Are you in need of a relaxing yoga getaway, but can't quite afford a retreat? Look no further! We've got all the tips you'll need in order to plan your own yoga vacation on a budget.
There is no shortage in breathtaking yoga retreat locations around the world. We’ve led our fair share of retreats to Bali, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Mexico, so we know first-hand how great these locations can be. There are, however, so many more destinations that may not immediately pop into your mind when planning your next retreat. So, here are our top 9 locations for stepping out of the box and soaking in a well-rounded, relaxing, rejuvenating retreat in 2018.
Okay. Okay. This might seem like an obvious choice, but India is still not a top 10 destination for yoga...yet. Practicing yoga in India is the epitome of spirituality. The ancient practice started here in around 5000 b.c. and still thrives across the country. Deeply devotional people, elaborate temples, and peaceful ashrams make India a unique location for retreats. While it’s certainly not the most luxurious location on our list, the culture and experience of retreating to India is sure to challenge you to deepen your spiritual and internal relationship to a fascinating degree. There’s nowhere quite like it.
While India is best known for Rishikesh, we’d recommend heading to Goa, Mysore, Varanasi or Manali, each offering their own exceptionally unique experience.
Best time to visit: November-February
It would be a true challenge to find a more intensely beautiful, surreal, and diverse area of the world to retreat to than Patagonia. From the immense glacial fields to the green alpine meadows scattered with wildflowers and the Cobalt lakes to the snowy mountain tops, the natural beauty here is truly boundless. Relax your mind and body on the mat and spend your free time engaging in sustainable volunteering or exploring the exotic yet peaceful environment around you.
Best time to visit: December-March
Oh Canada, a source of so much serenity, beauty, and fresh air! Looking for a bigger city retreat scene with an abundance of historical and architectural influences? Check out Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, or Ottawa. Looking for a more peaceful, scenic getaway in nature? Head to British Columbia or Alberta. Hi, Banff Lake! Honestly, no matter what atmosphere you’re looking to retreat to, Canada more than likely got you covered.
Best time to visit: May-October
Croatia is a beautiful eastern European country with quaint islands in the Adriatic sea. The water is crystal clear and bright blue. Hvar island and the Istrian peninsula are perfect retreat destinations, boasting surprisingly fertile coastal plains, freshwater springs, beautiful beaches, and many hours of uninterrupted sunshine. It’s the perfect getaway without straying too far from comfort!
Best time to visit: May-June & September-October
Nicaragua is the largest nation in Central America, yet it remains the least visited. With a stunningly diverse display of mountains, volcanoes, lakes, forests and beaches, this country makes for an entrancing retreat. Spend a week relaxing on Big Corn Island or combine yoga classes with surf lessons on Costa Dulce.
Best time to visit: November-April
Have you ever heard of more inviting, crystal clear seas than that surrounding Maldives? We imagine it would be a challenge to find. Ocean lovers, this location is for you. Retreat to the ethereal paradise where nature and sea live in harmony and experience marine life like you’ve never seen before. Whether you’re looking for a rejuvenating getaway to Malé or want to combine yoga with surfing or diving, you’ll find it here.
Best time to visit: November-April
Iceland has a whole lot more to offer than arctic temperatures and glistening glaciers. This country offers an abundance of thermal baths, such as the well-known Blue Lagoon, rare wildlife viewings and nature like you’ve never quite seen it before. If you’re lucky enough, you might even experience nature’s light show, the northern lights. Now that’s something to write home about.
We’re quite partial to Reykjavik and Akureyri when it comes to combining yoga and adventure, but, of course, we’re never opposed to stepping off the beaten path, either.
Best time to visit: June-August
Retreating to Tanzania offers you a chance to experience some of the world’s most untouched combinations of culture, wildlife, and scenery. Spend your entire retreat relaxing on the beaches of Zanzibar, mix in some diving and sea exploration, or combine yoga with safari adventures. You’re bound to leave here with an open mind and plans for the next African getaway!
Best time to visit: June-October
Looking to experience a laid back culture filled with striking architecture, white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters? Well, luckily for Americans, visiting Cuba just got a little bit easier. That means now is the perfect time to visit before the crowds start to discover the magic they’ve been missing. Relax and retreat to Havana, exploring the capital city’s rich culture or head off the beaten path to breathe in the fresh mountain air of the Sierra Maestra.
