Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Best Places to Eat in Canggu

by Ting Ting Guan @ting.x.ting

Canggu is a surf town in West Bali with happening, hip beach vibes. You can’t turn a corner without running into a smoothie shop or carefree boho style store. Besides going to yoga and building sandcastles, there are 3 other important things to do while you are here: Surf, Shop, and most importantly, EAT! Here's a rundown of some of our current faves.

Favorite Brunch Spot: Cafe Vida 
Jl. Raya Batu Bolong No. 38A, 7am-10:30pm

Want to start your day off right? Come here for brekkie, brunch or lunch. The clean, lean and wonderfully flavored savory breakfast bowls feature all the power foods like kale, quinoa, and seasonal veggies. Feeling like something sweet? Their smoothie bowls are works of art. Packed with acai berries, fresh spirulina and an abundance of tropical fruits, you can't go wrong with whichever one you choose. For something heartier, the mahi fish tacos are the best in Bali: three healthy portions of fresh fish and lots of options for sauces. Don’t forget to ask for their homemade sambal matah! Just the right consistency and perfect spice. They also have 2 pages worth of coffee options. My favorite is the Mexican Spiced Coffee. The flavors are incredible, and you can even make it dessert by topping it with a scoop of vegan ice cream.

Underrated Lunch: Green Ginger Noodle House
Jl. Raya Pantai Berawa No. 46A, 8am-10:30pm

I must have driven by this veggie based Thai spot a million times before deciding to actually go in. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but inside is very quiet and cozy with a lush garden seating area as well as a cool air conditioned section. The prices here are great and the food is even better. They mastered the tofu laab, with an explosion of flavors and a generous portion, stuffing each cabbage leaf to the max. Their curries are out of this world, with perfect consistency and filled with fresh veggies, leaving even the hungriest yogi surfer satisfied. In addition, homemade dumplings, smoothies, and juices are also part of their menu. This place is low key, authentic, friendly and worth a stop! They also have a sister restaurant in Ubud called the Elephant, a Zuna Yoga staff fave. 

Quick Heat Relief: Mad Pops 
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.48, 11am-10pm

If you've been traveling around Bali, you might have noticed some shops selling Mad Pops Popsicles, a vegan based pop with all kinds of fun flavors from coconut avocado to vegan chocolate fudge chunk. Their brick and mortar store in the heart of Canggu is tiny, so if you are driving too fast on a motorbike, you'll probably miss it. This place sells not just pops, but also vegan ice cream. All the flavors are enticing, and it will be hard not to ask for a sample of each! My favorite is the matcha, it has the perfect silky smooth creamy texture and just the right intensity of matcha flavor. They also offer Taco Tuesdays: IDR50,000 for 2 flavors and 2 toppings in a freshly made waffle taco. Besides Tukie’s ice cream in Ubud, this is my fave ice cream indulgence while chilling in Canggu.

Ravenous, on a Budget, and Health Conscious: Lupe Canggu
Jl. Tegal Sari No.37A, 8am-9pm closed Mondays

This is my go to spot for dinner in Canggu. It's a buffet, but they do not sacrifice quality for quantity. If you've spent all day in the surf or sun, and just want to chill and eat tons of great food without worrying about price, come here. Every night they have a different theme. Tuesdays is Seafood, Wednesdays Vegetarian, Thursdays Greek and so on. All buffets are IDR100,000 with the exception of Vegetarian Night which is only 75K.  It is well worth it if you want to fill up on wholesome food. Tons of options of diversely prepared veggies, spices, and they make incredible soups. I talked to the kind owner and he said if you come on a night that serves meat but you are vegetarian, he will only charge you IDR75,000. In addition if you are there for breakfast, no item is over IDR50,000.

Off the Beaten Path: Jib Fusion
Pererenan, Mengwi 2pm-10pm

I have to give a shout out to this tiny and loving restaurant. It has only five tables, one stove top, and two staff, but offers some of the most mouth watering and authentic Indian food I have ever had.
They prepare everything basically right in front of you. You can even go into the kitchen as it is right next to a table! They make and cook the roti fresh each time and the prices are ridiculously reasonable. You could order five dishes and pay less than IDR150,000. It’s simple, it’s fresh, and not pretentious. It might not be the spot to take to impress your visiting parents with ambience, but it is worth a stop if you want something that warms the heart and the belly.

Sample these great cafes and plenty more when you join the Zuna Yoga team for a 200,  300 or 500 hour YTT at Samadi Bali in Canggu! Upcoming dates:

~Is what you're doing today taking you closer to where you want to be tomorrow? @zunayoga

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Best Places to Eat in Ubud

Summer Edition
by Becca Klewstigh

Ubud has some of the best restaurants and cafes in Bali, and every month a new place is popping up with creative menus and cool interiors. As true foodies at heart, and with our summer Bali yoga teacher trainings just around the corner, we want to share with you a handful of new and old favorites in town that please our taste buds, fill our tummies and nourish our souls. Let's skip the small talk: Ready, set, EAT!

