Bali retreat: The secret to slowing down and stressing less

Bali local yogi Rachel Fearnley reveals her top tips for staying relaxed and the best places to eat well and rest easy in Canggu.

Bali yoga instructor Rachel Fearnley
  • Jetstar
  • May 2019

Nestled among the rice fields and volcanoes of south-west Bali is the coastal village of Canggu, where Rachel Fearnley teaches busy folk how to stress less and improve their wellbeing. The mum of one and founder of yoga and surf retreat The Pineapple House loves the relaxed pace of Bali life. Here, she shows us around her corner of the island.

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Describe your average day

I wake up early with my [eight-month-old] daughter, Yemaja Saige, and do my morning meditation, breathing and Ayurvedic rituals. Then we go for breakfast, to the gym, yoga or pilates and back home to work on The Pineapple House or my job as a mentor. In the afternoons, I teach or coach. We catch sunset and sip on coconut water at Berawa Beach, where there is a collection of local shacks – The Naked Coconut is great. The evenings are simple. Yemaja goes to bed and I have dinner, read, meditate or study.

What are the three best things about your work?

I can work from anywhere. I run my own schedule and witness people making positive changes in their lives.

Bali yoga instructor Rachel Fearnley strikes a pose.
Bali yoga instructor Rachel Fearnley.

Are there any misconceptions that people have about yoga in Bali?

Yes – that it’s really advanced. Bali caters well for all levels of yoga practice.

How has yoga transformed your life?

Before I became a yoga teacher, I used to be a professional sailor. Like many, I had a lifestyle that looked good on the outside but wasn’t great inside – it had a dark side. Yoga was my way out. I’m now able to see joy in the small, everyday things.

What are people looking for when they come to Bali for a yoga retreat?

People are often at a massive crossroads in their life and seeking answers. Or they are stressed and are just looking for some rest.

What should they be prepared to do to achieve their goals?

Come with an open mind and a willingness to learn, plus the dedication and motivation to put their learning into practice.

Can you tell us about your favourite wellness spots in Bali?

The Practice for yoga, Nirvana Strength for functional fitness and The Canggu Studio for pilates.


What are your top five local cafés for healthy food?

Copenhagen is great for breakfast, Parachute has a vegetable patch, Matcha Café serves everything matcha, Joshua District overlooks the open rice fields and I love Give Café – it donates all of its profits to those who need it the most.

What dish should everyone try?

The nasi campur at Oma Jamu, a vegan café in Canggu. Nasi campur is like the Bali version of [Spanish] tapas, where you choose from lots of different dishes on display. My favourites are spiced pumpkin curry, baked eggplant, crispy tempeh and sweet corn cakes.


Add some zen to your next getaway with these easy, on-the-go poses.

Yoga poses to try out during your holiday.
Great to open up the hips after a flight. Sit cross-legged with your knees and hips relaxed and your spine tall.


Lie on your back, bend your knees and have your feet flat on the floor so your ankles are under your knees. Keep your arms along your sides and gently lift your hips off the floor. You can support yourself with your arms.


Bend your knees as though sitting back on a chair. Keep your chest lifted and your arms above your head.

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