Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure. Some images may depict pre-pandemic conditions.
If you're struggling to fit self-care into your busy calendar, why not demand more from your next vacation? Sure, a beach getaway will help you unwind, but it doesn't leave you with strategies to manage the problems that inevitably return once you're back home.
Satisfy your wanderlust with a yoga retreat and experience the benefits of cultivating a daily practice under the guidance of some of the world's best teachers. You'll not only feel better and more relaxed, but you'll also leave with simple techniques to infuse into your daily routine, bolstering your mental and physical health for months and years to come.
Thanks to yoga's skyrocketing popularity, there are a wealth of options to choose from, and you're in good company: Wellness tourism is growing at a rapid rate. Here are some of the top yoga retreats around the world. Note that offerings are subject to change due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen Wellness Sanctuary — Sri Lanka
Founded by London-based osteopath Dr. Sam Kankanamge, the Sen Wellness Sanctuary is a retreat center nestled on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Its tailor-made wellness programs are offered throughout the year and rooted in Ayurvedic treatment. In addition to meditation, yoga, and Ayurvedic treatment, the programs include sound and gong baths for deep relaxation and energy clearing, as well as Ayurvedic cooking classes and more.
Soulscape — Italy
Yoga teacher Jaime Hepburn typically runs multiple retreats during the year in beautiful destinations. From Oct. 30 to Nov. 6, this retreat in Le Marche, Italy, includes seven nights at a luxurious estate overlooking the Adriatic, all meals and snacks, yoga twice a day with Jamie, a pasta-making course, and more.
Ashiyana — India
No list of yoga retreats would be complete without an option in India. In addition to training new and experienced teachers, Ashiyana Goa suits practitioners of all levels, offering an extensive range of retreats throughout the year, as well as design-your-own yoga holidays, where you can opt for drop-in classes, one-to-one holistic yoga therapy, or the Holistic Elixir Program, which combines yoga therapy, massage, meditation, and pranayama (breath work). Rooms range from beach huts to luxury suites, and you'll have access to Ayurvedic treatments at the on-site spa plus Ashiyana's creative activities and workshops. Ashiyana's second location opened in Brazil last year.
Whole Health Retreat — United States
Set at Civana Wellness Resort & Spa in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, the Whole Health Retreat, which was created in partnership with Chopra Global, includes twice daily meditation and yoga, custom spa experiences, 15 vegan Ayurvedic meals, and more over the course of a five-night stay. The retreat is held twice monthly.
Yoga Explorers — France
Yoga Explorers is offering several retreats in Morocco and France this year. From June 16 to 23, two instructors will host a retreat at a charming château outside Toulouse. It will include all meals, seven nights of accommodations, two daily yoga classes, and yoga mats and props, plus guests will have free time to explore the area.
Mandali Retreat Center — Italy
Offering bespoke three- or five-day yoga programs and a wide range of themed retreats throughout the year, Mandali is a nonprofit center dedicated entirely to cultivating self-reflection, healing, and relaxation. Plus, it overlooks northern Italy's Lago d'Orta. The center is deeply committed to sustainability — it was built with recyclable materials, its heating system relies on natural wood chips, and the kitchen and swimming pool are powered by solar energy, while any surplus power is delivered to the local community. All levels are welcome, and the tailor-made option is especially useful if you're new to the practice.
Blue Spirit — Costa Rica
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile-long white-sand beach and turtle refuge, Blue Spirit lies in one of the world's Blue Zones, where people report the highest levels of well-being, and it is unsurprisingly a popular destination for retreats among leading international yoga teachers. You can find a full calendar of retreats on Blue Spirit's website.
Retreats at Casa Fuzetta — Portugal
Located in the heart of Olhao's old town, Casa Fuzetta is Algarve's hidden gem, and it holds space for a number of retreats throughout the year guided by some of the world's best teachers, including Cat Meffan. Cat's October retreat includes vegan meals, luxury accommodations, two daily yoga classes, and more.
Miraval Arizona — United States
While not a traditional yoga retreat per se, Miraval Arizona is one of the country's best wellness resorts. It offers a wide variety of included and supplemental yoga classes and well-being experiences, so travelers who don't have time to commit a full week or prefer some flexibility on their vacation might enjoy a DIY approach to a retreat here.
Shambala Gatherings — Sweden
A lakeside retreat center in the wild forest of Bergslagen, just a two-hour drive from Stockholm, Shambala Gatherings provides the perfect setting to go offline and get back to basics — and nature. You'll replace screen time with yoga, meditation, forest walks, kirtan (shared devotional song), and add-on treatments like water meditation, massages, and craniosacral therapy. International teachers host different themed retreats throughout the year, pairing the restorative impact of yoga with the Scandinavian culture of friluftsliv (open-air-living), spending time in nature for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
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