Jalan Raya Penestanan Kelod no 8
8am-10pm, closed Sundays
Though they only opened up a month ago, Zest has quickly become the new watering hole in Ubud, and it's easy to see why. With its cosy yet spacious interior, mixing Balinese architecture and modern vibes to perfection, it feels like a huge living room where you can both be a social butterfly and engage in a private conversation. Combined with an amazing view, the completely vegan and gluten-free menu, using fresh, local whole foods; and weekly sunrise dance parties, Zest is truly the Ubudian's dream come true. IG: @zestubud

Taksu Spa & Restaurant
Jalan Goutama Selatan
Lunch buffet 11am-3pm

Taksu is THE place in Ubud when you’re feeling ravenous but also want a healthy meal for lunch. It has the biggest salad bar we know of, with three kinds of greens; a wide range of steamed, baked and raw veggies; vegan and vegetarian protein options; crunchy toppings; normal and gluten free bread; and a good selection of dressings. Getting your daily five (and probably way more!) has never been easier than at this all you can eat buffet that remind us of salad bars back home. For only 65K it’s a bargain, and since Taksu is rarely overly crowded, you can enjoy your bowl of nutritious deliciousness in peace.IG: @taksuspa

Jalan Raya Penestanan Kerod
7:30am-3:30pm, closed Wednesdays

Great coffee, great tunes, great vibes: that’s Revive in a nutshell. This little gem is another newbie in town and offers some of the best coffee around. Sip on your favorite black (or yellow, if turmeric lattes are your groove) elixir and have a bite to eat while leaning into the fluffy cushions on the floor-level homemade couch, listening to the bomb playlist rolling in the background. If you’re lucky, and most likely you are, there’s a spontaneous jam session happening that you can either enjoy, join or start yourself with the always present guitars. Aaah. Soon you will feel… revived. IG: @revivebali
24 Jalan Nyuh Bulan, Nyuh Kuning
7am-5pm, 5:30pm-late, Mother closed Mondays

WAMM by day, Mother by night; this place hosts two restaurants to satisfy your tastebuds any time of the day. Both of the menus are mouth watering and clearly marked so that you can easily bring a group of friends no matter what diet regime they are following. Situated in a quiet neighborhood just outside of Monkey Forest, we love spending hours at the upstairs space taking in the breezy atmosphere, working, laughing and catching up until our tummies are ready for the next round of delightful goodness. Don’t miss out! IG: @wammbali/@motheratwamm

BLU Cafe
Jalan Karna, gang Narada - Ubud Market

If you love smoothie bowl art, look no further! BLU Cafe has the most beautiful smoothie bowls in town, all decorated with such great care to detail and colors you almost feel bad eating it. They also offer layered smoothie jars with chia pudding, great coffee and a variety of savory meals and refreshing drinks. Located on a side street just off Ubud Market, this quiet oasis is surprisingly unknown to the crowds and thus, the perfect place to take a rest from the souvenir shopping! IG: @blucafeubud

3 Life Lessons I learned from Surfing and Yoga

by Becca Klewstigh, ERYT200 / RYT500 / Kook / Goofy Gurfer

My first time surfing was a salty mess. I fell off the board a gazillion times and swallowed so much sea water I thought I must have emptied the entire Pacific Ocean. I laughed and I cried, sometimes (mostly) at the same time. After hours in the ocean I was sunburned, had bruises I could not remember getting, and the following day I was sore in muscles I didn't know existed. And I was in love. I couldn't believe it had taken me 21 years to find this passion, and there was no doubt I would continue chasing waves for the rest of my life.

I embarked on the path of yoga years before my surfing journey. But from the first wave I caught on a beautiful beach break in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, it was clear to me what a perfect combination the two are. One of my surf instructors once said that riding the waves of the ocean is riding the energy of the universe: waves are created by swell, swell is created by air pressure, air pressure is created by the heat of the sun, and the sun is created by the universe. How utterly amazing is that?! In yoga we are working with this energy as well, tuning into the subtle vibrations of the universe by directing our practice to go within.

There are many connections between surfing and yoga, both leave me feeling nourished, refreshed and amazed by the wonders of nature. These are three of the most profound lessons I’ve learned, and relearned, from my years as a surfing yogi:

Never give up, always let go
One of the first things I learned that day in Costa Rica is to never give up, but always let go. This is an old concept from the the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, which in Sanskrit is called Abhyasa and Vairagya. No matter how many times the ocean kicked my ass, no matter how many times I wiped out and got dragged under the waves, I never stopped trying. One of the beautiful things in surfing, just as in life, is that there’s always another wave coming. If not right now, in the next set or next swell. Every wave is a new possibility to try again; there’s no point in getting attached to the one that already passed by. Just because you fell off the last wave, doesn't mean you will on the next one.