Best time to visit: November-March
Check out some of our favorite upcoming retreats, teacher trainings and venues to get started on your next yoga adventure!
Yoga retreats can make or break a devoted yogi. With a wealth of available retreats for you to experience, it's important to do your homework and know what your getting into rather than be blindsided by a trip you weren't prepared for. Here's your checklist to make sure you get the most out of your next adventure.
1. What type of retreat?
As yoga and yoga retreats gain popularity, it’s important to realize there are a wealth of different types of retreats available for you today. Some retreats involve a small number of people, going to an area in the world where yoga and meditation is going to be your number one focus. Other retreats bring a larger group of yogis and yoginis as well as a few more instructors to offer a variety of classes intermingled with daily excursions and experiences (in addition to the yoga). There are retreats that offer an intensive training schedule if you plan on doing a teacher training retreat. There are retreats that allow you to wander the streets of a foreign village experiencing the culture and lives of its inhabitants. If you want to participate in volunteer work and spread yoga in 3rd world countries, there are retreats for that as well! It all comes down to a matter of preference, and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before you board that plane.
2. Who are the instructors?
Most retreats these days are at least a week long. If you’re going to be taking daily classes with an instructor, it’s a good idea to get a sense of what style they teach, what their personality is like, and how they will make this retreat a memorable experience. Most instructors have a strong social media presence or even blog you can check out to get a sense of who they are and what drives them. Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter or Wordpress are great places to start when doing your research about your instructor(s). Even better, do a quick Youtube search to see if your potential instructor has a class you can take in order to get a sense of how they teach. If you can’t make it through a class with them via the web, chances are you’re not going to have that fulfilling yoga experience you’re anticipating. If you’re instructor has a bigger online presence, try searching for them on some bigger yoga class sites (Udaya, Yogaglo, MyYogaWorks, YogaAnytime, GaiamTV)
3. What’s the menu?
This bit of research might not be as important to you as you think…With the rising popularity of detoxing and special retreats devoted to “detoxing” your body, it helps to understand what types of food you’ll be eating while on your journey. If you’re going on a detox retreat, it’s common to expect a week long of eating fresh, vibrant, mostly vegan or vegetarian foods. These retreats typically involve eating at a specific resort for the duration of your visit. It’s also common to have a personal chef cooking for your group during that type of retreat. If this doesn’t float your boat, don’t fret! There are a lot of retreats out there that allow you to venture out on your own, tasting the unique foods of your region and culture. Wine tasting is becoming an extremely popular activity on a lot of retreats, as is going out to eat and experiencing the vibrant culture of the places you’ll be staying. If you have any specific diet or allergy you need to accompany, then hopefully you’ve already done your research into what is being served at your retreat, and what your available options involve.
4. Whats in your bag?
Packing too light, or packing way more than you need is a nightmare you don’t want to experience. Some retreats are exclusively meant to grow and hone in on your yoga practice, meaning you’ll need little more than your mat, clothes and a few personal belongings. Other retreats involve day hikes through incredible land marks, trips to various cities or villages, hiking, diving, biking, you name it. If your retreat offers more of an opportunity for exploring, then definitely pack that camera, swimsuit, and a pair of hiking boots. You don’t want to find yourself in the midst of a glorious and fascinating city or landmark and not have the tools you need to remember this life changing opportunity!
5. Why be open minded?
Perhaps the most important aspect of going on a retreat, it helps to keep an open mind. You might make some life long friends on this journey. You might not. You might find that the schedule you’ve previously glimpsed at is far from being rigid and structured. In many cities or villages around the world, time goes by a lot slower, and locals are a lot more laid back and relaxed. Some people view retreats as a vacation, while other people choose to view a retreat as the beginning of a turning point in their lives. Depending on what your view is of your upcoming retreat, choose accordingly. If you want to experience all that a new country and region has to offer, it might be a bad idea to choose a retreat that doesn’t allow you to leave the premises and explore. If your goal is to restart your life, detoxify your body and soul, and hone in on your practice then choose a retreat that caters to your intent. There are always going to be little surprises, or little hiccups in your journey, but at the end of the day we are all yoga practitioners. Go with the flow!
