A retreat is a good way to immerse yourself into a yoga practice while getting a taste of all the culture, color and food that traveling to a new place brings. Mingle with locals, learn new things, grab a freshly-cracked coconut and indulge in your yoga practice. Part yoga practice and part vacation, these retreats are places where you can refresh and focus deeply on your well-being while broadening your horizons. An upcoming vacation? Consider planning a visit to a yoga retreat. Up next, a list of 5 places where you can plan your next retreat to:
1. Bali:Everywhere you go, Bali is for the soul what an exhale is for the body. Palm trees, flowers, monkeys chattering away and gamelan music will adorn your path. The weather is welcoming and almost as warm as the locals’ smiles. Perhaps you’ve heard of a certain Elizabeth (author of Eat,Pray,Love), and all of her adventures – the better part of her journey took place in Bali.
Located in Western Indonesia, Bali is one of Asia’s most spiritual destinations. A good place for serenity-seekers is the town of Ubud, known for its culture of hospitality, Hindu ceremonies and holistic healing. Ubud in itself means “medicine” in Balinese.
Soulshine Bali: 5 minutes from central Ubud. Elegant but unpretentious. Music fills the air as you get deep into your practice. You may also contemplate the sight of three volcanoes and a temple dedicated to the goddesss of Durga. The resort is linked to different health organizations and has its own garden from which it harvests organic food. Practice daily with a resident teacher and after your practice, enjoy a therapeutic massage or facial and snack on fresh fruits. For more information, visit soulshinebali.com.
The Yoga Barn: It started out in 2002 as a tiny yoga studio that only took donations and has grown into a widespread yoga community center with four yoga studios, living-foods restaurants, detox centers and more, all focused around preserving Ubud’s natural resources. Buildings are made out of recycled timber, mud walls and grass-thatched roofs. There are more than 50 regularly scheduled classes per week, workshops with visiting teachers and other classes. For more information, visit theyogabarn.com.
2. Costa Rica: Costa Rica occupies a privileged place in the heart of Central America. It touches both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and is surprisingly accessible – coast to coast, it only takes 3 hours by car and 45 minutes by plane. In this tropical paradise, people understand the need to find proper solutions to today’s hectic lifestyle as health is one of the most valued assets.
Boca Sombrero: located in Osa Peninsula, it is a rustic center where the ocean meets the jungle. Morning vinyasa-style classes are led by resident instructors and afternoon and private classes are available on request. Surfing lessons, as well as holistic bodywork activities are a ready option too. With three large houses and eight thatched tent platforms that accommodate up to 28 people, this is more of a family-style resort. For more on this resort, visit bocasombrero.com.
Blue Spirit Retreat: it offers quite an experience. The center’s largest studio has a view of the white-sand beach and a sea turtle refuge along the Pacific Coast, as well as lush forest in Nosara, Northwest in Costa Rica. Single and double rooms are available in the main building and solar-powered eco-cottages are an alternative too. For more, go to bluespiritcostarica.com
3.Hawaii: The spirit of Aloha – love – shows up in everything, from the greeting of the locals to the gentle singing of whales or the flower necklaces. Considered one of the world’s most spiritually active spots in the world, filled with sunny beaches and lush forests, yoga studios are abundant.
Kalani: 360-degree views of the jungle of Maui from a spacious studio sound like a good deal, right? Add to this wholesome meals made with island-grown produce, hikes to volcanos, hot tubs, and of course, yoga. From Kindalini to vinyasa yoga, there are regularly scheduled classes and classes with visiting instructors. This 37-year-old center offers a rich experience of Hawaiian culture, while you indulge in your favorite yoga practices. For more on Kalani, visit kalani.com.
Swell Women: Daily yoga, fresh food, lots of sand and surf; this sunny west Maui resort on Ka’anapali Beach offers a distinct experience. Retreats are scheduled from June to September to ensure optimal weather and surfing conditions. Classes are personalized with a little bit more than 8 students per class, private chef and bodyworkers. If you prefer, you can book a customized co-ed retreat. Daily yoga classes are planned around balance and core strength that students will use later when they hit the waves either surfing or paddle boarding. As the name implies, it is a women’s only resort. Visit swellwomen.com for more information.
4. Mexico: Filled with ancient spiritual cultures, it is a restorative and inspiring option. On either coast or in between, it is the perfect backdrop for reinvigorating both the body and the soul.
Xinalani: With two yoga studios, including an open-air studio overlooking the ocean, this retreat is perfect for the budget traveler. Meditation classes are offered along with twice-daily yoga classes of all sorts and styles. For more information, visit xinalaniretreat.com.
5. New York: The Empire State building is not the only awe-inspiring thing out here. New York is brimming with culture and nature that often is dulled by the big city.
The glamping yoga retreat: Look forward to fully furnished tents with beds, robes and porches, and endless nights under the twinkling sky. Enjoy yoga amidst the trees at the trailhead of Buttermilk Falls State Park. Farm to table meals and spa services are available on-site. Take a break from the city only a few hours away!
Consider all of you options before you decide upon your next visit to a yoga retreat. There are plenty out there, and a lot of yoga waiting for you in each and every one!