In our yoga practice, every asana and every meditation is an opportunity for a new experience. It doesn't matter if you could or couldn't do a pose last week. Or if you had your best meditation yesterday, but today your mind can't stop running circles around you. What matters is to show up on your mat everyday, to do your best and let go of any expectations and judgments.

This too, shall pass
A close cousin to the previous topic is the notion that everything is impermanent: nothing lasts forever. That includes the wave you just fell off (yes, this happens a lot) and that is now tossing you around like a rag doll. Firstly, the good news is unless you surf waves big as a house, you will never be held under for more than a few seconds. Secondly, by keeping this in mind, it’s easier to stay calm(er) and relaxed when a wave is holding you down - there is no need to panic because you know it will soon be over and you can get to the surface without fighting the power of the ocean.

This lesson have been reinforced countless of times in my yoga practice. When we are in the midst of an emotional storm, both on and off the mat, it can be really (like, REALLY) hard to not get wrapped up in whatever is facing us right there and then. If we can remember that emotions are fleeting, they come and they go, we can maintain our cool and wait for them to pass without taking drastic or dramatic measures. Just like waves, fighting our emotions will only rob us of energy and time, and can potentially create a dangerous situation we in a clearer state of mind would avoid.

Change your attitude, change your life
The third and last lesson I want to share with you is something our master trainer Everett often says during our Bali yoga teacher trainings: "You can't change the waves of the ocean, but you can learn to ride them." There have been so many times I've been sitting out in the line up waiting for the “perfect” wave, thinking “this one is too big, that one is too small, Im in the wrong place, maybe the next one”. Spoiler alert: the perfect wave never came - because there isn't one! And while I was waiting for the wave of my dreams, I let all these other completely fine waves go just because I thought they weren't “the one”. Instead of doing the best with what I got offered, I missed out and ended up with nothing.

You can't always change the circumstances and situations in life, but you can change your attitude towards them and what actions you decide to take. There is no perfect moment, THIS is the moment. If you get an opportunity to do something you love, go for it! Even if it's not exactly what you expected or how you imagined it to be, you can create the life of your dreams by changing the way you approach yourself and the world. Attitude is everything.

Are you hooked on surfing or interested in trying? Join us for our 200H YTT in Canggu, the hip surfer town on the west coast of Bali. Spend three weeks immersed in yoga and enjoy your days off in the ocean. Find out more here!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Is loneliness killing you?

by Vibhu Krishna, Zuna Yoga Bali yoga teacher training graduate

Loneliness is a public health issue. In fact, it may even kill you prematurely. Now more than ever, we are glued to screens and media, unwittingly isolating ourselves and acting in opposition to our inherently social nature. Even with an unprecedented number of ways to be connected online, loneliness in real life is a gloomy reality for many. According to a large-scale study presented at the American Psychological Association, social connection is associated with a 50% reduced risk of premature death, while social isolation has a comparable risk of premature death to obesity. While this meta-analysis may not be all-encompassing, it certainly pinpoints the major health risk that loneliness poses.

In another meta-analysis, 70 studiesrepresenting 3.4 million peoplewere analyzed. Social isolation, loneliness, or living alone all were identified as risk factors for premature death. These findings are consistent with a previous study associating loneliness with a 30% increased risk for heart disease and stroke. The AARP’s Loneliness Study found around 35% of survey respondents to be lonely, revealing the pervasiveness of this sentiment in modern society.

So, how can we take steps to actively combat loneliness?

1. Give negative, self-deprecating thoughts the boot
When was the last time you woke up and thought something positive about yourself? Recognizing negative thought patterns and overcoming them can give you the confidence and mood boost to reduce feelings of loneliness. Loneliness can often be a self-inflicted feeling, stemming from stories we tell ourselves about being unworthy or unlovable. We must remember that these tales are not entirely based upon fact.

2. Build your network
Whether through a community center, local café, or meetup, there are many ways to find people whose interests align with yours. Join like-minded people for a yoga retreat or teacher training. Volunteer for a cause you are passionate. It's a great way to feel more connected while doing good in the community. Take initiative and put yourself out there.

3. Yoga and meditation
By engaging in practices that tap into our need to feel connected while improving our overall wellness, we begin to understand our connectedness to the human and cosmic tapestry. As an added bonus, these practices help build mindfulness, which can be applied to future meaningful interactions with others and with oneself.

4. Face time, not facetime
Make time for interpersonal communication outside of the screen with the people you already do know. Have you had dinner with your next door neighbors? Ask a colleague you’d like to get to know better to grab coffee. Go to an event with a childhood friend. Organic, real-time interactions can provide a much more secure sense of connection than contrived web ones.

5. Ask for help.
Loneliness and isolation can have serious consequences on physical and mental health. Seek out therapy, counseling, or a wellness-oriented program that will help break the cycle of loneliness.

"Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human needcrucial to both well-being and survival,” says Dr. Julianna Holt-Lunstad, Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University. Be sure to make the time and effort to feed this integral part of your humanity. Not doing so could be lethal.