Image credit: gurmit singh
For those who like to combine yoga and wellbeing practices with travel and adventure, there's nothing quite as great as discovering new destinations. Often, when looking to do so, we tend to focus primarily on exotic and tropical locations. But sometimes more conventional travel destinations are also home to some wonderful opportunities, not only for yoga retreats but for entertainment and wellbeing in general.
With that in mind, here's a look at some terrific yoga retreat destinations in popular European yoga vacation spots—specifically, Italy and the UK.
Revealing Vajra runs several retreats throughout Europe, though the Italian retreats are among the very best you can find. They invite participants to practice several different forms of yoga, including hatha, yin, kundalini, vinyasa flow, and stress relief, and as is often the case with yoga vacations there is also a heavy emphasis on nutritional, vegetarian diet.
But it isn't just the actual practice at the Revealing Vajra Italian retreat that got it ranked in Tourismlink.eu's top-ten yoga retreats in Europe last year. Rather, it's the venue and location. By participating in the Reveling Vajra retreat, you're setting yourself up for seven nights at a 17th-century Italian estate where the evenings—complete with picturesque sunsets and tasty beverages (as well as massage options)—are every bit as relaxing and spiritually soothing as the yoga itself.
Another retreat that takes place at restored 17th-century destinations, Kaliyoga is regarded very favourably, seemingly by everyone associated with it. The yoga program is fairly straightforward, with seven days of two-a-day yoga sessions. However, it's the additional recreation and relaxation that set Kaliyoga's program apart from so many similar offerings.
The program's website advertises that there's plenty of time to hang out at the pool or enjoy attention from holistic therapists, but Kaliyoga's truly unique recreational quality comes in the form of close proximity to charming towns, villages, and beaches. Visitors to Kaliyoga Italy are free to walk or bike to one of these villages, and the retreat occasionally involves group trips to the Adriatic Coast or the town of Ostuni. For many, these opportunities to get out and explore can greatly enhance the retreat experience.
For those looking for an experience that sets itself apart not only by location but by atmosphere and practice, Destination Yoga in Puglia in the south of Italy is a perfect option. In some ways, it has a great deal in common with other Italian retreats: rigorous yoga sessions, top-notch relaxation, an incredible climate and surrounding atmosphere, and healthy, organic food. But the actual mood at Destination Yoga is said to be quite different.
Specifically, a write-up in TheGuardian.com essentially asserted that Destination Yoga has none of the pretentiousness that sometimes pervades yoga retreats. The venue facilitates a great deal of independence due to its vast size, as well as the relaxing and appealing "trulli" (essentially picturesque little huts) that guests are given to use as apartments during retreats. Additionally, it is noted that food and wine are less bland than at other locations, and conversation among visitors tends to be ordinary, rather than solely focused on body and wellbeing practices.
Jivamukti Yoga London
Moving away from Italy, this is more of a venue than an actual retreat, but nevertheless bears mention as one of Europe's most interesting yoga destinations. In an article at ElephantJournal.com, a site "dedicated to the mindful life," it was mentioned among the very best of London's yoga offerings due to its range of classes and teachers offering different viewpoints.
The venue is particularly appealing because of its location as a beautiful, glass-windowed building in the heart of Notting Hill, which many would say is one of London's more quaint and relaxing (though famous and often crowded) neighborhoods. Taking a trip to practice yoga here allows you to relax and focus on your own personal retreat in a very appealing neighborhood while staying in close enough proximity to visit all of the stunning and spiritually awakening sights that make London a popular tourist destination. In fact, if you want to have some fun with this aspect, BritishAirways.com recently posted a conversation with actor Benedict Cumberbatch in which he shared some of his favorite parts of his hometown London. And sure enough, it includes advice on a few places to sightsee and walk about that seem just relaxing enough to fit in with a personal yoga and tourism retreat!
Yogascapes - Into The Mystic
The name alone is intriguing enough to inspire curiosity, but this is truly one of the most impressive, comprehensive, and unique regular yoga retreats out there, and another great option situated in the UK. Run by Abby Tucker, a teacher with a tremendous reputation, the retreat focuses on a wide range of yoga practices implemented over the course of an eight-day retreat and includes both beginner and expert levels. For those interested, there is a more athletic quality to some of the Into The Mystic activity, as opposed to many retreats at which yoga is kept intentionally light and relaxing.
