7 worldwide yoga resorts where rest and relaxation are king
From a riverside resort in Scotland to a beachfront school in Goa, these yoga retreats will have you feeling tip-top in no time.
Too often, vacation is a time when we overindulge. We eat too much, we drink too much and by the time we return home, we often end up feeling like bloated, less-healthy and even less-happy versions of ourselves (post-vacation blues, anyone?). Yoga retreats, however, are designed to have the opposite effect.
During these wellness getaways, you get the chance to check out from everyday life and lounge around in gorgeous locations, but you also get to work on your own well-being. So whether you’re a confident body-contorting yogi or yogini, or a total newcomer to the mat, these international yoga retreats will help you find your calm.
Omega, Rhinebeck, N.Y.
This resort offers all kinds of well-being workshops, which focus on everything from mother and teen bonding to yoga teacher training courses. Besides workshop-specific activities, participants are free to attend open classes in yoga, meditation, tai chi and movement. Post-yoga pursuits are plentiful here, and range from swimming and boating on the on-site lake to long walks around nature trails. There is also an on-site sauna as well as sporting facilities where you can blow off steam. The resort’s library features more than 7,000 books on holistic living should you want to brush up on your spiritual literature. Three meals – typically local, organic and vegetarian – are served daily.
Wild Yoga Retreats, Israel
Wild Yoga Retreats offer a yoga escape with a difference, combining scuba diving excursions with yoga sessions. During their summer course, participants will have daily yoga classes, guided meditations and massage workshops as well as diving lessons with an instructor. While you are underwater, you’ll put your rhythmic breathing to test as well as witnessing some of the incredible marine life that lives beneath the surface of Israel's Red Sea. Not only will you emerge with a scuba diving certification for open water diving, but you’ll also come out with a much stronger grasp of various yoga asana styles.
OneWorld Retreats, Bali
Bali is something of a Shangri-La for yoga devotees, with yoga advocates of all kinds making pilgrimages here to practice their asanas in idyllic tropical surrounds. The retreat is situated in a serene spot in Kumara, with views of the rice fields and the lush hills of Ubud, and a small creek trickling nearby. With just 14 rooms at the resort, this retreat retains its intimate, away-from-it-all atmosphere even when full. When you are not mid-yoga pose or deep in meditation, you can go for a swim in the two pools or have a massage in the spa, or try other activities such as jewelry making classes, Balinese cooking workshops and walks in the rice fields. Healthy meals, built around fresh and tasteful produce, are included in the package.
A perfect choice for active travelers, this late summer retreat places equal emphasis on surfing and yoga, with a whole host of other activities thrown in for good measure. Participants will stay in the Maderas Village, an eco-minded boutique resort set on the hills overlooking Nicaragua’s stunning Pacific coast. The location could hardly be more conducive to relaxing and rejuvenating. This six-night retreat is all about living well. As well as daily yoga sessions, you’ll get to take part in surf lessons led by experienced instructors. Other optional activities include horseback rides, massages and catamaran tours. Food is never an afterthought here, and special emphasis is placed on locally sourced fish, with meat options occasionally appearing on the menu. Socialize with your fellow retreat-goers during nightly prix-fixe dinners.
Feathered Pipe Ranch, Montana
Ensconced by forests and mountains and overlooking a still lake, this hideaway ranch feels a million miles away from anything. It’s a great spot to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life and reconnect with your inner you. Stay at this picturesque resort and enjoy invigorating yoga sessions as well as personal and spiritual growth workshops. Perhaps the biggest draw to the ranch is the wilderness that surrounds it, which is an ideal place for hiking, swimming, canoeing, horse riding and wildlife watching. Bodywork and massage staff are on hand to offer healing treatments here, while a hot tub and sauna offer further opportunities to unwind. The food is local and organic, with a strong focus on nutrition, and accommodation ranges from tipis, tents and yurts to the more secluded and private Honeymoon Cabin, which enjoys an isolated setting out in the forest.
Craving a chance to relax and renew your energy? There is no better spot for it than this intimate beachside retreat. A small staff and limited numbers of guests keep things quiet and serene. And if the sounds of the incoming waves and the sights of the swaying palm fronds don’t have you feeling blissful, hopefully a few sets of sun salutations will. When you are not perfecting your downward dog, you can indulge in Ayurvedic massages or hone your kitchen skills at complimentary cooking classes. The food provided here is organic vegetarian Indian cuisine. Additional leisure activities, such as dolphin-watching and fishing excursions, can be arranged on request.
EcoYoga Retreats, Scotland
The sound of nearby waterfalls cascading, a yoga studio with river views and the green hills and forests of Scotland stretching out in every direction – what is not to love about this Scottish retreat? After you’ve completed your daily yoga sessions, you can escape for a soak in hidden-away bathing spots, set under the forest canopy and by the river bank. A bonus for eco-conscious travelers: this resort is totally off-grid, producing all of its own energy through a hydro turbine and solar panels.
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