When in Bali. My Attempt at 30 Days of Yoga


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30 day yoga challenge

When you’re on the road for as long as I’ve been (3 months and counting), staying active becomes a necessity. And while some days are way more “let’s do this!” than others, exercise is still a priority. It has to be.

‘Cause if you haven’t seen my Instagram, I literally eat my way around whatever city I’m currently calling home.

Travel provides a constant stream of “new-ness” – which is one of the reasons I adore it. When it comes to exercise, that means one day I could be jogging along the beach in Balmoral, Sydney and another day hiking up Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.

I’ve never been one to go all die-hard for one specific type of exercise. I like variety. So my philosophy is simply to stay active, get your heart pumping and try to lift heavy things every once in a while.

But this week I arrived in a massive yoga capital – Ubud, Bali.

To say I am surrounded by yogis at every restaurant, shop and street corner would be an understatement. Yogi-ness is dripping from the rooftops, more than the seasonal typhoon rains. It’s gobbled up with more fervor than raw, vegan bliss balls at every cafe.

And trust me, bliss balls are addictive!

So it got me thinking. Could I, girl who likes to switch it up, survive 30 days of yoga? Could I stretch myself (literally and figuratively), in new and profound ways?

To be honest, I’m not sure.

But here’s the truth. My posture is starting to resemble that of Quasimodo (I fully blame laptop work) and my flexibility has seen far bendier days. My villa is also walking distance to the famed Yoga Barn – where students from around the world train and certify as instructors.

Hello, convenience.

But the clincher was when a local yogi mentioned that regular yoga practice will “break open my heart and set me free.”

Seriously? Who doesn’t want that?

Sign. Me. Up.

My 30 day yoga challenge

First things first. I need to keep this challenge realistic and doable. That means I’m not even gonna try to dazzle you with the goal of an everyday practice. Not for this formerly once a week novice yogi. I’ve got sights to explore, work that needs doing, food that needs tasting and waters that need snorkeling.

So I’ll need a few days break here and there. I’m sure my muscles will as well.

But here’s what I will commit to – a minimum of 4 days a week. And just between you, me and the wall, I really wanted to say 3. But since this is a challenge, I upped it to 4.

Why it’s important to push ourselves

I’ve been thinking a lot about this self-imposed challenge for the last 24 hours – and more specifically why it’s important to continually challenge ourselves.

The short of it is this. Because we’re capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.  Let me repeat. We’re capable of so – much – more.

Once we break free from daily routines and safe harbors, the world opens up. LIFE opens up. I think my entire last year is a testament to that. 

So with first-day-of-school nerves, I’ve eagerly laid out my yoga clothes for tomorrow. Clean, bright and friendly. Perhaps a little mental “dressing for the part” if you will. But tomorrow is showtime. The real deal with the truest of true yogis in Bali.

My class starts at 7am – wish me luck!

If you’d like to follow my 30 days of yoga challenge (and keep me motivated!), follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

What challenges have you set for yourself? Share one of your most amazing adventures or life-defining moments below? I’d love to hear!

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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  1. In January 2017 – I decided I needed to do something for myself, I needed to have some time out of being a mum and wife. I don’t have the luxury of being single and child free and needed something to work around school drop/pick ups. While I live in Wales, two of my children board at a school 2 hours away. That eats up my Mondays and Fridays. I knew I was not well within, and really needed to snap out of it. So that January, after dropping my son off at school, I drove aimlessly, stopped and googled up the area. Found a craggy old church on top of a wooded hill and went for a hike. In a dress. In wholly inappropriate shoes! No water. No snacks. No nothing. Just my phone and myself. Once up there, I saw the miles and miles of beautiful views, it wasn’t a particularly a good day, drizzle, damp, cold. Yes, no coat! No umbrella. I took some photographs, came home and spent time thinking about the views and looking at the photographs. Then onto the internet to look for areas that are not frequented by people. Made a list and aimed to see at least one place a day. Some were fascinating, some were meh, some were interesting, and some were worthwhile of my time getting there. The standing stones I never knew that were near me, the Saint’s well, where i tied a ribbon on the tree. I went to places along the M4 (motorway) corridor, visiting the Wiltshire white horse, Uffington castle and white horse. Wayland Smithy, Avesbury stone circles, and the beautifully mysterious Nuba Embrace in Checkendon. It opened up my world, my curiosity for life and once more I felt as an individual, not as a mum, not as a wife, daughter sister or whatever. Just me. People have commented on the photographs I had taken over the year, because of that, I am able to talk about myself, my experiences, my aims and hopes. Rather than that of talking to me about my children, or husband. It has made a lot of a difference. I haven’t done this since the beginning of this year, I think because I am not where I was last year in mind, body and spirit. Reading about the Bali trip, it has sparked off this wanderlust feeling again, now the weather has warmed up – I’ll be heading off to places I’ve visited and loved and places I’ve yet to visit. Thank you!

    1. This is so beautifully written! I absolutely love that you did that initial hike and it set off a year of exploration, memories and curiosity for life…in addition to adding enormous depth to who you are as an individual. Yes, yes yes!

  2. I’m so glad I found you. I stumbled across your comment in BEBH on relocating babes and I’ve officially been browsing your blog for the past 2 hours. (whoops) My husband and I are looking for a major lifestyle change and Bali has been popping up. This post has almost pushed me over the edge!! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us :) Mandie xoxo
    P.s. I’m a Paleo-ish too

    1. Thanks Mandi! Oh, you will looove Bali! I highly recommend it. And Ubud in particular is awesome for clean, paleo-friendly food! xo