But it's really the venue that makes Into The Mystic so appealing. Held in August, the retreat takes place in Scotland at Eco Yoga, which is described at its own website as being a home to natural hot springs, a spa dome, an underwater spa, and local organic foods. Additionally, it's said that the retreat employs some of the surrounding region's spiritual and mystic history in its practices.
So there you are! Of course there are many more destinations and retreats to choose from, but these are a few of the ones that make more conventional travel destinations like Italy and the UK well worth considering as you choose your next yoga vacation.
One more thing: Stay tuned. Yoga Travel Tree is full of surprises, and we may or may not enjoy dropping a few hints now and again. It might not be a bad idea to start preparing for a once in a lifetime retreat opportunity to...*cough* Italy...Where you may or may not be able to enjoy not only the fabulous lifestyle, food and architecture of this drop dead gorgeous little country...but perhaps a fabulous tour across some of it's famous cities via bicycle, in addition to some rockin yoga and other travel adventures!
John Dugans is a New York-based writer with a passion for all things travel and fitness. In his downtime, John enjoys sampling beers from all over the world and working on his jumpshot.
Feature Image Credit: KnitSirit
We're giving the gift of travel!
One lucky yogi will be going with us to Costa Rica for free, and it could be you! With the help of some marvelous sponsors, we're able to set up an Instagram based loop giveaway that will change someone's life.
That's right, this is for REAL! The winner of this giveaway will enjoy all yoga retreat activities, food, and amazing adventures around Costa Rica, all courtesy of a group of yogis and heart-centered companies.
Enter between June 16th and 18th for a chance to win a Yoga Travel Tree Yoga Adventure Retreat to Costa Rica valued at over $2,000!
This giveaway is open to any yogi with valid passport and who has the ability to travel to Costa Rica!
How it Works, and How to Enter
This is a loop giveaway! What does that mean?
- Begin with any sponsor
- FOLLOW them on Instagram
- FIND the giveaway image on their Instagram account
- LIKE this post
- TAP on the photo to see where to go next
- OPTIONAL: For additional 3 entries under your name, tag 3 REAL friends in the comment section. You can also tag 5 friends for additional 5 entries. (No celeb, giveaway hosts, or fake accounts allowed or your entry will be disqualified.) Once you've made your way back here, you have completed your entry!
Please remember YOU MUST FOLLOW EVERYONE IN THE LOOP TO QUALIFY. We will be triple checking that everyone is followed by the winner!
All entries must be submitted by June 18, 10 PM PST. We ask that PRIVATE accounts are made PUBLIC during the giveaway in order to be entered.
The winner will be announced on June 22, we thank you in advance for your patience while we verify all the entries. Fake or Giveaway-Only accounts will be disqualified. We truly appreciate your support! Good luck!
- Friends and family of loop hosts/sponsors are not allowed to enter.
- Accommodation is double occupancy.
- Giveaway only applies to the September 27-October 4, 2015 Yoga Adventure to Costa Rica.
- International winner must have a valid passport to travel.
- Must be 18 to win.
- Winner may be responsible for additional taxes/fees/non-included meals/other exclusions listed on the Yoga Travel Tree website.
- Airfare to Costa Rica not included.
- Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use.
The Lovely Sponsors
We'd like to say a special thanks to the following sponsors, without them we would never be able to give the gift of travel during this giveaway!
8 Days, 7 Nights Yoga Adventure Retreat to Costa Rica
With Rima Jomaa & Yoga Travel Tree
September 27-October 4, 2015
Do yoga every day, volunteer with the local community, snorkel with turtles, hike through waterfalls, do SUP yoga in the ocean, relax on serene beaches, and so much more on this Yoga Travel Tree Adventure around beautiful Costa Rica!
When you think of stunning landscapes, lush rainforests, unique wildlife, and pristine sand beaches, Costa Rica should spring to mind. This compact, 7-Day experience allows you to see the natural beauty of this country for yourself, while enjoying invigorating and relaxing yoga practices daily. We guide you from the city of San Jose to the beaches and jungles of Jaco, Montezuma and Santa Teresa, covering a wide variety of local experiences along the way. A guided hike to Montezuma’s waterfalls, learning to cook the local cuisine, and time to laze on private beaches provide the perfect accents for your discovery of Costa Rica’s splendors.
