In Ubud there are around ten yoga studios. Intuitive Flow is the smallest of the big three and has been recommended by one of my friends. Intuitive flow is founded by Linda Madani. Her lineage is yoga pranala (“a combination of asana, pranayama, meditation, mudra pranala (Balinese qi gong) and yoga nidra”), gentle with a clear spiritual side which can be seen in all the classes I have followed.
The studio is situated in the Penestanan area, a beautiful green area in the West of the center of Ubud. If you don’t bother for city life and being surrounded with a lot of restaurants, I definitely recommend you to take a guesthouse there when visiting Ubud. It’s a twenty minutes walk from the center with a slope downwards and later on upwards. Unfortunately Ubud has grown out of her clothes, which means that the main road leading to the studio is often congested and you inhale a lot of exhaust fumes. The distance is not too long (1,6 km/1 mile from Ubud Palace), but sometimes it’s just mentally too far to get yourself of the couch, especially when it rains or starts to rain (“tomorrow a new day”) and indeed if it rains, you will get very wet.
The walk in price for the class is 120.000 rupiah. (€8,43/$9,00) (the more you go, the cheaper: 5x / 400k, 10x / 600k, 15x / 825k). This school is the cheapest of the ‘big’ schools here. Surprisingly, if you are Balinese, you pay less than one tenth (10.000). (Indonesian citizens and expats pay 90.000 by the way.) At the first sight it feels like a rip off of the Western people and very strange to have such a huge gap, on the other side I calculated that the minimum wage for per hour here is only 12.000 rupees (less than one euro/dollar based on 40 hours/week but I’m afraid that they work more), so count your blessings – and be happy that Linda makes yoga accessible to all.
The maximum number of students is 22. When they are all there, the shala is pretty packed, but it only happened one or two times. At some other schools the classes are way much bigger (without assistant teachers), this is one of the main reasons why I chose for Intuitive Flow.
After arriving you put your name on the class form and go to the shala with one of the most beautiful view you’ll ever have during your yogi’s life. Since the studio has started small and there is no place to (re)build, there is only one toilet and no shower or dressing room. Quit a miss when you’ve done a vinyasa class in almost Bikram like temperatures. Changing yourself can (unofficially) be done in the stock room. In the shala there is (complimentary) water to hydrate yourself. The mats are not new but in a very acceptable state and sometimes they look dirty although I’ve seen that they are being cleaned carefully in between the lessons. They have a relief so some dust can be stuck and due to the material the lines of the movements can be seen. I don’t know how often the props and blankets are cleaned, but they look okay and I almost always took a little towel and my own strap with me.
The lessons and teachers
I have followed seven lessons until so far. The teachers vary between good and excellent.
I have followed two lessons with Kay. She’s very friendly and warm and technically seen she’s absolute an excellent teacher (good cues, original poses, a lot of attention for the physical problems by giving alternatives, nice flow and adjustments). But for me personally she talks too much during the practice. I’m sure it’s not to show off her knowledge but I prefer only to hear the essential information when I’m in a (yin) pose. At some moments it felt more like a challenge of pratyahara (withdrawal of senses, one of the eight steps in yoga) for me than a asana class. But I emphasize that it is my personal opinion, I’m sure other people like to listen to it.
Purnama is a kind and amiable teacher who connects and interacts very well with his students but there were some illogical things in his flow, also he likes to talk and I thought that some of his adjustments were tricky (eg. moving the upper hand in poses like trikonasana without holding the shoulder)
I liked the class and energy of Nina. It’s really a pity that she has only one class per week, I absolutely would like to have done more.
Of the teachers I have visited, I resonate the most with Robyn. Maybe it’s the last name ;). I only had to get used to the chakra exercise at the beginning, but she has absolutely beautiful classes with good cues, original but logic flows/sequences and a lot of interaction. She said things that I’ll absolutely use in my own teaching like her way of setting the intention at the beginning and the use of the sweet spot.
Also handy to know is that the active classes are given in the morning and the passive classes in the afternoon. So if you like active classes AND sleeping long (the energy has to come from somewhere) you have a problem (or the choice of going to bed earlier ;)), but this limited also the number of classes that I followed. If you look (also) for things like power yoga, Intuitive flow is not the studio for you, also the teachers redirect you to one of the other schools.
By the way, there are some nice restaurants to go after your class
- Yellow flower (next to the studio)
- Elephant (have to test this one)
- Lily and Lala (not totally vega(n), but maybe the best price quality ratio)
- Alchemy (hip, raw and vegan but expensive and lacked vibe when I passed by)
I definitely recommend Intuitive Flow but you have to like their choice and philosophy of having mostly gentle classes and resonate and like the style of the individual teachers. This said, I think it’s a very nice school with a good heart, vibe and teachers.