarra Valley Park and went for a walk where I saw my first wild kangaroos! I had an early night and on the next morning I visited the Healesville Sanctuary, a wildlife zoo specializing in native Australian animals. I met some iconic Australian animals like Koalas, Kangaroos, Platypus, Dingoes, Wombats and Emus. It was really cool and I stayed for a few hours before getting back on the road again.

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 3: WILSONS PROMONTORY NATIONAL PARK – 221 KM

Wilsons Promontory is the southernmost point of mainland Australia and is a National Park with an amazing collection of natural offerings. There are huge granite mountains, forest, beaches, and rocky outcrops. You can relax at the beautiful beaches or go hiking and watch the wildlife. I knew I definitely had to go and it turned out to be the highlight of this road trip from Melbourne to Sydney!

I stayed at Tidal River camping, the most expensive camping place on my trip (I paid AU$ 60 for one night), but the setting is amazing! I parked right behind the beach and listened to the waves at night. Heaven.

Wilsons Promontory offers many different walking tracks that you could spend weeks to do them all!  Some are just 1-2 kilometers long and others can take up to three days or more. Just about every walk guarantees amazing views with magical lookouts, amazing landscapes and opportunities to see kangaroos, emus and wombats in their natural habitat. I wish I would have had an extra day here to do more, but the road was calling.

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 4: LAKES ENTRANCE – 285 KM

After the beautiful wildness of the Wilson Promontory Lakes Entrance was a welcome stop back in civilization. I stayed at the Idleours Caravan Park, a cute little place with super nice owners and en suite bathrooms (what a luxury, haha) but not a lot of privacy.

The thing to do in Lakes Entrance is to get yourself on a boat. But since it was very windy I just went for a walk and bought some fresh fish for a delicious dinner in my little camping kitchen. I have to admit I wasn’t very impressed by the little town and was eager to get going to my next destination early on the next morning.

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 5: PAMBULA BEACH – 263 KM

I decided to give Eden a miss and instead stopped at Pambula Beach. As the name promises there’s an amazing beach, perfect for long walks and sunny naps. There’s not really a lot else to do, but I had a great time just hanging out at the beach and observing the kangaroos that where walking around right in the camping ground! Watching kangaroos while preparing dinner – loved it!

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 6: HUSKISSON – 289 KM

My original plan was to stay in the Booderee National Park but the camping places there were booked out. I ended up in Huskisson at the Huskisson White Sands Holiday Park, which was okay but a bit boring.

Huskisson has a beach too but the real attraction is only a few minutes’ drive away: famous Hyams beach with officially the whitest sand in the world. It’s truly a spectacular beach – the water is so aqua blue that there is only one thing you want to do: jump in! There were more people around than on the other beaches I’ve seen so far, but nothing compared to let’s say Bondi beach.

ROAD TRIP MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY DAY 7: SYDNEY – 184 KM

After a few relaxing hours on Hyams beach I got on the road again for the final leg of my trip – up to Sydney. I was grateful that I didn’t have to drive so long on my last day and arrived in Sydney in the early afternoon, in time to hand back my Jucy van, get to my AirBnB in Coogee and meet a friend for a yummy glass of Australian Sauvignon Blanc.

TIPS FOR A ROAD TRIP FROM MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY
  • Plan enough time, especially if you want to include a detour to the Great Ocean Road. I wished I would have had at least 2 more days.
  • Fuel up your car –..
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VISITING BALI IN THE RAINY SEASON

Every year in Bali, usually somewhere in the months between November and March, rainy season hits. Rainy season in Bali can fluctuate a few weeks in either direction and sometimes you’ll have lots of downpours during the months of June to August too, when it’s supposed to be the dry season, but when rainy season in Bali does hit, it rains A LOT.  

When you’re in Bali and the rainy season is in full swing, you can expect to see some rain, some serious rain, and then some torrential rain and thunder storms almost every day. In between you have days where the weather is drier and the sun is shining.

When you live here, you just learn to accept it. The truth is, I’d rather be wet in Bali in the rain than cold in Germany. You learn to drive your scooter in the rain and cross flooded roads (simply follow the other drivers and pray for the best). You always check that you have your rain poncho with you, because the prices will go up miraculously when it’s pouring and you are desperate to buy one. And you appreciate the sunny spells even more.

Some weeks it’s raining every day, and some weeks it’s always sunny in the morning and then you have a torrential downpour in the afternoon. You never really know what it will be like, so it’s difficult to say come or don’t come to Bali in the rainy season. Someone who has been here in December and only experienced a few rain showers will tell you it’s not bad at all, and then you come and it’s raining all day long for one week straight…

In the end, you have to make your own decision if you want to visit Bali during the rainy season. There are less tourists visiting Bali (unless you come over Christmas and new Year, then it’s packed), so less crowds which is a big advantage. Normally it’s not so hot, so this might be good for you if you’re sensitive to the heat. Also, there’s less chance of getting sunburned. And of course, even with the rain Bali is soooo beautiful. My advice would be to embrace it and come to Bali, even if it’s the rainy season!

Caught in the rainy season in Bali? Here are a few things you can do:

Pamper yourself silly in one of the many spas

You definitely have to try a Balinese massage, but the rain is the perfect excuse to add a facial, manicure and pedicure or try out something fancier like a hot stone massage. If you really want to treat yourself, visit the Kumara Spa at Oneworld Retreats.

Yoga, yoga, yoga

Ubud is yoga heaven and you won’t mind the rain at all when in downward dog. You’re only going to be thankful for the more moderate temperatures. My favorite yoga studios in Bali are the Yoga Barn, Intuitive Flow and  Radiantly Alive in Ubud and Samadi in Canggu.

Go shopping in Ubud

There are new and seriously tempting shops opening up in Hanoman Street in Ubud all the time. Look for jewelry, locally produced leather goods and clothes, yoga wear and more. It’s so much fun to while away an afternoon hopping from one shop to the next.

People watching at the street cafes

Take a seat in one of the many cafes and restaurants lining the streets of Ubud, order a fresh coconut and cake and watch the world go by. Hours, days, WEEKS go by without you noticing.

Visit a museum

Learn more about Bali’s rich history and view the vast collections of artworks by Bali’s artisans, for example in the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) in Ubud.

Watch a movie

Paradiso in Ubud is my favorite movie theatre in the world! You can lounge on comfy futon sofas, order delicious food and eat it while the movie is showing. It’s basically my idea of movie-heaven.

The post VISITING BALI IN THE RAINY SEASON appeared first on Happy Yoga Travels.

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