And no Yoga Travel Tree experience is complete without the opportunity to give back to these amazing communities. We’ll spend a day getting our hands dirty during a Seva, or selfless service, project in the town of Santa Teresa.
Image Credit: mendhak
Traveling is a passion for many of us yoga teachers. We are all trying to find ways in which we can afford to travel and share our passion for yoga-without completely breaking the bank. But it doesn't have to be as difficult as you might think. There are numerous ways to make extra cash and save money on your travels, as long as you're willing to be creative. These odd jobs may not be careers, but the following ways to make money on the road will have you teaching and traveling in no time!
Option 1: For the Writer – Blogging
Do you already have a blog with a decent following?
If so, then a great way to continue to fund your travels while you spread yogic joy across the world is to use advertisements on your blog. Contextual advertisement avenues, such as Yahoo Publisher, Adbrite, and Google AdSense, are great examples of easy-to-use contextual ads.
Have a super-popular blog? Try being picked up by an advertising network such as Blogads or BuzzMachine.
Don’t have a big enough following for context or advertising networks? Try using these methods:
Affiliation Advertising - Are your blog visitors apt to make online purchases? Sites like Amazon offer affiliate sales-anytime someone makes a purchase from your website, you get a commission!
Linking - Use websites such as LinkAdage to change the hyperlinks in your blog to advertise for specific companies who will pay you to have their site come up if a reader clicks on the link.
Don’t have a blog but enjoy writing?
Try your hand at writing some creative and unique articles for companies such as Yoga International and Strong Whispers. These blogs have great online traffic, which in-turn, can link back to your site or blog to create a larger following. They will even pay you for your article!
Option 2: For the Analyst – Transcriptionist
If you’re a skilled typist and don’t mind sitting at a computer for a couple hours, then this option might be good for you.
As someone who grew up in a generation of computers, I consider myself to be a skilled typist, which definitely comes in handy with this line of work.
There are a ton of sites out there that offer transcription services. As a volunteer yoga teacher at a yoga retreat center in Costa Rica (Blue Osa), I have a lot of work that needs to get done. I also want to experience the beautiful place that surrounds me, so my time to make money can be very limited. That’s why I chose the site Scribie. Not only did they have good reviews, but they also give me the flexibility to work on what I want, when I want. Scribie allows me to work around my own schedule and pick up transcriptions as I have time. Now, the pay isn’t the highest, but it’s extra cash for work that is not too demanding and I can usually find some extra time to do one or two before bed.
Each transcription site varies on how they assign work, so when you’re researching for places to apply, make sure that you are able to fulfill their requirements while you’re traveling.
Option 3: For the Creatively Talented
Websites such as ODesk and CreativeCircle offer options for the wanderlust soul to work as a freelancer, offering your skill sets remotely for various businesses. Skill sets vary from customer service, writing, graphic design, web design, data entry and more. All you have to do is set up your profile and start applying!
Hint: Pay attention to what you are applying for. Although many of the jobs offered allow you to work remotely, some businesses prefer you to be on-site, so be sure to apply for a job that you know you can commit to.
Option 4: For the Crafty Cat – Jewelry Making
Who doesn’t love to pick up some unique souvenirs and jewelry while traveling across the world? Why can’t you be the one making those?
During my yogic volunteering experience at Blue Osa in Costa Rica I met this amazing individual who funded an entire year of living in Costa Rica simply by making cool looking bracelets. I’m sadly not the crafty type, or else I would totally do this too!
If you know how to make bracelets or necklaces then bring that skill with you on your travels! Things such as string and rope are relatively easy to come by while traveling—and inexpensive. For example, a spool of one color of thread in Costa Rica is about $2.50 and you can make a few bracelets out of this and charge $5 per bracelet. After your first sale you’ve already doubled your investment and have extra thread to make more!
As a traveling yoga teacher, you can end up having a lot of free time, either at the place you are working or traveling between different destinations. Use this time while you’re sitting on the beach, laying in the hammock, or taking a bus ride, and start putting together a few different bracelets & necklaces.
After you have a couple made, give one to your host. See if the place you are staying at has a store or small shop that you can sell them at. Negotiate with them for commission for being able to sell your bracelets/necklaces at their place.
