The modern yoga practice takes on many different forms for different kinds of people. For some, yoga is a group exercise to relax and unwind after a long day at the office. For others, it is a philosophy, a part of everyday life, and a reason for travel.
Although you can essentially practice yoga wherever you are, many travelers seek out yoga retreats to deepen their practice and connect with other yogis in an inspirational setting. Although local yoga studios are popping up in even the smallest of towns these days, yoga retreats are consistently popular because of their world-class teachers, beautiful locations, luxurious amenities, and sense of community.
If you could benefit from a stimulating escape to boost your physical and mental well-being, check out these blissful yoga retreats around the world.
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When many people consider traveling for a yoga retreat, India is the first destination that comes to mind. Purple Valley Yoga is located in a tropical paradise, with abundant beaches and lush green landscapes. You can take a one or two-week course at this center to experience multiple yoga sessions each morning and each evening. This retreat center specializes in Ashtanga yoga and promotes relaxation and mental clarity in all activities. Sample local Indian-vegetarian dishes and relax in hammocks around the property between classes. This is one of the most authentic and unforgettable yoga experiences you’ll find anywhere.
Anahata Yoga Retreat – Golden Bay, New Zealand
The Anahata Yoga Retreat is situated on top of a mountain in New Zealand’s Golden Bay, with year around activities and a range of lodging options. The focus here is on Satyananda yoga, which draws upon the practices of Hatha, Raja, Jnana, Mantra, and Bhakti. You can camp outdoors in a tent, share a room with other yogis, or splurge for a private straw bale round house with amazing views of the landscape.
The Yoga Farm – Punta Banco, Costa Rica
Located near Pavones, Yoga Farm aims to combine the best of both yoga and surfing. Like many areas in Coast Rica, this is an eco-friendly destination, complete with compostable toilets, solar panels, and a vegetable garden. If you are a yogi on a budget, considering volunteering at the farm to offset the program cost. In exchange for 10 hours of work per week in the kitchen, garden, or other ongoing projects, Yoga Farm provides accommodations, three healthy meals, and a guided daily yoga class at a reduced monthly rate of $550. Yoga Farm operates seven months out of the year, and some people choose to stay for several months.
Big Sky Yoga Retreat – Montana, USA
For a country and western twist on traditional yoga practice, head to Big Sky Yoga in the wide open spaces of Montana. This retreat focuses its yoga programs around outdoor exercise and fitness, with plenty of other activities like cross country skiing, horseback riding, and hiking. Take your pick between cozy western cabins or upscale glamping suites. Big Sky also offers a program called Cowgirls vs. Cancer for breast cancer survivors and a yoga program in Yellowstone National Park.
Located just 40 minutes from Puerto Vallarta on the Riviera Nayarit, Haramara has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and accommodations that pamper you from the moment you arrive. This area has a private beach and several acres of tropical jungle on the property. You’ll enjoy a 360-degree view of the rainforest and the ocean as you take yoga classes at this retreat center. Lots of famous visiting teachers have led retreats in this rustic, yet elegant, location.
Silver Island Yoga – Greece
Silver Island yoga is a retreat located off the coast of Athens on a 60-acre working olive farm. Lissa and Clair Christie run the family-owned retreat that enjoys few nearby distractions. The resort is small and contained within two traditionally-designed white houses with blue shutters. Silver Island is all about totally getting away, magic, nature, wellness, transformation and rejuvenation. Three Mediterranean-vegetarian meals are provided each day, and retreats generally run from July to October. For added adventure, take to the sea for a little kayaking and snorkeling.
Les Passeroses – Angouleme, France
Les Passeroses has only been in business since 2005, but it has quickly become one of the most popular yoga retreat centers in Europe. Expect to find boutique accommodations and eclectic methods of yoga practice, including freestyle and Iyengar, here. A typical day at Les Passeroses involves two yoga sessions and two meditation sessions. But make sure to save some time to enjoy the vegetarian cuisine, relaxing pool, and local wine!
For an ultimate escape far away from it all, plan an excursion to Ulpotha Yoga in Sri Lanka. This retreat center is located in a peaceful village surrounded by inspiring scenery, from the lakes to the mountains and paddy fields. You’ll be served a vegan diet at this center, which offers guests the opportunity to try out different types of yoga every day. Retreats are generally only offered between June and August and again from November through March. If you’re familiar with certain teachers, you can check their schedules and choose specific classes in advance.
You can join one of many diverse retreats at KaliYoga, located in the Alpujarra region of Andalucía, Spain. The temperatures are warm here throughout the year, and past retreats have focused on dynamic flow and juice detoxing. Yoga classes are offered twice daily and overlook dramatic mountain landscapes. Meals are vegan and vegetarian, and there is a heavy emphasis on meditation and mindfulness in these retreats as well.
The Kalani Retreat Center is a well-established yoga facility in Hawaii that has been a place of refuge for several decades. You’ll enjoy local vegetarian cuisine at this center, where phones and televisions are strictly prohibited to keep you connected to yourself instead of technology. Take your pick between various Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini classes that are designed for all skill levels. Lots of visitors take advantage of this center’s beautiful location situated along the tropical jungle and the Pacific Ocean to take a zip line tour, explore local heritage sites, and hike along active lava flows.
Whether you choose to travel to distant lands or keep your yoga practice close to home, there are lots of opportunities around the world to expand your yogi knowledge and become more involved in the global community. And with dedication and patience, the skills and techniques that you learn at these yoga retreats will stay with you when you settle back into your daily routine back home.