Yoga attracts all types of people. From the devoted yogi who knows every asana and mudra to folks trying to maintain core strength and balance, avid runners, and high-intensity athletes who practice for a good stretch, yoga retreat helps people achieve substantial mental and physical results.
As its popularity among diverse demographics surges, many yogis go the extra mile (or extra 50,000 miles, depending on where they’re headed) to practice their flow and find their center in exotic locations.
While destinations like India, where yoga has been practiced for centuries, remain steadfast staples among yogi pilgrims, the following four locations offer all levels of yoga students a practice paradise that will take you out of your comfort (and geographic) zone.
4. Balanced Rock, Yosemite
Yosemite gets a lot of well-deserved attention for many reasons: Half Dome hikes, camping that’s second to none, and pristine meadows and streams. Visitors come to Yosemite for all kinds of nature-loving pursuits, and at Balanced Rock, they come to find their yoga flow. Balanced Rock takes groups of eager, mountain-loving yogis into Yosemite’s valleys for yoga practice, along with offering day hikes and meals.
Set among Yosemite’s most breathtaking views, Balanced Rock believes the connection between man and nature is a powerful tool for finding inner peace and strength. They also provide meditation and art retreats for those looking for some additional creative or personal time.
3. Haramara Retreat, Sayulita
Haramara is a special place. It is like Neverland for yogis. With beachside bungalow-style accommodations, guests at Haramara experience a rustic simplicity that certainly helps you quiet your mind and find balance in your life.
The on-site restaurant serves local, fresh meals three times a day. The beach is visible from nearly every angle of the property. The two yoga shalas are specifically placed for sunrise practice and sunset practice (though practice at any time of the day is encouraged!).
If you’re looking for a seaside yoga retreat but also want a little adventure, Haramara has surfing and hiking to help you break a sweat in between your yoga flow. If doing too many crows poses has made your muscles sore, check out the wellness center, which is right on the beach and offers over five different kinds of massages.
2. The Island Experience, Brazil
For a little South American charm and adventure, The Island Experience delivers the best there is. There are now three locations owned by this group—one on Ilha Grande, one in Patagonia, and one in Costa Rica.
All locations offer a spa, yoga, and onsite meals. The resort also incorporates a detox diet into its programs, so yogis that are not only after mental rejuvenation but also physical improvement will love the resort’s holistic nutrition approach.
Yoga at The Island Experience is meant to fit with your mental and physical state at different points of the day. For example, your morning practice is heating, getting your body ready for the day ahead, and the evening practice focuses on deep stretching and slowing down. Sea kayaking, hiking, swimming, and snorkeling all offer a break from your mat.
1. The Sanctuary, Thailand
If there were ever a reason to pack your bags (and mat) to embark on a 24-hour travel endeavor, The Sanctuary is it. This retreat destination offers teacher training sessions, three-day adventures that dish up sweaty yoga sessions three times a day, spa treatments, workshops, and more.
For those really looking for a cleanse, The Sanctuary also offers curated programs for mini-fasts, detoxes, and weight loss. The yoga focus is on Vinyasa-style classes, so guests should expect a challenging physical practice. There’s also Pilates in the Garden Hall if you need a break from your Drishti.