Hint: A great way to add some special local flavor (and enhance your sales) is to collect things from the area, such as seashells from the beach, and add them as charms to your jewelry.
Making jewelry is a ton of work, but it also can be very meditative and rewarding. So think of it as a expanding your meditation practice while making money on the road!
Option 5: For the Jack-of-All-Trades
Sometimes while you’re traveling it’s not about making money, it’s about saving it. Think of all of the wonderful skill sets that you have and see how you can cleverly use them for trades.
Here are a few ideas:
You are a traveling Yoga Teacher! What is cooler than that? If you’re taking a break from volunteering and traveling the countryside, see if you can trade a private yoga class for a free night and some food.
Did you study Massage? Reflexology? Chakra Balancing? See if you can trade a special skill set that you’ve learned for a ride to the town you’re headed towards!
How about photography? Offer to take pictures for their website in exchange for a night or two.
Handy with a computer or publisher? Offer to trade some computer work, like inputting data, designing flyers, etc. for a couple free yoga classes.
The most important thing to remember is to be creative with your skills. Everybody has something unique and special to offer to the world. Utilize your skills, pursue some acts of karma yoga, and don’t be afraid to show off that Wanderlusting Yogi Spirit!
Teach for Yoga Travel Tree!
Elizabeth Arnold is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher, certified Thai Bodywork Practitioner, and world traveler. She left her corporate life in 2014 to explore the meaning of life through yoga, natural healing & travel. She is currently writing from Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa in Costa Rica where she serves as a volunteer. You can find out more about Elizabeth on her site at www.bethanneyoga.com
When you consider signing up for a yoga retreat, you will soon notice that you have an abundance of choice! As yoga gains more popularity, so do various yoga retreats around the world. Not only can you pick almost any location you want, but you can combine yoga with just about any other activity you love! This leaves you with a burning question - what exactly is it that you want? And how do you find the perfect Yoga Retreat among all the retreats offered?
Step 1 - Active or Reflective?
Before you decide anything else, think about what you would like to get out of your retreat. After the retreat is done, what have you learned or achieved? Are you looking to do yoga and be active, or would you like to practice yoga and be reflective with the rest of your time?
This will pretty much determine the theme of your retreat, and the rest of the decisions you can base on that. Why is this so important? If you are looking to do some surfing or mountain climbing between yoga, you are perhaps not going to be content in a retreat based more on restorative activities. If on the other hand rest and restorative is all you're looking for, paragliding after your morning flow may feel a bit extreme.
If you want action next to your yoga, there are countless of options for you out there! Surfing, mountain climbing, SUP yoga, diving, horseback riding and hiking just to name a few. Look for Yoga Adventure retreats and pick one that speaks to you!
For those of you looking to reflect, try combining your yoga with extended meditation, massage, life coaching, art or creative writing.
Step 2 - Location, location, location!
Or budget, budget, budget. Once you have figured out how active you want to be during your retreat, you can start thinking about the location. When you imagine yourself on a yoga retreat, where do you see yourself? Half way around the world on a tropical island perhaps, or more close to home.
Ask yourself how long you are willing to travel to get to your destination. If you only have limited time available, jetlag may take a big bite out of your yoga experience. Before settling on that perfect island get-away, check how to travel to your destination, and how much you are willing to spend on your travels.
Location comes with budget, and the further you go, the more you are likely to spend on airfare. On the other hand, some locations, such as South-East Asia and Bali, offer retreats with lower prices, since the local expenses are relatively low. So before you are fooled with a high airfare, check the total amount you would be spending before ruling out some locations.
Check beforehand how flexible the yoga retreat is regarding extending your stay. You can plan your travels around the retreat, or stay longer in the same location where the retreat is offered.
Sometimes it's also nice to not to travel anywhere, physically, and purely focus on your inner journey. Many yoga schools offer daily retreats where you enjoy yoga for days in a row, but go home for the nights. Snoozing in your own bed after a day of yoga can also be the most relaxing thing ever!
Step 3 - Style of Yoga
When you know your preferred level of activity, and you have an idea of the perfect location, think about what style of yoga you would like to practice. Are you experienced, and prefer more advanced level classes? Then you may focus on furthering your practice with a retreat offering advanced level yoga. If you are a beginner, look for retreats where no prior experience is required, where the yoga is more likely to be gentle and restorative.
