7 Relaxing Yoga Retreats to Rejuvenate You in 2018
If your New Year's resolution for 2018 is to reduce stress or get in shape, you're not alone. Losing weight and becoming healthier are among the top goals for Americans in 2018.
But the team here at TPG knows it can be hard to find time for fitness — especially if you're a frequent traveler. Rather than hitting the hotel gym or toting along yoga mats and stretchy bands in your suitcase, why not dedicate an entire vacation to your health and well-being? Here's a list of TPG-approved yoga retreats with something for everyone — the luxury traveler, the backpacker, the gypsy goddess, the exhausted workaholic and everyone in between.
Little Cove Yoga Retreat, India
If you really want to understand and practice the fundamentals of yoga in its purest form, why not head straight to the source: India. This family-owned retreat is located a couple hours outside of Goa on a stunning private beach cove. The owner, Pardeshi, starts off the day with a two-hour Ashtanga yoga practice, complete with pranayama and meditation, with another beach meditation in the afternoon.
The retreat is all-inclusive, with delicious vegetarian Indian cuisine (the chef will even let you help with the meal prep in the kitchen). The huts on the beach are basic, complete with roofless showers and sans A/C, but you'll be so relaxed you won't care.
Prices start at $75 per night and include a full lunch and dinner, plus fruit, coffee and tea for breakfast and two yoga or meditation sessions per day.
Suryalila Retreat, Cádiz, Spain
Located in sunny Andalusia just outside Cádiz, Suryalila has a full retreat calendar for 2018. With options such as acro yoga in April, a yoga and horseback riding sunflower retreat in June and a divine-souls retreat in September, you can surely find the perfect yoga getaway. If you're considering becoming a yoga teacher, Suryalila also offers training throughout the year. You can join one of the scheduled retreats or create your own; they include two yoga classes a day. You'll start off with a vinyasa flow at 8:00am and have a restorative class in the afternoon.
Regardless of the retreat you choose, the accommodation is all-inclusive, with three gourmet vegetarian meals per day, two yoga classes, free Wi-Fi and access to the saltwater pool, sauna and common areas — including the hammocks scattered around the resort. The decor, inspired and imported from Bali, India and Morocco, perfectly meshes with the location, a quaint Spanish farmhouse with wooden ceilings.
Shared glamping tents and family yurts start at $80 per person per night and are shared by two or three people. Private, single-person rooms start at $155 per person.
Blooming Lotus Yoga, Bali, Indonesia
Bali is home to a million different yoga retreats, but the personalized attention you'll get at Blooming Lotus is extra special. With a more intensive morning class and a restorative afternoon class, you'll increase your strength and decrease your stress right off the bat. Plus, the lush, green surroundings of the retreat will take your breath away.
You can lounge in your villa's private plunge pool when you're not doing yoga or meditating, or take the free shuttle into central Ubud to explore. If you want to take a little bit of your experience home, retreat founder and teacher Lily Goncalves makes yoga nidra CDs and MP3s so you can incorporate relaxation into your daily routine.
Prices include two yoga classes per day, two special workshops, vegan breakfast and dinner, daily meditation sessions and one special cultural event. Shared suites start at $397 for a four-day, three-night retreat and run up to $597 for a private villa.
Island Yoga, Thailand
Just a 30-minute speedboat ride from Phuket, Island Yoga is located on the picturesque island of Koh Yao Noi, still untouched by mass tourism. The retreat has many accomplished teachers offering hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, yin and restorative yoga daily (in beginner and intermediate/advanced classes).
Your day will start off with sunrise tai chi on the beach, followed by a vigorous two-hour yoga class and breakfast. There are plenty of workshops during the day, or you can rent a motorbike or bicycle and explore the deserted beaches around the island. The afternoon class is less intense, with a focus on restoring your mind and body. Classes from Veerle and Antonella are particularly creative and playful, and you shouldn't miss the Shambalic Sound Bath, where Dimitri and Roni play sound bowls, crystals and gongs as you close your eyes and drift into a deep meditative trance.
Accommodation comes in the form of dorms or bungalows (with or without A/C), and rates include breakfast and two yoga classes per day. Packages start at $170 for three nights in the dorm and run as high as $370 for the A/C bungalow.
Ulpotha, Sri Lanka
If you desperately need a specialized detox escape, a two-week retreat at Ulpotha in Sri Lanka is for you. With preset retreats throughout the year, you can pick a program that works for you, like vinyasa flow yoga or dynamic restorative therapeutic yoga. You can also add an Ayurvedic treatment program onto your retreat, which uses aromatherapy techniques, body scans and detox plans to help balance your energies. Ulpotha comes recommended by Vogue, which calls the experience "a spiritual high."
Get ready for a true detox, though, as the resort has shared huts and no electricity — forget checking your email, watching Netflix or juicing up that iPad.
Retreat prices include shared accommodation, all meals, two yoga classes per day, one massage treatment per week, one excursion per week, one Ayurvedic consultation and the use of bicycles, steam room and sauna. Retreat prices start at $2,940 for 14 days.
Pranamar Surf and Yoga Retreat, Costa Rica
If you need a little more excitement on your retreat, Pranamar offers one yoga class per day and surf lessons, so you can get fit both in and out of the water. Located on picturesque Santa Teresa beach, surfing conditions are ideal year round. Expect to enjoy a variety of yoga, with evening classes like moon yoga and morning classes like hatha, vinyasa flow or detox yoga.
All the villas are made of bamboo, giving off a natural and calming vibe, but still complete with luxuries like air conditioning, granite bathtubs and Wi-Fi. The pool is also a peaceful place to unwind after an energetic morning of surf and asanas.
A five-night package, including four surf lessons, one yoga class per day, daily breakfast and one massage treatment, starts at $1,450 for a garden bungalow in high season (poolside villas are more).
Willka T'ika, Sacred Valley, Peru
Those wanting to connect with Pachamama (Mother Nature, in Quechua) should head to Willka T'ika in Peru's Sacred Valley for an all-inclusive luxury retreat that includes yoga, meditation in their Chakra Gardens, guided adventures to Incan ruins and authentic Andean healing experiences like shamanic ceremonies.
The yoga is all about flow and is tailored to the levels of the particular guests attending each retreat. You can even take things above and beyond with rituals like crystal light therapy, earth dancing and floral solar baths. Guest rooms each come with a private bathroom and views of the Andean countryside or the quaint gardens.
One of the most popular retreats is a 10-day experience led by founder Carol Cumes, which includes accommodation, vegetarian meals, Q'ero healing ceremonies, yoga, meditation and even a two-day visit to Machu Picchu, with rates starting at $4,250 per person for shared accommodation or $5,150 for single accommodation.