Get the most out of your vacation by pairing a trip with a yoga retreat. We’ve researched the top 10 places to practice yoga and a noteworthy retreat centre in each place – so read on and prepare for a feel-good health and travel experience.
Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has been called the gem of the Indian Ocean, and Tangalle does nothing to remove that glistening title. Settled near Colombo, Tangalle is one of the most versatile spots along the coast that allows you to enjoy both the serenity of being quiet and contemplative, and the bustling culture of the surrounding areas. At Ashtanga Lanka, the tropical rural setting surrounds the senses with natural beauty and stunning wildlife. Here, you’ll wake each morning to the sound of ocean waves and wild birds, and compliment daily ashtanga class with meditation, pranayama, philosophy, and even partner yoga.
The island is so small, one can drive around the entire thing in one day, but that doesn’t stop this compact place from being rich in culture, cuisine, and heritage. Elaborate terraces, pounding waves, astounding temples, and intense dance performances are all part of a standard picture of Bali. The Shangri La Resort and Spa Yoga package includes seven nights of accommodation, three meals daily, and the encouragement and guidance needed to cultivate a healthier lifestyle.
Known for its stunning red rock landscape and its eminent energy vortexes that are said to release calming, artistic, and spiritual vibes, Sedona radiates a mystical environment and a refreshing energy. Its scenic desert terrain creates an ideal outdoor paradise for spiritual awakening. 7 Centers Yoga Arts was the first ever yoga studio in the city. Its 1700-square foot centre is evocative of Spanish mission architecture – as if the gorgeous natural surroundings aren’t enough.
Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil
It’s accessed by boat or a tiny plane, and it won’t be the Brazil that you’ve imagined. Forget carnival, busy metropolitan cities, and modernity. Morro de Sao Paulo is one of five villages on the compelling island of Tinhare in Bahia. Adventure Brazil’s yoga program guides each participant through the exquisiteness of nature, and the simplicity of living communally. Every day, you’ll start your morning with yoga on the beach, and a healthy breakfast. As the afternoon rolls onward, explore the beaches, meet local villagers, and experience the mystique of the nearby forests.
Stepping foot on the sand immediately sets you on “Fiji time” where sunrise and sunset are the only things you need to recognize. Go swimming in turquoise waters, and more adventurous travellers can surf, kayak, or see breathtaking underwater views of colorful fish by snorkelling. Daku Resort is located on seven acres of tropical gardens and tree-covered hills, where 23 species of birds and other fauna prowl the beautiful landscape. Morning practice in an open-front villa gives way into breakfast, and then you can spend your afternoon immersing yourself in a learning workshop.
Delhi, Agra and Jaipur India
India is the birthplace of yoga, and one of the most complex countries in the world. In just a day’s span you can spend time in the mountains, experience a lively festival, and feel the solemnity of sacred temples. Universal Yoga Retreats bring you not only deeper in your practice, but also through some of the most spiritually significant parts of the country. Trailing through the Golden Triangle, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, it’s easy to absorb the true essence of yoga and its origins. Applying yoga dedication to the divinity of these places is an experience that cannot be replicated on any other land.
Tahiti, French Polynesia
Tahiti is the heart and the pulse of French Polynesia, and while its nearby sisters, Bora Bora and Moorea are more beach haven than urban innovation, the three islands together represent the most glamorous facets of the archipelago. When you sign up for a yoga retreat in Moorea through Tahiti Yoga Retreats, you’re joining on to a relaxing seven days of extreme pampering, two intense yoga classes each day, an elegant bungalow for two, and have access to the resort’s private chef, masseur, and exclusive beach.
There is something separate and heavenly about Southern France – the cluster of shoreline communities in Montpelier, Nimes, and Avignon have something different going for them – and entirely new brand of relaxation. Yoga retreats at the Villa Plantat are geared primarily toward individual development, which makes practising yoga here a productive and relaxing experience. With two daily yoga classes appropriate for all levels of experience, the Vinyasa flow at Villa Plantat is guided to connect with each individual body and mind, to uniquely and differently benefit each student.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Massachusetts may be well-known for its Boston hub, but the Western part of the state offers a happy alternative to Red Sox fans, designer shopping, and busy nightlife. Settle into the crisp air of the Berkshires, and let the tranquillity of the mountains ease you into a state of awareness. The nation’s largest yoga and holistic retreat centre, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health offers 600 kinds of workshops and retreats, and lets you design specific yoga programs that interest and fulfil you.
Zykanthos, known sometimes as Zante, is a Greek island characterised by its clear, cobalt waters of the Ionian Sea, and blinding white beaches. Here, sea turtles, surfers, and mountain climbers converge. Yoga center Gaia Visions focuses on spiritual development and practice, so your time is unhindered by outside distractions, and concentrated only specific personal and yogic growth. Following the yogic code of “Right Living,” the centre encourages living in harmony with all other forms of nature, works toward purifying the mind and thoughts, and physical body.