If you have a specific style in mind, such as Yin, Vinyasa or Ashtanga, look for retreats that match your style requirements. The best yoga retreats are clear about the style of yoga they offer, so this should be an easy task to figure out.
Step 4 - Size of the group
It's important for your well-being that you feel comfortable with the surroundings. If big groups give you anxiety attacks, opt for retreats that are offering small groups, or even private retreats! Or perhaps you want to be surrounded by like-minded people, and want to have plenty of new friends around you. If it is not clear, ask how big the group sizes are to be sure.
You can also ask how flexible the retreats are. Some offer retreats with a fixed date, when the groups are likely to be a bit bigger. Others offer retreats that are available all-year-round, making them much more individual.
Step 5 - Style of the stay
Do you imagine laying by the pool between classes, or venturing out onto empty beaches? There can be big differences in the style of the accommodations offered. Are you more the eco-resort type, or do you want more comfortable amenities around you, such as air-con and a pool? Be honest, it's no crime to desire cold towels delivered to you by the pool, it's your holiday! You know what would make you smile and your heart sing.
Related to the style of the stay is the style of the kitchen. Are you looking for all inclusive, or would you want more choice? Some retreats are offering a vegetarian cuisine, whereas others are based more on the local cuisine. Check before hand what is possible to avoid any disappointments.
Another thing to keep in mind is the level of sharing you will be doing. Are you willing to share a room with a potential new friend, or do you want your own private place to retreat to. Most yoga retreats offer you an option to share, or to opt for a private accommodation. If you are not the sharing kind, then look further for accommodations where you can be on your own.
Step 6 - Additional Services
Most Yoga Retreats already offer a list of activities to do during the retreat, but some offer additional activities you could do, excluded from the price of the retreat. Whether you would like to have daily massages, life coaching, private guided meditation, sightseeing tours or spiritual practices, look for the extra services the yoga retreats are offering. This can bring a nice additional touch to your experience, and make the retreat more individually tailored to your needs.
As you can see, the question is not so much about what do the best yoga retreats have to offer, but rather how to find the best yoga retreat for you. The more clear you are about what you want, the more chances are that you will find your perfect match. And when you do, just let go of everything else, and enjoy!
Have you caught the travel bug? Feeling a little restless with your day-to-day life? Got the wanderlust itch? Maybe it's time for some globe trotting yoga-style! If you've ever thought it might be fun to go on a yoga retreat but don't know where to start looking, this graphic is for you, kid. [wp_ad_camp_1]
There are definitely dos and don'ts when choosing where you want to travel for yoga. You want someplace that's secluded, but eventful, relaxing, but adventurous, and of course it has to be drop-dead gorgeous. This seemingly impossible combination of adjectives can be incredibly intimidating to the first-time yoga-retreater, but never fear! We've put together this list of the top 10 destinations for yoga retreats around the world, and they all fit that exact description.
Start your search for the perfect yoga retreat in one of these locations, and you're sure to be completely satisfied with your travel experience.
Yoga on, yogis!
Where do you #findyouryoga?
Explore the spiritual heritage of Nepal. Inspire your practice on this pilgrimage to the Himalayas!
21st-26th October 2014
Early Bird Price $1,190 (Valid till 16th of Sept)
Regular Price: $1,390 USD
Single Occupancy Top-up available at +$400
Come on a journey to a land known for its rich source of spirituality. Inspire your practice as we guide you through local pilgrimage sites and deepen your knowledge on Buddhism and Hinduism.
Discover Nepal's living traditions disperse across the Kathmandu Valley. Develop your yoga practice, take a hike against the backdrop of the Himalayas and wander through the night markets of Thamel. Have a chai, discover a momo, experience Nepal, experience yourself. This retreat is scheduled on Tihar (Divali) week where students will get a chance to experience the Festival of Lights in Nepal.
This course includes lectures and workshops on yoga to support the daily asana practices and facilitate an understanding of yoga on the whole. In between the yoga curriculum, students will be guided through a series of local pilgrimage sites and cultural landscapes.
This retreat is suitable for all levels.
