It’s time for a vacation, but not just any vacation! Spiritual and yoga retreats are so popular that even standard hotels and cruises are including yoga, meditation, and wellness programs in their activities rosters.
However, for that extra mile added to your mindfulness practices, there are a lot of resorts and retreats that cater specifically to the spirit-minded. Different forms of yoga can be found in different locations, so it’s practically guaranteed that somewhere in the world, there is yoga perfectly suited to your practice. There are even yoga retreats that are specifically aimed at helping people rehabilitate from injuries or recover from debilitating diseases. Yoga retreats are all over the country and all over the world.
Here are some of the most popular destinations to take your yoga practice, or even learn a little more!
Visit the location where all the yogis go! Guests can practice their yoga and meditation at beautiful resorts surrounded by ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples and lush forests crowning volcanic mountains. Explore the island and its coral reefs when you’re not doing sun salutations; practice mindfulness every moment of a Bali vacation, because you don’t want to miss a thing!
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies; Rhinebeck, NY
The Omega Institute is a laid-back spiritual retreat that features restorative yoga, mindfulness training, and breathing exercises, all of which can be taken back home to help relieve anxiety and the effects of everyday stress. Since the Institute is a working wellness center, visitors can choose from 45 different services offered, or they can enjoy the other amenities of the grounds, such as swimming or boating in the lake, exploring the 250 miles of trails, basketball, tennis, or solitary yoga and meditation.
Accommodations include either rooms or campsites, so outdoorsy yogis can bring their tents and marshmallows! If you’re looking for something more relaxing, it should be mentioned that many of the recommendations for this location point out its great atmosphere for expecting mothers.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health; Berkshires, MA
This gorgeous center is located in western Massachusetts, close to the border of New York. Nestled in the Berkshire mountains, this retreat goes the extra mile, even catering to patients with cancer or Parkinson’s. There are individual programs as well as group events, and a wide variety of classes and workshops covering topics from mindful eating to resilient and healthy living. Kayaking, hiking trails, and even an on-site labyrinth round out a mindful and relaxing stay. The center offers dorm-style rooms or single rooms with private bathrooms.
Feathered Pipe Ranch; Montana
This breathtaking ranch is located in Montana, and gives visitors the perfect opportunity to get back to nature. Offering plenty of options for both campers and cabin-dwellers, the grounds include a sweat lodge, sauna, and hot tub to relax from a day of hiking, canoeing, exploring, or even horseback riding. Retreats are available for both individuals and groups and are offered in different themes, so check out their schedule to target your retreat to your needs!
Tulum & Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
These two towns are located on opposite sides of Mexico. Tulum is part of the Yucatan peninsula on the Caribbean Sea and is the site of famous Maya ruins. Puerto Vallarta is on the Pacific side in a cove that rises up into the Sierra Madres. Both of these areas have retreats and frequent workshops that visit periodically. For example, Yogaworks has a workshop at the Amansala in Tulum that is visited by top yogis. Sayulita and Yelapa, around Puerto Vallarta, have their own retreat destinations. Who knew Mexico was so zen?
Miraval Resort & Spa; Tucson, Arizona
Miraval is not just a resort; they also offer private villas for the duration of your stay! A particular favorite of many yoga instructors and gurus, the many different types of yoga offered include a yoga-hiking mashup and aerial yoga (for the daring yogi!).
The Life in Balance Spa is one of their most popular attractions, but that shouldn’t sell short the wellness workshops on topics ranging from physiology and fitness to meditation and Pilates. All of this is at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains, giving your yoga practice a beautiful backdrop to develop!
Art of Living Retreat and Center; Boone, North Carolina
Art of Living, founded by Sri Ravi Shankar, has centers all over the United States, but the spiritual retreat in Boone, North Carolina is the one that is most well-known. In the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the site offers Art of Living workshops, which focus on mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda. There are group activities and plenty of opportunity for solitude in this sprawling mountain spiritual spa. Leaders from religions and spiritual practices the world over have conferences here, so it’s worth checking out their schedule. They also have speakers that do workshops all over the country, if you want to have a preview (or a memento) of your time with them.
Sun Lotus Center; Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Island is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Off the coast of British Columbia and just a ferry ride from Seattle, Washington, this mountainous island is a gorgeous blend of mariner and Native American lifestyle. Sitting on its southern side in Cowichan Valley is the Sun Lotus Center, a 7-acre spiritual garden that offers very affordable getaways for yogis and other spirit seekers.
Activities at the retreat include dancing, singing, chanting, meditation, bicycling, swimming in the river or visiting the nearby town of Duncan. With a very loose structure, their aim is to get the most out of your retreat.
Sail Angelique; Camden, Maine
Not all yoga has to be on land! For a truly unique experience, check out the 4-night Yoga and Wellness Cruise on the Angelique, a windjammer that sets sail from Camden, Maine. On top of the relaxing feeling of being blown along by the breeze, this yearly event (in the first week of August) combines breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness with the experience of being on the water.
All of these locations have drawn yogis of every level, from beginners to advanced students and even instructors. No matter where you choose to go, yoga will always go with you, but it is refreshing to know that you can go to yoga, too. No matter what climate or culture you want to visit, there is a yoga retreat for everyone!