From a distance the two shalas of the Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center seem like giant turtle shells. These impressive architectural designs offer peaceful shelters for spiritual expansion. Surrounded by a small garden, you can experience the teachings of traditional Tantra and Hatha Yoga.
For over ten years now I have been traveling to Bali, following the path of yoga. Bali is a wonderful gate to step through on your own spiritual journey. It is a place that enables you to connect with the subtle qualities that underlie every moment in life.
One of the very first places I visited on my debut trip to Bali was Ubud. This creative town is surrounded by temples, jungle and rice paddies. It is considered the capital of the Bali yoga cosmos and you can find some of the very first yoga sanctuaries here that opened on the island.
About the power of embracing change in life
For a long time I cherished the memory of these days. Nostalgically I reflected on the moments when I humbly gathered with only two other dedicated yoga students at the feet of Lord Ganesha in the serene shala of The Yoga Barn.
What? At THE Yoga Barn? Isn't that the place that is so popular that you have to book early to secure one of the coveted places? Yes, that's right. Truly, it is nowadays almost considered a symbol of prestige in the Western yoga world, attracting diligent teachers and enthusiasts alike.
But life is best enjoyed when you accept change and adapt. When you let go of your perceptions, you create space for something new to be discovered. My journey has taken me to a new refuge where tranquillity and spiritual nourishment abound.
What The Yoga Barn was for me back then, the Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center is for me now. The yoga centre in Penestanan is a relative newcomer to Bali's vibrant yoga scene. It only opened in 2020, but it feels like it has been there forever. It radiates a peaceful, almost timeless aura that surrounds all who enter it with a grounding zen-like presence.
Classes at The Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center
The yoga teachers at Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center invite you to experience self-awareness and spiritual growth through the three qualities of study (adhyayana), practice (sādhanā) and community (kula). The yoga school teaches spiritual and physical aspects of traditional Hatha and Tantra Yoga and classes are oriented around the elements: earth, air, water, fire and ether.
Both, Hatha and tantric teachings are mirrors in the process of refining our selves, inspiring us to find our own truth through spiritual evolution and the nature of being. It is a remembrance of the sweet abundance and grounding peace that appears when we live our lives fully present and in deep trust with the universe.
I appreciate people who stay true to themselves and when I can sense an essence of authenticity and realness. And that's exactly why I felt an instant connection with yoga teacher Ashton Szabo. He approaches his classes with so much thoughtfulness and creates a genuine conversation with community, with all aspects of life, and with the higher energy beyond our felt reality in which every moment is rooted.
My favourite teachers at The Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center
Practicing yoga with Ashton is powerful and gentle at the same time. His philosophical guidance is heartfelt. Breathing, chanting and flowing through a sequence of asanas with him is a loving reminder that the Divine is contained in each and every thing around us. I love his earth classes.
Please also try sessions with Emma Szabo, she is a true embodiment of kindness. With her gentle spirit she weaves a healing sense of liberation into her classes. You will flow effortlessly with her. Emma's soothing presence leaves you feeling empowered, as if you have tapped into a new level of self-awareness.
Make sure to join a yoga class with Krista Marie Starr. She exudes ease and joy in her classes. Her enthusiasm will immediately captivate you. After an inspiring class with Krista, you will leave the room with a smile on your lips and in your heart. I recommend joining her fire class.
It is on my personal list to attend a training at Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center in the future. If you also feel inspired, you can find more information about the offered trainings, courses and workshops here.
Honouring Mother Nature
With its teachings, Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center encourages you to align your lifestyle with nature through your own spiritual practice. Built from sustainable building materials, the two shala's are neighboring a wild permaculture garden.
Fruits, herbs and veggies are grown to provide Prana nurturing food at the Alchemy restaurant across the street. It ticks all the healthy boxes and you can enjoy delightful raw treats full of life force in a calming atmosphere. It is the ideal place to integrate all that you've experienced and learned in your yoga class.
Getting hungry? Read the whole menu.
I can highly recommend trying their smoothies – the Green Forest is my personal favourite. You can create your own salad (omg their kimchi and papaya salmon – YUM) and colourful breakfast bowls. Definitely leave room for dessert or at least buy one (better two or three) to go. I am addicted to the Lucky Charm and the Alligator Bite.