3 vegetarian meals daily & unlimited herbal tea
All yoga classes, lectures & workshops
Scheduled excursions including inland transport, guides and entrance passes
Guided hikes with outdoor yoga practice
1 x evening drop-off & pick up to Thamel
Details & Registration at
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Routes of Yoga leads yoga retreats, immersions and trainings worldwide.
So, you have decided that you want to go to a yoga retreat in Bali. Awesome! Now all you have to do it sort through the thousands of options! The Yoga Travel Tree is a great place to start but now you have narrow them down. How do you choose the best Bali yoga retreat? What should you look for? Are all retreats created equal? How are they different? You have asked the questions, I have your answers!
Style of Yoga:
Figure out what type of yoga you wish your retreat to be in. Vinyasa, Kundalini, Anusara, Hatha, Ashtanga, there are so many options. Do you practice a few styles? If so, pick one that you are comfortable practicing for a week. Are you are trying to deepen a particular aspect of your practice? Find a retreat that will focus on breathing, meditations, chants, whatever it is that you want to work on, and go from there. If the style and focus is right, the rest will follow.
Do you have a favorite yoga teacher or a teacher that you have been following? If so, check out his or her website first, see if they are hosting a retreat anytime soon in Bali. While it is always nice to step out of your comfort zone during a yoga retreat, picking a retreat with an teacher whom you are already familiar with will assure you that the money you be spending will be worth it. More than likely you will already know what to expect from this teacher and his or her student following. If you don’t already have a favorite teacher, after you pick your style of yoga, do some research on the teachers who have been trained in that particular style of practice, see whose philosophies you most agree with and go from there. You are going to be spending a fair amount of money and your time on this person, it is important that you get the most out of it.
Obviously you are are already going to Bali, but did you know that Bali is over 2,000 square miles? I didn’t until I arrived last year. The island is huge! Are you interested in being in an area that is close to where all the action is so that after or before the retreat you can check out the main sights? Seminyak or Kuta is probably where you will want to find a retreat! However, maybe you wish to focus on yoga even before the retreat begins and you love to shop, Ubud, will be where it is at for you. Are you more of an outdoors, in the mountains, one with nature yogi? If so, Tabanan or Mount Batukaru are the spots for you! Does the idea of rice paddies and an unpretentious lifestyle just bring the look of bliss to your face? If so, North Bali is where its at!
This is always a big one. Your budget usually dictates a great deal, and often should be one of the first things that you consider when picking a yoga retreat. You don’t want to stress about money for the six months following your retreat. That would defeat the whole purpose of going on a retreat and destressing your life. However, if you have a little money to work with on the retreat, great! Many retreats start around $2,000 depending on the number of days, what is included and who the teacher(s) are. When you are looking at your budget and what you hope to gain from the retreat, make sure that you read all about it. Are you a vegetarian? Do you need your own room? Do you want cultural activities included as part of your retreat? Do you want to surf, hike, have the option of exploring the towns as part of your retreat? Do you need a pick up from the Denpasar airport or can you manage this on your own? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself as you begin narrowing down your retreat options. Ask questions of the retreat host. Also, if you are booking a last minute retreat, there may be ways to get discounts of up to 15% for booking spur of the moment. Personally, I would not suggest making this a habit as it is always good to do your research about the retreat. However, if you are not a picky yogi or just willing to try something new, have at it!
I mentioned it earlier, if you are a vegetarian, vegan, dairy or gluten free? You might want to pay attention closely to the food that is being served. More often than not, the food will be friendly to a wide variety of people and usually they will have the options for your dietary needs, but always make sure. You do not want to show up and not have a variety of food options, like the rest of the people on the retreat. You should always ask what kind of food will they be serving. Is it organic? Healthy? Locally grown and in season? These are all important questions to ask, especially if you are trying to going to go the sustainable route. Are you interested in doing a cleanse? Perhaps they are offering one as part of the retreat. Find out before you commit.
Level of Activity:
Most retreats in Bali offer two yoga sessions a day mixed in with hiking, scuba diving, paddle boarding, cooking classes, surfing or biking. Bali offers so many wonderful options in addition to yoga. Find out what what is included, if anything, and figure out what you feel like doing. Do you have your SSI or PADI certification? Great, you can go diving! But if you don’t, you might want to pick a retreat that focuses on another activity. Maybe healthy cooking classes or biking is what you feel like participating in. Figure out what you are into and go from there!
Images via: @dashamalove