This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
Even after a long week of work, tucked into a windowless hot box with 30 other sweaty, overtired bodies, yoga is an exhilarating and relaxing experience — so can you imagine what it’s like practicing your salutations on a tropical beach during sunrise? Yoga away from home is becoming more and more popular among devoted practitioners of the ancient art; thus, the world’s best yogis are starting to organize retreats to give eager yoga enthusiasts the vacations they crave. There are currently hundreds of these devoted retreats around the globe every year, but a few stand out above the rest. These adventures are bound to give you a change of scenery while supplying that luxury relaxation you so deserve.
1. Ananda Yoga in India
It should come as no surprise that the birthplace of yoga offers an excellent atmosphere to practice the art. Ananda Yoga is one of the most lauded yoga resorts in the world. Located in the Himalayas, this retreat boasts a magnificent outdoor amphitheater where guests supplement their relaxing practices with unparalleled views of the mountains and wilderness. This resort offers classes covering the spectrum of yoga disciplines, including Pranayama and Ajapajapa sessions, but each practice is perfectly customizable, so you can feel comfortable in your poses or explore new positions in more challenging styles. Meals are designed to encourage well-being; given your Ayurvedic body type, chefs will craft a unique culinary experience to befit your nutritional needs.
2. Yogaworks Amansala Retreat in Mexico
If warmer weather is more your style, check Flights.com or bookingbuddy.com for current rates and hop on an affordable flight to Mexico for Yogaworks’ highly coveted weeklong yoga retreat in Amansala. Famous for instructing celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, the yogis who teach classes here are known for their difficult and rewarding workouts as well as their soothing meditations. At this retreat, you’ll stay in luxury, beachfront accommodation, and world-class dining, all the while honing your Vinyasa. During periods between sessions, you can spend time on the beach, explore the local town, or even seek out the nearby Mayan archaeological sites. This retreat offers both relaxation and adventure in spades.
3. Absolute Sanctuary, Samahita, and Kamalaya in Thailand
Thailand is a beautiful country, which makes choosing among all of the world-class yoga resorts a difficult chore. There are dozens of top-tier yoga events for traveling yoga enthusiasts, and very few get to experience the true wealth of yoga practices available. While the following are among the best, by no means are they all that Thailand has to offer devoted yoginis.
- Absolute Sanctuary. This retreat is known for its luxury. As much a spa as a yoga resort, Absolute Sanctuary offers rejuvenating treatments as well as yoga and meditation classes to encourage true healing during your vacation. Plus, during any practice, you’ll be treated to unparalleled panoramas of the surrounding crystal blue sea off Koh Samui.
- Samahita. This is one of the lesser-known yoga retreats in the country, but it is by no means lacking in amenities. Lauded as the most spiritually refreshing retreat, Samahita offers emotional wellness courses alongside its physical activities to provide a truly holistic healing center.
- Kamalaya Yoga Synergy. This destination has won awards for its excellent service and amazing yoga programs. Constructed in a one-of-a-kind location: an ancient cave once used by Buddhist monks to worship and meditate, Kamalaya is quiet and relaxing in virtually every sense. Master yogis are dedicated to improving your entire practice, from your breathing to your poses, so you’ll leave the retreat feeling refreshed and ready to continue working on your Vinyasa at home.
4. Adler Thermae in Italy
The Mediterranean is often touted as the most restorative sand and sun in the world. Indeed, the warm sun, cool breezes, and fresh foods do create one of the most healthful atmospheres, which is why the region is so sought after for relaxing and luxurious vacations. The Adler Thermae Yoga Retreat has been utilizing the nourishing climate of Tuscany for years. While not engaging in any of the gratifying fitness classes (including jogging, Pilates, meditation, and yoga) you may restore your energy in the area’s natural thermal springs or among the verdant rolling hills. It won’t be long before the rejuvenating effects of the Mediterranean see you ready to tackle life’s next challenges.